Finally Fully Redesigned. After 15 long years, Toyota has finally introduced a third-gen Sequoia. The all-new SUV is beyond late to the party. Nearly all of the Sequoia’s competitors have been redesigned – some have been redesigned a few times – in the years that Toyota decided to play the waiting game and new competitors have come out. Still, we’re happy to see a new Sequoia arrive, even if it’s off by a decade.

While the Sequoia is fully redesigned for 2023, consumers will find a large lineup that covers all the bases. From the basic SR5, to the go-anywhere TRD Pro, and up to the luxurious Capstone, Toyota continues to offer the Sequoia in a wide range of flavors with little overlap.

Goodbye V8, Hello Hybrid. For the 2023 model year, Toyota has nixed the 5.7-liter V8 engine from the old model. Instead, the fully redesigned Sequoia comes standard with Toyota’s iForce MAX hybrid powertrain. It’s the same one that’s offered in the Tundra, but it’s standard with the Sequoia.

The powertrain consists of a twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V6 engine, an electric motor, a 1.5-kW battery pack, and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Combined output is rated at 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the outgoing V8 engine, these are massive increases of 56 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque.

The power increase results in far more towing capacity than before. The 2023 Sequoia can tow up to 9,520 pounds, while the last-gen model maxed out at 7,400 pounds. While the noise of the V8 is easy to miss, the hybrid powertrain brings quick acceleration. The transfer of power between the V6 and electric motor is hardly noticeable, too.

Overall, the hybrid powertrain is a massive step up compared to the old V8. The few gripes we have include the 10-speed’s lack of immediacy and that towing large cargo with the Sequoia doesn’t feel as smooth as it does in the Tundra.

2023 Toyota Sequoia Interior

A Modern Interior. Beyond the engine, the next big change occurs on the inside. The old, outdated interior design has finally been updated with something that feels fresh and looks new. In addition to looking new, the 2023 Sequoia also gets a major tech upgrade.

All Sequoias, except for the base SR5 trim, come with a massive 14-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The touchscreen is one of the largest in the class and sees the Sequoia go from last place to first in the tech wars. Toyota’s latest infotainment system is included, bringing “Hey, Toyota” voice recognition, wireless smartphone compatibility, an available Wi-Fi hot spot, and a cloud-based navigation system.

The Sequoia has seating for up to eight people, while available Captain’s chairs reduce seating capacity to seven. While the third row can slide up to 5.5 inches, it’s best left to children. A larger issue with the third row is that it doesn’t fold flat.

Consumers looking for a luxurious Sequoia will be happy to hear about the new Capstone trim. It’s the range-topping model in the lineup and brings unique touches that make the cabin feel far more luxurious. Walnut trim, ambient interior lighting, acoustic glass, and semi-aniline leather upholstery create a plusher Sequoia, but it’s not enough to compete against luxury trims from Jeep or GMC.

Lacks Refinement. On the outside, the 2023 Sequoia makes a bold statement. In a class where American automakers dominate, the Japanese Sequoia manages to have a feeling of its own with its design. If there’s one thing we wish Toyota had consulted an American competitor about, it’s the way the SUV drives on the road.

From behind the steering wheel, the Sequoia feels like a massive barge. While that’s expected, given the size of the SUV, the light steering and squishy brake pedal don’t inspire confidence. While the Sequoia doesn’t feel as buttoned-down as a few of its rivals, it makes up for it with a smooth ride, isolating passengers from outside noises and imperfections.

Final Thoughts. We applaud what Toyota has done with the 2023 Sequoia. The large SUV returns for its third generation with numerous upgrades. The standard hybrid powertrain, optional tech features, extensive lineup, and handsome design make the Sequoia more competitive than ever. Unfortunately, one has to question whether Toyota has done enough. Competitors offer more cargo space, more powerful engines, more towing capacity, and a more refined driving experience.

The Chevrolet Tahoe is available with a wide range of engines, can tow up to 8,400 pounds, is available in an off-road-oriented Z71 model, offers up to 123 cubic feet of cargo space, and comes with a 10.2-inch touchscreen as standard.

Despite its large size, the Jeep Wagoneer is highly capable off-road, has a plush ride, offers an enormous interior, can tow up to 10,000 pounds, is available with three 10-inch screens, and offers up to 117 cubic feet of cargo space.

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