Entry price: $49,050
Price as tested: $69,303
This week we’re driving the 2019 Toyota Sequoia, which receives a nice new grill and headlight upgrade. Our 4x4 tester came in top flight Platinum dress making this fully loaded, three-ton SUV quite the vehicle with every conceivable amenity listed as standard fare. Sequoia first appeared in 2000 and is built in Princeton, Indiana.
Sequoia underwent a complete refresh in 2008 and has always delivered massive room and towing capacity for those who need or desire this type of vehicle. It’s not good on gas by any means, (13 city and 17 highway), but after two longer trips during our week-long test I guarantee you’ll feel like “King of the Road” traveling the nation’s highways.
Sequoia is the biggest SUV Toyota offers. It is 10-inches longer in wheelbase than the Toyota Land Cruiser and 12.1-inches longer than the Highlander. And even though you are totally aware of Sequoia’s mass while driving, the SUV delivers outstanding comfort and then doubles as a 7,000-pound tow capacity vehicle.
Unlike most other SUVs that are built on a car like uni-body platform, Sequoia still sits on a full chassis underneath similar but not identical to the heavy-duty full-size Tundra pickup. The major differences are Sequoia’s rear suspension featuring double wishbones with coil springs for improved ride comfort and a Torsen brand 4x4 locking multi-mode center differential.
Available in four trims, Sequoia 4x4 starts at the eight-passenger SR5 at $52,275, then moves upward to a TRD trim at $54,990, Limited at $60,770, and top line Platinum for $67,635. Rear drive-only Sequoia models start at $49,050 in the SR5 trim only. Platinum trims are seven-passenger designs thanks to second row Captain chairs.
The Sequoia Platinum features wood interior trim, adaptive smart cruise, perforated heated and cooled leather seats and a great sounding JBL audio system. An enhanced Entune infotainment with Navigation system is also notable. Additionally, every 2019 Sequoia receives Toyota’s renowned Safety Sense and Star Safety System.
The Platinum also features 20-inch Dunlop Sport 5000 tires on aluminum alloy wheels, new design chrome grille, three-zone climate control, special Platinum badges, beautiful leather interior, power seats, power reclining second row seats, power reclining and fold flat third row (very nice). Also standard is a rear seat BluRay movie system with a 9-inch screen. As tested, our Sequoia Platinum came in at a final $69,303 with $373 for a carpeted floor mat and door sill protector option and $1,295 delivery.
All 2019 Sequoias arrive with enhanced LED headlamps, auto windshield wipers, some new colors and a few more tweaks over the 2018 model. Other than that, and especially if you tow a boat, camper or classic car, it’s the Sequoia we’ve come to appreciate over the years as the “big bruiser” of SUVs. Additionally, you still use a key to start this beauty, which in the land of push button start vehicles is a welcome nostalgic touch.
Under the hood sits Sequoia’s 5.7-liter V8 that produces 381 horses and 401 lb. ft. of torque. Coupled to a heavy duty six speed automatic with tow/haul modes, our 4x4 model was very peppy when asked for more power. All things considered, the aforementioned 17 highway MPG is pretty decent for a vehicle of this size. Always remember when you get into heavy, truck like vehicle that can tow 7,000 pounds, big engines are necessary and will always require more fuel to move aggressively.
Fuel mileage aside, there are many Sequoia positives. From a safety aspect, riding around in a Sequoia offers built-in security from size/mass alone. When you add the standard Toyota Safety Sense-P features, I pity anything smaller than a bus that plows into a Sequoia.
Toyota Safety Sense-P includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Sway Warning System, Automatic High Beams and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. But Sequoia goes another step forward, as the standard Star Safety System adds Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-lock Brakes, Electronic brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, and Smart Stop Technology at speeds greater than 5 mph. So, when combined with three tons of mass and all this safety, you are traveling nestled in one of the safest SUVs ever built.
Underneath, a fully independent suspension with a 4x4 multi-mode unit with locking differential is noteworthy allowing secure footing during inclement weather. Other notable standard features include power slide moonroof, three zone climate control, 6.1-inch touch screen with Bluetooth, USB, the latest high-tech goodies, towing upgrades with tow/haul modes and trailer brake connection, rear safety camera, blind spot and much more. Platinum models also feature an adaptive suspension to keep everything level.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 122-inches, 6,000-lb. curb weight, from 18.9 to 120.1 cu. ft. of cargo space, 38.1 ft. turn circle, 26.4 gallon fuel tank and 9.6-inch ground clearance.
All of this leads to value, as the Sequoia 4x4 is quite a buy starting at just $52,275 versus smaller, albeit top luxury, Toyota Land Cruiser and its $85,165 entry. Being that the Land Cruiser is built to compete with Range Rover and Cadillac Escalade, those who opt for a Sequoia can pocket over $35,000 difference and still travel in luxury.
Your Toyota dealer awaits your visit to explain all trims and models in the Toyota SUV/Crossover family. And, as we’re already into July of the 2019 model year, there may be some impressive dealer incentives for prospective consumers to ponder.
Likes: Very roomy, powerful V8, extremely safe, great for towing.
Dislikes: Fuel mileage, dated design, two-wheel drive only in SR5 trim.
Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and GateHouse Media. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.