Toyota Sequoia vs. Highlander: Which One’s Best for Me?

Review Summary

Regardless of whether you are a faithful Toyota client or contemplating getting your initial one particular, the two of these SUVs are outstanding possibilities. Nevertheless, although they are each wonderful, a few significant variations independent them.

If income is not a element and you are seeking for a substantial-doing complete-dimension SUV, the all-new Sequoia may possibly capture your eye. This SUV, constructed on the Tundra platform, is developed for big households that get out and need one thing that can operate hard.

However, if you’re seeking for a a lot more cost-effective option but nonetheless want an SUV, the Highlander offers a smaller mid-dimensions that is 1 of the most well-liked SUVs in its group. You even now have seating for eight and AWD. Additionally, with a more compact engine, you get considerably far better gas economic system.

Beneath we are heading to go over some important features of each SUVs. Then we are going to examine them head-to-head in 4 categories: efficiency, value, gas economic climate, and technological innovation.

At a Glance

Toyota Sequoia vs Highlander side by side
(Left) Toyota Sequoia Limited 2016 | Image Credit: RL GNZLZ from Chile, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0; (Right) 2021 Toyota Highlander XLE AWD | Image Credit: Kevauto, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0

Let us look at the key details of every merchandise.

  • Starting MSRP: $50,500
  • Warranty: 36 months / 36,000 miles
  • Horsepower: 437
  • Engine: i-FORCE MAX
  • Towing Capability: 9000 pounds (lbs)
  • Estimated mpg: Up to 13 city / 17 highway
  • Seating capacity: 7–8
  • Starting MSRP: $35,405
  • Warranty: 36 months / 36,000 miles
  • Horsepower: 295
  • Engine: 3.5-liter V-6
  • Towing Capability: 5000lbs
  • Estimated mpg: Up to 21 city / 29 highway
  • Seating capacity: 8

Overview of Sequoia:

Toyota Sequoia Limited 2016
Toyota Sequoia Limited 2016 | Image Credit: RL GNZLZ from Chile, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0

For the 2022 product year Sequoia, Toyota succumbed to provide concerns and experienced stock shortages. Nonetheless, they’re coming in strong for their 2023 designs, which are going to be accessible this summer time. This Sequoia has been redesigned to give devoted Toyota owners one thing new to drive.

With new smooth lines, the new-to-the-Sequoia i-Drive MAX powertrain will just take you wherever you want to go. Almost everything on this SUV has been redesigned to make it worthy of that “new SUV” title.


This 12 months, the Sequoia is obtaining a suspension up grade. They now attribute an impartial entrance suspension and a new rack-mounted power steering method. In addition, this SUV has a multi-website link suspension with an air suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension in the rear. All these enhancements arrive collectively to enhance managing and towing capabilities.

At first on the Toyota Tundra, the i-Pressure MAX engine and hybrid powertrain pump out an remarkable 437 horsepower. It’s offered in both all-wheel drive (AWD) and front-wheel drive (FWD) in the lower trim ranges, but the TRD Professional trim is AWD only.

With the new handling and electricity improvements that the Sequoia has this year, it’s no wonder the towing abilities have increased to an amazing nine,000lbs. This is almost a 22% enhance above the prior technology. The SUV also arrives with an integrated trailer brake controller, completely ready to haul proper from the factory.


Luxurious and ease and comfort were top-of-mind when Toyota went to the drawing board for this redesign. They desired to construct an SUV that could operate difficult, seem great, and be cozy for the entire loved ones. This is obvious by the common and obtainable features.

The Sequoia characteristics an exclusive six-inch sliding 3rd row, so based on whether or not you need much more place for passengers or cargo, you have what you want. Speaking of travellers, you can even update to heated and cooled 2nd and 3rd-row seating for their comfort and ease.

In addition to the sliding 3rd-row, the cargo area also involves an Adjustable Cargo Shelf Program. So, regardless of whether you lay the third row down or not, you will have ample storage options to in shape your requirements. If this isn’t adequate awesomeness in the inside, you can also get real leather seats or a entire-duration moonroof.

2023 Toyota Sequoia
2023 Toyota Sequoia | Image Credit: Blueck, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0

Technology and Safety

One more factor that the Sequoia borrowed from the Tundra is its infotainment technique. You get both an eight-inch monitor, or you can improve to the offered 14-inch touchscreen. Or, if you’d instead maintain your arms on the wheel, just say, “Hey Toyota,” and you can voice-handle many things on the infotainment program.

In addition to the business expectations of Apple Carplay and Android Car, you can also website link Apple Songs or Amazon Songs via built-in streaming your Sequoia gives. Plus, if you want a 4G Wi-Fi link in the SUV, you include it for an extra monthly subscription.

We wouldn’t be conversing about Toyota if we didn’t discuss about the safety characteristics. In addition to obtaining all the common Toyota safety systems such as blind-place checking or rear cross-visitors alert, the new Sequoia also consists of the Toyota Security Sense 2.five (TSS).

Characteristics included with TSS are a Pre-Collision Program with Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and computerized substantial beams. All these sophisticated functions are developed to boost the protection of the SUV’s occupants and pedestrians.

Overview of Highlander:

2021 Toyota Highlander XLE AWD
2021 Toyota Highlander XLE AWD | Image Credit: Kevauto, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0

There may not be a great deal of modifications this calendar year for the Highlander, however it remains 1 of the prime picks in the sector for a mid-dimensions SUV. The only considerable adjust to the Highlander line is the addition of the Bronze Edition hybrid. An additional minimal adjust is the XLE and up trims now appear normal with an adjustable passenger seat.


If you’re seeking for a strong-carrying out engine, the 295-horsepower motor in the Highlander will place a smile on your experience. In addition to possessing all the energy needed to make a clean pass on the freeway, it manages to have sensible gas mileage, especially if you examine how much electricity it has.

FWD is the normal drivetrain choice. Even so, if you want the AWD, it’s an obtainable update for all trim stages. If you plan to use the Highlander’s 5,000lb towing capacity, then the AWD is well worth the improve.

Toyota is 1 of the leaders in hybrid motor technology. Their Highlander Hybrids are no exception, and if gas economic system is a issue in your obtain determination, they are value checking out. You nonetheless have the option of FWD and AWD in addition to a even now extraordinary 243-horsepower in between the 2.five-liter motor and dual electric motors.


All Highlander trim levels offer you second and third-row seating for up to 8 folks. If you’d favor captain’s chairs for the 2nd row, it drops down to seating for seven but provides convenience for your travellers.

Toyota went all-out with the Highlander’s inside layout it’s even comparable to comparable SUVs in the luxurious Lexus model. Many comfort alternatives are obtainable, this sort of as heated second-row seats or leather-based seats.

It’s worth mentioning that one particular place the Highlander falls short is in cargo place, although. If you choose for the captain’s chairs, you gain a small little bit, but overall for its dimension, the Highlander doesn’t boast any added area. The cargo region behind the 3rd row will only in shape 4 have-on-sized suitcases when loaded up.

Toyota Highlander (XU70)
Toyota Highlander (XU70) | Image Credit: Alexander Migl, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0

Technology and Safety

For your infotainment program, most Highlander models occur with an eight-inch screen. If you want the accessible twelve.3-inch touchscreen screen, you are going to have to improve to possibly of the two prime trim alternatives.

Another good update obtainable is the eleven-speaker JBL audio method. If you are not looking for the greatest audio method, the common 1 is nonetheless great. Whichever you choose to go with, you are going to have the common options of Android Vehicle, Alexa integration, Apple Carplay, and XM radio.

All through the many years, Toyota has demonstrated us its determination to protection. Each trim degree comes regular with a lot of of Toyota’s security systems, this sort of as adaptive cruise control, blind-place checking, and lane-departure warning. Each calendar year, the NHSTA gives the Highlander the optimum security rating achievable.

How do These Two SUVs Compare?

Whilst the Sequoia and Highlander are in separate categories as significantly as dimension is concerned. There are nevertheless some essential comparison details that establish regardless of whether either is the proper suit for you.


Edge: Sequoia

The Sequoia takes the acquire for functionality with out competition. With practically twice the horsepower and towing capability, the Sequoia is an clear selection if you’re seeking for a higher-carrying out SUV.


Edge: Highlander

What the Highlander lacks in overall performance, it helps make up in affordability. It starts in excess of $15,000 less costly than the Sequoia, which is a important price tag variation, especially if you are not heading to use the Sequoia’s efficiency to its prospective.

2020 Toyota Highlander LE AWD
2020 Toyota Highlander LE AWD | Image Credit: Kevauto, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0

Fuel Economy

Edge: Highlander

Another get for the Highlander that is tied to performance is fuel economic system. If the electrical power isn’t required, you are going to have significant personal savings in gas with the Highlander. And if you choose for one particular of the Hybrid Highlanders, the big difference is even higher in between the Highlander and Sequoia.


Edge: Sequoia

Both versions share a lot of technologies. Nonetheless, the Sequoia takes a considerable direct more than the Highlander dependent on the further safety attributes it involves with the TSS. Also, the Sequoia has bigger touchscreen choices accessible, and you can get Wi-Fi.

Toyota Sequoia in the Philippines
Toyota Sequoia in the Philippines | Image Credit: Captainmorlypogi1959, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0

What Other Users Say

It’s 1 point to read through a nicely-written review praising two SUVs, but it is an additional to hear it from people just like you who have bought and pushed the cars. We have scoured a variety of on-line assessment web sites this kind of as Edmunds and Kelley Blue Ebook (KBB) to give you some actual-world activities.

Remember that the Sequoia testimonials are from 2022 versions, and many of these things are improved with the forthcoming 2023 redesign.

  • Similar in feel to my old Tundra, but with the benefit of being a full-size SUV – Sequoia Review
  • Ample interior space to fit the whole family – Sequoia Review
  • Excellent towing capabilities for an SUV – Sequoia Review
  • Fuel economy is not good, even by full-size SUV standards – Sequoia Review
  • Upgraded from a Camry to the Highlander. Super happy with all the extra space. However, the third-row seating is a bit tight – Highlander Review
  • Nice smooth ride, great handling, and excellent fuel economy. We love our Highlander – Highlander Review
  • Road noise is quite loud in the Highlander, especially on the highway. – Highlander Review
  • Bought a Toyota Highlander, but it feels like I got a Lexus; very luxurious feeling – Highlander Review

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As you can see, if it is electricity and ability you’re after, the Sequoia is the clear option. Its superior characteristics and incredible towing will get you just about everywhere you want to go without having in comfort.

Nonetheless, if price range and fuel economic climate are even bigger aspects in your selection, the Highlander is even now one of the best choices in the classification. Even with this enormous cost and power difference, you are not sacrificing the good quality and dependability that helps make Toyota renowned.



Featured Impression Credit: (Left) 2023 Toyota Sequoia | Impression Credit: Blueck, Wikimedia Commons CC SA four. (Proper) 2020 Toyota Highlander LE AWD | Impression Credit rating: Kevauto, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.