2013 Toyota Sequoia Preview

Jeff Youngs | Mar 04, 2013
  • New Blu-ray back-seat entertainment system includes high-definition video
  • Smaller 4.6-liter engine discontinued; 5.7-liter V-8 now standard on all trim levels
  • Entune feature provides more information
  • Dynamic Laser Cruise Control maintains safe distance from other vehicles
  • Rear-wheel and 4-wheel drive available


The Toyota Sequoia is a full-size SUV. It shares much of its platform with the Toyota Tundra, a full-size pickup truck, but employs an independent rear suspension. It is larger than Toyota's midsize 4Runner SUV. The Sequoia is Toyota's largest vehicle--a little larger than the Land Cruiser, the luxury version of the Sequoia--with more leg room for the third row and more room for cargo behind that row. It seats up to eight occupants, is available in three trim levels, and rear-wheel or 4-wheel drive. Properly equipped, the Sequoia can tow up to 7,400 lbs. Its main competitors include the GMC Yukon XL, Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade, and Nissan Armada. The 2013 model is little changed from the previous year, but a more sophisticated entertainment system has been added. The 4.6-liter engine that had been used on lower trim levels in previous years has been discontinued.

Exterior Features

The Sequoia offers three trim levels--SR5, Limited, and Platinum--each offered in rear-wheel or 4-wheel drive (as opposed to the all-wheel drive employed by some comparable vehicles). Toyota claims the Sequoia's 0.36 drag coefficient makes it as aerodynamic as many smaller SUVs. Standard exterior features include a chrome grille surround, daytime running lights, fog lights, rear privacy glass, color-keyed rear spoiler, roof rack, running boards, front and rear mud flaps, skid plates, rear door with wide opening angle for easy access, headlight washers, keyless entry, and sunroof. Chrome door handles and a power liftgate are standard on upper trim levels. The SR5 trim features 18-inch wheels with 20-inch wheels optional. The larger wheels are standard on upper trims, with upgraded wheels available. Colors include white, silver, grey, black, crimson, sand, and pyrite.

Interior Features

Standard interior features include seating for seven or eight, depending on configuration, power front seats, Bluetooth and audio connectivity, automatic three-zone front and rear climate control with air filter, AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, 8 speakers, and SiriusXM radio free for 90 days, easy-clean fabric-trimmed front seats; 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat, 4-way adjustable front passenger seat, cruise control, power windows and locks. Second-row captain's chairs with a center console can replace the standard bench seating, fold-flat second-row seating is another option. Added to the Limited trim are an upgraded sound system, leather seating, and premium mirrors. The Platinum version adds a premium HDD navigation system with Entune, combined with a premium JBL sound system, rear-seat Blu-ray disc player with 9-inch display, perforated leather-trimmed heated and ventilated front seats, 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power thigh and lumbar support; 7-passenger seating with perforated leather-trimmed and heated second-row captain's chairs and multi-function center console, perforated leather-trimmed power 60/40 split-reclining, fold-flat third-row seat with folding headrests, upgraded steering wheel, and much more. With second- and third-row seats folded, a total of 120.1 cu. ft. of cargo space is available in the 2013 Sequoia.

Optional Features

Many of the enhancements offered with the Limited trim are optional with the base trim; many of the Platinum enhancements are available on the Limited trim. A Sport Package and a Premium Package of options are available on the base trim.

Under the Hood

The Toyota Sequoia's standard engine is a 5.7-liter V-8 that delivers 381 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission with intelligence (ECT-i), sequential shift mode and uphill/downhill shift logic, and Tow/Haul mode is standard. Toyota's proprietary Variable Torque Management 4WD (VTM-4) system (optional) delivers power to all four wheels when needed. Front high-mounted coil-spring independent double-wishbone front suspension is standard on the base SR5 and Limited trims; the Platinum trim uses electronic modulated air suspension and an adaptive variable system.

Fuel Economy

Fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Toyota Sequoia are 13/18/15 mpg (city/highway/combined) as rated by the EPA.


Standard safety equipment on the Toyota Sequoia includes anti-lock disk brakes, stability control, traction control, trailer-sway control, and a number of air bags. In government tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Sequoia received 4 stars (out of 5 stars) for rollover protection. To date, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not tested the 2013 Toyota Sequoia.TechnologyToyota especially touts its new Entune multimedia system (optional on SR5 and Limited trim and standard on Platinum trim), which works with a mobile smartphone to provide fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment and information services. Accessible apps include Bing, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable and Pandora, plus real-time info including traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports, and stocks.

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