Americans like their SUVs – and for some customers, bigger is better. One need look no further than parking lots filled with Tahoes and Grand Wagoneers for confirmation, not to mention their extended-length brethren like the Suburban and upcoming Grand Wagoneer XL.
Toyota has been in this game as well, albeit with an offering older than Methuselah. That changes for 2023, with the introduction of a new Sequoia.
It’s obvious that the company is drawing heavily from the book of Tundra, a sensible decision given the time and money plowed into the development of that vehicle. Everything from the A-pillar forward will look markedly familiar to anyone who’s spent time on a configurator for the new Tundra, including those creatively-shaped headlamps with sequential turn signals. Like the truck, there will be different faces for different trims – ranging from entry-level SR5 to tony Capstone with an off-road TRD Pro and two other high-volume trims in between.
Standard equipment under the hood is the company’s 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 hybrid powertrain, good for 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque. This brings the fight to machines like a 6.2L-equipped Tahoe which makes about the same amount of horsepower but far less torque. A 10-speed automatic is the other half of this tag team. Customers in America can select from 2WD or 4WD in all trims save for the TRD Pro. Towing clocks in at 9,000 pounds.
Speaking of, that model comes with TRD-tuned FOX internal bypass shocks, a front-end skid plate made from quarter-inch aluminum, locking rear diff, and all manner of selectable off-road drive modes. It’ll be easy to spot the thing given its angry visual cues including the TOYOTA billboard on its grille. And yes, those 18-inch off-road tires are mounted on alloys with an increased offset, giving the thing a slightly more butch stance.
If you’re keen on some off-road kit but don’t wish to jump right into the deep end, there will be a TRD Off-Road package offered on the SR5 and Limited. While it won’t have the Pro’s look-at-me grille, it will have a locking rear differential and those trick driving modes. The FOX shocks are swapped for a set of TRD-tuned Bilstein monotubes. For posers, there’s also a TRD Sport package that includes those shocks but deletes the locker while adding on-road oriented 20-inch dubs.
Sitting atop all this is the Capstone, a new top rung that was just introduced on the Tundra. There are chrome accents on the outside to match those 22-inch wheels, semi-aniline leather seats in a unique color pattern, authentic American Walnut trim with an open-pore finish, and other interior jewelry like an illuminated Capstone badge on the dash. Yes, that’s a thing. Across all trims, the interior shares much with the new Tundra – and that’s not a bad thing. Your author has spent time in a pre-production TRD Pro pickup and came away impressed by the form and function of that space. It’ll serve ably in the Sequoia.
This new large-and-in-charge SUV will be assembled at Toyota’s plant in Texas. Barring global supply chain hiccups, look for them to start cropping up on dealer lots this summer.
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