Large SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $5,500 – $21,200*

2001 Toyota Sequoia

2001 Toyota Sequoia

2001 Toyota Sequoia interior

2002 Toyota Sequoia

2002 Toyota Sequoia

  • Automatic-transmission performance
  • Build quality
  • Instruments/controls
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Fuel economy
  • Maneuverability
  • Brake-pedal feel

Sequoia suffers from all the usual big-SUV vices, but is nonetheless a strong competitor that merits serious consideration as a refined, well-equipped Toyota. Still, rivals match it in many ways while typically towing more than Sequoia’s 6500-pound maximum. They may also be cheaper.


Joining the familiar and long-lived Land Cruiser, Toyota added a second full-size, four-wheel-drive sport-utility vehicle for 2001. Built at the same Indiana plant as the Tundra full-size pickup, the Sequoia was a spinoff of that truck. The four door wagon rivaled the Ford Expedition for bulk, and was the largest vehicle ever offered in the U.S. by a Japanese manufacturer.

Sole engine was the Tundra’s 4.7-liter V8, here rated at 240 horsepower and linked to an automatic transmission. Rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models were offered, in SR5 and upscale Limited trim. The 4WD system had to be disengaged on dry pavement, but included low-range gearing. A dashboard switch allowed shifting between 2WD and 4WD-High.

Traction control was standard on both versions. Toyota’s Vehicle Stability Control antiskid system was an option. The Sequoia’s independent front suspension was similar to the Tundra’s, but its rear suspension used coil instead of leaf springs for a smoother ride.

Toyota claimed that the Sequoia had 10.6 inches of ground clearance, significantly more than the Expedition or a Chevrolet Suburban. Maximum cargo volume was a claimed 128 cubic feet. All models had standard three-row seating, in a 2-3-3 format. Second-row seats were 60/40 split-folding, while a 50/50 split-folding seat went into the rear.

All eight passengers got three-point seatbelts. This was the first Toyota truck with window-curtain side airbags, standard for all models.

Yearly Updates

2002 Sequoia
Remote keyless entry and fog lights were newly optional for the SR5 in 2002. Front torso side airbags and curtain-type airbags were available as a package.
2003 Sequoia
A load-leveling rear suspension became standard for 2003. Models with a moonroof could now be equipped with a DVD-based backseat entertainment system, and rear audio controls were a new option. Toyota’s antilock braking system gained full-power assist.
2004 Sequoia
The Sequoia is unchanged for 2004.
2005 Sequoia
More power, a new transmission, and some trim changes mark 2005 for Toyota’s American-built large SUV. Newly optional for Limiteds are 2nd-row bucket seats with center console that reduce seating capacity to seven. Sequoia has a 4.7-liter V8 with 282 hp, a gain of 42 hp over 2004. A 5-speed automatic is the sole transmission and replaces a 4-speed for ’05. Front torso side airbags and head-protecting curtain side airbags are optional and, for ’05, are designed to deploy in side impacts and rollovers. Other options include rear self-leveling suspension for SR5 and, new for ’05, driver-governed rear height control for Limited. Rounding out the ’05 alterations are slightly revised front and rear styling and an in-glass radio antenna to replace a mast.
2006 Sequoia
No significant changes for 2006.
2007 Sequoia
Curtain side airbags are standard instead of optional for 2007 on Toyota’s American-built large SUV. Now standard are front side airbags and curtain side airbags that cover the 1st and 2nd seating rows and include rollover deployment.


longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

Only one powertrain has been available in Sequoias; a 4.7-liter dual-overhead-cam V-8 engine that produces 240 horsepower and 315 pound-feet of torque, driving a four-speed automatic transmission. For 2005, Sequoia gets a 4.7-liter V8 with 282 hp, a gain of 42 hp over 2004. A 5-speed automatic is the sole transmission and replaces a 4-speed for ’05.

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.7/285
Engine HP 240-282
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 315
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic

With 2WD, EPA rating is 14/18 mpg.

Road Test

Climbing aboard a Sequoia, its bigness is immediately evident, reflected in performance and fuel economy. A 4WD Limited accelerated to 60 mph in a class-competitive 9.5 seconds, but high weight blunts midrange passing ability. The silky V8 is well-matched by a smooth, responsive transmission.

With rear-drive, an SR5 averaged 14.3 mpg, while 4WD Limiteds averaged 10.4 to 13.3 mpg in city/suburban commuting. Those are realistic numbers in the long term, though another 4WD Limited returned 15.9 mpg with more highway miles. Toyota recommends regular-grade fuel.

The Sequoia’s long wheelbase helps deliver a generally flat and easy ride, and the suspension copes well with rough patches. But small imperfections sometime register with surprising clarity through the seats. You can also expect marked jiggle on washboard freeway surfaces.

Handling is typical big-truck. A Sequoia is stable enough in hard cornering, despite body lean. Sequoias are a chore to maneuver on twisty roads. Parallel parking is no pleasure, hampered by a large turning radius. Simulated emergency stops are short and true, but brake-pedal action is spongy.

One of the most refined big truck-based SUVs, the Sequoia exhibits little engine noise, subdued tire thrum even on fairly coarse concrete, and only modest wind rush (for a blocky wagon).

Instruments and controls are simple, large, handy, and clearly labeled. The wide cabin puts centrally located climate and audio controls a fair reach away from the driver, and the foot-pedal parking brake is no bonus. Interior decor is not fancy, but materials and workmanship are pleasing.

Because the cabin isn’t all that tall, front head clearance is only adequate for six-footers, but leg room is bountiful. Comfortable seats have long cushions. High ground clearance means some strenuous moves are needed to climb in and out, making available running boards especially helpful. Visibility is commanding to front and sides, but the rear view is poor in close quarters.

Three adults have as much space in the second row as in the front, but entry/exit is again awkward. The third row has plenty of space for a pair of preteens or toddlers, but they’ll need to crawl past the fold-forward second-row seats to get in or out.

Cargo room is not expansive behind the third seat for a vehicle this large, but plentiful with that seat folded or removed–and even more so with the middle seat stowed. The liftgate’s handy power window lowers via the remote keyfob, but raises only by using the keylock or an inside switch. The cabin has plenty of bins and pockets, as well as 10 cupholders.


Model Tested: 2001 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4WD

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 4
Fuel Economy - 2
Ride Quality - 3
Steering/Handling - 3
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 9
Cargo Room - 9


Value - 3

Total: 53


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
118.1 203.9 78.0 74.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
128.1 26.1 8
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
41.1 40.6 41.6 38.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2002 Sequoia 4WD 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: As a result of air-conditioner failures, the manufacturer has released a new low-side (suction) refrigerant line with an inline filter. (2001-02)
Blower motor
Description: The blower motor may make a squealing noise and an improved motor was made available. (2004-05)
Fuel odors
Description: The fuel door may not open when the remote release is pulled because the cable comes off the lever. A new lever is available. (2001)
Hard starting
Description: Vehicle may fail to start because of a blown fuel-injection fuse resulting from a problem with the fuel pump. A revised pump is available. (2000-02)
Rear axle noise
Description: Noises from the rear axle due to axle bearing failure caused by water entering the bearing and an improved bearing seal has been issued. (2004-06)
Description: Occasional no-start of V8 engine after hot soak due to faulty cam position sensor. (2005-06)
Description: The rear power window may mysteriously open or close, but the problem lies in the remote transmitter whose button has since been redesigned with a stiffer spring to prevent accidental activation. (2001)
Description: The window on the back door may quit working due to malfunction of the motor. (2001-06)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine light may come on due to a problem with the air injection system which is covered under the federal emissions warranty. (2005-07)

Recall History

2001 2WD with an alloy wheel
Description: A label identifying the spare tire as a temporary use spare tire was not installed.
Description: Surface of lower ball joint in front suspension might have been scratched; joint may eventually experience excessive wear and looseness, resulting in increased steering effort and possible loss of steering control.
2002-2004 Sequoia
Description: Passenger-side frontal airbag inflator may rupture upon deployment and spray metal fragments at the passenger.
2003 vehicles manufactured from April 1, 2002 through April 17, 2003
Description: The center position of the Steering Angle Sensor (SAS) may not be stored correctly due to improper logic of the Skid Control ECU programming. The Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system could activate at low speed for a few seconds during acceleration from a stopped position. Should this occur, the vehicle may not accelerate as quickly as the driver expects, increasing the risk of a crash. Toyota will notify owners and dealers will replace the Skid Control ECU free of charge.
Description: Due to possible improper finishing of the front suspension lower ball joint, some ball joints may experience an incidental deterioration of the internal lubrication. This may cause the ball joint to wear and loosen prematurely, which could result in increased steering effort and possible crash. Dealers will replace the front suspension lower ball joints.
2007 Sequoia
Description: Power window master switch assemblies may malfunction and overheat due to irregularities in the lubrication process during assembly.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


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