By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 7.9
The 2017 Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV is as massive and sturdy as the tree for which it is named. Unfortunately, the Sequoia’s aging design places it behind newer SUVs in the areas of towing, design and power. GMC’s Yukon and Yukon XL, for example, offer more horsepower and cargo space, while the Ford Expedition’s 9,200-pound tow rating dwarfs the Sequoia’s 7,400-pound rating. Still, the Sequoia offers plenty of room for growing families, and its 5.7-liter V8 has no problem moving this SUV around. Toyota’s Multi-mode 4-wheel drive allows the Sequoia to capably manage tough off-road situations, something unit-body SUVs have trouble mastering. Toss in the Sequoia’s excellent reliability and resale figures and it’s easy to see why the 2017 Sequoia has so many repeat customers.
If you can live with its lesser towing and mpg ratings, the 2017 Toyota Sequoia SUV offers all the things for which people buy big SUVs, plus an exceptional history of quality, reliability and resale.
KBB Expert Ratings
For 2017, the Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV carries over with no changes of note.
A full-size body-on-frame SUV will never ride or drive like a lighter, unit-body crossover SUV, but compared to its direct competitors, Toyota’s 2017 Sequoia SUV is easily one...
... of the more comfortable titans to pilot. The Sequoia’s ride is on the firm side, but remains smooth so long as the road does too. An independent rear suspension helps this big SUV round corners with little commotion and proves helpful in off-road situations. Toss in the Platinum trim’s air-spring suspension and things go from good to better. The Sequoia’s steering response is fairly quick, although the wheel can feel heavy during low-speed maneuvers. Inside, the Sequoia’s thorough soundproofing efforts keep noise levels to a minimum, even in the 3rd-row seat area. An available proximity-warning system and rearview camera help greatly when attempting to maneuver the Sequoia’s vast bulk, as does the Platinum’s blind-spot monitor that should be standard on every trim.
PROVEN RUGGED DURABILITY
Given the soaring price tag for full-size SUVs, it’s nice to know investing your hard-earned cash in a 2017 Toyota Sequoia will have generous returns when it comes time to sell. The Sequoia’s proven long-term reliability rating should also add peace of mind.
ENTUNE MULTIMEDIA AUDIO
There are a lot of different infotainment systems out there, but we think Toyota’s Entune audio is both easy to operate and intuitive, making it one of our favorites. Toyota’s Entune App allows smartphone integration for streaming navigation, iHeartRadio or Pandora, real-time traffic, weather, sports and gas prices.
The 2017 Toyota Sequoia SUV is a true 8-seater, with a 3rd-row seat that really will accommodate adults and is easily reached, thanks to big rear doors and sliding 2nd-row seats. The 3-passenger 2nd-row bench seat allows individual sections to slide fore-and-aft and also fold flat. Noteworthy options include captain’s chairs for the second row and a power-folding feature for the third row. Basically, the Sequoia’s interior will swap around into any configuration needed. The design is somewhat bland and a couple notches below sinfully luxurious but, as would be expected of a Toyota, the assembly detail is without fault.
In all its majestic glory the Sequoia for 2017 is the longest, widest and tallest full-size SUV Toyota builds and, with its long wheelbase, it appears even longer. But that long wheelbase pays dividends -- it enhances interior room, improves ride quality, contributes to directional stability and, with the resultant short overhangs, gives extra clearance when approaching steep angles. The Sequoia’s appearance is fairly innocuous and can’t be accused of standing out in a crowd, but it’s clean, functional and certainly not unattractive.
There are three trim levels for Toyota’s 2017 Sequoia SUV: SR5, Limited and Platinum. Standard equipment on the SR5 includes integrated fog lights, power tilt/slide moonroof, rearview camera, roof rack, 3-zone automatic climate control, leather-trimmed tilt/telescoping steering wheel with Bluetooth hands-free telephone controls, 8-way driver’s and 4-way front passenger’s seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, all the expected power and convenience features and Entune Audio Plus. The Limited adds a power liftgate, 20-inch wheels, leather seating, Optitron instruments and Entune Premium Audio. The Platinum adds perforated leather seating, Dynamic laser cruise control, Adaptive Variable Suspension, air suspension and Entune Premium JBL Audio.
All three of the Sequoia’s trim levels -- SR5, Limited and Platinum -- are available with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD). Options for the SR5 include a Sport Package, with 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and a Premium Package, with leather-trimmed seating, power-reclining fold-flat 3rd-row seat, heated front seats, and the Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite. Optional on the Limited is a rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system with 9-inch display and 7-passenger seating with 2nd-row captain’s chairs. The only option for the Platinum is Blizzard Pearl exterior color.
One of the best features offered in Toyota’s full-size Sequoia SUV for 2017 is its strong and quiet 5.7-liter V8 engine, with 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. It’s unobtrusively reassuring and is equal to any task the Sequoia may be asked to accomplish. It’s matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission that includes a low first gear for getting a heavy load moving and two overdrive gears that help enhance fuel economy and reduce noise at highway speeds. Taken together, the engine and transmission contribute to the Sequoia’s towing capacity of 7,400 pounds.
381 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
401 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/17 mpg (RWD), 13/17 mpg (4WD), 9/12 mpg (E85, 4WD)
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The rear-wheel-drive 2017 Toyota Sequoia SR5 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $46,500, while the mid-level Limited starts just over $55,250. Opting for 4-wheel drive will add a few thousand more, and the top-of-the-line Platinum model starts at about $63,000. Overall, the Toyota Sequoia’s price range overlaps those of the Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban 1500, but is slightly more expensive than the Nissan Armada. Before heading off to the dealer, a check of the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price will show what other buyers in your area are actually paying for the 2017 Sequoia. For a longer-term investment, the Sequoia is excellent and should hold its resale value better than any other large SUV.