2017 Toyota Sequoia

2017 Toyota Sequoia Review

The 2017 Toyota Sequoia's plush ride and vast cargo area compensate for its advanced age.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor

The 2017 Toyota Sequoia is worth a look if a traditional three-row SUV is in your future. Though it lacks some of the latest tech and safety features, its seating for eight, legitimate off-road and towing capabilities, and substantial cargo room make it a capable rig for doing just about anything.

The current generation Sequoia has been around for nine years now without a redesign. That's a long time in the automotive industry, and it's mostly apparent in the Sequoia's dated infotainment system and lack of the latest driver safety aids such as lane departure warning and forward collision mitigation. And in general, know that other big crossover SUVs can provide similar amounts of interior room to the Sequoia but with superior fuel economy and a better combination of ride comfort and secure handling.

But as traditional SUVs go, the Sequoia still offers a more comfortable ride than many in its class, especially when equipped with the Platinum trim's air suspension. It's also pretty capable off-road thanks to its substantial ground clearance, though obviously this isn't a vehicle you'll want to try to squeeze down a tight, narrow trail. Overall, the Sequoia isn't our top pick for a big three-row SUV, but there are enough positives that it's worth considering.



what's new

The Toyota Sequoia is unchanged for 2017.


we recommend

The base Sequoia SR5 is well-equipped as is, and the reasonably priced Premium package adds most of the extras, such as leather seating surfaces and navigation, we'd want in a large SUV. However, it might be easier to just go with the Limited, which gets those extras as standard, plus a power liftgate and the option for blind-spot monitoring. Upgrading to the Platinum is fairly expensive, so only consider it if you absolutely need the extra luxury features or if you tow frequently because it comes with a load-leveling air suspension.




trim levels & features

The 2017 Toyota Sequoia (built upon the bones of the Tundra pickup) comes in three trims: SR5, Limited and Platinum, all of which are available in rear- or four-wheel drive. There are significant price jumps between trims, but there are option packages for the SR5 and Limited that help bridge the gaps. SR5 and Limited models seat eight passengers, while second-row captain's chairs on the SR5 with the Sport package and the Platinum reduce seating to seven.

The base SR5 model comes stocked with a healthy amount of standard features. Highlights include a 5.7-liter V8 (381 horsepower, 401 pound-feet of torque), a six-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, a power rear window, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power driver seat, a 40/20/40-split second-row bench seat (with sliding and reclining functionality), a 60/40-split reclining and fold-flat third-row bench, second- and third-row side sunshades, a rearview camera, a 6.1-inch touchscreen and an eight-speaker audio system.

An optional Sport package gets you 20-inch wheels, a color-keyed grille and second-row captain's chairs (reducing seating capacity to seven). The separately available SR5 Premium package retains eight-passenger seating and bundles an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, a power passenger seat, heated front seats, a power-reclining and -folding third-row seat, and an integrated navigation system.

Stepping up to the Limited model gets you 20-inch wheels, power-folding and auto-dimming exterior mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, and a power liftgate. Inside, everything from the SR5's Premium package is included as standard, along with upgraded gauges.

The Safety and Convenience option package adds blind-spot monitoring and driver-seat memory functions. A 14-speaker JBL sound system is optional, as is a rear-seat entertainment system with a Blu-ray player.

The top-of-the-line Platinum trim level comes standard with all of the above features, plus an adaptive air suspension (with a load-leveling rear), adaptive cruise control, ventilated front seats, heated second-row captain's chairs (reducing seating capacity to seven), a second-row center console and a power-adjustable steering wheel.



The base SR5 model comes stocked with a healthy amount of standard features. Highlights include a 5.7-liter V8 (381 horsepower, 401 pound-feet of torque), a six-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, a power rear window, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power driver seat, a 40/20/40-split second-row bench seat (with sliding and reclining functionality), a 60/40-split reclining and fold-flat third-row bench, second- and third-row side sunshades, a rearview camera, a 6.1-inch touchscreen and an eight-speaker audio system.

An optional Sport package gets you 20-inch wheels, a color-keyed grille and second-row captain's chairs (reducing seating capacity to seven). The separately available SR5 Premium package retains eight-passenger seating and bundles an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, a power passenger seat, heated front seats, a power-reclining and -folding third-row seat, and an integrated navigation system.

Stepping up to the Limited model gets you 20-inch wheels, power-folding and auto-dimming exterior mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, and a power liftgate. Inside, everything from the SR5's Premium package is included as standard, along with upgraded gauges.

The Safety and Convenience option package adds blind-spot monitoring and driver-seat memory functions. A 14-speaker JBL sound system is optional, as is a rear-seat entertainment system with a Blu-ray player.

The top-of-the-line Platinum trim level comes standard with all of the above features, plus an adaptive air suspension (with a load-leveling rear), adaptive cruise control, ventilated front seats, heated second-row captain's chairs (reducing seating capacity to seven), a second-row center console and a power-adjustable steering wheel.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2013 Toyota Sequoia Platinum (5.7L V8; 4x4; 6-speed automatic).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Toyota Sequoia has received some revisions, including a sunroof and a rearview camera added to the standard equipment list in 2015 and upgrades to the infotainment system in 2016. But our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Toyota Sequoia.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

3.0 / 5.0

Acceleration4.0 / 5.0
Braking2.5 / 5.0
Steering3.5 / 5.0
Handling2.5 / 5.0
Drivability3.0 / 5.0

Comfort

4.5 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.5 / 5.0

Interior

3.0 / 5.0

Ease of use3.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.5 / 5.0
Roominess4.0 / 5.0
Visibility2.5 / 5.0
Quality2.5 / 5.0

Utility

4.5 / 5.0

Small-item storage4.5 / 5.0
Cargo space5.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
All-out performance is not the 2017 Sequoia's game, but how can you not love that potent V8? The braking power is uninspiring, as is the handling, but this truck-based SUV can truly tackle the rough and dirty stuff.

acceleration

edmunds rating
For a big three-ton SUV, the Sequoia is no slouch. The 5.7-liter V8 is willing, clocking a 0-60 mph sprint in 6.9 seconds. There's always power in reserve, and the six-speed automatic transmission is smooth.

braking

edmunds rating
The Sequoia is well-controlled during panic stops, with reasonably short distances, considering its weight. But the brake pedal felt long and soft in normal driving around town.

steering

edmunds rating
Steering responsiveness is better in the Sequoia than your average big SUV, but it's still not what we'd call tight or precise. It could use a bit more feel.

handling

edmunds rating
Even in its sportiest setting, the Sequoia felt soft and sloppy during aggressive maneuvers, though it's not so noticeable on a mountain road. There's quite a bit of body roll, too.

drivability

edmunds rating
For the most part the Sequoia is easy to drive, with light steering and a smooth-shifting automatic. But the gas pedal's responsiveness is more abrupt than we would like.

comfort

edmunds rating
The 2017 Toyota Sequoia is an exceptionally comfortable and surprisingly quiet big SUV. The suspension is height-adjustable and has plenty of travel. Tire and wind noise is nearly nonexistent. The seats offer good all-day comfort without being overly squishy.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
What's the sign of a good seat? You don't think about its comfort while driving. The leather is slippery, though, and there's zero lateral support. The door armrests could be softer.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
The ride is generally plush, especially with the three-mode suspension set to Comfort. Although soft, it's not so pillowy that you're completely isolated as a driver from the road.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
The Sequoia is very quiet, especially considering this is a truck-based SUV. You can hear the V8 lumbering on the highway, but there's almost no tire noise. Even wind noise is reduced to just a whisper.

interior

edmunds rating
The Sequoia has an abundance of room inside, with only the narrower third row not quite spacious enough for three adults. But because the Sequoia is so wide, front-row passengers will have a hard time reaching the center console cupholders and the stereo controls.

ease of use

edmunds rating
The center stack is composed of a smattering of buttons and knobs, but most are easy to decipher. The cupholders are too far of a reach on the center console. The same goes for the stereo, which requires a stretch to press the virtual buttons accurately.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
Getting into the Sequoia's front seats require a step up, but the grab handles on the front pillar help. The second-row seats are even easier. Third-row entry is fairly simple due to the second row's tilt-and-slide function.

roominess

edmunds rating
There's plenty of headroom and elbow and shoulder room up front. Captain's chairs for the second row give mega-space all around. The three seats in the third row are not wide enough to comfortably seat adults, but they should be fine for short trips if needed.

visibility

edmunds rating
The windshield is not actually all that tall for a big SUV. Large pillars behind the front seat occupants block the back and side view, especially on the driver side. The standard backup camera is greatly appreciated.

quality

edmunds rating
The quality and feel of cabin materials are outclassed by what you'll find in many of the Sequoia's newer rivals. The cabin is filled with hard-touch plastics, and it was disheartening that our tester's 4WD selector knob spun freely.

utility

edmunds rating
The 2017 Sequoia's cargo area is one of the largest in its class, and both rows of seats fold flat so stuff doesn't slide around. (The Limited's second-row console doesn't fold, of course.) Small item storage is less impressive; despite plenty of cupholders, most won't hold large cups.

small-item storage

edmunds rating
There are plenty of storage bins throughout the cabin, even way back in the third row. The center console bin is large, and 16 cupholders are spread throughout the cabin.

cargo space

edmunds rating
Cargo space is impressive for the class. Behind the first row is 120.1 cubic feet of space, compared to the Chevrolet Tahoe's and Nissan Armada's roughly 95 cubic feet. Only the Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Expedition EL are similarly sized.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.