Toyota’s Largest SUV: Which Is The Most Spacious Toyota?

by Conner Mckay

So which actually is Toyota’s largest SUV? When researching Toyota’s SUV lineup, that is likely one of the most often asked questions. A large SUV should have ample luggage capacity and three rows of seats that can accommodate up to eight passengers for the majority of buyers. The Highlander, Land Cruiser, and Sequoia are three of Toyota’s large SUVs that meet the criteria.

The Sequoia is the largest Toyota SUV among these models. The capable and spacious Toyota Sequoia will be highlighted in this article. What are the features? In what ways does it differ from The Highlander? Is it the cost? Read on to discover more. Despite being less expensive than the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Sequoia is actually bigger, taller, and longer than its premium sibling.

The Toyota Sequoia falls between the Toyota Land Cruiser and the Toyota Highlander in terms of both price and luxury features. However, the Sequoia is appropriately named after the world’s largest tree in terms of sheer size. Let’s dive deep in and see if it’s any good as a massive family-sized SUV while also exploring the whole Toyota SUV lineup.

Toyota SUV

Toyota’s Largest SUV: History Of Toyota SUV

Toyota's Largest SUV

The story dates back more than 70 years ago. Due to the Korean War, a military light utility vehicle was needed in 1950. Japan was still occupied by the Americans in 1950 when North Korea seized control of South Korea. Japanese manufacturers were asked to make compact four-wheel-drive trucks for the US military as the US and UN rushed to South Korea’s aid.

As one of the main truck providers for Japan’s own forces in the 1940s, Toyota earned sizable purchase orders for these vehicles. The US government commissioned Toyota to produce 100 vehicles that met the new Willys criteria at the time.

However, the Japanese people felt exposed since they were producing cars for the Allied forces, and these forces were somewhat sidetracked by helping South Korea. As a result, modest rearmament was allowed, which included 1000 four-wheel drive vehicles with specs resembling those of the Willys “Jeep.” They have to, however, be constructed with locally obtained raw materials.

Toyota Jeep BJ

In January 1951, the Toyota “Jeep” BJ prototype was created. This resulted from a demand for military-style utility vehicles, similar to the 1948 British Land Rover Series 1 model.

The Jeep BJ’s Type B 3.4-liter six-cylinder OHV four-stroke gasoline engine gave it more power and made it bigger than the original U.S. Jeep. Like the Jeep, it possessed a part-time four-wheel drive system. The Jeep BJ did not, however, have a low-range transfer case.

Ichiro Taira, a Toyota test driver, was the first to ascend Mount Fuji’s sixth stage in the Jeep BJ prototype’s subsequent iteration in July 1951. The National Police Agency oversaw the test (NPA). Impressed by this feat, the NPA quickly placed an order for 289 of these offroad vehicles, making the Jeep BJ their official patrol car.

The BJ platform gave rise to five different versions: mobile communications, touring liaison, firefighter, and two pickups. However, the start of series production didn’t happen until August 1953, by which time several other governmental organizations and energy businesses had placed orders for this novel vehicle.

The inherited “Toyota Jeep BJ” tag was changed to the descriptively memorable term Land Cruiser in 1954 (Willys had since patented the name “Jeep”). With Pakistan receiving the first shipment later that year and Saudi Arabia receiving the second in 1955, this helped the vehicle gain traction in export markets.

Toyota Land Cruiser

The technical director of Toyota then, Hanji Umehara came up with the term “Land Cruiser” the next year. “We faced competition from Land Rover in England. I had to think of a name for our car that would sound no less respectable than those of our rivals. That’s why I gave it the name Land Cruiser” he states.

Toyota's Largest SUV

The Studebaker Land Cruiser, which was produced from 1934 until 1954, had previously used the name. For the first time, the 3.9 L Type F gasoline engine, which was initially only available in the fire-engine chassis and produced 92 kW (123 horsepower; 125 PS), was added to the Land Cruiser lineup. Models were given new names –

  • BJ-T (Touring)
  • BJ-R (Radio)
  • BJ-J (Cowl-chassis for a fire engine)
  • FJ-J (Cowl-chassis for a fire engine)

We examine the history of the Toyota Land Cruiser, which is currently celebrating its 70th anniversary. From its hardworking, practical beginnings in 1951 to its present-day form it has achieved the unachievable feat. The modern Land Cruiser is stuffed with all the modern conveniences that today’s buyers demand.

The Land Cruiser has been manufactured continuously for more than 70 years, through 14 model lines, with countless variants. It was originally designed as a mobility vehicle for Japan’s National Police Reserve. In that time, it has sold more than 10 million units and developed a cult following among four-wheel-drive enthusiasts, continually setting the standard for toughness, dependability, adaptability, and longevity.

It is the car with the highest customer trust in the entire world and it laid the groundwork for Toyota’s development philosophy of quality, dependability, and durability.

Toyota SUV Models

Finding the ideal SUV can seem difficult, particularly when deciding between the superb SUV and crossover alternatives provided by Toyota. Now that we know all about the Land Cruiser, let’s look at other SUVs in the Toyota lineup.

Toyota RAV4

Toyota has been manufacturing the compact crossover SUV known as the RAV4 since 1994. It was introduced in 1995 in North America after making its debut in 1994 in Europe and Japan. It is regarded as the first compact crossover SUV.

Toyota's Largest SUV

The RAV4 was made for customers who desired a vehicle with a compact car’s mobility and fuel efficiency as well as the majority of the advantages of SUVs. This included more load space, better visibility, and the option of full-time four-wheel drive.

Toyota 4Runner

The Toyota 4Runner is a mid-size sport utility vehicle that Toyota has made and distributed worldwide since 1984. The 4Runner’s predecessor, the Toyota Hilux pickup truck with a fiberglass shell over the bed, was a compact SUV.

However, the design had undergone significant independent development to become a hybrid between a compact and mid-size SUV. Every 4Runner has been produced in Japan at Toyota’s factory in Tahara, Aichi, or at the Hino Motors factory in Hamura.

Toyota Corolla Cross

Toyota has been manufacturing the Toyota Corolla Cross, a small crossover SUV (C-segment), since 2020. It adopts the Corolla nameplate and is designed on the same TNGA-C architecture as the E210 series Corolla. It is positioned as a larger, more functional alternative to the C-HR. Within Toyota’s portfolio of crossover SUVs, the Corolla Cross sits in between the C-HR and RAV4 in terms of size.

Toyota Venza

The Toyota Venza is a five-passenger mid-size crossover SUV designed and marketed by Toyota primarily for the North American market. The first-generation model, which was sold from 2008 to 2017, was built on the XV40 series Camry chassis. The Lexus RX from the AL10 series also used the same platform.

Toyota CH-R

Toyota's Largest SUV

The Toyota C-HR is a small crossover SUV that the brand has been producing since 2016. The elevated seating position of an SUV is combined with the driving experience of a sedan in this small crossover. It sports a coupe-like sloping roofline to emphasize its striking appearance.

Toyota Highlander

Toyota has been manufacturing the Highlander, a mid-size crossover SUV with three rows of seating, since 2000. The Highlander was one of the first mid-size SUVs or mid-size crossovers to be based on a car. It was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show in April 2000, and it debuted in Japan in late 2000 and in North America in January 2001.

The Highlander is the crossover version of the more hardy, truck-based mid-size 4Runner. It was once Toyota’s best-selling SUV before being surpassed by the more compact RAV4 in 2006. This one is also the third largest SUV from Toyota after the Sequoia and the Land Cruiser.

The Highlander has a lot to offer, but it only ranks in the middle of the pack in the fiercely competitive mid-size SUV sector, which includes more than twenty vehicles. There are eleven different trims available. There are both hybrid and non-hybrid powertrain options, with front-wheel drive as the default and all-wheel drive as an option.

All trims offer smooth riding and capable handling, although the Highlander’s attitude behind the wheel could need a shot of coffee. Even on the base L trim, the cabin is well furnished with contemporary conveniences, user-friendly infotainment, and a variety of driver-assistance technologies as standard.

The Limited and Platinum trims of the Highlander come with an attractive leather interior, a high-end JBL music system, and additional tech features, which perform a good imitation of a Lexus.

Toyota’s Largest SUV: Full-Size SUV

The roomiest Toyota SUVs will best suit your needs if you have a big family or if space is a top priority for you. The Toyota Land Cruiser and the Toyota Sequoia are the two most substantial SUV choices. Both provide consumers with the brand’s largest interiors, which typically have three rows of seating.

However, the Toyota Sequoia triumphs because it has room for both children and adults to sit in the third row, as opposed to the Land Cruiser, which only suggests third-row seats for young passengers.

In essence, there are just two categories of distinctions between the Sequoia and Land Cruiser. First off, with its opulent interior resembling that of a Lexus SUV, the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser is regarded as Toyota’s luxury SUV. The issue of size is another.

Toyota’s Largest SUV: Toyota Sequoia

The Toyota Sequoia is a full-size SUV that Toyota has been manufacturing since 2000 (2001 model year). It is a Tundra pickup truck derivative. After the militarily-focused Mega Cruiser, which was only sold in Japan, it is the largest SUV ever made by Toyota. This SUV competes in a specialized market that is dominated by the Nissan Armada, Ford Expedition (make sure you’re wary of the best year for Ford Expedition), Chevrolet Tahoe, and GMC Yukon.

The Sequoia was initially planned by first-generation Sequoia chief engineer Kaoru Hosokawa to directly compete with the Ford Expedition and other full-size SUVs. It was previously produced at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana in Princeton, Indiana between 2000 and 2021, and then at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas in San Antonio, Texas, since 2022.

The Sequoia was positioned between the luxury Land Cruiser and the mid-size 4Runner in the North American Toyota SUV portfolio until the 2021 model year. The Land Cruiser’s North American sales end with the 2022 model year, making the Sequoia the top-of-the-line SUV in Toyota’s inventory there.

The Sequoia is offered for sale in the US, Canada, and Costa Rica as of 2021 only as a left-hand drive version.

Toyota’s Largest SUV: Toyota Sequoia History

Midway through the 1990s, work on a full-size SUV and a T100 replacement started. Toshihiko Shirasawa styled the vehicle, and on April 4, 1998, the production design was filed for a design patent at the Japan Patent Office (JPO).

There was talk that Toyota will launch the Highlander, an SUV based on the Tundra, to compete in the full-size SUV market after the 1999 launch of the Tundra. However, the Highlander moniker was used for a mid-size Camry-based crossover.

The actual Tundra-based SUV was unveiled as the Toyota Sequoia on January 11 at the North American International Auto Show. Full manufacturing for the 2001 model year began in September of that same year.

Toyota Sequoia – First Generation

The 2001 Sequoia came equipped with a 4.7-liter V8 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. It was capable of producing 315 pound-feet of torque and 240 horsepower. It had terrible fuel efficiency, only getting 12 mpg in the city and 16 mpg on the interstate for a combined 14 mpg but luckily it ran on standard gasoline.

The Sequoia provided both conventional rear-wheel drive and optional four-wheel drive. 6,500 pounds was the original towing capacity. The competition was outclassed by its 11-inch clearance. Other noteworthy features include side-curtain airbags and optional stability control. The Sequoia had eight seats, compared to up to nine for its domestic rivals.

Toyota Sequoia – 2005 Facelift

A slight facelift was given to the Sequoia for the 2005 model year. For 2005, a brand-new VVT-i engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission replaced the 4-speed powertrain. Torsen center differentials took the place of the old open differential in 4-wheel drive versions.

These split power in full-time mode 40 percent front and 60 percent rear under normal driving and up to 53 percent front and 71 percent rear during slip. The taillights’ orange lighting was removed, and the grill was altered. Push-button activation for the four-wheel-drive system and an optional navigation system was also among the newly added features.

That year saw an increase in performance as well, with the V8 engine producing an increased 282 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic replaced the former four-speed. With the 2005 Sequoia’s rating of 14/17/15 mpg city/highway/combined, fuel efficiency also increased.

Toyota Sequoia – Second Generation

The 2008 Sequoia was revealed by Toyota at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2007, and its sales started in December. The new model was based on the newer Tundra, just like the original Sequoia.

A fully boxed frame, a rear independent suspension with double wishbones, and coil springs were equipped for better ride comfort and space. Along with these a locking center differential on 4-wheel drive vehicles included the main changes with the Tundra.

The Sequoia’s improved suspension enabled a fold-flat back seat and a smaller turning radius of 19 feet. According to Toyota, the new frame has a torsional stiffness increase of 30% and is 70% more resistant to bending flex. But compared to the prior Sequoia, the new model weighed 500 lbs more which evidently didn’t help improve fuel efficiency.

Toyota replaced the first model within the customary 6-7 year timeline with the second-generation Sequoia, borrowing another strategy from the domestic rival. The most recent Tundra platform served as the Sequoia’s foundation once more. Despite having a slightly longer overall length, the 2008 Sequoia’s wheelbase increased by four inches.

Other Second Generation Updates

The major upgradation was the introduction of a second V8 engine with a 5.7-liter displacement that produced 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. This one had a six-speed automatic transmission and achieves 14/19/15 mpg in the city, the highway, and the combined cycle.

A rear independent suspension and a locking differential on four-wheel-drive vehicles were two of the upgrades. Navigation, a rearview camera, a rear entertainment system, Bluetooth, updated audio systems, and laser cruise control were additional enhancements and choices. Additionally, the towing capacity increased to 7,400 pounds.

In 2010, the second-gen Sequoia gained a new base powertrain with a 4.6-liter displacement and a six-speed automated transmission. Blind-spot monitoring was made an option on the top-trim model in 2012. In 2013, the Sequoia decided to stick with the larger of the two V8s and offer just one engine.

Toyota Sequoia – 2018 Facelift

Toyota refreshed the second-generation Sequoia n 2018 rather than replacing it after a full decade run. Standard LED headlights, daytime running lights, and fog lights were a few of the updated features. New safety features like automated emergency braking were included along with expanded trim levels.

The Toyota Sequoia got more improvements for 2020. These include increased driver-assist technologies, a new TRD Pro trim, and smartphone compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Toyota’s Largest SUV: Toyota Sequoia – Third Generation

Toyota’s Largest SUV: 2023 Toyota Sequoia

For the 2023 model year, the third-generation Sequoia was revealed on January 25, 2022. Sales are expected to start by late mid-2022. Production was transferred to the San Antonio facility, which was constructed alongside the Tundra XK70 series.

It gets new exterior styling, an independent front suspension, and a new turbocharged V6 hybrid powertrain. Along with this, enhanced towing capacity, and an upgraded lineup of sophisticated driver assistance systems are all upgrades in the new Sequoia.

Every 2023 Sequoia model comes equipped with a hybridized turbocharged V6 engine. This is the same hybrid drivetrain that is available in the Tundra pickup. It has been named by Toyota as the i-Force Max powertrain and it produces 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque.

These are respectable performance figures for the class. They significantly outperform the 5.7-liter V8 from the previous model (it put out 381 hp and 401 lb-ft). The maximum amount that can be towed has also been raised to 9,000 pounds.

Five trim levels are offered for the third-generation Sequoia. Four of them are carryovers from the previous model which are SR5, Limited, Platinum, and TRD Pro. Along with these for 2023 arrives a new flagship Capstone luxury-oriented trim. The Sequoia is available in seven- or eight-passenger configurations, with either a split bench or twin captain’s chairs in the second row, depending on the trim.

Facts about Toyota’s Largest SUV – The Sequoia:

  1. The Toyota Sequoia is the largest SUV in Toyota’s lineup.
  2. The Sequoia offers three rows of seating for up to eight passengers and plenty of cargo space.
  3. The Sequoia measures longer, wider, and taller than its luxury sibling, the Toyota Land Cruiser.
  4. The 2021 Toyota Sequoia is more than 10 inches longer than the Land Cruiser’s 194.9-inch length.
  5. The Sequoia has a wheelbase of 122 inches, while the Land Cruiser has a 112.2-inch wheelbase.
  6. The Sequoia is also 77 inches tall, while the Land Cruiser measures 74 inches.
  7. The Sequoia provides 18.9 cubic feet of space for gear in the rear cargo, while the Land Cruiser offers 16.1 cubic feet.
  8. Both the Sequoia and the Land Cruiser run on the same 346 hp 5.7 liter V8 engine.
  9. The Toyota Highlander is Toyota’s smallest SUV that seats up to eight passengers.
  10. The 2021 Toyota Highlander is about 6 inches shorter than the Land Cruiser and has a rear cargo volume of 16 cubic feet.

Toyota’s Largest SUV: Conclusion

All six of Toyota’s SUV models, along with the additional hybrid models, come with a variety of options for seating, storage, fuel efficiency, and off-roading prowess. Finding the SUV or crossover that is ideal for your family will be simple if you decide which of these features are most essential to you.

The largest SUV in Toyota’s portfolio, even though the Land Cruiser and Highlander both have eight-passenger seating, is the 2021 Toyota Sequoia. The Sequoia is the roomiest SUV in the series, so if you require a lot of space and are wondering what the largest Toyota SUV is, you might be interested in it.

FAQs On Toyota’s Largest SUV

Here are some popular FAQs:

What Is A Large SUV

Any SUV that is longer than 4.5 meters is considered a large SUV. We anticipate a big cabin, a long list of standard features, and superb cruising refinement because these cars are often not very inexpensive to buy or lease.

What Is The Largest SUV

Not only is the Chevrolet Suburban the largest with its enormous freight capacity, but it has the longest history. In fact, the Chevrolet Suburban is the car industry’s oldest continuously operating marque. They have been continuously sold by Chevy since 1935.

How Much Are Toyota Sequoias

The base MSRP of the 2023 Toyota Sequoia is $58,300, making it one of the full-size SUVs with the highest beginning pricing. For the midrange Limited and Platinum trims, the cost increases to $64,700 and $70,900, respectively.

Which SUV Has The Most Cargo Space

With the exception of its corporate cousin, the GMC Yukon XL, the Chevy Suburban offers the most overall cargo space of any SUV on the market. Additionally, it costs less than many others. Its entire interior may be folded flat to reveal a useful cargo space. The space behind the third row is 41.5 cubic feet. There are 93.8 cubic feet available behind the second seat if the third row is folded down.

Where Are Toyota Sequoias Made

Previously, the Toyota Sequoias were only produced in the US. They were only manufactured in the Princeton facility in Indiana, USA. However, the new Sequoia SUV will be produced in San Antonio, Texas, as well as the United States.

How Much Can A Toyota Sequoia Tow

A 4WD Toyota Sequoia has a 9,100-pound towing capacity. That is an increase of a ton from the maximum towing capacity of 7,400 pounds of the 2022 Sequoia. Naturally, the Toyota Sequoia with the highest towing capability has the necessary heavy-duty towing kits.

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