Editor’s note: If you’re looking for information on a newer Toyota Sequoia, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Toyota Sequoia Review.
Based on the excellent full-size Tundra pickup, the 2015 Toyota Sequoia has all the toughness you could ask for in an SUV — yet its ride and handling are surprisingly refined. Its cabin is also first-rate; it hides the Sequoia’s work-truck origins with above-average materials and plenty of luxuries. It’s a good choice in its ever-shrinking class, which primarily appeals to large families and those looking to tow or haul big loads.
Unfortunately, the Sequoia doesn’t capture our full-size SUV recommendation like it once did. That’s due to the newly redesigned Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Suburban, which have rocketed to the top of the class after complete overhauls that included improved engines, better interior materials, more equipment and new styling. Still, the Sequoia remains an exceptionally well-rounded vehicle for those who require its industrial-grade capabilities. See the 2015 Toyota Sequoia models for sale near you
What’s New for 2015?
The Sequoia is unchanged for the 2015 model year.
What We Like
Excellent V8 performance; cavernous 3-row interior; lots of available features; decent ride and handling for a big rig
What We Don’t
Predictably poor gas mileage; distant dashboard controls; starting to show its age with new competition from GM
The Sequoia is either rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive with low-range gearing. Standard is a bulky 5.7-liter V8, which makes a robust 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. The Environmental Protection Agency rates the Sequoia at 13 miles per gallon in the city and 18 mpg on the highway with rear-wheel drive, or 13 mpg city/17 mpg hwy with 4-wheel drive. That’s pretty low, but not unusual for this type of vehicle.
Standard Features & Options
The 2015 Toyota Sequoia comes in SR5, Limited and Platinum trims.
Standard SR5 ($45,200) features include 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, running boards, a roof rack, a sunroof, trizone automatic climate control, a power driver’s seat, 8-passenger seating and an 8-speaker sound system with iPod/USB and Bluetooth connectivity. Optional is a 6.1-in touchscreen interface with Entune mobile app integration, a rearview camera and a navigation system that doesn’t have a hard drive.
The Limited ($54,300) adds 20-in alloy wheels, a power lift gate, leather upholstery, Optitron instrumentation, a rearview-mirror-mounted backup camera and 14-speaker premium JBL sound system. A 7-in, higher-resolution touchscreen with hard-drive-based navigation, including extra space for music storage, is optional.
The Platinum ($62,100) features adaptive cruise control, air suspension, second-row captain’s chairs for 7-passenger seating, perforated leather upholstery with power thigh support for the driver, wood-grain interior trim, a rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system with a 9-in monitor and the hard-drive-based navigation system as standard.
Some higher-end features are available on lower trim levels as options.
The Sequoia comes standard with stability control, eight airbags (including front-knee airbags) and 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Although full crash tests have not yet been carried out, the Sequoia earned four stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s rollover test.
Behind the Wheel
The Sequoia may be the size of a small bus, but its Camry-style steering wheel and light steering effort make it feel more maneuverable than it actually is. It also has an independent rear suspension, which helps it negotiate bumps in a relatively civilized way for a truck-based SUV. In tight spots, of course, the Sequoia struggles, but it loves the open road and eats up highway miles with quiet composure. Sequoia models with 4-wheel drive have 2-speed transfer cases with low-range gearing. If you plan to take your Sequoia off the road, you should be in good hands.
From the driver’s perspective, the Sequoia is distinctly reminiscent of the Tundra, which makes sense. The two vehicles share the same platform and the same dashboard. We give the Sequoia’s control layout extra style points for its 2-tone color treatment and stylized curves and knobs. However, the face of the dashboard is so flat and distant that the driver may not even be able to reach some of the controls. For example, turning the stereo knob on the right side can be hard. At least the materials are average, or better than average, by class standards.
The Sequoia’s front seats are about what you’d expect: wide and mostly contourless but adequately supportive for longer trips. The 40/20/40-split second-row seat has plenty of room for adults. It slides and reclines to accommodate various physiques, though we give the comfort edge to the Platinum’s standard second-row captain’s chairs (optional on the Limited). The 3-person third row is reasonably adult-friendly as well — once you’re situated, that is. Simply getting back there is the issue. Access is rather awkward via the Sequoia’s elongated rear door and flip-forward second-row chair.
Cargo space is a Sequoia specialty. There is 18.9 cu ft. of space behind the third row (roughly the size of a Ford Taurus trunk), 66.6 cu ft. behind the second row and a gargantuan 120.1 cu ft. with all the rear seats folded.
Other Cars to Consider
Chevrolet Tahoe — The fully redesigned Chevy Tahoe is now the class leader here, boasting huge interior improvements, more refined engines and a wide range of new standard and optional features.
Ford Expedition — Slightly updated for 2015, the Expedition boasts an excellent new turbocharged V6, which combines good fuel economy with strong power. Otherwise, it’s even more old-fashioned than the Sequoia and little match for the Tahoe.
Dodge Durango — The recently updated Durango isn’t as large as the others are. It’s a stretched Jeep Grand Cherokee rather than a converted pickup truck, but it does feature a refined rear-wheel-drive platform, three usable rows of seating and an optional 5.7-liter V8 with output numbers that come close to the Toyota’s.
We’re not usually this shallow, but what’s a full-size luxury SUV without 20-in diamond-cut-finish wheels and leather seats? The Sequoia Limited would be our choice. Find a Toyota Sequoia for sale