Daily Driver: Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro

June 1, 2023
3 mins read
Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro

I’ve just returned from an electrifying test drive of the 2023 Toyota Sequoia, Toyota’s mammoth full-size SUV, with the rowdy bunch from the Texas Motor Press Association. The 2023 Sequoia inherits the hybridized V-6 engine from Toyota’s fierce full-size Tundra pickup, along with the same muscular physique, dipped in the same safety orange you might find on a hunter’s jacket, so you can’t possibly miss this thing on the trail. Combine these attributes with the frame shared with the globally available Land Cruiser (and Tundra), and you’ve got the closest damn thing we can get to a Land Cruiser here in the USA. But can it possibly live up to the mighty Land Cruiser in terms of off-road prowess? I was here to put it to the test.

Now here’s where the real fun began. I took the Sequoia for a wild spin on an off-road course set in the heart of the untamed Brazos Valley Off-Road Ranch. The course, a formidable challenge, threw everything it had at us—an exhilarating water crossing, a heart-stopping blind tabletop climb, a lightning-fast dirt track, and treacherous stretches with limited visibility. But fear not, for the Sequoia was armed with Multi-Terrain Monitor cameras that provided me and my co-driver with an extraordinary perspective. It was like having a sixth sense, allowing us to peer over obstacles and stay on trail in positions that would normally afford a driver a view of sky or gravel. The Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro tackled every challenge with unwavering ease, conquering the untamed terrain with a finesse that left me in awe of what we had just overcome. However, let’s keep in mind that this was a controlled off-road course tailored to satiate our craving for adventure, without risking harm to the precious media fleet.

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the 2023 Sequoia lineup. Each trim boasts a hybridized twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 engine that flexes its muscles with a mind-boggling 437 horsepower and a staggering 583 lb-ft of torque. And don’t you worry, all that power is seamlessly harnessed by a 10-speed automatic transmission. The TRD Pro variant comes equipped with the holy grail of off-road prowess—four-wheel drive—as standard, while it’s optional on the SR5 and Limited trims. The top-tier Capstone and the Platinum trim, on the other hand, are equipped with rear-wheel drive right out of the gate. But wait, there’s more! The TRD Pro struts its stuff with a locking rear differential, special trail cameras (which proved handy on some treacherous trails), 2.5-inch Fox internal-bypass shocks with remote reservoirs lurking at the rear, a TRD front anti-roll bar, Multi-Terrain Select traction modes, crawl control to navigate those gnarly terrains, TRD-branded parts sprinkled throughout the cabin, a quarter-inch-thick aluminum front skid plate to take a licking and keep on ticking, and 18-inch TRD wheels hugged by 33-inch Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires. These additions provide a better approach angle and an extra 0.5 inches of ground clearance compared to the standard Sequoias that don’t have the honor of being TRD Pro.

It’s downright refreshing to witness a model that comes straight from the factory fully loaded for off-road escapades, just like Toyota’s other jaw-dropping TRD Pro creations, including the Tacoma, 4Runner, and Tundra. While I was enjoying making loops on the trails, our excitement didn’t end there. We decided to take the Sequoia for a brief jaunt on the open highway, just to see how it would fare in the realm of everyday driving. Now, it’s worth noting that the ride was noticeably firmer, courtesy of the presence of those Fox shocks, turning the pavement into a tumultuous sea of jolts and bumps. Yet, this is the inevitable trade-off for such an off-road behemoth, safety and performance off-road, with room for the whole family.

For those of you who yearn for the rugged and distinctive TRD Pro look, with all its impressive features, and have a burning desire to spend ample time off the beaten path, the Sequoia TRD Pro is undoubtedly a contender worth considering, even with its price tag starting at a lofty $78,395 just under the luxury-focused Toyota Sequoia Capstone we recently reviewed.

So, my fellow adventurers, whether you’re conquering treacherous trails or navigating the concrete jungle, the 2023 Toyota Sequoia is a force to be reckoned with. It’s a beast that embodies the spirit of untamed exploration, ready to transport you to the farthest reaches of the wilderness or navigate the chaos of everyday life. Strap yourself in and prepare for the ride of a lifetime. The Sequoia TRD Pro is here to awaken your sense of adventure and leave you yearning for the untamed roads that lie ahead.

The Gentleman Racer by Michael Satterfield

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