2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro: Adventurous Families Finally Get Modern Tech and Safety Features

The ancient-but-capable Sequoia now boasts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but is it enough to beat the competition?

James Gilboy

Model: 2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro

Top Line: Toyota's largest three-row SUV gets some serious off-road goodies and new technology like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Toyota Safety Sense-P that attempts to bring the ancient nameplate into modern times.

What's New: Several performance-enhancing components in addition to technology offerings. Regarding the former, the larger-than-life body now sits on TRD-tuned, aluminum-bodied internal bypass Fox shock absorbers for better handling off-road. According to Toyota, these external-bypass shocks allow the shock’s fluid to bypass the piston through regulated ports as it moves through its travel, providing a cushioned ride during normal, everyday street-driving but then turning progressively firmer over rough trail conditions.

James Gilboy
Toyota

Off-road enthusiasts will be happy to know that the Sequoia's new hardware features 2.5-inch Fox shocks in the front, which boast seven compression zones and two rebound zones. The rear employs 2-inch-diameter Fox piggyback monotube shocks, which rock 47mm pistons (15mm larger than non-TRD) and stronger shock rods that are 3.2mm larger in diameter.

Things remain the same under the hood, with the 5.7-liter i-FORCE V-8 sending 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Furthermore, the engine produces 90 percent of its torque at a low 2,200 rpm, helping it conquer large obstacles on the trail. Towing capacity is rated at 7,700 pounds.

The new Sequoia TRD Pro also gets a few enhancements in the looks department, primarily driven by a new front fascia that features the traditional TRD Pro grille, which spells out Toyota in vintage style, instead of the brand's logo. LEDs replace the outgoing halogen headlights, and the same are used for the Rigid fog lights below. A TRD-branded skid plate and cast aluminum running boards add to the overall outdoorsy look along with a sporty roof rack.

Toyota
Toyota

When it comes to rolling stock, the Sequoia TRD Pro rolls on TRD 18- by 8-inch black BBS forged aluminum wheels wearing P275/65 R18 tires, which complement the new trim-exclusive Army Green color that's available in addition to the regular palette.

Perhaps one of the most noteworthy updates of the seven-passenger SUV is the addition of Toyota Safety Sense P, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, lane departure alert with sway warning system, dynamic radar cruise control with full stop technology, plus automatic high beams and blind spot monitoring.

Lastly, Sequoia TRD Pro, in addition to 4Runner and Tacoma, receive upgraded multimedia systems with 8-inch infotainment touchscreens that include Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Other non-TRD variants also get the Apple and Android systems, but the screen sizes will vary, claims Toyota.

Quotable: "The 2020 Sequoia joins a roster of TRD Pro vehicles that includes the Tacoma mid-size and Tundra full-size pickups and 4Runner SUV," said Toyota in a statement. "Introduced in 2014, the TRD Pro lineup emerged from Toyota’s rich off-road racing heritage. The TRD Pro badge signifies a vehicle that’s capable of going where ordinary pickups and SUVs fear to tread, while still retaining the comfort for daily driving."

What You Need to Know: Along with the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Sequoia is a dying breed of vehicle that offers superior capabilities on and off the road. While the Sequoia is outdated in many ways, it still remains one of the hardcore, body-on-frame SUVs that many people are looking for in a vehicle.