Avatar photo

By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

New Toyota Sequoia debuts as the ‘upscale Prado’ South Africa cannot have

Like the new Tundra bakkie, the Sequoia rides on the same TNGA-F platform as the Land Cruiser 300.

Its predecessor having been around for 15 years, Toyota officially unveiled the all-new Sequoia in the early hours of Wednesday morning (26 January).

A model that slots-in between the Prado and Land Cruiser 300 on size, the new internally designated XK80 Sequoia is, as with the previous two generations, spun-off of the Tundra that made its debut last year.

With Toyota’s decision not to offer the Land Cruiser in the United States anymore, the Sequoia effectively becomes the brand’s flagship SUV, however, like with its bakkie sibling, it also moves to the TNGA-F body-on-frame platform that debuted with the Land Cruiser 300.

Externally, the Sequoia takes after the Tundra with the same headlight and grille design, while the rear and side profile have been soften to appear more compact than the outgoing XK70.

New Toyota Sequoia revealed
Rear facia, like the side profile, no longer as blocky as the old Sequoia.

Appearing noticeably smaller and less blocky than before, the Sequoia is also lighter and according to Toyota, more agile, though no details regarding the weight drop or dimensions were provided.

The introduction of the new platform has however seen a claimed improvement in rigidity and ride quality, with Toyota reporting a towing capacity of 4 082 kg, 22% better than the old Sequoia, and an improved ride thanks to the first time inclusion of Adaptive Variable Suspension.

ALSO READ: Brawny all-new Land Cruiser 300 based Toyota Tundra bows

Like the Tundra, the Sequoia’s biggest departure is a completely redesigned interior that seats seven or six depending on the trim level.

For the States, a choice of five grades will be offered with the entry-level SR5 coming equipped as standard with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, surround-view camera system, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a sunroof.

New Toyota Sequoia revealed
Wood detailing comes standard only on the top-spec Capstone.

Upgrading to the SR5 Premium brings a bigger 14-inch display, electric tailgate, electrically folding third-row and soft-tex faux leather seats.

Skewed more towards off-road prowess, the SR5 can also fitted with the TRD Sport package, which swaps the standard 18-inch alloy wheels for matte black 20-inch alloys, while also gaining specifically tuned TRD springs and Bilstein shock absorbers.

Stepping-up from the SR5, the Limited grade gets the 14-inch infotainment system as standard, as well as heated and ventilated front seats, an electrically folding third-row, heated steering wheel, second and third row window blinds and a hands-free electric tailgate.

Available also on the SR5, the Limited can additionally be had with the more hardcore TRD Off-Road package.

New Toyota Sequoia revealed
The TRD Pro represents the flagship off-road focused model.

An upgrade of the TRD Sport, the Off-Road is only offered on four-wheel-drive models and adds a locking rear differential, Downhill Assist Control and bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels to the equation, as well as the Multi-Terrain Select with Crawl Control, the Bilstein shocks and TRD springs, alloy pedals and TRD detailing inside.

Moving a notch up from the Limited, the Platinum receives heating and venting for the second and third rows, Heads-Up Display, the upgraded LED headlights, wireless smartphone charging, a captain’s chair second row configuration as standard, and a 14-speaker JBL sound system.

Classified as a model of its own instead of an add-on package like the Premium on the SR5 and its TRD ‘siblings’, the TRD Pro represents the flagship off-road model that builds on the features already offered by the TRD Off-Road.

Unique to it though are Fox Racing shock absorbers, a block letter TOYOTA grille with an integrated LED light bar, 18-inch model specific TRD alloy wheels, a TRD branded exhaust tip, an aluminium TRD front bashplate and TRD badging on the gear lever and steering wheel.

New Toyota Sequoia revealed
Unique to the Pro are black 18-inch wheels and TRD roof racks.

Representing the very top of the Sequoia range, the Capstone, a moniker unveiled earlier this month on the Tundra, receives the same level of spec as the Platinum, plus a number of features bespoke to it.

This includes chrome exterior detailing, 22-inch chrome alloy wheels, acoustic glass and better sound deadening materials, real open-pore American Walnut wood inserts on the centre console and dashboard, LED mood lighting, electric side-steps, Capstone badging and semi-aniline leather seats.

On the safety front, all models come as standard with Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.5, comprising a revised Pre-Collision with Pedestrian Detection system, Lane Departure Warning with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert with Automatic Braking and Rear Seat Alert exclusive to the Capstone.

Underneath the bonnet, the Sequoia follows the same path as the Tundra by losing its V8 engine for the twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre badged 3.4-litre V6 used in the Land Cruiser 300, albeit with standard hybrid assistance.

New Toyota Sequoia revealed
Interior of the TRD Pro

This means the former model’s optional powerunit, the i-Force Max, is the sole option for the Sequoia with no other units planned. Output is therefore rated at 326kW/790Nm with drive going to the rear or all four wheels via the same 10-speed automatic gearbox.

In all, the Sequoia will have a colour palette spanning eleven hues; white, Blueprint, Lunar Rock, Celestial Silver, Smoked Mesquite, Army Green, Supersonic Red, Midnight Black Metallic, Magnetic Grey Metallic, Wind Chill Pearl and the TRD exclusive Solar Orange.

Going on sale later this year, the Sequoia will be build alongside the Tundra at Toyota’s San Antonio Plant in Texas with pricing still to be confirmed. As before though, it will only be made in left-hand-drive.

To see how the Sequoia’s petrol engine fares in the Land Cruiser 300 relative to the new turbodiesel, click here.

Read more on these topics

Motoring News Toyota

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits