Big and powerful Toyota Sequoia gets long-awaited reboot for 2023 Featured

Posted On Wednesday, 12 July 2023 22:07 Written by
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After nearly 15 years, the Toyota Sequoia three-row SUV gets a redesign for 2023. After nearly 15 years, the Toyota Sequoia three-row SUV gets a redesign for 2023. Photo courtesy of Toyota

Going 14 years between redesigns is almost unheard of in today’s automotive landscape. In that time span, many models have come and gone, and those remaining have undergone a few major updates.

Suffice it to say that the arrival of a brand new 2023 Toyota Sequoia, last redesigned when President Barack Obama was just taking office, is a pretty big deal.

The Sequoia is Toyota’s largest vehicle sold in the U.S. and competes with other three-row heavies such as the Jeep Wagoneer, Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, and Ford Expedition.

Completely new looks inside and out, a bold new hybrid powertrain and a massive tech system featuring a 14-inch screen are among the highlights of the brand new Sequoia, whose large size and rugged capabilities set it apart in an industry heavily focused on smaller crossover vehicles.

I recently drove the 2023 Sequoia — which is based on the body-on-frame chassis used on the Toyota Tundra truck and Lexus LX SUV — and I’m back with a full report on whether the changes live up to the hype of such a lengthy wait.



The exterior redesign of the Sequoia for 2023 delivers a bold and boxy look that will get a lot of attention and eyeballs, and is one of the sharpest large SUVs on the market.

From certain angles, it reminds me of a truck design, but without the bed part.

My test vehicle featured a bright Supersonic Red paint scheme (one of many unique paint schemes available), and a set of large, 22-inch classy dark chrome alloy wheels (NOTE: wheels start at 18 inches on the base Sequoia). Power running boards on the side help with access to this high-up vehicle. LED headlights are featured, along with a power tilt/slide panoramic roof and roof rails.

Dimensions on this behemoth are as follows: 208.1 inches long, 79.6 inches wide, 74.5 inches high, 122-inch wheelbase, and a curb weight of roughly three tons.

Moving inside, the Capstone trim-level 2023 Sequoia that I tested was extremely impressive inside, offering a near-luxury-level layout. Beautiful wood trim and attractive design touches are included throughout the vehicle, especially as you move up the trim ladder.

The Capstone features premium leather upholstery, as well as sound-insulated windows.

The Sequoia offers an impressive 157 cubic feet of passenger volume, and cargo space comes in at 87 cubic feet with second and third rows down, 49 cubic feet with third row down, and up to 22 cubic feet with all rows up.

The massive 14-inch center touchscreen is the hub of all interior activity and fits in well with the new design. All seats are comfortable throughout the vehicle, which can fit up to 8 people, and there’s plenty of head room and leg room for anyone who gets in the vehicle, regardless of where they sit.

The setup is also versatile in terms of access and adjusting the seats. There are power controls for the third row, and the second row folds easily. This means you can experience smooth entry and exit from all rows.

While perhaps a tad less luxurious than the Lexus LX three-row SUV, I wouldn’t blame anyone who decided to take the Sequoia over the Lexus, as the gap isn’t as big as you would think.

A three-zone climate control system is included to keep everyone happy throughout the vehicle. And heated and ventilated front and second-row Captain’s Chairs with adjustable armrests are included. The second row in particular is extremely comfortable if you opt for the Captain’s Chairs setup.


One thing new for 2023 is what’s powering the new Sequoia. It now comes standard with an iForce MAX hybrid engine, featuring a twin-turbo 3.4-liter V6 engine and an electric motor. The grand totals for output are a stout 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque.

To put that in perspective, the previous V8 engine that is being replaced only put out 381 hp and 401 pound-feet.

The transmission is a 10-speed automatic, and Rear-Wheel Drive is the standard setup on most versions of the Sequoia (though 4WD is an option on all trims, and standard on TRD Pro).

What’s it like driving the 2023 Toyota Sequoia? The simple answer is that it drives like a truck, as it’s a big beast of a ride. Your travels will be occasionally bumpy, but the overall driving experience features great responsiveness to driver input, and a smoother ride than some of its large SUV competitors.

Zero-to-60 times are impressive for such a large vehicle, at under 6 seconds, and the hybrid engine performs quite well. It’s a powerful ride, and really moves quickly for something so large.

The new feature of Drive Mode Select lets you choose between Eco, Normal and Sport modes when driving the Sequoia. Sport mode makes this large vehicle quite fun to drive, Eco is the gas-sipping option, and Normal will work just fine most of the time. For those who opt for suspension upgrades on the Sequoia, additional settings are added, including Comfort, Sport S+ and Custom. 

The 2023 Sequoia is also built to run on all terrains. You can switch between 2H, 4H and 4L options — 2H for normal everyday driving, 4H for sand/dirt/gravel road travels as well as snowy conditions to increase traction, and 4L for icy roads/rocks/water crossings, etc.

Dedicated adventurers will want to opt for the TRD Pro trim level. While still classy inside, it’s built to handle what nature has to throw at it — and includes a front skid plate for protection, and a locking rear differential, Multi-Terrain Select, CRAWL Control and Downhill Assist Control.

The Sequoia’s towing capacity is also competitive for the segment, with the Sequoia able to pull up to 9,520 pounds of boat or camper behind it.


Let’s first talk about the elephant in the room — or the elephant in the SUV, more accurately — the brand new 14-inch center touchscreen in the 2023 Sequoia (which also is offered in Toyota’s Tundra truck).

This massive infotainment setup is featured on most Sequoia trim levels (base model gets an 8-inch setup), is quite attractive and works tremendously well, both via its well-designed touch controls and intuitive voice commands. It’s immediately staking its claim as one of the best systems available in the auto landscape today.

This huge screen is especially great for navigation purposes. And the navigation system works effectively. The 14-speaker JBL stereo system also sounds sharp and clear at all volumes, on both the high and low ends of the sound spectrum.

Voice commands allow you to easily announce your next destination, choose from a variety of music sources, and make phone calls. The system does an excellent job of locating Points of Interest along your route, too.

Standard features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth for streaming music and phone calls, and an extremely clear 360-degree camera, plus a three-month trial of satellite radio, and an optional dash cam.

Two phones can be connected to the vehicle at the same time, and a 4G Wi-Fi connection is offered in the vehicle.

Moving on to safety, Toyota remains at the forefront of this area of vehicle technology, increasing peace of mind for all families who take one home.

A Toyota Safety Sense suite is standard, and features a boatload of features.

They include: Forward collision mitigation, (which includes automatic braking and and can detect pedestrians as well as vehicles); adaptive cruise control; lane departure mitigation; lane keeping system to steer you back into your proper lane; automatic high beams; road sign recognition; and the very helpful blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic warning.

A bevy of cameras are placed around the vehicle, allowing for a variety of angles to be displayed on the huge touchscreen and ensure your safety in tight parking and backing-out situations. The Panoramic View will show a top-down view of the vehicle and the immediate surroundings.

Of all the cameras I have seen in newer vehicles, this one is easily among the most effective at capturing what’s around the vehicle on all sides in a very clear manner. Quality of the images shown is stunning.

Also, a huge 10-inch Head-Up Display is an option on the 2023 Sequoia, helping keep your eyes forward where they belong by projecting info onto the windshield.


The biggest SUVs rarely have great fuel mileage, but the 2023 Sequoia competes well in the segment due to its new hybrid engine setup.

Official fuel economy numbers on the 2023 Toyota Sequoia are 19 city/22 highway/20 combined for the 4WD versions, and RWD models come in at 21 city/24 highway/22 combined. It comes with a 22.5 gallon fuel tank, and these numbers are quite strong when put up against other biggies like the Tahoe, Expedition and Wagoneer.

My real-world numbers came in a bit lower than the listed mileage, as I averaged about 16 mpg in my testing of a 4WD model. But that’s still better than I’ve experienced in some rivals.


Living large in the Sequoia will come at a cost. My test vehicle was priced just under $81,000, and was the top Capstone trim level.

The base model starts around $60K, Platinum trim at $66K, LImited trim at $72K, TRD Pro at nearly $78K, and Capstone at just under $77K.

These are not small numbers, but the Sequoia is battling other titan three-row SUVs like the Expedition and the Wagoneer, which also don’t come cheap.

All models are well-equipped, but opting for higher trim levels makes features like a 14-inch center touchscreen standard.

The warranties on the 2023 Sequoia include:
— Limited warranty for three years or 36,000 miles
— Powertrain warranty for five years or 60,000 miles
— Complimentary maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles

There’s also strong warranties for any hybrid-related components (8 years or 100,000 miles), and the hybrid battery (10 years or 150,000 miles).


The brand new, fully updated 2023 Toyota Sequoia is a powerful and large truck-like SUV offering from Toyota that represents the more masculine side of their lineup very well.

It’s a great choice for buyers who like the Toyota name and reliability, but also want some muscle, and some top-notch, cutting-edge tech as a bonus. Other than the occasionally rough ride quality, this is an extremely well-executed makeover of a vehicle that was entering its teenage years.

A combination of power, modern tech and safety and bold yet upscale design, the 2023 Sequoia has the goods to put competitors on notice in the large SUV battlefield.

=== can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2023 Toyota Sequoia
  • Price as tested: $80,906 (starts around $60K)
  • Best feature: Powerful hybrid engine, excellent new tech setup, versatile interior
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle?: SUV buyers looking for a bold, powerful, off-road capable truck-based option, complete with Toyota reliability
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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