The 2023 Toyota Sequoia is not a Land Cruiser. Even in TRD Pro trim, it lacks headline-grabbing and desirable off-road tech like electronic swaybar disconnects and a fancy full-time four-wheel-drive system with a locking center differential. But that doesn’t mean it will be a poor performer when the going gets tough and dirty. In fact, the Sequoia TRD Pro might help blunt the loss of the Land Cruiser in America for some potential buyers.
In addition to sharing its TNGA-F platform with the global Land Cruiser and its luxury-minded twin, the Lexus LX 600 that unlike the LC is being sold in America, the Sequoia TRD Pro gets Fox internal bypass shocks, a ¼-inch aluminum TRD front skid plate, a locking rear diff, Multi-Terrain Select, Downhill Assist Control, Crawl Control, a Multi-Terrain Monitor. We’re not sure what its numbers will look like as far as approach, departure and breakover angles, but it ought to be a fairly formidable package overall.
One area where the Sequoia trounces the Land Cruiser and Lexus LX 600 can be found underhood. The big SUV’s standard engine is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that makes 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque. A similar powerplant comes in the LC and LX, but it lacks the Sequoia’s hybrid component, which sandwiches a powerful electric motor between the engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. Suffice it to say that the Sequoia’s extra 104 lb-ft over the Land Cruiser will be felt from behind the wheel.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Land Cruiser and Sequoia were designed with different buyers in mind. The LC is likely more compact, with what we assume must be greater ground clearance. The Sequoia is likely to be a better family vehicle and will almost certainly be a better towing rig. Obviously, tradeoffs are a part of any vehicle’s design direction. With that in mind, more Americans are likely to appreciate the benefits of the Sequoia versus the Land Cruiser.
In the end, we’d all rather have all options presented to us at a Toyota dealership. The loss of the Land Cruiser hurts. But the 4Runner, which in its TRD Off-Road trim benefits from the KDSS disconnecting sway bar technology, remains in the mix. And the arrival of the latest Lexus LX 600 at the very high end and the addition of a legitimate off-road-oriented Sequoia TRD Pro at the lower (but still pricey, though we don’t know exactly how pricey just yet) end helps blunt the pain at least a little bit.