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2016 Toyota Sequoia Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Toyota Sequoia was new.


Performance: 8.3

Test drivers report that the 2016 Toyota Sequoia's quiet V8 engine has more than enough power to move this large SUV with ease, and they like its smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. With an EPA fuel economy estimate of 13/17 mpg city/highway, the Sequoia earns lower numbers than most rivals. Reviewers are pleased with the Sequoia's smooth, comfortable ride. While some say its steering is properly weighted, others think it feels numb.

  • "Based on the excellent full-size Tundra pickup, the 2015 Toyota Sequoia has all the toughness you could ask for in an SUV -- yet its ride and handling are surprisingly refined." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "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 (2015)
  • "While no full-size SUV rides or drives like a car-based crossover SUV, the 2015 Toyota Sequoia comes pretty darn close." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "You'll never forget the 2013 Toyota Sequoia is a large vehicle, but thanks to its independent rear suspension and quick (but numb) hydraulic power steering, there's a surprising nimbleness to be found." -- Edmunds (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The Toyota Sequoia has a 5.7-liter V8 engine that makes 381 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The EPA reports that the 2016 Sequoia gets up to 13/17 mpg city/highway, which is one of the lowest estimates in the class. The Sequoia can tow a maximum of 7,400 pounds, which is less than the towing capacities of competitors like the Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Expedition.

The Sequoia's engine is incredibly powerful and quiet, delivering swift acceleration, reviewers say. They add that the automatic transmission is smooth and efficient when towing.

  • "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 (2015)
  • "One of the best features offered in Toyota's full-size Sequoia SUV for 2015 is its strong and quiet 5.7-liter V8 engine, with 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. It's unobtrusively reassuring and is equal to any task the Sequoia may be asked to accomplish. It's matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission that includes a low first gear for getting a heavy load moving and two overdrive gears that help enhance fuel economy and reduce noise at highway speeds." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "The 5.7-liter V8 is an eager engine that moves this big, heavy truck with plenty of gusto." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Equally satisfying is the 2013 Sequoia's powertrain: The 5.7-liter V8 is powerful, silken and near silent until you pin the throttle. We also like the six-speed automatic, which is responsive even when towing." -- Edmunds (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2016 Toyota Sequoia’s independent rear suspension enables the SUV to deliver a smooth ride through turns and over road imperfections, according to reviewers. Some of them say the Sequoia's steering is well-weighted, but others think it feels numb and contributes to body lean when cornering. The Sequoia’s brakes, a few test drivers say, are strong. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is available.

  • "The Sequoia may be the size of a small bus, but its Camry-style steering wheel and light steering effort make it feel more maneuverable than it actually is. It also has an independent rear suspension, which helps it negotiate bumps in a relatively civilized way for a truck-based SUV. Of course, the Sequoia struggles in tight spots, but it loves the open road and eats up highway miles with quiet composure." -- AutoTrader
  • "Toyota equips the Sequoia with an independent rear suspension that helps it corner and maneuver with surprising agility. The steering feel is also commendable, with good feedback and just the right amount of resistance for the power assist." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Its steering is too light and indirect, and body lean is prevalent in even moderate-speed turns." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "In Edmunds brake testing, the Toyota Sequoia required 127 feet to come to a stop from 60 mph, which is a short distance for SUVs in this class." -- Edmunds (2013)

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