2023 Toyota Sequoia Capstone begins from behind

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It took Toyota practically 15 years to ship a brand new Toyota Sequoia, and what it’s made begins behind its massive rivals. 

In these 15 years, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition cycled by way of 4 generations. There have been 4 new Escalades and Navigators, too. 

Regardless of the lag, I had excessive hopes for the brand new Sequoia. However after spending per week with the 2023 Toyota Sequoia Capstone, all I might assume was, “is that this the perfect they might do?” 

I wasn’t the one one both. All of our editors had nits to select with the Sequoias we’d pushed currently, from midline fashions to the TRD Professional and this Capstone.

The highest-spec $76,960 Capstone mannequin is aimed on the stealth-wealth crowd the Land Cruiser left behind. However with a thirst for gas, questionable packaging, and middling inside supplies, the Capstone disappoints, identical to each different third-generation Sequoia.

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

Toyota Sequoia: A thirsty hybrid, and uncalm journey

Each 2023 Sequoia sports activities a hybrid powertrain meant to avoid wasting gas. The three.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 pairs with an electrical motor that’s situated within the 10-speed automated transmission. Rated at 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque, it has extra torque than any competitor other than the $150,000 Cadillac Escalade-V. The Sequoia can dash from 0 to 60 mph within the low six-second vary, by my estimate, present for a 6,185-pound car.

Upon chilly begin the powertrain sounds good with a deep exhaust word for a V-6. Half-throttle inputs off the road would possibly trick some into pondering this SUV has extra cylinders than it really does, however the higher-pitched wail of a V-6 kicks in at increased rpm.

The hybrid system tries to enhance gas economic system over the outgoing 5.7-liter V-8’s 15 mpg mixed, however it doesn’t do a lot. EPA gas economic system rankings verify in at 19 mpg metropolis, 22 freeway, 20 mixed. These are optimistic primarily based upon our expertise with this powertrain in each the Tundra and the Sequoia, the place it averaged between 14.5 and 17.9 mpg.

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

Whereas it lavished cash on the powertrain, Toyota left off some no-brainer {hardware}. It’s baffling that the costly Sequoia comes normal with a part-time four-wheel drive system, whereas each competitor has a full-time system. Toyota doesn’t even supply a full-time system within the Sequoia (or Tundra). At the very least my Capstone mannequin was outfitted with a limited-slip rear differential.

Regardless of utilizing adaptive dampers, the stable rear axle and suspension tune give the Sequoia a crude journey in comparison with rivals. Damaged pavement sends the Sequoia’s physique into shivers and pistoning. A Chevrolet Tahoe on air suspension and adaptive dampers outshines the Sequoia with a extra managed and comfy journey.

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

Toyota Sequoia: Poor inside packaging

The primary row of the Sequoia’s inside is sort of a house run. The entrance seats are among the greatest within the section with huge, supportive backs and bottoms just like the Expedition, however firmer cushions. The 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is shared with the Tundra and includes a clear, easy-to-read design with all pertinent data. It’s not reconfigurable like within the Expedition, however its format is cleaner and it shows extra pertinent data than what’s within the Tahoe, Yukon, and Wagoneer.

The 14.0-inch touchscreen has lots of area for data, however oddly doesn’t supply a split-screen choice, which might be particularly useful for  Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. There’s no homescreen baked into the system, and devoting 14 inches of area to the navigation map, radio interface, or car settings seems like so much. The area might’ve been used extra creatively. Smaller drivers should attain to faucet some CarPlay features, corresponding to “Now Taking part in,” on the high proper nook of the display.

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

The Sequoia’s inside trim goals for high-rent, however even the Capstone’s white-and-black leather-based and open-pore wooden do not feel substantial. Shut the middle console, or the little cubby on high of the middle armrest, and so they slam shut with a hole plastic crack. Even the door lock and unlock mechanisms ring hole. Toyota provides no choice to keep away from the white leather-based in top-trim Capstone fashions. 

The captain’s chairs within the second row are additionally huge and supportive, and so they’re extra comfy than these discovered within the Tahoe or Yukon. In addition they slide fore and aft to horse-trade area with the third row. That third row, nonetheless, and the cargo space behind it are poorly packaged. 

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

The third-row seats perch atop the hybrid system’s battery pack, which is mounted above the stable rear axle, making a excessive seating place. At 5-foot-10 I ran out of headroom regardless of a carved-out headliner. Toyota settled on this configuration as a result of it allowed for higher entry and exit to the third row whereas additionally avoiding foot site visitors on the battery. Engineers have been in a position to mount the second-row seats decrease whereas nonetheless permitting them to tumble ahead. “This location offered probably the most environment friendly duct routing to make sure correct air stream to the batteries (cooling),” Toyota spokesperson Josh Burns instructed The Automobile Connection. The Tundra pickup truck, which shares its chassis and operating gear, locations its hybrid battery below the second-row seat backside.

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

The third-row seat additionally doesn’t fold flat, so the cargo space doesn’t have a flat load ground. As a workaround, Toyota put in a small movable shelf within the cargo space. In its lowest place it leaves a small area beneath it that wouldn’t be very helpful for storage. The shelf additionally creates a liftover peak increased than simply the bumper. Sliding the shelf into the second place up increased makes an attempt to create a flat load ground with the folded third row, however that makes the area beneath it helpful for under flatter gadgets and creates a good increased load ground. Lifting the shelf to the best mounting level is senseless. It’s unclear why this feature exists in any respect, although Editorial Director Marty Padgett famous actual property indicators will match with the best mounting level. 

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

Toyota Sequoia: Appears like a Tundra SUV

The Sequoia continues to function the SUV model of the Tundra for its third era. From the B-pillars ahead it’s largely the identical because the brawny Tundra, which implies sculpted headlights, a large grille, and a high-set cowl that shortens the windshield due to this fact limiting ahead imaginative and prescient. 

“Given the excessive cowl, the thick A-pillars, and the massive trailer mirrors on my check Sequoia, I couldn’t see out of the rattling factor. That’s particularly dangerous contemplating how enormous this beast is,” mentioned senior editor Kirk Bell. The excessive cowl is a design flaw inherited from the Tundra. It may be noticed in a kick-up from the facet window line to the hood. Add within the transponder for Toyota’s accessible telematics system—it dangles within the windshield like an appendix in want of elimination—and the view out is poor.

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

The remainder of the Sequoia’s physique has a punched-out look with robust physique traces, whereas the chrome trim on the C-pillars creates a Lexus-like look that gives a touch of sophistication the remainder of the hulking design lacks. High-spec Capstone fashions just like the one examined journey on 22-inch wheels cribbed from the Tundra Capstone elements bin. 

2023 Toyota Sequoia

2023 Toyota Sequoia

Toyota  Sequoia: Is it well worth the cash?

A base 2023 Toyota Sequoia prices $60,960 together with a hefty $1,595 vacation spot cost (Toyota bolts these items collectively in Texas, not Japan). However the top-spec Capstone rings in at $77,385, and that’s with two-wheel drive. Add the part-time four-wheel drive system and the value jumps to simply over $80,000.

1000’s of drivers will resolve that the Sequoia’s ok just because it has a Toyota badge, or as a result of it’s accessible on a vendor lot, or for its hybrid system, or for its three rows of seats. Model loyalty runs deep. So do the abilities of Sequoia’s rivals, particularly the Expedition, Tahoe, and Yukon. The Sequoia’s beginning this race from behind.

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