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2020 Toyota Sequoia Review

The 2020 Toyota Sequoia finishes near the bottom of our large SUV rankings. This is a spacious SUV with lots of room for people and cargo, but it's not as modern or upscale as many of its class rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine
  • Three rows of roomy, comfortable seats
  • Terrific cargo capacity
  • Outdated cabin styling and infotainment system
  • Worse handling and ride quality than many rivals
  • Terrible fuel economy
  • Below-average maximum towing capacity

New for 2020

  • TRD Pro trim joins lineup
  • Updated infotainment system with additional standard features

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Toyota Sequoia's #5 ranking is based on its score within the Large SUVs category. Currently the Toyota Sequoia has a score of 6.8 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 60 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

6.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.2
Performance: 7.0
Interior: 6.4
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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Is the Toyota Sequoia a Good SUV?

The Toyota Sequoia is a decent SUV, but it's a stretch to call it good. Sure, its V8 engine is powerful, and there are three rows of seats with enough head- and legroom for adults. The Sequoia also has more cargo space than several competitors. It even has a good predicted reliability rating.

That said, the Sequoia has several notable flaws. Most notably, it's out of date. It's been more than a decade since its last redesign, and the technology and cabin both feel antiquated. Additionally, while the ride quality is solid, it's still a step below what you'd expect from a large, comfort-oriented SUV. The Sequoia also gets horrible gas mileage.

Should I Buy the Toyota Sequoia?

There's not really a good reason to buy the Sequoia. There are plenty of reasons to like it, but almost everything the Sequoia does well, class rivals do as well or better. Since its price tag isn't markedly lower than those of rivals, the Toyota arguably provides less bang for your buck than other large SUVs. Instead of the Sequoia, you should check out rivals like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Nissan Armada.

Compare the Sequoia, Tahoe, and Armada »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota Sequoia?

The 2020 Sequoia is part of a generation that began with the 2008 model year. There are some advantages to buying a new Sequoia over older models, but they may not be noteworthy enough to justify the price difference.

The 2020 model has a new off-road trim in its lineup, the TRD Pro. There are also several new standard features for 2020, including a 7-inch touch screen (up from 6.1 inches), Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. There were no notable changes for the 2019 model year. The 2018 model gained some new standard active safety features and a TRD Sport trim.

You can likely save thousands of dollars by shopping for an older Sequoia model, but you may miss out on any recent changes, though there haven't been many in the last several years. The Sequoia gained a standard touch screen for 2014, infotainment options and a streamlined engine lineup for 2013, and available Trailer Sway Control and blind spot monitoring for 2012.

If you're interested in an older model, visit our overviews of the 2017 Sequoia, 2018 Sequoia and 2019 Toyota Sequoia. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about incentives on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Sequoia »

We Did the Research for You: 60 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Sequoia generation, which runs from 2008 to 2020.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Toyota Sequoia Cost?

The Sequoia carries a base price of $49,905. That's about average for a large SUV. There are several higher trims, with the top-of-the-line Sequoia Platinum starting at $65,945. That's typical for a top-trim price in this class.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

Toyota Sequoia Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Toyota Sequoia or Chevrolet Tahoe?

The Chevrolet Tahoe is a better large SUV than the Sequoia. The Toyota provides more cargo space and a roomier third row, but the Tahoe is superior in basically every other area. It's more modern and upscale, has an easier-to-use infotainment system, and gets better gas mileage. The Tahoe handles corners better and offers a V8 that's stronger than the Sequoia's engine.

Which Is Better: Toyota Sequoia or Nissan Armada?

The Nissan Armada is a bit better overall than the Sequoia, though this matchup is fairly close. Each of these SUVs has advantages over the other. The Toyota provides much more cargo space, and its infotainment system is easier to use than the one in the Nissan, though both systems feel outdated. The Nissan has a richer interior, a slightly more powerful engine, and gets slightly better fuel economy. It also costs less than the Sequoia. Choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.

Compare the Sequoia, Tahoe, and Armada »

Sequoia Interior

How Many People Does the Sequoia Seat?

The Sequoia seats eight people in its standard configuration and seven if you get the available second-row captain's chairs. The seats are comfortable and provide adequate support for long drives. The first two rows have plenty of head- and legroom, and even the third row can accommodate adults, which isn't the case in every three-row SUV.

The base model comes with cloth upholstery and an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, ventilated front seats, heated second-row captain's chairs, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat, and reclining third-row seats are available.

Sequoia and Child Car Seats

There are three full sets of LATCH connectors for installing car seats in the Sequoia.

Sequoia Interior Quality

The Sequoia has one of the least impressive interiors in the class. From the antiquated styling to the abundance of hard plastics, this Toyota isn't as pleasant inside as most other large SUVs.

Sequoia Cargo Space

This Toyota has one of the largest cargo holds in the class. It provides 18.9 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats up, 66.6 cubic feet with the third row folded down, and 120.1 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded down.

The Chevy Suburban is the only rival with similar cargo totals in its standard setup. The GMC Yukon and Ford Expedition offer long-wheelbase variants that are similar in capacity to the Sequoia, but their standard models don't have as much room as the Toyota.

Sequoia Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include a moonroof and the Entune infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, three USB ports, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Available features include a 12-speaker audio system, a 14-speaker JBL audio system, a rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system, and navigation.

Perhaps the most notable change for the 2020 Sequoia is that it finally comes standard with helpful connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are still some drawbacks with this Toyota's infotainment tech, however. The Entune system still feels a bit outmoded, and many controls are a long reach from the driver's seat.

Read more about interior »

Sequoia Performance

Sequoia Engine: Pretty Impressive

The Sequoia features a 381-horsepower V8 engine that never feels taxed by this SUV's immense weight. The engine has enough power to move this Toyota fairly easily, even while passing on the highway or climbing hills. A smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission comes standard.

Sequoia Gas Mileage: It's Not Good

Large SUVs generally don't get good gas mileage, but even by class standards, the Sequoia's ratings are bad. It gets just 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway.

Sequoia Ride and Handling: Not Exactly a Class Leader

On its own, the Sequoia seems like it's fairly easy to drive and feels composed given its enormous size. However, its handling is a bit ponderous compared to the rest of the class. Ride quality tells the same story; this Toyota generally rides smoothly, but rivals feel more cushioned over rough pavement.

The Sequoia does OK when you want to head off-road, especially if you opt for one of the TRD trims. These have additional features, such as heavy-duty shocks, to help you traverse challenging terrain.

Sequoia Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the Sequoia can tow up to 7,400 pounds. While that's plenty for pulling a trailer or small boat, it's still lower than most other large SUVs' max tow ratings.

Read more about performance »

Sequoia Reliability

Is the Toyota Sequoia Reliable?
The 2020 Toyota Sequoia has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.
Toyota Sequoia Warranty

Toyota covers the Sequoia with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Sequoia Safety

Sequoia Crash Test Results

The 2020 Sequoia has not yet been fully crash tested, but it received four stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's rollover test.

Sequoia Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, front and rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Some of these are part of the Toyota Safety Sense P suite of technology.

No notable active safety features are available.

Read more about safety »

Sequoia Dimensions and Weight

The Sequoia is 17.1 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 5,730 to 6,000 pounds.

Where Is the Toyota Sequoia Built?

Toyota builds the 2020 Sequoia in Indiana.

Which Toyota Sequoia Model Is Right for Me?

The Sequoia comes in five trims: SR5, TRD Sport, Limited, TRD Pro, and Platinum. All trims come with a 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive comes standard in every trim except the TRD Pro, which has four-wheel drive. All other trims are available with 4WD for an upcharge.

The base model comes with plenty of active safety features and enough infotainment tech to keep many buyers satisfied, particularly those that don't care about high-end upgrades like leather upholstery, second-row captain's chairs, and a premium audio system. If you are interested in those kinds of features, you'll want to step up to the Limited trim.

Toyota Sequoia SR5

The Sequoia SR5 carries a base price of $49,905. Standard features include cloth upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's seat, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a moonroof. Its Entune infotainment system has a 7-inch touch screen, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, three USB ports, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Standard active safety features include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, front and rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Some of these are part of the Toyota Safety Sense P suite of technology.

Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport 

The Sequoia TRD Sport starts at $52,620. It's slightly more rugged than the non-TRD trims, and it comes with 20-inch wheels, Bilstein shocks, anti-sway bars, and second-row captain’s chairs.

Toyota Sequoia Limited

The Sequoia Limited has a starting price of $58,915. The Limited comes with a power liftgate, navigation, a 12-speaker audio system, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable passenger seat, and power-folding and reclining third-row seats.

Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro

The Sequoia TRD Pro is an all-new trim for the 2020 model year, and it starts at $64,030. This is the only trim that comes standard with four-wheel drive. It also comes with a front skid plate and TRD Fox shock absorbers, as well as a 14-speaker JBL audio system.

Toyota Sequoia Platinum

The range-topping Sequoia Platinum carries a starting price of $65,945. The Platinum trim adds an adaptive air suspension, a rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system, ventilated front seats, and heated second-row captain’s chairs. This trim comes standard with almost every feature you can get in a Sequoia.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

See 2020 Toyota Sequoia specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Toyota Sequoia gets some tech improvements for 2020, but those still don't make it feel as modern as its competitors in the large SUV class. This is a big, comfortable SUV. However, it trails rivals in several key areas, which is why it ranks near the bottom of the segment. Buyers would be better off skipping the Sequoia for one of its higher-ranked competitors.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The 2020 Toyota Sequoia is loaded with modern technology, but the large SUV remains outdated compared with contemporary rivals. Still, families who want three-row transportation and the reliable reputation that Toyota has built will take notice. … While its cabin has an abundance of hard plastics and obsolete switchgear, its durable materials and spacious third row should counter some of those complaints. Toyota also makes the 2020 Sequoia more desirable with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Although a far cry from the best crossovers and SUVs, Toyota has kept the Sequoia relevant with more frequent improvements." -- Car and Driver
  • "… the Sequoia is still pretty old, and falls well behind competitors like the Chevrolet Tahoe and the newly-redesigned Ford Expedition when it comes to modernity. Efficiency is a major shortcoming as well, as its fuel economy ratings fall well behind those of its competitors. Nevertheless, this ancient Sequoia is still a spacious and highly capable full-size SUV. When compared to the Tahoe and the GMC Yukon, for instance, it has a more modern rear suspension design that pays dividends in terms of third-row comfort, cargo space and ride quality. Then there's the Sequoia's renowned reliability. Given this, we actually think the Sequoia is impressively competitive for a vehicle of its age (especially with all those safety features), and its TRD Pro trim offers more off-road capability than any other full-size SUV on sale today. That said, its fuel economy alone makes it tough to recommend." -- Autotrader
  • "While it may not be the newest or most powerful full-size SUV one can buy, the 2020 Toyota Sequoia is still a very capable 8-passenger brute with a sterling reputation for reliability and strong resale. Toyota equips the Sequoia with a roster of standard safety features including the latest driver assists, and it offers a number of trims and features to fit every budget. Like the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe, the Sequoia is an old-fashioned body-on-frame SUV. It's designed to handle the kind of heavy towing and big payloads that would be too much for car-based SUVs like the Toyota Highlander. The Sequoia's powerful V8 engine isn't easy on fuel, however, and its mammoth body isn't easy to maneuver in tight parking lots. The Sequoia also lags behind the competition in the areas of towing, horsepower and fuel economy, with the newer Ford Expedition taking top honors in all these areas." -- Kelley Blue Book

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: July 9, 2020

Low Sales: The Toyota Sequoia was the slowest selling large SUV in 2019, and it continues to hold that position in 2020. Sales continue to decline, as Toyota dealerships have moved 44.6 percent fewer Sequoia SUVs to date this year compared to the same period in 2019. The second slowest selling large SUV, the Nissan Armada, is still outselling the Sequoia by about 5 to 1.

Research more buying advice »
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