The third generation of Toyota's venerable three-row SUV has just debuted, and it's a model that's is changed about as often as the trees it is named for. The 2023 Toyota Sequoia joins the overhauled 2022 Tundra pickup on an all-new platform that has a standard hybrid powertrain, more capability, and more configurability.
The 2023 Sequoia shares its architecture with the latest Tundra as well as the Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX, meaning it has the same new laser weld technology that adds strength and lightness where each is needed most. A multi-link rear suspension offers variable damping and load-levelling air ride, while Toyota says a new independent setup and rack-mounted power steering system up front offer improved steering feel.
Powering the new Sequoia is a standard 3.5L twin-turbo V6 and hybrid powertrain called i-Force Max. This is the same system offered on uplevel versions of the Tundra pickup, offering 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque. The motor-generator is placed between the V6 and the 10-speed automatic for maximum performance, and while Toyota isn't ready to reveal fuel economy estimates, the automaker says it will be at the top of the segment and "a huge improvement over the previous generation."
Thanks to the new driveline, a 9,000-lb tow capacity will be offered. That's 22 per cent more than the last-generation Sequoia and, making it easier for the driver, Toyota will offer towing tech like trailer backup guide and straight path assist. Factory power-folding and retracting tow mirrors will also be on the options list.
In the front, the cabin is nearly identical to the new Tundra, including that truck's wide centre console and large new infotainment screens. Second-row passengers can have a bench or two captain's chairs, but Toyota has saved the tricks for the third row. That way back seat can slide forward or backward 150 mm to trade passenger space and cargo and the seats can recline for some extra passenger comfort. Power folding is optional and the third row can also fold to work with a new adjustable cargo shelf system. Toyota didn't give us the dimensions of the new SUV, though it's unlikely it will be any smaller than before.
An 8.0 and 14.0-inch screen running Toyota's brand new multimedia system will be offered. The system has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard, along with "Hey Toyota" natural voice controls and Google POI info on the factory navigation.
Radar cruise control is standard, as is lane departure assist with steering assist, and it will have lane tracing to help keep you centred in the lane. Pre-collision with pedestrian and cyclist detection are all part of the standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 system. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, as well as parking sensors front and rear, are all standard.
Five trim grades will be offered for the 2023 Toyota Sequoia, starting with an all-new TRD Off-Road. This has 18-inch wheels, heated seats and wheel, and Softex seats, but as a first for Sequoia, it comes with off-road features like locking rear differential, terrain select, crawl control, Bilstein shocks, and camera views to let you see the trail.
The Limited model gets the larger 14.0-inch screen standard as well as ventilated seats and has 20-inch wheels. The Platinum trim will add heated and ventilated second-row captain's chairs, 14-speaker JBL audio, upgraded LED lights, and other luxury features.
The TRD Pro will add luxury and off-road capability, with the former meaning second-row captain's chairs and TRD trim, while the latter will include a TRD roof rack, Fox internal bypass shocks, and aluminum skid plate, as well as other off-road bits from the first TRD grade. Cosmetic changes include a heritage grille and embedded light bar plus wider wheels.
Capstone, like on its pickup sibling, is the top of the line, adding 22-inch chrome wheels, power running boards, open-pore walnut trim, and semi-aniline leather seats in a special colour combo. It will also have acoustic glass in the front windows.
The all-new 2023 Toyota Sequoia is set to arrive in the summer, built alongside the Tundra at Toyota's plant in San Antonio. Expect more details, including pricing, to come later this year.