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2013 Toyota Sequoia Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Toyota Sequoia was new.


Performance: 7.8

Reviewers think the 2013 Toyota Sequoia performs OK for a large SUV. Handling reviews are a mixed bag, since some say it is a capable around-town hauler and others say it has a lot of body roll in turns and a lack of steering feel. The Sequoia has poor fuel economy, even in a class full of gas-guzzling SUVs. On the plus side, test drivers are thoroughly impressed with the engine, saying it is powerful and smooth.

  • "Like an all-star NBA center, the … Toyota Sequoia moves pretty well for a vehicle its size." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "What the 5.7-liter gives up in mpg it makes up for with power and aural goodness. Rough roads set the Sequoia to jiggling, but it's fairly smooth otherwise." -- Car and Driver (2012)

Acceleration and Power

The Sequoia comes with a 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 that makes 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. The Sequoia gets up to 13/18 mpg city/highway, which is about average for the class, but trails the fuel economy of GM’s large SUVs. The Sequoia can tow a maximum of 7,400 pounds, which can’t match the towing capacity of rivals like the Chevrolet Suburban or Ford Expedition.

Reviewers overwhelmingly endorse the Sequoia’s powertrain. They say it offers good acceleration and its six-speed transmission is well-matched to the engine. One critic says the transmission is slow to shift, especially when trying to pass, but adds that the Sequoia is plenty powerful.

  • "The 5.7-liter V8 is an eager engine that moves this big, heavy truck with plenty of gusto. The reluctant transmission hampers power delivery when it's needed for passing and merging." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The powertrain combo is potent enough to scoot the nearly three-ton Sequoia from zero-to-60 mph in under seven seconds, which is blistering by the standards of the class." -- Left Lane News
  • "This engine is connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission, which employs a very low 1st gear for strong acceleration and two overdrive gears for better fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 5.7-liter V8's abundance of low-end torque makes passing maneuvers effortless, and the six-speed automatic is always on point with gear selection, even when towing. …" -- Edmunds (2012)

Handling and Braking

The 2013 Toyota Sequoia is available in either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive configurations. Critics credit the independent rear suspension for the Toyota Sequoia’s supple ride. The Sequoia still suffers from the same complaints as many other large SUVs. A few reviewers note that there is a fair amount of body lean when cornering, adding that the Sequoia has numb steering and that it is tough to maneuver in small spaces like parking garages. A couple test drivers disagree, arguing that the Sequoia has accurate steering and a small turning radius, which they say makes it easy to navigate around town.

  • "Its steering is too light and indirect, and body lean is prevalent in even moderate-speed turns. Where this vehicle does excel is in its tight-for-the-class turning radius, which makes close-quarters maneuvering amazingly easy." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Underpinned by the same sturdy frame used by the Tundra pickup, the Sequoia uses a fully independent suspension that provides a comfortable ride and some of the better driving dynamics in the old-school SUV segment." -- Left Lane News
  • "Don't get us wrong, the Sequoia for 2013 is still a large and heavy SUV, but its independent rear suspension and precise power steering make the 6,000-pound hulk quite easy to command." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Handling is about what you'd expect from a vehicle this size (cumbersome) and the numb steering only increases the sense of heft." -- Edmunds (2012)

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