The Toyota Sequoia is a full-size SUV with three rows of seats accommodating up to eight people. The 2023 Toyota Sequoia is the first model year of the third generation, and this mighty beast shares a platform and hybrid powertrain with the Toyota Tundra full-size pickup truck.
While crossovers may be immensely popular, there’s still a place in the market for these big, bold, and unashamedly capable truck-based SUVs. The all-new Sequoia is a family hauler to be reckoned with, especially with its 9,520-pound towing capacity representing a 26 percent increase over the previous model.
All models apart from one are standard rear-wheel drive with the option of Toyota’s 4WDemand part-time 4WD system, and TRD Pro gets it as part of its standard specification. The Sequoia, especially in TRD Pro form, is a more-than-competent off-roader and a sensational all-around family SUV for every occasion.
Like all Toyota models these days, the Sequoia comes bristling with standard safety features thanks to the Toyota Safety Sense suite of active safety technologies. The new Sequoia looks sensational and comes well equipped in all five trim levels. This guide will tell you all you need to know about what you get with each trim level to help you decide which version of the 2023 Toyota Sequoia is right for you.
On top of that, every 2023 Sequoia comes with a full complement of connected services. These include Safety Connect, Wi-Fi Connect, Service Connect, Remote Connect, and Drive Connect. Unfortunately, although every model comes from the factory equipped with these excellent services, all apart from Safety Connect are subscription services.
The good news is a 3-year trial subscription for Service Connect, Remote Connect, and Drive Connect gets included when you buy a new Sequoia, although Wi-Fi Connect only comes with a 30-day or up to 3 GB trial subscription.
2023 Toyota Sequoia SR5 vs. Limited trim levels
The one thing you don’t have to worry about when choosing the right 2023 Toyota Sequoia trim level is which engine comes with which model, as the same unit powers all five models. The unit in question is the i-FORCE MAX 3.4-Liter Twin-Turbo V-6 Hybrid that develops 437 horsepower and 583 lb.-ft. of torque, which is 56 horsepower more than the V-8 in the last model. The power goes to the rear or all four wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission, and low-speed all-electric driving is possible below 18 mph.
Rear-drive models get EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 21 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined, which drops to 19/22/20 mpg if you opt for the additional capability of four-wheel-drive. Those numbers might not sound especially impressive compared to many large crossovers, but they are better than the 2023 Toyota Sequoia’s full-size SUV rivals.
The Sequoia can tow up to 9,520 pounds when properly equipped, but only the entry-level SR5 and the Limited trim levels offer the maximum eight-seat capacity. The three other models have a pair of reclining, fold-down, fold-up, tumble-forward, captain’s chairs instead of a bench, which is why they can only accommodate seven people rather than the full eight.
One thing that is likely to make a lot of you look beyond the base Sequoia SR5 to Sequoia Limited is the infotainment system. The system is the same, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and SiriusXM with a 3-month Platinum Plan trial subscription. However, the multimedia touchscreen is just 8.0-inches in the SR5, but the Limited and higher trims get a much more impressive 14.0-inch unit instead.
On the plus side, the SR5 does come with the 12.3-inch digital meter with selectable gauge display screens as part of the standard specification. And if you are wondering what that is, it’s Toyota-speak for a digital dashboard instead of old-school manual gauges and dials.
Heated front seats are standard for all models, but the Limited goes one better than the SR5 with front seats that are heated and ventilated. Ventilated seats are unusual at this level in a supposedly non-luxury vehicle, so that’s a big feather in the cap of the Sequoia Limited.
Although the Limited doesn’t get real leather seats, it does come with the leather-look SofTex seats that are eight-way power-adjustable for the driver and front passenger. Unless you pay extra for the Premium Package, the SR5 gets basic cloth upholstery, but you still get the power-adjustable front seats.
There’s a relatively premium look outside the SR5 with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, daytime running lights, and fog lights. The Limited trim upgrades to 20-inch alloys, and you’ll also notice a Gray-metallic horizontal-bar grille with a chrome surround, chrome-plated outside mirror caps, and satin chrome-plated roof rails.
Front and rear mudflaps are standard across the lineup, so that’s one thing the sales execs won’t be able to try and upsell you when you go to order your new Sequoia.
If you like the idea of tri-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt/slide moonroof with a sliding sunshade, and Toyota’s impressive Panoramic View Monitor, you be pleased to know they’re standard with the SR5 and the Limited.
A fixed center console with a gated shift lever, driving controls, four cup holders, and a center storage bin is standard, but the Limited boasts an illuminated center console storage bin and glove box.
Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 is standard with the SR5 and throughout the lineup. This suite of safety technologies includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams, and Road Sign Assist.
On top of that, all models also feature automatic high beam headlights, blind-spot monitors, front and rear park assist, and even a surround-view camera system.
Other standard features that make even the base SR5 version of the Sequoia impressive include a reversing camera, Drive Mode Select, remote keyless entry, push-button start, a power tilt/slide moonroof, leather shift knob & steering wheel, tire pressure monitors,
2023 Toyota Sequoia Limited vs. Platinum trim levels
The Platinum sits right in the middle of the 2023 Toyota Sequoia family. On the outside, like the Limited, the Platinum gets a set of 20-inch alloy wheels, but this time they are machined-finish black instead of the dark gray ones of the Limited trim.
The “blacked-out” styling continues with a dark chrome-accented mesh grille, gloss-black “SEQUOIA” badge, “PLATINUM” door badge, garnish, and over-fenders. LED taillights are standard at this level, and the LED headlights get upgraded to more premium units than the first two trim levels.
On the inside, this is where the second row becomes a pair of captain’s chairs, and leather upholstery with premium contrast stitching is now standard. The front and the second-row seats are heated and ventilated, and the driver and front passenger seats are 10-way power-adjustable instead of 8-way.
Other interior upgrades for the Sequoia Platinum include rain-sensing wipers, a digital display auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and HomeLink universal transceiver, and Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging. The panoramic roof gets power tilt/slide functionality, ambient lighting is standard, and the leather steering wheel also gets power adjustment. Last but not least, the audio enjoys an upgrade to a system with 14 JBL speakers, a subwoofer, and an amplifier.
2023 Toyota Sequoia Platinum vs. TRD Pro trim levels
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro is the genuine off-road specialist in the family, so many of the differences between the Platinum and TRD Pro are functional rather than aesthetic. The TRD Pro is the only trim in the lineup that’s exclusively four-wheel-drive, and the wheels are a set of more appropriate 18-inch TRD Pro matte-black forged-aluminum BBS wheels with TRD center caps.
There’s plenty of “TRD” badging on display, and you’ll also notice color-keyed door handles, satin-black outside mirror caps, and satin-black roof rails, but it’s fair to assume all that is purely aesthetic.
Other TRD Pro-exclusive exterior features include a TRD Pro dual-tip exhaust, TRD Pro LED marker lights, and a TRD Pro LED light bar.
The off-road-friendly theme continues inside with a set of TRD Pro all-weather floor mats and aluminum sport pedals. However, the second-row seats are not heated or ventilated, the seats are SofTex rather than leather, and the front seats revert to 8-way power adjustment at TRD Pro level.
The TRD Pro advertising continues inside with a TRD Pro red-striped leather shift knob, a TRD Pro “TOYOTA” heritage badge on the passenger dashboard, and a TRD Pro leather-trimmed manual tilt/telescopic steering wheel with a TRD badge and red center stripe.
Some of the most significant features of the TRD Pro are underneath. This trim gets an electronically controlled locking rear differential, a TRD Pro off-road suspension with 2.5-in. FOX Internal Bypass coil-overs and rear remote-reservoir shocks, and a TRD Pro front stabilizer bar.
The minimum approach/departure angles of the test of the Sequoia family are 15 and 20 degrees, respectively, but the TRD Pro has a minimum 23-degree approach angle.
To make off-roading more accessible for non-experts, the TRD Pro also features a Multi-Terrain Monitor with selectable front, side, and rear views, and Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select, Crawl Control, and Downhill Assist Control.
2023 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro vs. Capstone trim levels
One of many things the new Sequoia shares with the Tundra pickup for the 2023 model year is a new range-topping Capstone trim level. As you might expect, the Sequoia Capstone piles on the bling with a chrome grille, bright chrome “SEQUOIA” and “CAPSTONE” badging, chrome-plated outside mirror caps with satin chrome-plated roof rails, and striking 22-inch dark chrome and machined-finish alloy wheels.
And how more upscale can an SUV trim level get than to include automatic power-extending running boards and acoustic laminated windshield and front side windows as part of the standard specification?
On the inside, the front and second-row seats are once again heated and ventilated, and all three rows get trimmed in luxurious semi-aniline leather. The swanky interior is completed by American Walnut wood dash trim and LED mood lighting that really does give the Capstone the feel of a genuine luxury SUV.
And if tech is your thing, you’re likely to appreciate the standard inclusion of a 10-inch color Head-Up Display with speedometer, navigation, and Hybrid System Indicator.
Which 2023 Toyota Sequoia trim should you buy?
Whichever version of the 2023 Sequoia you choose to buy will be a sensational vehicle. The standard safety features are outstanding, and the connected services are another big plus for the entire lineup. However, it’s hard to make a case for the range-topping Capstone because it doesn’t quite make the grade as a luxury model, especially with a Toyota badge.
Realistically, the SR5, when equipped with four-wheel drive, will be perfect for most of those looking seriously at the Sequoia. The standard equipment list covers far more than just the basics, and it also delivers that eight-seat capability that you forgo with Platinum, TRD Pro, and Capstone trims.
You might want to look beyond that level if you want extra off-road capability, and that’s where the TRD Pro comes into its own. It’s questionable how many urban buyers would need that much off-road capability, but for those who do, the TRD Pro certainly delivers.
There’s no getting away from the fact that the 2023 Toyota Sequoia isn’t cheap, but up to and including the TRD Pro trim level, it does deliver pretty good value for money.