It may not be the most popular vehicle in the Toyota lineup; still, there is more than enough customer interest for Toyota to substantially update the 2018 Toyota Sequoia. The largest SUV in Toyota’s lineup, the current model Sequoia competes with the GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada and Dodge Durango. Among the aforementioned competition, the Toyota Sequoia is the only one that is (currently) partially hand-built.
In the past several years, there have been only minor upgrades and changes to the Toyota Sequoia when the second generation 2008 model made its debut.
Given the all-new and upcoming models from the competitors (also note the 2017 Nissan Titan light duty pickup), Toyota is rumored to begin a comprehensive update to their behemoth SUV.
What should Toyota focus on?
- New Engines: More efficiency and smarter power (updated/upgraded 4.6 and/or 5.7-liter V8s): The current 5.7-liter V8 has very similar numbers to Nissan’s upgraded 5.6-liter V8. Chances are, Toyota will try to make the power-plant(s) more efficient. The least likely rumor is a possibility of a Cummins 5.0-liter V8 diesel that makes in the neighborhood of 300 horsepower and 500 lbs-feet of torque.
- New Transmission: Currently in use with the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser, the new 8-speed automatic transmission is bound to replace the current six-speed transmission. We tested the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser with this new transmission and it performed above expectations.
- Updated and improved 4X4 system: One of the biggest complaints I have regarding the 2012 Toyota Sequoia I last tested was its poor off-road performance. Sure, the traction system worked great on gravel and snow, that was not the case on more serious off-road obstacles. The traction-control was intrusive and the heft of the vehicle meant the system became overwhelmed when a wheel was lifted. Toyota is fully aware of this issue as many media outlets have complained of similar issues. A new, more sophisticated 4X4 should make an appearance in the new model.
- Lighter and stiffer: Although it’s doubtful that Toyota will go the distance Ford has with aluminum use, they may use a bit to cut the curb weight. In the past, Bodine Aluminum invested $11-million into increased production of Toyota Truck’s aluminum transmission cases and housings. Rumors about body panels for cars (Camry) and trucks are floating around the internet. If the next Toyota Sequoia uses a new platform, like the one on the current Toyota Tundra, it should gain stiffness and towing capacity.
- Updated interior: This is a bit of a no-brainer. The current model Toyota Sequoia’s interior is showing its age. Considering the great lengths GM and Nissan are going through to build contemporary interiors, a fully updated/upgraded (and more utilitarian) interior makes sense.
Please keep in mind, this post is based on rumor, speculation and guesswork.
What have you heard? Let us know below!
We haven’t featured a Toyota Sequoia in a review since 2012. Still, this special Toyota Tundra is worth a look – check it out!