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Toyota buyers are loyal. Those who own a Sequoia SUV haven’t had much reason to buy another until the 2023 model. The new version will replace an SUV that is primitive compared to the competition.
The 2023 Sequoia is better in every way. Its improved powertrain is more fuel-efficient. The engine is stronger and the driving is better. Technology now matches what buyers want in a new car. And the cabin is also quiet.
Still, a few quibbles will be detailed later.
The new hybrid powertrain is a top upgrade. Like many parts, this one comes from Toyota’s Tundra full-size pickup truck redesign. Motor and hybrid systems are shared.
Toyota Sequoia engine 2023
The new powertrain has a twin-turbo V6 and an electric motor. Toyota calls it the hybrid i-FORCE MAX powertrain and pairs it with a 10-speed automatic. It produces 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque.
Toyota has yet to release fuel economy ratings for the 2023 Sequoia, despite gas prices hovering around $5 a gallon nationally. The current model gets 13 mpg in the city, per the EPA. The new Sequoia will perform like the Tundra because they share a platform, styling, and components.
The rear-wheel-drive hybrid 2022 Tundra gets 20 cities, 24 highways, and 22 combined mpg from the EPA. It’s a 50% improvement over the old Sequoia. A first drive of the new Sequoia found it to be planted on the road quickly.
Towing and payload are enough for most uses. The 2023 Toyota Sequoia can tow 8,980-9,000 pounds. Because of the 4WD system’s weight, the SUV’s limit varies between 4WD and RWD. Extra content in higher trim levels lowers the limit. But even the low end can pull a 5,000-pound trailer, boat, or other equipment. Payload ranges from 1,435 to 1,730 because of towing capacity.
Towing and hauling are what Sequoia buyers value most, but some will want to go off-roading. Toyota offers a TRD Pro or TRD off-road package for four-wheel-drive trim levels. A romp in the dirt and mud near Denton, Texas, proved those versions up to the task. If you want to hit the dirt, smaller SUVs like the Ford Bronco or Jeep Wrangler are better.
2023 Toyota Sequoia’s Tech
The old Sequoia lagged in technology. The old version had a 7-inch touchscreen that wasn’t as good as most phones. Base SR5 trim now has an 8-inch screen that matches a phone. The other trims have an easy-to-read 14-inch horizontal touchscreen. Toyota adds new Tundra tech. It includes a Google cloud-based multimedia and navigation system drivers can access with “Hey Toyota.” Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are built-in.
Toyota Sequoia Safety
Toyota added automated safety features to the new Sequoia. These include a forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking that detects walkers and bike riders. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control are standard.
Even with upgrades, there are still kinks. Tall people may not be comfortable in the second row because the moonroof mechanism limits headroom.
Cargo space is limited by the hybrid battery. And most won’t use the third row for seating when it’s in the most forward position to maximize cargo space.
Toyota Sequoia 2023 Cost
New Sequoias go on sale this summer. SR5 2WD starts at $58,300. Luxury Capstone is $78,300. Each model has a $1495 delivery fee.