2019 Toyota Sequoia Review


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2019 Toyota Sequoia Overview

Only in its second generation, the Toyota Sequoia hasn’t seen a full redo since 2007. A long-needed facelift in 2018 brought the model up to date, so for 2019, it goes unchanged.

At one point, the Sequoia’s long wheelbase, elongated doors, and extended width put it in a league of its own, but competitors have since caught up. There’s seating for up to 8 people, with either a bench or a set of captain’s chairs in the second row. Myriad cubby holes, pockets, and cup holders should keep everyone satisfied. Beyond that, the second and third rows fold flat for increased cargo room, while a standard roof rack increases capacity further. Still, don’t expect to be impressed by any of the interior materials in the Sequoia or its yesteryear electronics.

The sole powertrain for the Sequoia is a 5.7-liter V8; it offers 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, plus a 6-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) and a limited slip differential come standard, but buyers can add four-wheel drive (4WD) with high- and low-range gearing and an electronically locking center differential. Go for the highest trim, and you’ll also get rear height-adjustable air springs for changes in load, as well as an adaptive suspension with Comfort, Normal, and Sport modes. The Sequoia can haul up to 7,400 lbs with the standard hitch receiver and tow/haul mode. That said, the brawny SUV’s maximum 13 miles per gallon city, 17 highway, and 15 combined leave much to be desired.

Trims for the Sequoia are split into SR5, TRD Sport, Limited and Platinum. The SR5 trim comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, tri-zone climate control, a power moonroof, seating for 8, and a touchscreen infotainment system. The Premium Package bundles heated front seats, a 10-way power driver’s seat, a 4-way power passenger’s seat, power-reclining and folding third-row seating, a premium infotainment system with navigation, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a garage door opener.

The TRD Sport trim comes with an off-road-inspired appearance, including 20-inch black alloy wheels, a gloss-black grille, LED automatic headlights, second-row captain’s chairs, and keyless access. The Premium package is also offered on TRD Sport.

The Limited trim gets 20-inch machined alloy wheels, keyless access and start, a power liftgate, heated front seats, and navigation. Buyers can add several options, including leather upholstery, memory settings, premium JBL audio, a Blu-ray player with a 9-inch display, wireless headphones, and a rear 120-volt AC power outlet.

Finally, the Platinum trim comes fully loaded with everything from the Limited trim, plus unique wheels, a rear seat Blu-ray entertainment system, premium JBL Audio, leather upholstery, captain’s chairs, and heated and ventilated front seats.

Despite its age, the Sequoia is up to date on safety technology. Included on every model is a reversing camera, a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and brake assist, lane-departure alert with sway warning, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring. Surprisingly, the Sequoia hasn’t been tested by any major outside agency for crash safety.

The Toyota Sequoia languished for quite some time before its maker saw fit to update it last year -- and it now has everything it needs to compete on paper. That said, specifications sheets don’t account for the age of the design, the mediocre interior materials, or the outdated interfaces. Buyers in this market are advised to take a long look at competitors, all of which are newer and fresher, before landing on the 2019 Sequoia.


Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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