The Toyota Sequoia is a great option for a full-size SUV, offering luxury, capability, and reliability. Read on to learn if you should buy new or used.
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When considering a full-sized SUV, you should not leave the Toyota Sequoia out of your list of options. Toyota knows how to build reliable, long-lasting vehicles, and the Sequoia offers tons of space and impressive capability too. But, the age-old question of whether to buy a brand-new vehicle is better than buying a used one comes up. In the case of the Toyota Sequoia, you really can’t go wrong, but we’ll take a look at how a used Sequoia compares to a new one. If you’re curious if age or mileage is more important in a used vehicle, check out this article.
The Toyota Sequoia is Toyota’s entry in the full-size SUV category, and whether you buy new or used, you’ll be getting a larger, spacious, and powerful SUV that provides room for the whole family. We’ll start with the new 2023 Toyota Sequoia. Toyota offers one powertrain option in the new Sequoia, consisting of a twin-turbocharged V6 mated with an advanced electric motor, the hybrid i-FORCE MAX powertrain churns out an impressive 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque.
This powertrain comes mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that ensures brisk acceleration when needed, while optimizing fuel economy. Fuel economy figures have not yet been released, but are expected to be a significant improvement over the outgoing model. For a bit of reference, the i-FORCE MAX powertrain is offered in the new Toyota Tundra pickup truck, where it achieves 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The new Sequoia will be available with 2WD or part-time 4WD to help conquer off-road obstacles or slippery roads. If towing is a priority, you’ll be pleased to know the new Sequoia can tow up to 9,000 pounds.
The 2018 Toyota Sequoia came equipped with a well-regarded 5.7-liter V8 engine that produced 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. The engine was connected to a six-speed automatic transmission and had a max tow rating of 7,400 pounds. Fuel economy for 4WD models came in at 13 mpg in the city, 17 mpg on the highway, and 14 mpg combined, with 2WD models seeing 15 mpg combined. So, if power, efficiency, and outright towing capability rank high on your list of priorities, the new Toyota Sequoia has a clear advantage.
When it comes to performance, neither of these large SUVs is likely to set your heart racing with its acceleration. The older Sequoia’s V8 provided adequate performance for the situations you’re likely to encounter on the road. That being said, older automatic transmissions tend to be a touch less responsive, and fewer gears means fewer options for getting you right in the engine’s power band. The 2023 Sequoia will likely out perform the old one in a drag race thanks to the mid-range torque provided by the twin-turbo engine, and immediate response from the electric motor. If you’re looking for outright performance, the new Sequoia is going to have the edge. However, the old Sequoia shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s naturally aspirated V8 engine, with its more muscular sound, might appeal to some buyers more than the complicated hybrid powertrain. The response from the powertrain may prove to be more consistent in the old truck.
When it comes to ride and handling, the new Sequoia comes equipped with a more impressive suspension setup. An available load-leveling rear height control air suspension lets you adjust the load area lower when putting stuff in the back, and helps keep the truck level when loaded. Toyota also offers an Adaptive Variable Suspension system that lets you change setting for different conditions and situations. These systems work with the Drive Mode Select system to adjust setting for a more comfortable ride or set it to the Sport setting and the suspension and powertrain deliver sharper responses. The TOW/HAUL mode maximizes the powertrain’s output while the suspension works to keep everything smooth. The older truck, however, is perfectly competent at its tasks. The 2018 Sequoia has independent rear suspension for good handling characteristics. If you seek out a Platinum trim Sequoia, you’ll get air-spring suspension that offers a smoother ride.
When it comes to outright interior space, you might find it harder to choose between the new and used Sequoias. The 2018 model offered three rows of seats, can seat up to 8 people, and the 3rd row is genuinely useable by adults. If you want the 2nd-row passengers to have a more luxurious experience, Toyota offered captain’s chairs for the second row, giving those passengers a bit more space to spread out, or, just as important, more space in between. The 2nd row bench seat can be moved forward to easier access to the 3rd row.
The new Sequoia is similarly situated, offering a 2nd row bench seat or 2nd row captain’s chairs, both options offering reclining seat backs for optimal comfort. The 3rd row seats also have reclining backrest, power-folding options, and a new feature: Sliding Third Row with Adjustable Cargo Shelf System which gives you more flexibility for the cargo area.
Where the two trucks really diverge is interior tech. The old truck was never cutting edge with its infotainment system, making due with a 6.1-inch touchscreen with navigation, voice command, and Bluetooth. The new truck is far superior, offering a huge 14-inch touchscreen for easy access to a ton of features. The new truck is also offered with a digital display rearview mirror so you can always get a clear view of what’s behind you, even when the cargo area is full to the brim. If you’re wondering how the new Sequoia compares to the new Chevy Tahoe, read our comparison here.
The 2018 Sequoia was offered in four trims levels. The SR5 model was the base model and came nicely equipped with a tri-zone automatic climate control system, a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, 18-inch alloy wheels, and the 5.7-liter V8 which was standard across the whole range. The TRD Sport model got more off-road oriented features like Bilstein shocks and 20-inch wheels. If you stepped up to the Limited model, you got a power-adjustable front passenger seat, power-folding 3rd-row seats, navigation, and premium leather seats. At the top, the Platinum model came with the adaptive air suspension, heated front and 2nd row seats, a rear-seat entertainment system that played Blu-ray, and a 14-speaker JBL audio system.
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia is offered in five trim levels. The base SR5 model is equipped with the advanced i-FORCE MAX powertrain, ten-speed automatic transmission, and Toyota Safety Sense 2.5. The SR5 also comes equipped with a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and can be had with a 14-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia display. The TRD Sport package upgrades to 20-inch matte black wheels, Bilstein shocks, and TRD-tuned springs. The next rung is the Platinum model which features heated and ventilated front and second-row seats, a 14-speaker JBL audio system, a head-up display, wireless charging, and a panoramic moonroof. The TRD Pro model is optimized for off-road exploration with TRD-tuned FOX internal bypass shocks, skid-plates to protect the mechanicals, a locking rear differential, and a Multi-Terrain Select system. The Capstone model is the most luxurious offering gorgeous 22-inch chrome wheels, power running boards, authentic American walnut wood trim, LED mood lighting, and semi-aniline leather-trimmed seats. To learn more about the Toyota Sequoia, read our review here.
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If you’re looking for the best and latest, the all-new 2023 Toyota Sequoia has a clear advantage over its predecessor. The powertrain offers more power, better fuel economy, and superior towing capability. Inside, space is similar, but the technology in the new Sequoia is miles ahead of the 2018 model. So, if those are your priorities, choose the new one. If your budget is tighter and you need a new vehicle now, a used Toyota Sequoia is likely to be easier to secure, will save you a bit of money, and its excellent reputation for reliability means you won’t have to be scared of a few miles on the clock.