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Not much has changed on the Sequoia since its launch nearly twenty years ago. With excellent performance and reliability, is there a best year Toyota Sequoia?

Thanks to its size and shape, nobody can mistake the Sequoia for a crossover. The rugged and aggressive SUV is derived from the Toyota Tundra and offers a lot of utility if you like to ride with a large group of people and tow heavy loads along.

2016 is the best year for Toyota Sequoia as it is considered one of the most reliable models for the large SUV. The vehicle offers many modern features like adaptive cruise control and is also smooth and comfortable on the road. It can tow heavy loads of up to 3 tons along with the passengers.

The Sequoia is the biggest SUV ever made by Toyota. It is designed for the American and Middle East markets, where buyers love huge cars. It can be considered the runner-up flagship SUV for Toyota, standing firmly behind the famous Land Cruiser.

Our team of experts believes that one of the key selling points of Sequoia is its reliability. The vehicle has received excellent ratings for reliability. You will never find it deprived of power, even when filled with passengers and towing along a heavy trailer. Although all this power and utility comes at the price of fuel economy, our experts think that the Sequoia is worth it thanks to its performance, utility, and handling capabilities.

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2016 Toyota Sequoia

The 2016 Sequoia boasts a roomy interior, a high-power engine, and excellent reliability. It has a heart of an old-school, rugged SUV. Whether you haul a large number of people, tow along heavy loads, or do both together, the Sequoia will not let you down on performance.

The Sequoia retains its muscularity and macho look, where most of its rivals like the Chevy Tahoe, Suburban, or even Toyota’s own Highlander have become sleeker and toned down. Originally based on the Tundra, the Sequoia is an SUV that incites reverence at first sight. No crossover can even come close to matching the muscular and tall front end.


During your first meeting with the Sequoia, it will not take long to notice how muscular and big it is. It easily dwarfs all cars and crossovers on the road. The bulky front end makes the vehicle stand above and out of the crowd.

The car has an impressive stance and is significantly more handsome than any minivan of the same passenger capacity. The rather large and impressive grille, long hood, and high beltline add beefiness. The large door handles, chromed sidemirrors, and wide fenders seem to give the SUV additional muscle aesthetically.

Step up and inside, and you find that the cabin shares a lot with the Toyota Tundra. The dashboard flaunts a metallic trim running from the gauge cluster, which runs over the center console, making it seem like part of the dashboard. It features simple controls and displays, which look stylish and are functional.

You might find the 2016 Sequoia with a bench-style seat or captain’s chairs for the second row. The Sequoia lets you fold down the second and third-row bench-style seats to get an exceptionally large flat floor.

The third-row seat is split 60/40 split, and the second row is split into three segments; 40/20/40. The third row is power-operated and can fold automatically at the push of a button. However, it is a little difficult to access and is best suited for teenagers and children. It can be a little difficult for adults to get in and out.

We would not exactly call the Sequoia a luxury vehicle, but it does have a lot of features and utility. It is well-built and very durable.


For the previous models of the Sequoia, Toyota gave buyers a choice between two V8 engines; the 4.6-liter and the 5.7-liter powerhouse. However, for the 2016 model, there was no 4.6-liter engine, and the Sequoia came with only a 5.7-liter engine.

Now, deleting the engine option is somewhat understandable as the vehicle is designed to tow large loads. But one feature that we seriously miss on the large and powerful Sequoia is serious off-roading capabilities and the missing off-road variant.

Toyota probably thought it was better to reserve the off-roading capabilities for the Land Cruiser and not allow the Sequoia to eat up Land Cruiser’s market.

The 5.7-liter V8 engine can produce 381 hp, and 401 pound-feet of torque, with the maximum torque hitting at only 2,200 rpm. These numbers depict the towing capabilities of the vehicle. The Sequoia can easily tow along loads of up to 7,400 pounds in towing mode.

Remove the load, put the pedal to the metal, and you have a 0-60 mph of only 6.7 seconds. This might sound like the average for other cars, but given the size of the Sequoia, we find the acceleration very impressive.

Even though the Sequoia is not suited for deep mudding or heavy off-roading, it does well with light and occasional off-roading. The four-wheel-drive variants allow power to be transferred to the rear and front axles using an electronic transfer case, which is operated by the turn of a knob. The push of a button can lock the differentials in the front and rear. An A-TRAC feature also helps the vehicle maintain traction on soft and slippery surfaces.

Like on the interior, there are many features on the undercarriage of the Sequoia borrowed from the Tundra. However, given that this is a family SUV, Toyota has tweaked the suspension to deliver better ride quality and handling than the Tundra. The SUV remains smooth and stable thanks to the independent four-wheel suspension. However, rough patches and uneven roads can be felt in the cabin.

The ride quality is good, thanks to the advanced rear suspension. But for those looking for additional comfort, the Platinum trim is equipped with a variable air suspension to give additional comfort and stability.

You will hardly ever need to push the Sequoia to high rpm with the large engine. But even if you do, the vehicle is well insulated to keep noise away and feels quiet and comfortable.

Space and Comfort

The Sequoia can comfortably seat up to eight passengers, with two in the front and three on each second and third rows. Even six-footers have no problem sitting in the front seats or the second row. The rear doors of the SUV are wide and allow passengers to get on and off without any hassle, although it does require you to step up.

If you find a variant with the optional captain’s chairs installed in the second row, the capacity of this vehicle will be reduced by one to seven passengers. The seats on the Sequoia, whether front, second-row bench or captain’s chairs, and the third-row bench, all offer excellent comfort and bolstering.

Although the seats lack a little side support, we do not expect you to take the Sequoia through high=speed corners or sharp bends.

We cannot call the Sequoia a luxury SUV, but it comes with many practical amenities like multiple storage bins and cup holders. Most of the material used inside the vehicle is easy to clean, depicting how the vehicle is oriented towards families with small children.

Although you can seat three adults on the third-row seats, it can be a little inconvenient. It is not easy to get in or out of the third-row seat, and for taller adults, the legroom can feel a bit tight. The second-row seats do have a sliding range of around six inches, which can push the seats forward if you are carrying eight adult passengers.

The overall build quality of the vehicle is top-notch. We have a slight issue with buttons and controls on the dash, which seem to be slightly outdated and taken from the older Tundra. There is no doubt that these buttons are durable, but they do not sit too well in the Sequoia.


The 2016 Sequoia is equipped with many safety features; even its size and mass play a considerable role in the vehicle’s safety. The following safety features are standard on the Sequoia:

  • Frontal airbags are mounted in the dashboard for the passenger and in the steering wheel for the driver. These offer protection in case of a frontal impact
  • Seat-mounted side airbags for front passenger and driver, which protect them in case of a rollover or a side impact
  • Side curtain airbags for all three rows of seats to ensure maximum protection in case of a side impact or rollover
  • Overhead airbags keep the head and neck of the occupants secure during a rollover or a forceful impact
  • Knee airbags for the front passenger and driver help protect the lower body
  • Antilock brakes keep the wheels from locking up during hard braking. This maintains traction and ensures control on slippery surfaces
  • Stability control limits the power of the vehicle to make sure it stays under the driver’s control at all times
  • Rearview camera is standard on all variants
  • Parking sensors are standard on Limited and Platinum variants

The National Highway Traffic Security Administration (NHTSA) has not rated the 2016 Sequoia for frontal and side crashes, but it awards it four stars out of five for rollover resistance.

Similarly, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) does not offer ratings for the Toyota Sequoia.


There is a significant difference in price between the base trim and the fully-loaded trim of the Sequoia. However, even the base trim comes with a lot of useful features. There are three trim options available; SR5, Limited, and Platinum.

The Sequoia SR5 comes equipped with:

  • Power mirrors, door locks, and windows
  • Eight speaker audio system with USB port
  • Cruise control
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • Eight-way power-adjustable driver seat
  • Telescoping/Tilting steering wheel with leather trim and controls for air conditioner and audio system
  • Towing package
  • Rearview camera
  • Entune connectivity, which allows users to connect their smartphone to the audio system for navigation functions

A step above the SR5 is the Limited trim, which adds the following features:

  • Power folding for the third-row seat
  • Power tailgate
  • Leather upholstery
  • Parking sensors
  • 20-inch wheels
  • JBL audio system
  • Optional blind-spot monitors, memory mirrors, and memory seat for the driver

Platinum is the top-of-the-line variant for the Sequoia, and it adds the following features:

  • Touchscreen navigation
  • Rear Blu-Ray 9.0-inch touchscreen entertainment system
  • Heated second-row seats
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Twelve-way power-adjustable driver seat
  • Air suspension with variable driving modes

There were also options for upgrading the Platinum further with features like:

  • Improved TRD brakes
  • Front skid plates
  • Remote engine start

Fuel Economy

The Sequoia is a thirsty, very thirsty beast. We do not recommend it as a daily running vehicle, especially if you are not into carpooling. But considering its utility and towing capacity, we accept the compromise on fuel economy.

The official EPA ratings for the rear-wheel-drive Sequoia stand at 13 mpg for city driving, 17 mpg for highway driving, and 15 mpg for combined driving. Switch over to four-wheel-drive, and the numbers change to 13 mpg in the city, 17 mpg on the highway, and 14 mpg combined.

The fuel economy of the Sequoia will not come as a surprise to most, given its impressive power and huge size. But advanced upgrades on rivals like Ford Expedition, Chevy Suburban, and Tahoe make them more fuel-efficient than the Sequoia.

Price Range of 2016 Toyota Sequoia

The 2016 Sequoia comes between $31,000 and $55,000, with an average price of around $43,000. The variation in prices can be due to location, mileage, trim level, optional add-ons, and vehicle condition.

Running Costs of 2016 Toyota Sequoia

The estimated annual cost of fuel, maintenance, insurance, and repairs is around $6,000 for the Toyota Sequoia. This figure translates to around $30,000 for five years, making it on the higher end. The Ford Expedition, for example, costs around $26,000 if used for five years.

Reliability of 2016 Toyota Sequoia

J.D Power awards the 2016 Sequoia four out of five reliability ratings. This rating means that the vehicle is better than most other vehicles regarding dependability. 

Best Year Toyota Sequoia

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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