$32,828 - $47,407

2017 Toyota Sequoia Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Toyota Sequoia was new.


Performance: 8.3

The 2017 Toyota Sequoia features good overall performance, with a strong engine and well-balanced handling. The transmission delivers seamless shifts and excellent low-end torque that allows it to take off quickly from a stop. Fuel economy is low even for the class. The Sequoia rides softly over most roads, but steering characteristics are a mixed bag.

  • "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
  • "There will likely never be a full-size SUV that rides or drives like a smaller, car-based crossover SUV. But, if you're looking for a solid driving experience with well-behaved manners and fairly stable cornering, Toyota's … Sequoia SUV won't disappoint." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • In tight spots, of course, the Sequoia struggles, but it loves the open road and eats up highway miles with quiet composure." -- Autotrader (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The Sequoia comes standard with a 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is available, as is an E85/Flex Fuel version of the engine. Standard towing capacity is rated at 7,400 pounds, which is among the lowest in the class.

According to EPA estimates, the Sequoia gets 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway, which are very low estimates for the class. Running on E85, it gets 9 mpg in the city and 13 on the highway.

The Sequoia features impressive power from its engine, which is amplified by an efficient transmission. Acceleration is good, and shifts are smooth and precise. There is also excellent power and torque from the low gears.

  • "One of the best features offered in Toyota's full-size Sequoia SUV for 2017 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
  • "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
  • "There may not be multiple engines to choose from in the 2016 Toyota Sequoia, but the gutsy 5.7-liter V8 isn't a slouch. This engine provides impressive acceleration, even in this large, heavy vehicle. The six-speed automatic transmission also performs flawlessly, with smooth, predictable shifts in everyday driving." -- Edmunds (2016)

Handling and Braking

Ride quality in the Sequoia is mostly comfortable, even over rough roads. That can be improved markedly with the optional air suspension. The Sequoia handles well, but reviewers disagree regarding its steering. Some critics say it feels heavy and difficult to adjust at low speeds, but others find the steering light and maneuverable.

  • A full-size body-on-frame SUV will never ride or drive like a lighter, unit-body crossover SUV, but compared to its direct competitors, Toyota's 2017 Sequoia SUV is easily one of the more comfortable titans to pilot. The Sequoia's ride is on the firm side, but remains smooth so long as the road does too. An independent rear suspension helps this big SUV round corners with little commotion and proves helpful in off-road situations. Toss in the Platinum trim's air-spring suspension and things go from good to better. The Sequoia's steering response is fairly quick, although the wheel can feel heavy during low-speed maneuvers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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." -- Autotrader (2016)
  • "The Sequoia's ride quality is quite smooth for its class, especially compared to its more trucklike GM competitors, and should feel downright plush with the adaptive air suspension." -- Edmunds (2016)

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