2020 vs 2021: What's the Difference?
Toyota has made one change to the Sequoia as it transitioned this SUV from the 2020 to the 2021 model year. It brought a new trim to the lineup - the Nightshade Special Edition. This trim brings some extra attitude to the SUV, as it comes with elements like black wheels, dark chrome accents, and bold exterior badging.
What Do the Various Trim Levels Offer?
The lineup starts out with the TRD Sport and SR5. They both have LED headlights, fog lights, and Daytime Running Lights. While the SR5 has some chrome or silver exterior accents, the SR5 has a lot of black details around its frame.
Both trims have a moonroof, fabric seats, and advanced infotainment systems. The SR5 has standard seating for eight people, and the TRD Sport is set up to accommodate seven total passengers. They can be upgraded with leather upholstery, heated front seats, and navigation.
Those three upgrades that were just mentioned become standard on the Limited trim. On top of those nicer amenities, the Limited has heated side mirrors that can fold themselves in and automatically dim if bright lights are detected. The Limited's cargo net helps with organization, and its power liftgate is convenient to use.
The new trim is the Nightshade Special Edition. It has dark chrome around its fog lights, bumpers, and front grille. Its heated side mirrors are black, as are its door handles and badging. Black leather seats add to the overall feel of the vehicle.
The Nightshade Special Edition and the Platinum both have adaptive variable suspension. This system actively works to smooth out the ride by making small adjustments based on the feedback it receives. In the Platinum, there are perforated leather seats, with heating and ventilation integrated into the front seats. People in the Platinum's second-row captain's chairs also have heated seats. The Platinum has special technology that enhances its audio quality.
In the TRD Pro, 4WD is standard. The TRD Pro gets to benefit from Rigid Industries LED fog lights and FOX shocks, and it stands out with special logos and skid plates. Like the Nightshade, the TRD Pro has black leather seats. Red stitching on the seats adds a nice touch.
Which Trim is Right for Me?
The TRD Pro and Nightshade Editions are going to look the most aggressive, with the TRD Pro being most appropriate for off-roading. With the Platinum, things are very upscale, and the quality of every component is evident. However, these trims are pricey, and they might not be reasonable for the average buyer.
Because the Sequoia has so many standard features, it might be best to stick with the SR5. If people want more luxury, the SR5 has several available add-ons.
What Kind of Technology Does it Have?
Every Sequoia features a seven-inch touchscreen. The touchscreen comes with smartphone compatibility, Bluetooth and SiriusXM. It's nice to have Amazon Alexa as well, since it makes so many tasks much easier to complete. Many of the higher trims come standard with navigation and a set of JBL speakers. Advanced voice recognition is an available feature that makes it much simple to give commands or look something up using the infotainment system.
How Does It Perform?
A mighty 5.7-liter V8 engine powers the 2021 Sequoia. It works together with a six-speed electronically controlled transmission. Tow/Haul mode can be selected when pulling a trailer, and towing capacity is an impressive 7,400 pounds.
With 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, the Sequoia feels quite strong and rivals what many trucks can do. Rear-wheel drive is standard, just like it is in many high-performance vehicles. There is the option to get a 4WD Sequoia. The 4x4 system can come with a limited-slip center differential that can be locked in place. The TRD Pro models come with special suspension so they can better handle rough terrain.
Is It Safe and Reliable?
A driver can feel confident when behind the wheel of a Toyota Sequoia. Multiple systems have been put in place to keep drivers aware of what's around them. Blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a backup camera can be useful pretty much every time someone fires up the engine. The Toyota can keep an eye out for potential frontal collisions, and if it seems like it's about to hit a vehicle or pedestrian in its path, it will warn the driver and hit the brakes.
In addition, this SUV can help people stay centered in a lane. It has sensors that can see lane markings, so it knows when it's drifting to one side or the other. The high beams can automatically turn on when there are no lights around, and the cruise control system can maintain safe distancing by adjusting speed.
What's the Interior Like?
Some Sequoias have eight seats, while others have seven seats. It all depends on whether the middle row has two captain's chairs or a three-seat bench seat. Seats could be fabric, leather, or a more refined perforated leather. Up front, the driver and passenger could enjoy heated and ventilated front seats, and people in the middle row may have heated seats as well.
This spacious SUV has a generous amount of leg room (40.9 inches) in the second row. In the back, there isn't quite as much space, with there being 35.3 inches of leg room. Toyota has made it easy to fold the seats down or flip them back up again, depending on whether someone needs more room for cargo or passengers. Maximum cargo capacity when all the rear seats are lowered is 120 cubic feet.
Toyota has thoughtfully designed the Sequoia. It can come with three zones for heating and cooling, rear-seat climate controls, and several storage compartments that can be used to keep the cabin tidy.
What are the Alternatives to this Model?
Some other three-row SUVs that feel somewhat similar to the Sequoia are the Ford Expedition, Chevy Tahoe, Lexus GX 460, and GMC Yukon.
Note: All Toyota Sequoia lease prices and dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.