Big, thirsty and comfortable are a few words we’d say about the 2019 Toyota Sequoia. The second-generation Sequoia has been around for over a decade and although all of its rivals are newer, the Sequoia has a charm about it, like a reliable old friend.
Sure the Ford Expedition is newer with its better tech features and even GM’s large full size SUVs are a bit more modern than the Sequoia, but if you’re looking for an unpretentious, reliable and comfortable SUV for the family, there’s the Toyota Sequoia.
The second-generation Toyota Sequoia arrived for the 2008 model year, a time when large gas guzzling SUVs were still the norm. Since then, the Sequoia has received small updates and even a mile facelift, but overall it’s continued largely unchanged in the past decade. The conservative exterior recalls Toyota’s previous easily forgettable design language, a time before Toyota decided to inject some excitement into its vehicles. While the rest of Toyota’s SUV lineup is more interesting to look at, that same conservative styling is why the Sequoia has managed to age gracefully over the last decade.
The Sequoia’s exterior design may not look too old yet, but inside is where you’ll immediately notice how old the Sequoia is. Even with a price tag in the $60k range for our Platinum tester, the interior is covered in hard plastic. At the front you’ll also be surprised to see how old the infotainment system is. The system uses a small touchscreen and don’t expect to find the latest features, like Apple CarPlay.
The Sequoia’s interior will easily fit the whole family with its three rows of seats, but the lack of tech features and lower quality materials are hard to dismiss.
Under the hood the 2019 Sequoia is powered by a 5.7L V8 that generates 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft. of torque. The V8 packs a good amount of grunt, but it’s mated to an old school six-speed automatic transmission, which doesn’t help with the Sequoia’s fuel efficiency. The Sequoia has a shocking 13 mpg city /17 mpg highway/ 15 mpg combined rating with the 2WD version or 13 mpg city /17 mpg highway/ 14 mpg combined if you choose the 4WD version. To compare, the Ford Expedition is rated up to 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.
Even if the V8 is thirsty, it moves the large Sequoia down the road with ease. The Sequoia can also tow up to 7,400 pounds. On the road, the Sequoia’s suspension feels a bit floaty, but comfortable. The Platinum trim level comes with an adaptive suspension with Comfort, Normal and Sport modes. The Sport mode does firm things up a bit, but probably a bit too much for our friends in the third row who immediately started complaining about the ride once we turned the dial.
After being around over a decade, through two presidents and even a recession, the 2019 Toyota Sequoia is still trucking along. Its interior is large and comfortable for the entire family and its big V8 moves the nearly 6,000 pound SUV down the road with ease. Sadly if the latest tech features or a luxurious interior are your must haves, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
The 2019 Toyota Sequoia is offered in four trim levels: SR5, TRD Sport, Limited and Platinum. The pricing starts at $48,700.