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2021 Toyota Sequoia vs. 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe: Which Is Better?


If you’re in the market for a big SUV, you’ve got options in the 2021 Toyota Sequoia or the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe. Which is better?

Quick Facts

  • The 2021 Toyota Sequoia offers space for up to eight passengers and Toyota’s reliability and resale value.
  • The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe is all-new for this model year and comes with plenty of upgraded amenities like an independent rear suspension and seating for up to nine passengers.

2021 Toyota Sequoia

2021 Toyota SequoiaBase price: $50,100 / Read our 2021 Sequoia Review

What we like: Powerful V8 engine; great reliability; strong resale; TRD offroad trims

What we would change: Aging design; outdated interior; tough to park; poor fuel economy; 7,400-pound tow rating is lacking

Overview: The 2021 Sequoia is Toyota’s big, brawny three-row family SUV. Unlike the Highlander that uses a more comfortable and plusher-riding sedan-like chassis, the Sequoia has a rugged and truck-like body-on-frame design. This means it’s better suited to towing heavier loads and off-roading. The flip side is that the Sequoia has more cumbersome driving manners, and while its standard V8 engine has plenty of power, its fuel-economy ratings are low.

What’s new for 2021: The 2021 Toyota Sequoia largely carries over for this model year. New for 2021 is the Nightshade model with its darkened badges and aesthetics based on the Limited.

Features and technology: The 2021 Toyota Sequoia is available in SR5, TRD Sport, Limited, TRD Pro, and Platinum trims. The Standard SR5 includes automatic LED headlights, fog lamps, running boards, a rear power window, a roof rack, a sunroof, a backup camera, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot, and rear cross-traffic warning systems, adaptive cruise control, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power driver seat, a sliding and reclining second-row seat, a reclining third-row seat, and rear-side sunshades.

Last year the Sequoia received a new infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/Amazon Alexa integration, but at only 7.0 inches, it’s small and dated for this class. Adding four-wheel drive is an extra $3,225. The TRD Sport adds different styling cues, a sport-tuned suspension, TRD anti-sway bars for better on-road handling, standard second-row captain’s chairs (reduces seating to seven, available on other trims). The TRD Sport package adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, power-reclining and fold-flat third-row seats, navigation, universal garage remote, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and premium JBL audio system.

The Limited adds heated front seats and the premium JBL audio system, a power liftgate, power-folding mirrors, parking sensors, a power passenger seat, heated front seats, a power-folding third-row seat, and unique instrumentation.

The Sequoia TRD Pro has four-wheel drive standard and offers much of the off-road capability found on Toyota’s other TRD Pro models. Fox shock absorbers with piggy-back reservoirs, a front skid plate, Rigid Industries LED fog lights, a platform-style roof rack, and a TRD cat-back exhaust round out the functional bits.

The Platinum features an adaptive and load-leveling air suspension, second-row captain’s chairs, ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, a 14-speaker JBL sound system, integrated navigation, and a rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system with a 9-in display. These last three tech items are optional on the Limited.

What does the future hold: The Toyota Sequoia is getting a bit long in the tooth compared to the competition. It will likely see a complete update soon. Find a 2021 Toyota Sequoia for sale 

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 Front Right Side in WhiteBase price: $49,000 / Read our 2021 Tahoe Review

What we like: Huge cargo space; standard V8 engine; optional diesel; standard 10-inch touchscreen; air suspension and magnetic ride control available

What we would change: Can get pricey fast; tough to park in tight lots; no adaptive cruise in base models

Overview: The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe is a truck-based, full-size, three-row sport utility vehicle, and it has been completely updated for 2021. The Chevy Tahoe retains its big and bold character and remains a true SUV that utilizes a truck-like body-on-frame design. This makes it ideal for towing and a favorite for active families.

What’s new for 2021: The 2021 Tahoe has been improved in every way, most notably in interior space, safety features, and technology. The Tahoe can seat up to nine passengers, but most buyers will opt for a 7- or 8-passenger configuration. The third row is now roomy enough to accommodate adults, and the Tahoe’s increased dimensions give it more cargo space than its rival, the Ford Expedition. This all-new Tahoe also promises its best road manners yet, thanks to an independent suspension, plus options such as magnetic ride control and air-ride suspension. The Chevy Tahoe is powered by a powerful V8 and further stands out with a new turbodiesel engine.

Features and technology The new Tahoe is available in six trims: LS, LT, RST, Z71, Premier, and High Country. The least-expensive Tahoe LS includes 8-way power front seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and mechanical limited-slip differential. Its standard infotainment system bundles a 10-in touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a 6-speaker audio system. GM’s OnStar connected services with 4G LTE and in-vehicle Wi-Fi are also standard. All Tahoe models include forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking.

A better choice is one trim level higher, the Tahoe, which includes a hands-free power tailgate, memory driver’s seat, leather seating, 9-speaker Bose audio system, wireless phone charging, and heated front seats. The Tahoe RST gets 22-in wheels and darkened aesthetics. The Tahoe Z71  comes with four-wheel-drive with a 2-speed transfer case (optional on other trims), hill-descent control, all-terrain terrains, and front skid plate.

The Tahoe Premier has magnetic ride control, 12-way power front seats with heating and ventilation, power-release rear seats, navigation, 10-speaker Bose audio, an 8-inch digital instrument cluster. And the top-line Tahoe High Country ($69,600) includes the 6.2-liter V8, heads-up display, surround-view camera, and rear camera mirror.

Adding 4-wheel drive to any model is an extra $3,000. We highly advise getting the Driver Alert Package ($790) that adds active safety features such as lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear parking sensors. This comes standard on Premier and High Country models.

For the first time, air suspension is available for the Tahoe on Z71 and High Country models. For towing, the Max Trailering Package adds a more robust radiator and cooling fan, plus hitch guidance and hitch view in the backup camera. Adaptive cruise control is available but reserved for top models.

The new turbodiesel Duramax inline-6 is available on the Tahoe LS, LT, RST, and Premier models. It costs $995 more than the standard 5.3-liter gasoline V8.

You can also order the new diesel engine in the Tahoe High Country, where it represents a $1,500 savings when compared to the standard 6.2-liter gasoline V8.

What does the future hold: The Chevrolet Tahoe is all-new for 2021, and it will continue to get package and trim updates well into the future. See 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe models for sale near you

Sequoia vs. Tahoe: Strengths comparison

Sequoia benefits: Good resale; good reliability

Tahoe benefits: Lower starting price; magnetic suspension available across the line

2021 Toyota Sequoia vs. 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe: Which is better?

The Sequoia is getting a bit old and needs a refresh, which is why, in this head-to-head, we have to recommend the more modern and more comfortable Tahoe. Find a 2021 Toyota Sequoia for sale, or Find a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe for sale

Popular Powertrains 2021 Toyota Sequoia 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
Engine 5.7-liter V8 6.2-liter V8
Horsepower 381 hp @5600 rpm 420 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque 401 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm 460 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic 10-speed automatic
Fuel Economy 15 mpg (13 city/15 hwy) 17 mpg (15 city/ 20 hwy)
Also Available NA 3.0-liter turbodiesel
Specs
Basic warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating NA NA
Max Seating Capacity 8 9
Wheelbase 122.0 inches 120.0 inches
Overall Length 205.1 inches 210.7 inches
Width 79.9 inches 81.0 inches
Height 77.0 inches 75.8 inches
Turning Diameter 38.1 feet 38.1 feeet
Headroom, Front 34.8 inches 42.3 inches
Headroom, Rear 34.9 inches 38.9 inches
Headroom, Third Row 34.5 inches 38.2 inches
Legroom, Front 42.5 inches 44.5 inches
Legroom, Rear 40.9 inches 42 inches
Legroom, Third Row 35.3 inches 34.9 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 66.4 inches 66.0 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 65.6 inches 64.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Third Row 65.7 inches 62.7 inches
EPA Passenger Volume NA NA
EPA Cargo Volume 18.9 cubic feet 25.5 cubic feet

 

 

Abigail Bassett
Abigail Bassett is a freelance journalist based in L.A. and she's covered automotive topics for a variety of well-known outlets including Fortune, Forbes, CNN and Motor Trend. She's also a television and video host and regularly covers breaking news, social justice, technology, health and wellness, and science in addition to her car coverage. When she's not working on her next project she's... Read More about Abigail Bassett

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