Skip to main content

2023 Toyota Sequoia.Handout

When there’s a new pickup, a new SUV is usually not far behind. Two months after Toyota unwrapped an all-new 2022 Tundra full-size pickup, here is its sibling, the 2023 Sequoia full-size SUV.

The do-over means the end of the line for Toyota’s long-lived 5.7-litre V8 truck engine. The new Sequoia is propelled by a 3.5-litre twin-turbo hybrid V6. With the smaller engine displacement, electric assist and a 10-speed (up from six) transmission, it promises “huge” (and much needed) reductions in fuel consumption. The current Sequoia is the thirstiest SUV in its peer group.

Maximum outputs are pegged at 437 horsepower and 583 lb.-ft. of torque, which comfortably beats most competitors.

The two trucks share a lot of the under-the-skin engineering and will share an assembly plant, in San Antonio, Texas (previously the Sequoia was built in Indiana). The new Sequoia should go on sale in Canada this summer. While prices haven’t been revealed, the outgoing model currently starts at $70,850.

Launched in 2007 as a 2008 model, the outgoing second-generation Sequoia is overdue for a redo. Two of its key competitors, the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, have been redesigned twice since 2007. The Nissan Armada had a full model change for 2017 and the Ford Expedition had one in 2018. Its age helps explain why the Toyota is a bit player in the already-small segment of full-size SUVs. In 2021, Toyota Canada sold just 418 Sequoias, for a 1.6-per-cent segment share.

Images provided by Toyota show a traditional console shift lever, plus physical buttons for audio volume and the HVAC, but not for radio tuning.Handout

For 2023, the SUV joins the Tundra (as well as the new Lexus LX and the Toyota Land Cruiser) on Toyota’s TNGA-F truck architecture. As such, it remains among the few classic body-on-frame SUVs, as opposed to the car-based unibody crossovers that are the norm today.

Like its pickup sibling, the Sequoia will offer height-adjustable air springs in the rear, though the suspension itself is an independent multi-link layout versus the pickup’s beam axle. Combine that with available adaptive variable suspension (i.e. variable damping), plus selectable drive modes, and there’s the promise of competent handling and a comfortable ride.

Toyota isn’t telling us anything about the new model’s size, but because the old Sequoia was smaller than its newer contemporaries, we might expect the 2023 has been upsized a few inches.

Inside, images provided by Toyota show a traditional console shift lever, plus physical buttons for audio volume and the HVAC, but not for radio tuning. The second row is available as a bench or captain’s chairs, and both version recline. In a reversal of SUV norms, it appears the second-row seats do not slide fore and aft; instead, the 60/40-split three-person third row has 150 mm of fore-aft adjustment to potentially allow extra cargo room even while the third-row is occupied.

A height-adjustable cargo shelf can be used to create hidden below-deck storage behind the third row. However, it appears from Toyota’s photos that the third-row seats don’t disappear into the floor when folded, and consequently the cargo deck is unusually high. All told, it appears the Sequoia will be better at towing (up to 9,000 lbs.) than toting.

A height-adjustable cargo shelf can be used to create hidden below-deck storage behind the third row.Handout

Numerous new features to make towing easier for the driver include trailer backup assist and straight path assist, numerous cameras offer multiple exterior views, plus factory-installed power folding, extending and retracting tow mirrors.

As you’d expect, there’s a long list of standard and available driver-assist and communitainment technologies. Touch-screens up to 14 inches interface a new multimedia system with voice commands, and native Cloud navigation with real-time traffic and dynamic route suggestions. A new generation of Toyota’s active-safety system, Safety Sense 2.5, includes pedestrian detection in low light and when making turns, with emergency steering assist, as well as rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking assist with automatic braking.

The Sequoia will come in TRD Off-Road, Limited, Platinum, TRD Pro, and new Capstone grades. The off-road-oriented TRD trims include a selectable locking rear differential, multi-terrain select, low-range crawl control, downhill assist control and multi-terrain monitor. The dampers are Bilsteins on the Off-Road and Fox on the Pro,.

Notable features of the Capstone include 22-inch chrome wheels, power running boards, aniline-leather seats and open-pore American Walnut trim.

The Sequoia will come in TRD Off-Road, Limited, Platinum, TRD Pro, and new Capstone grades.Handout

Shopping for a new car? Check out the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to get your price.