2019 Toyota Sequoia Review

Written by Anqoinette Crosby

With relatives in town for the holidays, the 2019 Toyota Sequoia proved itself the quintessential family friendly SUV. Amply equipped, the welcoming and inviting Sequoia comfortably ferried us throughout Maryland, Virginia and the District, all while 

garnering a host of compliments for its quietness and smooth ride quality.


Even better, with all three rows occupied to capacity, I was thrilled to find space was never an issue. In previous years, we had to use two vehicles to transport our large group, which was a huge hassle and created additional expense. The Sequoia’s flexible seating options and spaciousness made our sightseeing and shopping trips a more communal experience and enhanced our holiday season.


Further, each of my passengers found more than enough cup holders and cubbies to hold their warm winter beverages and tuck away their small personal belongings. I especially appreciated this when cleaning up after my guests revealed the passenger compartment to be neat and tidy.


When you’re not chauffeuring folks around town, but need to haul a sizeable load of stuff, the Sequoia’s voracious appetite for cargo is truly awe-inspiring. One of the largest in its class, the Toyota is good for over 19 cubic feet of cargo space. Airport runs were laughably efficient wth more than ample room for a dozen carry-on pieces, ice skates and a snowboard.


Oh, by the way, those 19 cubic feet are accessible with the second and third rows in place. Folding them away opens a cavernous120 cubic feet of real estate. What’s more, if you’re into snowmobiling or other heavy recreational toys, the big Toyota boasts a maximum towing capacity of up 7,400 pounds.


The 2019 Toyota Sequoia takes the “utility” aspect of its designation quite literally.


On the other hand, that capability does come at the expense of sheer size. Traversing the congested urban jungle can be a bit of a hassle at times. Parking, both on the street and in garages also requires some extra effort and attention.


While we’re discussing its shortcomings, the Sequoia’s 6.1-inch touchscreen for the Entune infotainment system feels small and antiquated. It also lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility. Though I did find it to be user friendly, operating it from the driver’s seat required an uncomfortable stretch to reach it.


With that said though, the Sequoia’s plethora of standard features includes a moonroof, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, a USB port, and Bluetooth.

The roster of standard driver assistance equipment is generous too, listing a rearview camera, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors and Toyota Safety Sense (TSS). The TSS features include pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.


However, while you have four trim packages from which to choose, the interior design won’t exactly wow you—even in the upper price ranges. These include (in order of cost) SR5, TRD Sport, Limited, and Platinum. Of course, when you consider the product planning team had to be careful to avoid encroaching upon Lexus GX territory, this conservative approach begins to make sense.


As a result—even at the $48,700 starting price—cloth upholstery and an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat are the baseline. However, my Limited-trimmed tester ($60,420 starting price) added a glimmer of luxury to the quotient with features like upgraded instrumentation, 20-inch wheels and a power liftgate.


The Limited’s heated, power-adjustable, leather front seats found favor with me too, There was also a navigation system, a leather wrapped steering wheel, sunshades for the second and third rows and a sweet-sounding JBL premium audio system.


Powering the brawny 2019 Toyota Sequoia was a robust 5.7-liter V8 delivering 381 horsepower to a six-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, four-wheel drive is optional.


Of course,  you may do a double-take at the Sequoia’s fuel-economy rating of

13-mpg city and 17-mpg highway, but when you consider its size and the spaciousness it affords, there has to be a trade off somewhere.


Pricing for the 2019 Toyota Sequoia starts at $48,700.