In this guide, I’ll break down all Toyota Sequoia generations, revealing the best years of the Sequoia to buy and the worst years to avoid.
Our comprehensive assessment is backed by thorough research, including reliability surveys, safety ratings, owner satisfaction scores, recall histories, and more from authoritative sources like the NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and Edmunds.
Specifically, I’ll highlight the most and least reliable Toyota Sequoia model years by analyzing their performance, safety, technology, common problems, and recalls.
Let’s dive right in!
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Toyota Sequoia Generations
The Toyota Sequoia, a full-size SUV, debuted in 2000, offering a blend of rugged capability and comfortable family transport.
With its spacious interior, powerful engine options, and reliability, the Sequoia quickly became popular for large families and adventure enthusiasts.
Here’s a quick look at the different generations of the Toyota Sequoia from 2001:
|1st generation (XK30/40)
|2nd generation (XK60)
|3rd generation (XK80)
We present these generations to provide a comprehensive overview, as significant changes between them could influence your decision on which model year to consider.
Toyota Sequoia Best, Neutral, and Worst Years
We consider various factors when assessing the best, neutral, and worst years for the Toyota Sequoia. These include:
- Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
- Annual maintenance costs
- Safety ratings
- Consumer Reports reliability scores
- Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
- NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
- Edmunds owner ratings
- JD Power owner ratings
- Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
- VehicleHistory owner ratings
- Cars.com owner ratings
Our upcoming graph consolidates these ratings to show each model year’s performance and reliability clearly.
Below is a categorization of all Toyota Sequoia model years into best, neutral, and worst years, providing a straightforward guide for potential buyers.
“Neutral years” typically indicate models with fewer issues or less severe problems compared to the worst years, but they may not reach the high reliability and satisfaction levels of the best years.
Some factors, like NHTSA complaints and recalls, often correlate with lower reliability, affecting our categorization.
Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst Toyota Sequoia years.
Best & Worst Years for Toyota Sequoia 1st Generation (2001-2007)
The first-generation Toyota Sequoia, introduced in 2001, was Toyota’s robust answer to the full-size SUV segment. It shared its platform with the Tundra pickup, echoing its reliability and strength, tailored for family and utility use.
2007 is the only best year for the first-generation Toyota Sequoia, while model years from 2001 to 2004 are the worst Sequoia years to avoid.
The Best Years: 2007
Is the 2007 Toyota Sequoia reliable? With considerably fewer recalls and owner-reported complaints, 2007 is Toyota Sequoia’s best year in its first generation.
It delivered around 13 city/17 highway mpg.
This model year stood out for its enhanced safety features, including advanced airbag systems and improved vehicle stability control, addressing some of the earlier stability issues.
The 2007 Sequoia also featured upgraded interior trim levels, providing a more luxurious feel and technological updates like an improved audio system and better climate control options.
The Neutral Years: 2005, 2006
The 2005 and 2006 Sequoias maintained the robust 4.7L V8 engine, ensuring consistent performance.
These years saw moderate improvements in interior quality and technological features but were held back by ongoing concerns like frame corrosion and Vehicle Stability Control issues.
While these issues were less severe than in the earlier models, they were notable enough to prevent these years from being classified as the best.
Fuel efficiency remained similar to the 2007 model, and safety features gradually improved, making these years a reasonable choice for those seeking reliability without needing the latest advancements.
The Worst Years: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
What are the Toyota Sequoia years to avoid? The early years of the first-generation Sequoia, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, were marred by significant issues, notably frame corrosion and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) malfunctions.
Many owners reported intermittent VSC activation due to yaw rate sensor malfunction, causing vehicles to steer left and right and brake uncontrollably with grinding sound and vibration.
The powertrain in these models faced various issues, including transmission problems leading to jerking and grinding sounds.
Safety concerns were heightened due to multiple recalls for issues like brake fluid leaks and ball joint failures.
The electronic stability control problems, causing erratic steering and braking, significantly affected the driving experience, making these years less desirable for potential owners.
Best & Worst Years for Toyota Sequoia 2nd Generation (2008-2022)
The second generation of the Toyota Sequoia launched in 2008, offered enhanced capabilities, more refined styling, and a focus on advanced safety and technology features.
2008 is the worst Toyota Sequoia model year to avoid in the second generation, while the best Toyota Sequoia years span between 2012 and 2022.
The Best Years: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
What are the best years for Toyota Sequoia? From 2012 onwards, Sequoia’s best and most reliable years solidified its reputation for reliability and comfort.
These models typically featured a powerful 5.7L 3UR-FE V8 engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, delivering robust performance and reasonable fuel efficiency for its class, averaging around 13 city/17 highway mpg.
Notable improvements in safety included blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and enhanced stability control systems.
The interior saw luxury upgrades in higher trim levels, like the Platinum, offering premium leather seats, advanced navigation systems, and a rear-seat entertainment package.
These years also witnessed Toyota’s strides in integrating technology, with features like the Entune infotainment system, smartphone integration, and improved audio systems.
The Neutral Years: 2009, 2010, 2011
The 2009 to 2011 Sequoia models retained the robust 5.7L V8 engine, ensuring consistent performance.
These years focused on refining the existing features rather than introducing significant changes.
Fuel efficiency remained like the best years, while safety features gradually evolved, with additions like parking sensors and a backup camera becoming standard.
These models are noted for their reliability and durability but lacked some advanced technological and safety features introduced in later years.
For buyers seeking a dependable, powerful SUV without the need for cutting-edge technology, these years offer a solid choice.
The Worst Years: 2008
Is 2008 a good year for the Toyota Sequoia? I wouldn’t recommend the 2008 Toyota Sequoia as it was plagued by issues related to subframe corrosion, which raised significant safety concerns.
Necessary recalls for this model cover oil leaks causing loss of power steering, sticky acceleration pedals, damaged seat heater electrical wiring, and power window master switch malfunction and overheating.
The 2008 Toyota Sequoia’s reliability issues and recall history make it a less favorable option than its successors.
See NHTSA 2008 Toyota Sequoia recalls and complaints.
Best & Worst Years for Toyota Sequoia 3rd Generation (2023-Present)
The third generation of the Toyota Sequoia, introduced in 2023, represents a significant leap forward in design, performance, and technology.
This generation marks Toyota’s commitment to modernizing its large SUV lineup, introducing more efficient powertrains, and enhancing the overall driving experience.
The Best Years: 2023, 2024
The 2023 and 2024 Toyota Sequoia models stand out with their refined 3.4L V35A-FTS twin-turbo V6 hybrid powertrain.
This engine, delivering an impressive 437 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque, is paired with a smooth 10-speed AWR10L65 automatic transmission.
The standard rear-wheel-drive configuration and an optional four-wheel drive (except for the TRD Pro, which exclusively offers 4WD) provide a balanced and robust driving experience.
Regarding fuel economy, these models achieve an EPA-estimated 20 mpg combined, which is commendable for a vehicle of size and capabilities.
The Sequoia is available in five trims: SR5, Limited, Platinum, TRD Pro, and Capstone, each offering unique features and levels of luxury. The Capstone, being the most premium, includes advanced amenities and sophisticated interior finishes.
However, technology features across the range are somewhat average, with occasional glitches in the navigation system and intermittent issues with Apple CarPlay integration noted in some models.
While delivering clear sound, the audio system doesn’t particularly stand out compared to competitors.
The Sequoia is equipped with five USB ports, a household-style power outlet, and a wireless phone charger for connectivity and convenience. While these features meet the basic needs, they fall slightly short of what some competitors offer in this segment.
Overall, the 2023 and 2024 Toyota Sequoia models are a strong choice for those seeking a powerful, hybrid large SUV with decent fuel economy and a range of trim options.
Despite technological shortcomings, they represent a significant improvement and a modern approach to Toyota’s SUV lineup.
Toyota Sequoia Resale Values
View the graph below to understand how Toyota Sequoia models hold their value over time.
As we conclude our exploration of the Toyota Sequoia’s history, it’s clear that the best years to consider are the 2007 and 2012-2024 models, offering reliability and satisfaction.
On the other hand, it’s advisable to avoid the 2001-2004 and 2008 Toyota Sequoia model years due to their noted issues.
Have you had any experiences with the Toyota Sequoia, particularly from the best or worst years?
Share your experiences in the comments below!