Toyota Sequoia

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Toyota Sequoia
2008 Toyota Sequoia SR5 -- NHTSA.jpg
2008 MY Toyota Sequoia (U.S.)
Manufacturer Toyota
Production 2000–present
Model years 2001–present
Assembly Princeton, Indiana, United States (TMMI)
Body and chassis
Class Full-size SUV
Body style 5-door SUV
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive

The Toyota Sequoia 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.

As of 2015, the Sequoia is sold 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.

First generation (2000–2007)[edit]

First generation
01-04 Toyota Sequoia Limited.jpg
Production September 28, 2000–November 2007
Model years 2001–2007
Designer Toshihiko Shirasawa (1997)
Body and chassis
Related Toyota Tundra
Engine 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)
Transmission 4-speed automatic (2001–04)
5-speed automatic (2005–07)
Wheelbase 118.1 in (3,000 mm)
Length 203.9 in (5,179 mm)
Width 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)
Height 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 on September 28, 2000 as a 2001 model.[1]

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.[2]


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)[edit]

Second generation
2008-2009 Toyota Sequoia Limited.jpg
Production 2007–present
Model years 2008–present
Body and chassis
Related Toyota Tundra
Engine 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)
Transmission 5-speed automatic
6-speed automatic
Wheelbase 122.0 in (3,099 mm)
Length 205.1 in (5,210 mm)
Width 2008–2010: 79.0 in (2,007 mm) & 79.8 in (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 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.


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 years.[8][9]

Model year changes[edit]

  • 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.

In a 2008 Motor Trend comparison the Sequoia took 1st place.[10]


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


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.[20]

Future plans[edit]

In 2010, Toyota announced its intent on ending production on the Sequoia after the 2014 model year due to declining sales and replace it with a next-generation Land Cruiser,[21] but in 2012 announced that the Sequoia will be redesigned along with the Toyota Tundra for the 2014 model year and will continue with a truck-based body. As of September 2015, Toyota continued to offer the Sequoia for the 2015 and 2016 model years using the same second generation design.[22]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Iihs-Hldi". Retrieved 2009-11-23. 
  3. ^ "Toyota Vehicles : Toyota Unveils All-New 2008 Sequoia At 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show / Toyota" (Press release). USA: Toyota. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  4. ^ "First Drive: 2008 Toyota Sequoia". 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  5. ^ "Toyota Sequoia - 2010 Performance & Specifications". Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  6. ^ "2008 Toyota Sequoia 4-DR w/SAB". Retrieved 2015-09-30. 
  7. ^ "2016 Toyota Sequoia SUV 4WD". 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. ^ 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
  11. ^ a b "Toyota Sets Sales Record for Sixth Year in a Row". 2004-11-17. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  12. ^ a b "Toyota Announces Best Sales Year in Its 46-Year History, Breaks Sales Record for Eighth Year in a Row". 2004-11-17. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  13. ^ a b "Toyota Reports 2005 and December Sales". Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  14. ^ a b "Toyota Reports 2007 and December Sales". Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  15. ^ "Toyota Reports 2008 and December Sales". Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  16. ^ a b "December 2012 and Year-End Sales Chart" (Press release). USA: Toyota. 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2013-01-04. 
  17. ^ "December 2013 and Year-End Sales Chart" (Press release). USA: Toyota. 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  18. ^ "December 2014 and Year-End Sales Chart" (Press release). USA: Toyota. 2015-01-05. Retrieved 2015-01-06. 
  19. ^ "December 2015 and Year-End Sales Chart" (Press release). USA: Toyota. 2016-01-05. Retrieved 2016-01-18. 
  20. ^ "Toyota Vehicles : Customer FAQs for 2003 Toyota Sequoia Recall / Toyota" (Press release). USA: Toyota. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  21. ^ Lavrinc, Damon (2010-07-27). "Report: Toyota to kill Sequoia, Tundra redesigned in 2014". Autoblog. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  22. ^ Rechtin, Mark (2012-08-03). "A look at Toyota future products". Autoweek. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 

External links[edit]

  • Toyota Sequoia global site
  • [1] 2nd generation Toyota Sequoia SUV site.
  • [2] Toyota press release detailing the launch of the 2008 Sequoia at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
  • [3] Toyota's official pricing announcement of the 2008 Toyota Sequoia.