Those who feel like spending a little extra cash can step up to Platinum trim for a rash of interior niceties. More importantly, the higher trim serves up an Adaptive Variable Suspension, which offers the driver a total of three damping settings.
For the first time, the 2013 Sequoia offers back passengers the luxury of a Blu-Ray player, and Toyota claims the SUV is the first production vehicle in the world to offer high-definition rear-seat entertainment. Toyota's Entune multimedia system is also newly available for 2013. Check out the full press blast below.
• 381-HP V8 now standard on all models
• Toyota First-New Blu-Ray® Rear Seat Entertainment System
• Available Entune™ Multimedia System
• Blind spot monitor enhances safety for changing lanes
The Toyota Sequoia, which offers seating for up to eight in a full-size, full-capability sport-utility vehicle (SUV), gains new family friendly entertainment features for 2013. The Sequoia debuts a Toyota-first Blu-Ray rear seat entertainment system, and 2013 also marks the first full year of Toyota Entune™ availability.
Built on an exclusive platform that uses body-on-frame construction, the Toyota Sequoia features four-wheel independent suspension to help provide exemplary ride quality, handling and straight-line control. The 2013 Sequoia is available in SR5, Limited and Platinum grades, and all models for 2013 now make the 381-hp 5.7-liter V8 standard; the 310-hp 4.6-liter V8 has been discontinued. The Sequoia model line offers the choice of 2WD and 4WD. In select areas, Sequoia 4x4 models feature E85 Flex Fuel capability.
The standard engine for all 2013 Sequoia models is now the iForce DOHC 5.7-liter V8, teamed to a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. The 5.7-liter engine produces 381 hp at 5,600 RPM and 401 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 RPM. The engine is equipped with dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). An Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS) switches the intake tract length in two stages, based on engine RPM and throttle angle, to optimize torque across the engine speed range. Toyota specifies regular-grade fuel for the Sequoia.
The 5.7-liter V8 enables the Sequoia to tow up to 7,400 lbs., depending on model grade and equipment. Crucial for customers who tow, the 5.7-liter V8 produces 90 percent of its peak torque at just 2,200 rpm. A Tow/Haul mode modifies transmission shift points for optimal performance.
The standard Trailer Sway Control system uses the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) to help counteract handling forces acting on the SUV in an effort to minimize the impact of trailer sway. The Sequoia's towing hitch is integrated into the frame as a single unit.
Toyota's flexible torque converter lock-up control enhances efficiency in the six-speed automatic transmission, with lock-up occurring in fourth, fifth and sixth gears. The available Multi-Mode four-wheel-drive system uses a two-speed transfer case with a lockable TORSEN® limited-slip center differential to power the front and rear wheels. The transfer case is shifted electronically via a rotary knob, and it locks with the push of a button.
Handling and Ride
The four-wheel independent suspension uses upper and lower A-arms and coil springs at each wheel. The 38-foot turning circle is one of the tightest in Sequoia's class.
The Sequoia Platinum model is equipped with Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which adjusts damper response with settings for Comfort, Normal and Sport. The Platinum grade's Electronically Modulated Air Suspension also augments the Sequoia's ability to tow and haul heavy loads while maintaining an appropriate ride height and chassis attitude. The SR5's standard 18-inch aluminum wheels have 275/65 R18 tires; 20-inch aluminum wheels with 275/55 R20 tires are standard for the Limited and Platinum grades, with the wheels on the Platinum featuring a diamond-cut finish.
Sequoia uses 13.9-inch ventilated front disc brakes and 13.6-inch ventilated rear disc brakes. Four opposed pistons – two per side – ensure optimal braking performance and fade resistance.
Like all Toyota models, the 2013 Sequoia is equipped with Toyota's STAR Safety System™, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRAC) and Smart Stop Technology (SST). On 4WD models, TRAC is replaced by A-TRAC (Active-Traction Control).
The 2013 Sequoia is equipped with a dual stage advanced front air bag system, seat-mounted side airbags for the driver and front passenger, roll-sensing side curtain airbags for all three seating rows, plus driver and front passenger knee airbags.
Comfort and Convenience
The Sequoia SR5 is one of the best-equipped vehicles in its class, featuring standard eight-passenger seating; tilt/telescoping steering wheel; engine immobilizer with alarm; direct tire pressure monitoring system; automatic tri-zone air conditioning; illuminated entry system; power windows, locks and sliding back window; keyless entry; rear wiper and defogger; cruise control, and mud guards. Standard audio on the SR5 includes AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, eight speakers, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (includes three-month trial subscription to XM Select Package), auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod® connectivity, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology.
The SR5 grade comes ready to work and play with a standard towing package, an eight-way power driver's seat, fog lamps, running boards, power tilt/slide moonroof, a roof rack and rear spoiler, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio and climate controls.
The Sequoia Limited adds functionality with front and rear parking sonar; power rear liftgate with a sliding window; power folding and reclining 60:40 split third-row seat, and 20-inch alloy wheels. Luxury takes a big step up with a standard power tilt/slide moonroof; heated front leather-trimmed seats, second- and third-row retractable sunshades and a steering wheel that integrates controls for the air conditioning system, Bluetooth®-capable phones and other functions.
The Limited grade also features standard 10-way adjustable power driver's seat; a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear shift knob; Optitron gauges; and a multi-information display. A standard-equipped auto-dimming electrochromic rear-view mirror integrates a compass and a map lamp, plus a 3.3-inch monitor in the rear-view mirror for the backup camera (when not equipped with a navigation system).
The Sequoia Limited is equipped with JBL Synthesis® AM/FM 6-disc CD changer with MP3/WMA playback capability, 14 speakers including subwoofer, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (includes three-month trial subscription to XM Select Package), auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod® connectivity, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology.
At the top of the Sequoia line, the Platinum grade comes with standard Dynamic Laser Cruise Control, which can help maintain a set distance from vehicles ahead. A new standard rear seat Blue-Ray entertainment system combines a nine-inch LCD screen with a separate rear seat audio system, including dual wireless headphones.
Additional standard features exclusive to the Sequoia Platinum grade include a 12-way adjustable power driver's seat and simulated wood-trim; 20-inch diamond cut-finish alloy wheels; rear load-leveling air suspension; power seat memory package; second-row heated seats, and steering wheel with simulated wood trim.
The Platinum grade also features Voice-activated touch-screen DVD navigation system with integrated backup camera display, JBL Synthesis® AM/FM 4-disc CD changer with MP3/WMA playback capability, 14 speakers including subwoofer, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with NavTraffic™ (includes three-month trial subscription to XM Select Package and NavTraffic™), auxiliary audio jack, USB  port with iPod® connectivity, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology.
With its long list of standard features, the 2013 Sequoia offers just a small menu of factory options. The SR5 grade offers a Sport Appearance Package that includes seven-passenger seating, 20-inch super chrome alloy wheels, color-keyed grille, and black seat fabric. Exterior colors for the Sport Appearance Package are limited to black, white and silver.
Also available on SR5 models is a Premium Package that includes a leather-trimmed and heated 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat; four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat; a leather-trimmed 40/20/40 split sliding, reclining, fold-flat second-row seat with one-touch access to the third-row seat; a leather-trimmed 60/40 split, power reclining, fold-flat third-row seat; and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with an integrated backup camera monitor, compass, map lights and HomeLink® universal transceiver.
The available Entune multimedia system (optional on SR5 and Limited grades and standard on Platinum grade) leverages the mobile smartphone to provide a richer in-vehicle experience with fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment and information services.
Toyota Entune debuted engaging mobile apps, such includes Bing™, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable® and Pandora®, real-time info including traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks.
The Limited grade offers three options: a Rear Seat Entertainment System that includes a Blu-Ray® player with rear audio controls and 115V outlet; a DVD navigation system with Entune and a backup camera, JBL® Synthesis AM/FM four-disc CD changer audio system with a 90-day trial subscription to SiriusXM Satellite Radio and NavTraffic. Optional captain chairs can replace the standard second row bench seat.
The Sequoia's 0.36 drag coefficient (Cd) is comparable to smaller crossover-type vehicles. The vehicle's mirrors, wipers, A-pillars and roof header are shaped to help maximize aerodynamic efficiency and minimize wind noise. Vehicle underside airflow is optimized to reduce drag and wind noise and to help improve directional control.
Headlamp washers are standard on all grades for improved visibility. On the Limited grade, the large side-view mirrors feature power retraction, automatic glare-resistance, and turn-signal lamps. In addition to these features, the Platinum grade mirrors also include puddle lamps, position memory and reverse-linked tilt functions.
The wide rear door-opening angle provides easy passenger ingress/egress and child seat installation. Standard on the Limited and Platinum models are front and rear parking sonar sensors that emit an audible warning to alert the driver of the position of solid objects and their distance from the vehicle.
The Sequoia dash features a finish similar to that in fine luxury cars. Each of Sequoia's eight seating positions provides space sufficient to comfortably accommodate people well above normal height. The same efficient packaging that allows exceptional interior comfort also allows carrying items up to 11 feet long. Folding the second- and third-row seats flat opens the cargo area to 120.1 cubic feet of carrying capacity.
The second-row bench-type seat is split 40:20:40 and is equipped with a seat-slide mechanism that offers an adjustment range of 5.9 inches. This seat can also be folded flat and uses a one-touch easy-slide action to allow passenger access to the third-row seat. Second-row captain seats are available for a seven-seat cabin.
The third-row seat is split 60:40, has a seatback reclining mechanism and can be easily folded flat. A power tilting and folding mechanism is available. The rear liftgate sliding glass can be opened and closed for easy loading with the turn of a key. The cargo area is equipped with handy hooks for grocery bags. Sequoia provides 16 extra-large cup/bottle holders (18 on the Platinum grade), as well as convenient storage spaces.
All three grades offer two interior color choices of Graphite and Sand Beige. A Red Rock interior is also available on the Platinum grade, and the SR5 Sport Appearance Package uses an exclusive black interior.