2020 Toyota Sequoia

By March 24, 2020

The 2020 Toyota Sequoia is a big eight-passenger SUV that’s built on the Tundra full-size truck chassis. It hasn’t significantly changed in its 12 years. For 2020 it adds a TRD Pro model that’s largely cosmetic, with all-terrain tires. The only other new thing for 2020 is that the base SR5 model gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

The Sequoia is powered by a 5.7-liter V-8 making 381 horsepower. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission that needs two or three more gears to keep up with the times. It can tow 7,400 pounds.

Not surprisingly, gas mileage is low. With rear-wheel drive, the Sequoia is EPA-rated at 13 mpg city, 17 highway, 15 combined; with optional four-wheel drive it drops to 14 mpg combined.

The Sequoia hasn’t been crash-tested. But there’s a lot of standard safety equipment, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, blind-sport monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and high-beam assist.

Model Lineup

The Sequoia comes as SR5, TRD Sport, Limited, Platinum and the new TRD Pro models.

The rear-wheel-drive SR5 runs about $51,200, and includes cloth upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, a power moonroof, LED headlights, a roof rack, running boards, 18-inch wheels, cloth seats, and adaptive cruise control. Add $3,200 for four-wheel drive.

The Limited adds $9,000, for which you get leather upholstery and 20-inch wheels.

The Platinum can cost nearly $70,000 with four-wheel drive. It comes with a Blu-ray player, heated and cooled front seats, a heated second row, keyless ignition, and JBL speakers.

The new TRD Pro is four-wheel drive, and costs $65,355.

Exterior

The Sequoia’s conventional big-box shape has a few curves to soften things.

The new TRD Pro adds a honeycomb grille that says Toyota in big letters, cast-aluminum running boards, black trim, and chunky all-terrain tires.

Interior

The Sequoia dash has been transplanted from the Tundra. It swallows the standard 7.0-inch touchscreen, and features large control knobs and buttons.

There’s plenty of room for a family and their gear in the Sequoia, although there might not be enough room in the garage–the Sequoia’s length might be too much for some garages. There’s room to stretch your legs in the font, and more than 40 inches of legroom in the second row bench (captain’s chairs are optional). Even the third row is suitable for adults.

Running boards are standard on most models, and that makes climbing into and out of the Sequoia easier.

Behind the third row, the Sequoia offers about 19 cubic feet of cargo space. With the third row flopped down, the cargo space is fairly flat and there’s nearly 67 cubic feet. With the second row dropped, that space grows to a gigantic 120 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The Sequoia feels like what it basically is, a powerful truck with heavyweight handling and confident towing ability. The 5.7-liter V-8 makes 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque attached to the rear wheels or all four wheels with the available full-time transfer case.

The 6-speed automatic transmission delivers syrupy shifts, but most rivals have 8-, 9- or 10-speed transmissions.

The Sequoia rides on a separate ladder frame like the Tundra, and uses an independent front suspension and solid rear axle with coil springs. The old-school setup delivers a competent ride. The taller sidewalls on the SR5 and TRD Pro absorb the bumps better than the 20-inch wheels and shorter sidewalls that come with other trims.

Sequoia TRD Pros also make use of Fox shock absorbers that deliver a remarkably comfortable ride on pavement while absorbing the big bumps off-road. The TRD Pro goes four-wheeling better than might be expected for a vehicle of this size, but it’s not like the renowned Toyota Land Cruiser.

Final Word

The 2020 Toyota Sequoia has big-SUV credentials with lots of towing capability and a strong V-8 engine. Fuel economy is low and the Sequoia’s technology is showing its age—but if what you need is a giant 8-passenger SUV, the Sequoia is here for you.

 

—By Sam Moses with Driving Impressions by The Car Connection

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