The Toyota Sequoia (Japanese: トヨタ セコイア, Toyota Sekoia) is a full-size SUV manufactured by Toyota and derived from its Tundra pickup truck.

Introduced in 2000 and manufactured at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana in Princeton, Indiana, the Sequoia is the first vehicle from a Japanese marque in the popular mainstream full-sized SUV class in North America, and initial planning done by first-generation Sequoia chief engineer Kaoru Hosegawa aimed the Sequoia directly at the Ford Expedition, also competing with the Chevrolet Tahoe and the later Nissan Armada.

The Sequoia slots in between the mid-size Toyota 4Runner and the premium Toyota Land Cruiser in the North American Toyota SUV lineup, and is the largest SUV currently being produced under the Toyota brand.

In 2015 the Sequoia was available in the United States (All regions), Bolivia, Canada, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Chile, Mexico, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen in LHD only. As of 2017, the Sequoia is sold in the United States (All regions), Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen in LHD only.

First generation (2000–2007)

First generation
01-04 Toyota Sequoia Limited.jpg
Production September 2000 – November 2007
Model years 2001–2007
Designer Toshihiko Shirasawa (1997)
  • 4.7 L 240 hp (179 kW) V8 (2001-04)
  • 4.7 L 282 hp (210 kW) V8 with VVT-i (2005)
  • 4.7 L 273 hp (204 kW) V8 with VVT-i (2006-07)
Wheelbase 118.1 in (3,000 mm)
Length 203.9 in (5,179 mm)
  • 2001–02 SR5 2WD: 76.0 in (1,930 mm)
  • 2003–04: 78.0 in (1,981 mm)
  • 2005–07: 78.9 in (2,004 mm)
  • 2003–04 SR5 2WD: 76.4 in (1,941 mm)
  • 74.0 in (1,880 mm)
  • 2003–04 Limited 2WD: 75.8 in (1,925 mm)
  • SR5 4WD: 73.6 in (1,869 mm)
  • Limited 4WD: 75.6 in (1,920 mm)
  • Limited 2WD: 75.2 in (1,910 mm)
  • 2005–07 SR5 2WD: 72.8 in (1,849 mm)
  • 2003–04 SR5 2WD: 73.2 in (1,859 mm)
  • 2003–04 Limited 4WD: 76.2 in (1,935 mm)
  • 2001-02 2WD: 73.0 in (1,854 mm)

Development of a full-size SUV alongside a T100 replacement began in the mid-1990s, with a design freeze in 1997 (styled by Toshihiko Shirasawa) and design patent filing of the production design on April 4, 1998 at the Japan Patent Office (JPO) under #1054583. After the introduction of the Toyota Tundra in 1999, speculation started that Toyota intended to compete in the full-size market with a Tundra-based SUV called the Highlander. However, the Highlander name was used on a midsize Camry-based crossover and the Tundra-based SUV was introduced on January 11, 2000 at the North American Auto Show as the Toyota Sequoia, with full production starting in September 2000 for the 2001 model year.[citation needed]

The engine, dashboard, sheetmetal, and chassis are shared with the Tundra, with the exception of rear disc brakes and a more sophisticated multi-link live axle rear suspension. The Sequoia was nominated for the North American Truck of the Year award in 2001. When the Sequoia was introduced, it was slightly longer than the contemporary Land Cruiser, larger than the Chevrolet Tahoe in most dimensions and similar in size to the Ford Expedition; its V8 engine was certified as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle. Frame assemblies and driveshafts are produced by Dana Holding Corporation.

The Sequoia came in two trim levels: SR5 and Limited. The base SR5 started at $32,820 while the more expensive Limited started at $41,855. It was sold in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive versions. Vehicle Stability Control was standard on all models.[1]


2005–2007 Toyota Sequoia Limited

For the 2005 model year, the Sequoia received a mild facelift. A new engine equipped with VVT-i was new for 2005, as well as a 5-speed automatic transmission, replacing the previous 4-speed. 4 wheel drive models got a Torsen center differential, replacing the previous open differential, that splits power in full-time mode 40% front and 60% rear under normal driving, and can send up to 53% to the front and 71% to the rear during slip. The grill was redesigned, and the orange lamps were removed from the taillights.

Towing Capacity for the 2005 model year:

  • 2WD: 6,500 lb (2,948 kg)
  • 4WD: 6,200 lb (2,812 kg)

Second generation (2008–present)

Second generation
2008-2009 Toyota Sequoia Limited.jpg
Production November 2007 – present
Model years 2008–present
Designer Motoharu Araya[2]
  • 4.7 L 2UZ-FE V8 08-09 276 hp (206 kW)
  • 5.7 L 3UR-FE V8 381 hp (284 kW)
  • 4.6 L 1UR-FE V8 310 hp (231 kW)
Wheelbase 122.0 in (3,099 mm)
Length 205.1 in (5,210 mm)
  • 2008–2010: 79.0, 79.8 in (2,007, 2,027 mm)
  • 2011–: 79.9 in (2,029 mm)
Height 77.0 in (1,956 mm)
2011 Toyota Sequoia at the Montreal International Auto Show in 2011
The back of the Toyota Sequoia SR5

Toyota unveiled the 2008 Toyota Sequoia at the November 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show, with sales beginning that following December. Like the original Sequoia, the new model is based on the new Tundra. However major differences with the Tundra include a fully boxed frame, a rear independent suspension featuring double wishbones with coil springs for improved ride comfort and room, and a locking center differential on 4-wheel drive models. The new suspension helps give the Sequoia a tighter turning radius of 19 ft (5.8 m) and allows for a fold-flat rear seat.[3] Toyota stated the new frame is 70 percent more resistant to bending flex with torsional rigidity up 30 percent[4] However, the new model weighs 500 lb (227 kg) more than the previous Sequoia. The drag coefficient has been reduced to 0.35.

Improvements include an optional ULEV-II compliant 381 horsepower 5.7 L 3UR-FE V8, mated to a 6-speed automatic.

The 2008 Sequoia comes in three trim lines: the SR5 and Limited, and new Platinum. Pricing ranges from about $34,000 to $55,000 depending upon the trim line and configuration. The base engine is the previous ULEV compliant 4.7 L 2UZ-FE 276 hp (206 kW) V8 featured from the previous generation. The 4.7 L is standard on the SR5, while the Limited and Platinum models come standard with a 5.7 L V8 engine. Four-wheel drive is available on all models.

The interior of the 2008 Sequoia features the same dash as the new Tundra. Standard features include a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, power windows and doors, dual sun visors, and a keyless entry. Options include DVD based navigation with backup camera and 7" screen, a rear DVD entertainment system, a 14-speaker JBL audio system, and heated seats with ventilated coolers in the front row and warmers in the second row, available in Platinum trim. The Limited trim includes audio, climate, and hands-free Bluetooth mobile phone system controls, an improved JBL audio system, electroluminescent Optitron gauges, and an electrochromic auto-dimming rear-view mirror and side view mirrors with a HomeLink transceiver. The Platinum model includes a standard DVD navigation with a backup camera, a rear air suspension which can lower for easy loading, and Dynamic Laser Cruise Control.

Seating arrangements are for seven or eight passengers, eight for SR5 and Limited models and seven for Platinum models. Power folding 60/40 split third row seats are available on the Platinum. The Sequoia has a maximum towing capacity of 7,400 lb (3,357 kg) with the 5.7 L V8 in 2WD SR5 form or 7,100 lb (3,221 kg) in the 4WD SR5 trim. For complete trailer & weight capacities, see Toyota's website.[5]

Exterior differences include door handle colors (color-keyed for the SR5; chrome for the Limited and Platinum), diamond-cut 20 in (508 mm) aluminum alloy wheels for the Platinum trim, and varying power-heated remote-controlled side mirrors.


Capacity Model year Power Torque
4,608 cc (281.2 cu in) 1UR-FE V8 2010-2012 310 bhp (230 kW) @ 5400 RPM 327 lb⋅ft (443 N⋅m) @ 3400 RPM
4,663 cc (284.6 cu in) 2UZ-FE V8 2008–2009 276 bhp (206 kW) @ 5400 RPM 314 lb⋅ft (426 N⋅m) @ 3400 RPM
5,663 cc (345.6 cu in) 3UR-FE V8 2008– 381 bhp (284 kW) @ 5600 RPM 401 lb⋅ft (544 N⋅m) @ 3600 RPM


Standard safety features include Vehicle Stability Control, traction control, anti-lock brakes brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution, front side torso airbags and roll-sensing side curtain airbags for all three rows. For the 2010 model knee airbags were added as standard feature for front driver and passenger safety.

NHTSA crash test ratings (2008):[6]
Frontal Driver: 5/5 stars
Frontal Passenger: 4/5 stars
Side Driver: not tested
Side Rear Passenger: not tested
Rollover: 4/5 stars 18.5%

Note: The Sequoia has not been retested for 2010-2016.[7]

In 2015, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found the Sequoia 4WD to have the lowest overall driver death rate in its class with 0 deaths per million registered vehicle years.[8][9]

Model year changes

  • The 2009 model year adds E85 flex fuel capability for the 5.7 L V8 sold in certain states.
  • For the 2010 model year the 4.7 L V8 is replaced by an all-new 4.6 L 1UR-FE engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The SR5 and Platinum trims become mono-spec and the Limited grade offers three stand alone options (navigation system, rear-seat entertainment and seven-passenger seating). Front driver and passenger knee airbags were added as a standard feature. Platinum models get wood trim on the steering wheel and shift gear, and Bluetooth and audio controls are standard on the SR5 trim. The Timberland Mica exterior color gets replaced with the new Camry's Spruce Mica. All audio systems have USB connectivity with iPod integration, and the rear-view mirror on the Limited trim has a built-in rear-view camera.
  • For the 2012 model year, Toyota's Entune System was added as a standard on SR5, while an upgraded version featuring navigation became an optional feature on Limited and standard on the Platinum trim.
  • For the 2014 model year, a Blu-ray DVD player became an optional feature on Limited and standard in Platinum.
  • No major changes were made for the 2015 and 2016 model years.

2018 Refresh

On February 9, 2017, Toyota unveiled a refreshed Sequoia for the 2018 model year, featuring new standard LED headlights, daytime running lights and foglights,(note: 2001-07 models have this system too, but not the basic model), and three new exterior colors: Midnight Black Metallic, Shoreline Blue Pearl and Toasted Walnut Pearl. Each trim level also gets its own specific grille design. It also added a TRD level trim to its returning SR5, Limited, and Platinum trims, a upgraded instrumentation panel, automotive emergency braking and the Toyota Safety Sense feature.[10]


  • In a 2008 Motor Trend comparison the Sequoia took 1st place.[11]


Calendar year US
2000 9,925[12]
2001 68,574[12]
2002 70,187[13]
2003 67,067[13]
2004 58,114[14]
2005 45,904[14]
2006 34,315[15]
2007 23,273[15]
2008 30,693[16]
2009 16,387[citation needed]
2010 13,848[citation needed]
2011 13,022[17]
2012 13,151[17]
2013 13,811[18]
2014 11,806[19]
2015 12,583[20]
2016 12,771[21]
2017 12,156[22]


The 2008-2010 Sequoias were part of one of the 2009-2010 Toyota recalls that required the installation of a small shim to relieve unwanted friction and restore fluidity to the accelerator pedal. Early 2003 Sequoias were recalled to reprogram the Vehicle Stability Control system due to the possibility of poor acceleration at certain low speeds. The 2002-3 Sequoia model years also had a defect in the front ball joints.[23] 2004 Toyota Sequoias were subject to the Takata Airbag recall done for free by Toyota dealerships. Recently, the Sequoia, along with the Tacoma and Tundra, have another recall due to the frame prematurely rusting. If there is a 10 MM perforation found on the frame, the vehicle frame will be replaced, if the service is done within 12 years of vehicle purchase or 1 year after recall became official. For those vehicles without 10 MM perforation and located in a cold weather state, Toyota will perform an undercoating service to prevent future rust from forming.


  1. ^ "Iihs-Hldi". Iihs.org. Archived from the original on 2010-04-07. Retrieved 2009-11-23. 
  2. ^ Temple, Steve. "2008 Toyota Sequoia". Off Road Adventures. 
  3. ^ "Toyota Vehicles : Toyota Unveils All-New 2008 Sequoia At 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show / Toyota" (Press release). US: Toyota. Retrieved 2009-06-24. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "First Drive: 2008 Toyota Sequoia". Edmunds.com. 2007-11-14. Archived from the original on 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  5. ^ "Toyota Sequoia - 2010 Performance & Specifications". Toyota.com. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  6. ^ "2008 Toyota Sequoia 4-DR w/SAB". Safercar.gov. Retrieved 2015-09-30. 
  7. ^ "2016 Toyota Sequoia SUV 4WD". Safercar.gov. Retrieved 2015-09-30. 
  8. ^ "Death rates fall as vehicles improve". US: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 2015-01-29. Retrieved 2015-02-12. 
  9. ^ "Driver death rates". US: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 2015-01-29. Retrieved 2015-02-12. 
  10. ^ "2018 Toyota Sequoia Preview" from Cars.com (February 9, 2017)
  11. ^ 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe LT vs. 2008 Ford Expedition King Ranch vs. 2008 Nissan Armada LE vs. 2008 Toyota Sequoia Limited - 2008 Ford Expedition King Ranch - Comparison Test - Motor Trend
  12. ^ a b "Toyota Sets Sales Record for Sixth Year in a Row". Theautochannel.com. 2004-11-17. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  13. ^ a b "Toyota Announces Best Sales Year in Its 46-Year History, Breaks Sales Record for Eighth Year in a Row". Theautochannel.com. 2004-11-17. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  14. ^ a b "Toyota Reports 2005 and December Sales". Theautochannel.com. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  15. ^ a b "Toyota Reports 2007 and December Sales". Theautochannel.com. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  16. ^ "Toyota Reports 2008 and December Sales". Theautochannel.com. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  17. ^ a b "December 2012 and Year-End Sales Chart" (Press release). US: Toyota. 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2013-01-04. 
  18. ^ "December 2013 and Year-End Sales Chart" (Press release). US: Toyota. 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  19. ^ "December 2014 and Year-End Sales Chart" (Press release). US: Toyota. 2015-01-05. Retrieved 2015-01-06. 
  20. ^ "December 2015 and Year-End Sales Chart" (Press release). US: Toyota. 2016-01-05. Retrieved 2016-01-18. 
  21. ^ "December 2016 and Year-End Sales Chart" (Press release). USA: Toyota. 2017-01-05. Retrieved 2017-01-05. 
  22. ^ http://toyotanews.pressroom.toyota.com/releases/december+2017+sales+chart.htm
  23. ^ "Toyota Vehicles : Customer FAQs for 2003 Toyota Sequoia Recall / Toyota" (Press release). US: Toyota. Retrieved 2010-07-06. [permanent dead link]

External links