Popular Tags Cars

2019 Toyota Sequoia

$49,050 - $67,985
Price Range (MSRP)
Toyota Sequoia

2019 Toyota Sequoia Review

by Jay Traugott

The Toyota Sequoia is a full-size SUV which is based on the Tundra truck; it was first introduced as part of the second Sequoia generation way back in 2008, and despite moderate updates since then, it's impossible to hide the 12-year old bones. It is available in four trim levels, the SR5, TRD Sport, Limited, and Platinum, each available in either four-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. But what doesn't change is the 381 horsepower 5.7-liter V8 engine at its heart paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. With aging looks both inside and out, the Sequoia faces tough competition from the likes of the Nissan Armada, Ford Expedition, and Chevrolet Tahoe. Although it offers brilliant reliability ratings, massive cargo space, and an excellent reliability rating, it's old technology and bygone-era styling put it at a disadvantage. Still, it has many followers, mainly due to its reliability and simplicity, and will hopefully have more to offer in future redesigns - they just couldn't arrive soon enough.

2019 Toyota Sequoia Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 Sequoia?

There have been no changes for the 2019 model, and it carries over the improvements that were made in 2018, namely a revised front grille, the addition of LED headlights and foglights, and an updated gauge cluster (which sadly looks a bit outdated). The 2018 range was also updated with a 4.2-inch TFT display and a few driver-assist features, including a pre-collision system, pedestrian detection, automatic braking, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.

Pros and Cons

  • Large cargo area
  • Great off-road ability
  • Spacious third-row seating
  • High level of active safety technology
  • High predicted reliability rating
  • Dated overall design
  • Subpar fuel economy
  • Lack of smartphone integration
  • Average tow-rating
  • Tundra underpinnings not conducive to a family SUV

Sequoia Exterior

The Sequoia has a boxy SUV design that seems to be from another era - the front resembles a pickup truck, although it has LED lights that add a modern touch. The side profile is typical of the two-box SUV design template, while the rear loses the plot once more with styling as dated as your grandmother's wardrobe choices, with no LEDs in the tail-light clusters, only incandescent bulbs. The outside mirrors are color-keyed and it features 18-inch wheels from the base model, which are upgraded to 20 inches on higher trims. Additionally, a power tilt-and-slide moonroof is included on all trim levels. Special trims like the TRD get blacked-out exterior elements like the taillights and model-specific badging.

2019 Toyota Sequoia Front View
2019 Toyota Sequoia Front Angle View
2019 Toyota Sequoia Rear Angle View
See All 2019 Toyota Sequoia Exterior Photos

Dimensions

As can be expected from an SUV that can seat up to eight, this is a large vehicle with impressive dimensions. The Sequoia has a curb weight of between 5,730 lbs and 6,000 lbs depending on the model, which is slightly more than rival Chevrolet Tahoe, but much the same as the Nissan Armada. It rides on a 122-inch wheelbase and has a total length of 205.1 inches. It is 77 inches in height and measures 79.9 inches in width. Although the Armada is longer, and the Tahoe is wider, the Sequoia is generally bigger than both competitors. It also offers the best ground clearance, at 9.9 inches, beating the 9.1 inches of the Nissan, and the 7.9 inches of its Chev counterpart.

Exterior Colors

The Sequoia offers a palette of eight standard metallic colors including Midnight Black, Shoreline Blue Pearl, Sizzling Crimson Mica, Toasted Walnut Pearl, Blizzard Pearl, and Super White. Only Magnetic Gray and Midnight Black are available on all models in the range, while Shoreline Blue Pearl, Silver Sky Metallic, Sizzling Crimson Mica, and Toasted Walnut Pearl are only available on the SR5, TRD Sport, Limited, and Platinum trims. Super White can be had on all the models except for the Platinum variant, where Blizzard Pearl takes its place for a premium price of $395.

  • Super White
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Sizzling Crimson Mica
  • Toasted Walnut Pearl
  • Shoreline Blue Pearl
  • Silver Sky Metallic
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic
  • Blizzard Pearl

Sequoia Performance

All the models in the Sequoia range are equipped with a 5.7-liter V8 engine, paired to a six-speed transmission which makes 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque; each trim level can be configured as rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. Towing capacities range between 7,100 and 7,400 lbs, which is lower than most of its rivals - both the Tahoe and the Armada can manage upwards of 8,500 lbs, while the Ford Expedition manages a maximum of 9,300 lbs.

The 5.7-liter engine might be a bit old and unrefined compared to some of the more modern turbo-charged offerings, but it has a proven track record of durability and reliability. It gets from 0 to 60 in 6.6 seconds, which is only about a second behind some of its current competition. It has the typical V8 grunt at lower revs but can feel slightly rough at the higher end of the spectrum. The Sequoia is in no way designed to be a performance car but still has enough power for heavy hauling and taking on rough terrain.

2019 Toyota Sequoia Front View Driving
2019 Toyota Sequoia Badge Model
2019 Toyota Sequoia Rim

Engine and Transmission

The same engine is fitted across the range - a 5.7-liter V8 producing 381 hp and 401 lb-ft. For an engine in need of some updating, it does fairly well, although there is a slight delay as the revs build up. Once it's going, the Sequoia delivers good power and acceleration and is equally at home on quiet back-roads as it is on the freeway. It also manages off-road tasks with ease. The V8 engine is renowned for being reliable and tough but can get quite noisy over 5000 revs.

While most competitors offer a seven, eight or even ten-speed transmissions, the Sequoia is only available with a six-speed automatic gearbox that feels quite average. While it isn't the worst transmission out there, the Sequoia would see big benefits at the pumps if Toyota equipped more ratios to make more effective use of all that torque. Still, as it is, the six-speed shifts smoothly and doesn't lag at inopportune moments. It also comes equipped with a dual-range transfer case, enabling use of the torque low-down to maximize off-road potential.

  • Engine
    5.7-liter V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Driving the Sequoia feels a lot like driving the Tundra on which it's based. At almost 6,000 lbs the Sequoia is far heavier than competition like the Chev Tahoe and Ford Expedition. This does have an impact on handling, braking, and acceleration, although the powerful engine does its best to mitigate these issues. While the ride is fairly comfortable the Sequoia has excessive body roll compared to its competitors. Because of the combination of its weight and its body-on-frame design, it is not comfortable on winding roads or in sharp bends. The body constantly shuffles and there's an immense delay in the steering responses, which when combined with an off-road suited steering ratio, leads to boat-like steering.

Braking performance is also below average, with emergency stops that are noisy, jittery and much less impressive than most of its rivals. That said, the Sequoia is easy to live with and makes a fine family or outdoor vehicle. Not quite as comfortable to sit in or drive as the Land Cruiser, it also translates most harsher road textures through to the cabin for a somewhat bumpy ride.

Fortunately, to the Sequoia's benefit, it boasts a fair amount of off-road ability. Up to ten inches of ground clearance combines with the dual-range transfer case and approach and departure angles of 27 and 21 degrees respectively to give the Sequoia some of the best off-road characteristics and capabilities in the segment. With the knowledge that the Sequoia has been doing this since 2008, there's also a certain amount of peace of mind, with buyers able to take solace that off the beaten track is where the Sequoia was built to go.

Sequoia Gas Mileage

All models attain similar gas mileage since they share the same powertrain. Unfortunately, the fuel economy figures are quite feeble, due in part to its dated engine as well as its bulk. Both the all-wheel-drive and the rear-wheel-drive versions manage EPA estimates of 13/18/15 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles. With a gas tank of 26.4 gallons on all the trims, a range of 396 miles can be expected, based on the combined mpg figure.

In comparison, the Chev Tahoe offers slightly better ratios of 15/22/18 mpg. The Sequoia's old technology really disadvantages an otherwise acceptable powertrain and is one of the least economical vehicles in this class - a segment already known its high consumption rates.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    26.4 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 13/17 mpg
* 2019 Toyota Sequoia SR5 RWD

Sequoia Interior

The Sequoia has received very few updates over the years and, sadly, it shows. The long dashboard, minimalistic infotainment system, and hard-touch materials are remnants of a bygone era. The dash and steering are also littered with generic-looking buttons and knobs that are plentiful and seem overdone, with some looking like they were salvaged from other decade-old Toyota models that have long since been replaced. Similarly, the seats also look dated, although they remain comfortable even for longer trips.

One of the strong points for the Sequoia is the large amount of space throughout the interior, with all occupants allocated sufficient room to be comfortable. There is also a cavernous storage area in the trunk, and numerous small-item compartments placed throughout the cabin. This includes door storage options that can close and cupholders that can be removed to add more space.

2019 Toyota Sequoia Dashboard
2019 Toyota Sequoia Infotainment System
2019 Toyota Sequoia Driver Seat
See All 2019 Toyota Sequoia Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Sequoia offers interior space that can compete with some of the larger SUVs, and maybe even some minivans. It is available in either a seven or eight-seater configuration, with the seven-seater getting captain's chairs for the second row and the eight-seater being equipped with a second-row bench. The front has headroom of 34.8 inches and legroom of 42.5 inches, which is much less than what both the Armada and the Tahoe boast. For the second row, headroom of 34.9 inches and legroom of 40.9 inches is available, with the third row being quite tight at 34.5 inches in headroom. Third-row specs are in-line with other vehicles in this segment, and although taller passengers will do fine upfront, the back row is best suited to children. Adults will do fine in the third row provided the trip is over a short distance - the fact that the third-row seats recline does help. However, while the third-row space may be acceptable, it's a chore climbing in there, best left for the more limber gymnasts of the family.

  • Seating capacity
    8-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

The dashboard and surrounding areas on the Sequoia are covered in dated hard plastic, which is no longer fashionable even in the large truck and SUV segment - although it is generally more durable and easier to clean than the new soft-touch materials that are commonly found in most new cars.

Depending on the trim level, the interior can be had in either black or black and white, with faux wood inlays in black. The SR5 model is fitted with cloth upholstery in Graphite or Sand Beige, while the TRD Sport has cloth upholstery available in Black. For the Limited trim, leather upholstery can be equipped in Graphite or Sand Beige. At the top of the range, the Platinum boasts perforated leather seats in Graphite, Sand Beige, or Red Rock.

Sequoia Trunk and Cargo Space

Considering that the Sequoia has three rows of seats and large dimensions, the cargo space is substantial. With all of the seats up, it has 18.9 cubic feet of trunk space, which is more than what the main rivals have to offer. With the third row folded down, cargo volume expands to a total of 66.6 cubic feet. An enormous 120.1 cubic feet of space is opened up with all seating stowed away. Additionally, the Sequoia has a smaller storage compartment under the main cargo area as well. The storage space is broad and square, which helps load large items, but the liftover height is high, which can make loading heavier items a tough task.

The cabin hosts numerous cubbies and spaces for small odds and ends, with two glove compartments, door storage, a huge center console storage box that could fit a purse and smaller items in one go. There are also front seatback-pockets and cupholders in all three rows of seating.

2019 Toyota Sequoia Rear Passenger Seats
2019 Toyota Sequoia Front Angle View
2019 Toyota Sequoia Front Angle View

Sequoia Infotainment and Features

Features

With much of the tech on board being outdated, the fact that Toyota upgraded the driver assistance features in 2018 is a relief; it also makes it more competitive in this segment. Standard features include three-zone climate control, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, power rear window, a rearview camera, as well as a pre-collision detection, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and cross-traffic alert. On the higher-end models, a Blu-ray player, heated second-row captain's chairs, ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power thigh and lumbar support, lane departure warning, and onboard navigation become available. With SUV's being as popular as they are, one could expect a bit more from the likes of the Sequoia; sadly, it has the bare minimum, although this is reflected in its affordable price-tag.

Infotainment

The infotainment features in the Sequoia are severely lacking and seem several years behind those of its rivals. Where most manufacturers these days try to wow prospective buyers by having a great infotainment system, the Sequoia makes do with a small 6.1-inch infotainment screen that lacks popular smartphone integration through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Entune app allows for basic smartphone integration, though. Many cheaper competitors are better equipped. Still, it offers a CD player, AUX and USB ports, HD radio, Bluetooth connectivity, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and AM/FM stereo. A premium JBL audio system with 14-speakers and a subwoofer, together with a Blu-ray disc player and nine-inch display, are optional extras on higher trims. Even this feels dated in an age of tablets and iPads.

Sequoia Problems and Reliability

The Toyota Sequoia has been the subject of two recalls for the 2019 model year, with the most pertinent being one for the airbags potentially not deploying, while the second was of less concern as the load label script may rub off. It has also received numerous complaints about electrical problems and interior accessories. Still, the 2019 Sequoia receives an excellent predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power, at four out of five which identifies it as better than most.

Backed by a basic warranty of three years/36,000 miles, a five-years/60,000 miles powertrain warranty, and a five year/unlimited-mile warranty on corrosion and perforation, Toyota additionally, supplies a two-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance plan.

Sequoia Safety

Both the NHTSA and the IIHS have not rated the Toyota Sequoia or released any crash-test scores for it. It comes standard with updated driver aids and offers a basic list of onboard features to improve safety.

Key Safety Features

Thankfully Toyota has updated the 2019 Sequoia with some up-to-date driver aids. Some of the standard safety features include front, rear, and third-row airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, stability control, tire pressure monitoring, traction control, a pre-collision braking system, emergency brake assist, blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, accident avoidance system, and pedestrian detection. It also has automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and rear cross-traffic alert. The above features are standard for all models and come at no extra cost. Featuring both the Toyota Safety Sense P and Star Safety systems across the range, the Sequoia also has LATCH tethers on all second-row seats and the center third-row seat.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Toyota Sequoia a good SUV?

The Toyota Sequoia was an excellent car when it was released many years ago, but that was in another era. Compared to the current competition, the Sequoia is far behind. The exterior is very much like that of its brother, the Tundra pickup, translating to a dated appearance in the context of more contemporary offerings from rival brands. The interior is much of the same: hard-touch plastics, old-style buttons and a tiny infotainment unit which does nothing to enhance the Sequoia's appeal.

In terms of performance, it can compete with some of the newer rivals, but due in part to an inefficient six-speed transmission and a dated engine, the fuel economy is woeful. On the plus side, the Sequoia has loads of space with even third-row passengers being able to recline. It also has exceptional off-road ability and very solid reliability ratings. Many buyers will appreciate the Sequoia's ruggedness and tried and trusted engine, but in this day and age, there are better options out there to consider.

What's the Price of the 2019 Toyota Sequoia?

The base model SR5 has a starting MSRP of $49,050, while the TRD Sport is priced at $51,765. The Limited variant costs $57,545, whereas the top-of-the-range Platinum trim is marketed at $64,760. These prices exclude any licensing, registration, and taxes, as well as the destination charges of $1,295. Add-on options and accessories, which may be needed to flesh out the basic models, increase the overall price exponentially.

2019 Toyota Sequoia Models

The 2019 Sequoia is available in four trims, all of which can be opted as rear- or all-wheel-drive. Trims available include the SR5, TRD Sport, Limited, and Platinum.

The SR5 is the entry-level model which seats eight, and comes standard with 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, and LED headlights. It also has a 6.1-inch infotainment system with a rearview camera, eight-speakers, CD Player, HD radio, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and four-way adjustable front passenger seat. Standard safety features include pedestrian detection, a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, and blind-spot monitoring.

Next is the TRD Sport, which adds black TRD logos, sport-tuned shocks, performance-tuned sway bars, and 20-inch black alloy wheels. The TRD Sport also adds two captain's chairs in the second row to reduce the seating to seven.

Above the TRD Sport is the Limited trim, which adds a power liftgate, heated leather-trimmed front seats, as well as a ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat. Navigation is standard and Toyota's Entune App is included.

The Platinum is the top-end model in the range and has 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, leather upholstery, and heated second-row captain's chairs. It also has a JBL premium audio system with a nine-inch display for the Blu-ray player, two wireless headphones, and remote control.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SR5
5.7-liter V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$49,050
TRD Sport
5.7-liter V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$51,765
Limited
5.7-liter V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$57,545
Platinum
5.7-liter V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$64,760
See All 2019 Toyota Sequoia Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

For the SR5 model, the Premium Package is available at $3,810 and includes eight-passenger leather-trimmed seats, a heated ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat. It also adds power-reclining third-row seating, premium audio with onboard navigation, the Entune App, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, and Homelink transceiver.

The TRD Sport Premium Package is available only on the relevant model and includes seven-passenger seating in black leather with contrast stitching, a heated ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat, four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, as well as the Entune App. A premium audio package, onboard navigation, reclining third-row seating, Homelink transceiver, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a compass are also added at a cost of $3,810.

For the Limited trim, three packages are available including an Entune Premium JBL Audio Convenience package at $1,250, which upgrades the sound system. A combination of this package with the seven-seater enhancements is also available for $1,550, whilst a Blu-Ray package tops out the list of add-ons for this trim. Adding a Blu-ray player with a nine-inch display, two wireless headphones, and a wireless remote will set you back an additional $3,170.

What Toyota Sequoia Model Should I Buy?

All the models in the range share the same engine and transmission, with the option of choosing either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and various additional extras. The entry-level SR5 model has a decent list of standard features as well as a lower price but it is missing a few key creature-comforts. For a more athletic look, the TRD Sport is the one to go for as it upgrades the handling, as well as the look of the Sequoia overall. The Limited adds a power liftgate, as well as a leather-trimmed interior and onboard navigation, while the Platinum has all the features available on the other models and more. At a starting price of $51,765, the TRD Sport in the all-wheel-drive configuration is our choice for value for money as well as having the best balance of features and off-road capability.

2019 Toyota Sequoia Comparisons

2019 Toyota Sequoia
2019 Toyota Sequoia

2019 Toyota Sequoia vs Nissan Armada

Both the Armada and Sequoia are truck-based SUVs with similar dimensions. The Armada has definitely got a more modern look, yet the styling can be a bit off-putting for some. While the exterior might be polarizing, the interior is miles ahead of the Sequoia and it features a much better layout overall. The Nissan's 5.6-liter V8 engine cranks out 390 horsepower paired with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. Compared to the 5.7-liter V8 on the Sequoia, the Nissan is marginally more powerful, but both the Armada and Sequoia have mediocre gas mileage estimates of 13/18/15 mpg.

In the infotainment department, both cars offer premium audio systems at the top-end of the range; the Sequoia features a JBL system while the Armada is fitted with a Bose setup, but neither of them has Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and both have outdated touchscreens. Overall, the Armada may have a more modern look, but the Sequoia still wins because it excels in its off-road ability, has more space and better predicted reliability.

See Nissan Armada Review

2019 Toyota Sequoia vs Chevrolet Tahoe

The 2019 Chevy Tahoe is more modern than the Sequoia in almost every way. The exterior has a more up-to-date look, and the interior seems a bit more plush and classy. In terms of performance, the Sequoia makes 381 horsepower from its 5.7-liter V8 and six-speed transmission setup, while the Tahoe's 5.3-liter V8 and six-speed transmission make 355 horsepower. The Tahoe also has the option of a 420 horsepower, 6.2-liter engine, which has significantly more power than the Sequoia. Fuel economy on the Sequoia is dreadful, with figures of 13/18/15 mpg attained, falling below the standards set by the Tahoe's 15/22/18 mpg.

Smartphone integration is far better on the Tahoe, which is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; it also features a Wi-Fi hotspot and an eight-inch infotainment unit. The Sequoia's measly 6.1-inch display and lack of Android Auto and Apple Carplay severely disadvantages it in comparison. While the Sequoia has some great features, such as ample passenger and cargo space, as well as a good off-road ability, it's not enough to take on the Tahoe, which offers the better alternative in this segment.

See Chevrolet Tahoe Review

Toyota Sequoia Popular Comparisons

2019 Toyota Sequoia Video Reviews