2019 Toyota Sequoia Expert Review

3.8 Overall Score
Performance 3.8 Comfort 3.8 Styling 3.9 Value 3.9

Editor's Overview

The 2019 Toyota Sequoia is a rugged, 3-row SUV that can seat up to eight passengers. Unlike sedan-based crossover SUVs like its own Highlander sibling, the Sequoia excels at towing and off-roading. It packs a big V8 and good safety features, but this aging full-size SUV lacks the latest tech amenities of rivals such as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition.

You'll Like The 2019 Toyota Sequoia If...

If you want a brawny full-size SUV with good off-road chops and a history of reliability and great resale value, the Sequoia delivers, all at a price far less than a Toyota Land Cruiser. The standard Toyota Safety Sense features that arrived last year sweeten the deal.

You May Not Like The 2019 Toyota Sequoia If...

Be honest: Do you really need a rugged, V8-powered body-on-frame SUV to get groceries or take the kids to school? As such, the Sequoia can be a handful to drive, especially in parking lots. Most buyers would be better served in a more comfortable, more efficient, and lower-priced crossover SUV like the Toyota Highlander. SUV rivals like the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition, meanwhile, are fresher.

What's New

The Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV rolls into 2019 with no major changes.

Interior Features

The Toyota Sequoia SUV is a true 8-seater, with a 3rd-row seat that will accommodate adults and is easily reached, thanks to big rear doors and sliding 2nd-row seats. The 3-passenger 2nd-row bench seat allows individual sections to slide fore-and-aft and also fold flat. Alternatively, you can elect to have 2nd-row captain’s chairs, which reduce total seat count to seven but are a treat for those in the middle row. Up front are two big and roomy seats for driver and passenger, separated by a big ol’ center console. The upright dash is truck-like and starting to show its age. Dials are massive, and above them is a center screen for infotainment, but the Sequoia lacks the latest tech that’s readily available in its Ford and GM rivals, namely Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Exterior Features

As the longest, widest and tallest full-size SUV Toyota builds, the 2019 Sequoia bests even the dimensions of the $85,000-plus Land Cruiser. That long wheelbase pays dividends by enhancing interior room, improving ride quality, contributing to directional stability and, with the resultant short overhangs, granting extra clearance when approaching steep angles. The Sequoia’s appearance is fairly innocuous and can’t be accused of standing out in a crowd, but with its massive grille and front bumper, it’s certainly not unattractive.

Driving Impressions

Toyota’s Sequoia weighs nearly three tons and measures over 205 inches in length. We cite those numbers because there’s no denying physics: The Sequoia can be a handful. Though ultimately secure, it can feel cumbersome. Power isn’t an issue, as its 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 is a willing chugger. But with fuel-economy figures of 13-mpg city and 17-mpg highway, don’t expect to win any efficiency awards. The suspension, which is capable for off-road use, also helps quell potholes and other annoyances in the urban jungle. TRD Sport models have a firmer ride, but it’s hard to call anything about this vehicle “sporty.” Top-end Platinum models offer the best ride thanks to an air-suspension setup that can adapt instantly to road conditions. The Sequoia’s steering is fairly precise, though it feels a bit heavy at lower speeds. This big Toyota SUV’s interior is well isolated from obnoxious levels of wind and tire noise. Standard rearview monitor, blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert are welcome assistants when attempting to maneuver the Sequoia’s massive proportions.

Pricing Notes

The 2019 Toyota Sequoia has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $49,995, including destination charge. Prices increase a few thousand dollars as you climb trims, with the Sequoia Limited beginning at $68,830. Adding 4-wheel drive to any model is just over $3,000, depending on trim. Compared to rivals, the Sequoia’s starting price starts above that of the Nissan Armada, and nearly mirrors that of the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon. The Ford Expedition resides a bit higher. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new full-size SUV. The Toyota Sequoia’s resale value is excellent.

Notable Equipment

The Toyota Sequoia SUV comes in four trims: SR5, TRD Sport, Limited and Platinum. In its least expensive SR5 form, the Sequoia includes 8-way driver’s and 4-way front-passenger’s seats, tri-zone climate control, bright LED headlights, moonroof, front and rear parking sensors, and 18-inch wheels. The infotainment system is a smallish 6.1-inch touch-screen unit with AM/FM/HD Radio/CD player with USB port and Bluetooth connectivity. The Sequoia’s safety features include blind-spot monitoring and the Toyota Safety Sense system that bundles forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control. The TRD Sport model, launched last year, adds sport-tuned Bilstein shocks, 20-inch wheels, unique interior and exterior aesthetics, and the ability to configure the Sequoia for 7-passenger seating.

Notable Options

Stepping up to the Sequoia Limited brings more of the features you’ll want, such as a power tailgate, heated and leather-covered front seats, navigation system, 2nd- and 3rd-row sunshades, JBL premium audio system, and auto-dimming rearview mirror. At the top, the Sequoia Platinum brings perforated leather interior, ventilated front seats, air suspension, 2nd-row heated seats and rear-seat entertainment system with Blu-ray player, 9-inch screen and wireless headphones. All models can be equipped with 4-wheel drive (4WD) instead of the standard 2-(rear)-wheel drive (2WD). The 4WD system is robust, featuring a 2-speed transfer case and low-range gearing for tackling tough trails.

Favorite Features

PROVEN RUGGED DURABILITY
Full-size SUVs don’t come cheap, so it’s nice to know your hefty investment will hold its value for the duration of your loan. An excellent record of reliability and longevity also goes a long way to sealing the deal.

TOYOTA SAFETY SENSE-P (TSS-P)
While some manufacturers still require pricey packages or model upgrades to get these features, Toyota makes its TSS-P standard on every Sequoia. The system includes collision warning with pedestrian detection and emergency automatic braking, auto high beams, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure alert with sway warning.

Under the Hood

The 2019 Toyota Sequoia continues to muscle on with its 5.7-liter V8 engine. While not the most powerful in its class, and certainly not the most efficient at a wallet-draining 13-mpg/city, it is a tried-and-true workhorse. Its 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque are enough to get this rig up to speed at a decent clip, and is rated to tow up to 7,400 pounds. Again, that towing figure isn’t the best (a Ford Expedition is rated up to 9,300 pounds), but it should satisfy the majority of needs. All Sequoia models use a 6-speed automatic transmission. Two-wheel drive (2WD) is the standard setup, with a 4-wheel drive (4WD) system optional.

5.7-liter V8
381 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
401 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 mpg

Editors' Notes

The 2019 Toyota Sequoia is a big, rugged, 3-row SUV that can seat up to eight passengers. Unlike sedan-based crossover SUVs like its own Highlander sibling, the Sequoia is an old-school sport-utility vehicle. By that we mean it uses a truck-like body-on-frame chassis that is meant more for towing and off-roading vs. coddling and commuting. Highlights include a standard but thirsty V8 engine and Toyota’s suite of active driver-assistance systems. Still, there’s no denying the Sequoia is getting long in the tooth, especially against fresher rivals like the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe. The Sequoia can certainly schlep the kids to soccer, but its real desire is to be in wilder environs or towing a recreational toy.

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Owner Reviews

5

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Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

Sequoia sr5 great for an active family.

- Kara P