The 2019 Toyota Sequoia is a Reliable, Durable Choice

Different attributes mean different things to different vehicle buyers. While some place a premium on safety features, others are more concerned with a vehicle’s practicality. The 2019 Toyota Sequoia is a vehicle that’s just right for the right buyers.

The Sequoia isn’t the newest, best-looking, or most efficient full-size SUV. But if you need a reliable three-row SUV that could outlast you, this Toyota might just be for you.

Exterior Styling

The 2019 Toyota Sequoia is a vehicle that’s unlikely to attract too many buyers based solely on appearance. To be fair, considering its age, the Sequoia doesn’t look too bad. The Sequoia is a big, brash, full-size, three-row ladder-frame SUV, and the styling is perfectly in keeping with the Toyota’s old-school format.

Updates to the front fascia have modernized the Sequoia’s look thanks to some sharp angles and some strategically-placed chrome. Basically, the 2019 Toyota Sequoia looks pretty much like you’d expect a full-size truck-based SUV to look. Nothing special, but there’s nothing too wrong with it either.

Capability

This is a big vehicle. On the plus side, that also means the Sequoia is also big on capability. For a start, up to eight people can be comfortably carried inside the Toyota. Access to the third row isn’t perhaps as easy as with some rivals, but there’s a decent amount of room back there.

Four-wheel-drive versions can tow at least 7,000 pounds. And if you opt for a rear-drive model, you’re rated to tow up to as much as 7,400 pounds.

However, if you’re thinking of buying an all-wheel-drive Sequoia you need to understand the system. It’s a part-time four-wheel-drive system that boasts a low-range transfer case and a locking center differential. That means good capability off-road, but it’s also only designed to be used off-road and not on the pavement because the tires need to be allowed to slip to prevent drivetrain binding.

Interior

The good news about the interior is there’s plenty of stretch-out throughout the cabin, and there’s plenty of room left for cargo too. Fold down some of the seats when not in use, and the Toyota can also do a passable impersonation of a cargo van. The seats are broad, well-cushioned, comfortable, and the driver’s seat has plenty of adjustment. There isn’t as much room as there is in the Sienna minivan, and that’s because the body-on-frame construction of the Sequoia cuts into the amount of available space. However, the Sequoia doesn’t look like a minivan and the SUV can go places and do things the Sienna can only dream about.

On the downside, the interior is a little dated, and some of the plastics used inside could be described as a little low-rent. Cloth seats are standard, but the majority of these you’ll come across tend to have been upgraded to leather instead. Overall, the interior has a rugged and durable look and feel, which is probably a fair representation of what the Sequoia is all about really.

Powertrain

We’ve already covered the all-wheel-drive system and the fact the Sequoia is rear-drive as standard, but what about the engine and transmission powering the mighty Toyota? Well, the unit employed to power the Sequoia is a tried-and-tested 5.7-liter V-8 that puts out an impressive 381 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque, which is sent to the rear or all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.

Once again, not exactly cutting-edge, but it’s definitely the kind of setup you can rely on to keep you on the move in the wilderness and the harshest of remote conditions. Of course, the trade-off from having four fewer gears that some of the competition also means fuel consumption can be a bit of a touchy subject.

Safety

The two main agencies haven’t crash tested the Sequoia, but it would be hard not to feel safe inside a vehicle of these proportions. On top of its sheer size and bulk, the Toyota also comes with an impressive complement of the latest active safety features. You might not expect a model that dates back to 2007 to include standard features like a backup camera, blind spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, and automatic emergency braking, but all are present in the 2019 Sequoia.

In fact, Toyota also goes as far as including standard lane-departure warnings, forward-collision warnings, and automatic high-beam headlights. The Sequoia’s truck chassis is also equipped with modern technology like brake assist, brake force distribution, vehicle stability assist, and a tow/haul mode which helps reduce the amount of force the brakes have to contend with.

Features and Equipment

It’s easier and cheaper for a manufacturer to add features and equipment to an aging vehicle to try and keep buyers interested, and that’s certainly what Toyota has done here. The entry model comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED high and low beam and daytime running lights, body-colored heated mirrors, a sunroof, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power adjustable cloth seats, a 4.2-inch instrument cluster display, and tri-zone climate control. Also standard is a 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes satellite radio, but unfortunately doesn’t get you Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility

The Good

  • Powerful, tried-and-tested V-8 engine
  • Decent handling for a big SUV
  • Towing ability exceeds 7,000 pounds
  • Bomb-proof reliability and durability

The Not-So-Good

  • Thirsty
  • Below-par interiors
  • Dated

The Last Word

If you want a great big, tough, durable, capable and reliable full-size SUV with seating for up to eight people that can handle itself off-road, the 2019 Toyota Sequoia makes sense. It might not make as much sense if you look at some of the top trim levels as there are better vehicles out there for that kind of money. However, at the entry level, the Sequoia is really good value for money and it’s you’d be hard-pressed to find something as capable, durable and well-equipped for the same kind of price.

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