After five years of only slight changes, the 2023 Toyota Sequoia will debut this summer as a new generation of the large SUV. It will have interior upgrades, technology improvements and a more powerful powertrain.
The Sequoia will be offered in two-wheel drive or the available part-time four-wheel-drive system on SR5, Limited, Platinum and Capstone grades. The TRD Pro will be offered only in four-wheel drive. The part-time four-wheel-drive system relies on a transfer case, controlled via a lever on the center console to select between two-wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive high or four-wheel-drive low.
One powertrain will be offered, the same i-FORCE MAX hybrid powertrain as in the Toyota Tundra. It will include 437 horsepower and 583pound-feet of torque. The towing capacity has been increased by 22 percent to a maximum of 9,000 pounds.
Toyota reports it has reconfigured second-row and third-row seating to improve ingress and egress. Third-row seating will include a slide feature. The manufacturer says the revised area will hold four full-sized suitcases or three adults.
The new Sequoia will feature an independent front suspension and adopt a new rack-mounted electronic power steering system for an improved steering feel.
A multi-link rear suspension is touted as offering a smooth ride and to create an “opportunity to add the available load-leveling Rear Height Control Air Suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) for those looking to tow regularly.”
The three-row SUV offers a range of configurations for seating and cargo. Depending upon the grade, second-row passengers get bench seating or captain’s chairs, either of which reclines for passenger comfort, or fold down/tumble forward if larger cargo space is needed.
The third-row passengers benefit from a reclining backseat with available power-folding, but the third row also gets one of the most noteworthy new features on Sequoia: a sliding third row with an adjustable cargo shelf system. It allows six inches of adjustment range. A removable shelf can be set in a variety of storage positions depending upon the situation.
Further improvements included electronic power steering and heat, and ventilated second-row seats.
Toyota hopes Sequoia’s new generation will improve substantial lagging yearly sales.
From its peak of 45,904 sales in 2005, the Sequoia fell under 10,000 annual sales in 2020 (7,364) with a slight improvement to 8,070 last year. The brand hovered between 10,000 and 13,000 for 11 straight years beginning in 2010.
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.