This full-size SUV may not come to Australia but it suggests what could be in the works for the Land Cruiser in the coming years
Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) has unveiled the third-generation Sequoia full-size SUV – the first new model in 15 years – featuring an all-new platform shared with the Land Cruiser 300 Series and new-gen Lexus LX, and a petrol-hybrid powertrain designed to improve fuel efficiency while broadening its skillset.
Functioning as an SUV derivative of the US-market Tundra pick-up, the Sequoia has historically been focused on the North American market due to its US sourcing and left-hand-drive configuration, however Toyota Australia has recently expressed interest in bringing the Tundra to Australia – which could also open the door for its SUV derivative.
The switch to Toyota’s new-generation GA-F platform has retired the 5.7-litre naturally-aspirated V8 from the previous Sequoia, replacing it with a new 3.4-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 engine paired with an electric motor which is referred to as the ‘i-Force Max’ powertrain.
This combination produces 326kW of power and 790Nm of torque, and while an official combined fuel economy figure hasn’t yet been released, Toyota has a strong reputation for developing incredibly efficient hybrid drivetrains.
Toyota’s decision to fit the i-Force Max powertrain in the Sequoia has only increased the expectation for this hybrid system to make its way into the Land Cruiser 300 Series, however with its global manufacturing network struggling to provide enough vehicles on many levels, such integration may be delayed.
Buyers in the US are offered a single 10-speed automatic transmission option, coupled with either rear-wheel drive or a part-time four-wheel-drive system.
Thanks to the GA-F platform’s newly-developed body-on-frame underpinnings, the third-gen Sequoia will likely provide a notable increase in refinement and off-road capability as we have seen in the Land Cruiser 300 Series.
Improvements to both the chassis and powertrain have seen the Sequoia’s towing capacity increase by almost 22 percent to 4000kg braked, with a dedicated towing mode forcing the hybrid system to be active almost all of the time.
Buyers can also option adaptive air suspension, enabling control over the ride height during towing as well as adjusting to road conditions on the fly.
The 2022 Sequoia comes standard with eight seats, however buyers can option a seven-seat version that places two captain’s chairs in the second row – similar to what we’ve seen in Australia with large SUVs such as the Hyundai Palisade and Mazda CX-9.
With the last generation dating back to 2007, the new-gen Sequoia has taken a big step up in interior technology and the cabin design has been comprehensively modernised.
The dashboard now accommodates either an 8.0-inch or 14.0-inch touchscreen display that uses Toyota’s new infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Buyers who opt for the more expensive grades gain features like a 14-speaker JBL sound system, wireless phone charging, a head-up display, a panoramic sunroof and premium LED headlights and tail-lights.
TMNA has largely mirrored the Tundra range by offering the Sequoia in SR5, Limited, Platinum and Capstone grades, but it’s the TRD Pro that is likely to get the most attention thanks to its brawny exterior design.
Available only with 4WD, the Sequoia TRD Pro adds specially tuned Fox internal-bypass shocks, black 18-inch alloys wheels, a 6mm skid plate, a locking rear differential and a dual exhaust system that dials up the attitude in both a visual and audible sense.
The interior has also been trimmed accordingly with patterned black leather trim and ‘TRD’ lettering on the heated steering wheel and gear knob.
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