SUV or Pickup? Choosing Between the Twin-Turbo Toyota Tundra and Toyota Sequoia
SUV or pickup truck? For many buyers of either one, the choice is straight forward and there’s little consideration of the alternative.
But in other cases, the two offerings can be remarkably similar—enough that it can be hard for a buyer to choose between the two.
That brings us to the current Toyota lineup, which includes two recently redesigned rigs both riding on the same platform: the Tundra pickup and the Sequoia SUV.
Some buyers will be fully set on either the open pickup bed of the Tundra or the three-row enclosed cabin of the Sequoia, but let's compare the two for those who might be considering both.
The Value Pick?
When it comes to pure value and low cost of entry, the Tundra gets the nod. In its base SR form, a CrewMax Tundra can be spec'd with an MSRP under $40,000.
Keep in mind, of course, that the SR is a pretty bare bones truck, and the better equipped models climb in price quickly. The top of the line, luxury grade Tundra Capstone, for example, has an MSRP that brushes close to $80,000.
The Sequoia meanwhile, has an entry MSRP of just under $60,000 for a two-wheel drive SR5 model. A fully loaded Sequoia Capstone meanwhile has an MSRP of over $81,000.
As you can see. That's a large spread between the base Tundra, but you do get a lot for the extra money with the Sequoia, including a higher end powerplant.
Hybrid or Non-Hybrid
One of the biggest changes for both models when coming into the current generation was leaving behind their old standard 5.7L V8s in favor a new standard 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 and a ten-speed automatic transmission.
In most Tundra models the I-Force twin turbo V6 makes 389 horsepower and 479 pound feet of torque, though the entry level SR has slightly lower output.
The flagship engine is the i-Force MAX, which pairs the twin turbo V6 with an electric motor for improved power and fuel economy. It makes an impressive 437 horsepower and 583 pound feet of torque while getting 22 miles per gallon combined.
The biggest difference between the Sequoia and Tundra is that the Sequoia comes standard with the the MAX hybrid engine, while it's an optional upgrade for the Tundra Limited and above.
You'll have to pay for the added power and fuel economy The least expensive Tundra hybrid has an MSRP just under $56,000, but it's still about $4,000 cheaper than a base Sequoia.
As you'd imagine with two vehicles that share so much, the Tundra and Sequoia share a lot of the same personality and performance.
One thing to note is that Tundra has a maximum tow rating of 12,000 pounds which is much higher than the Sequoia's 9,520 pounds.
Beyond that, the choice will likely come down to creature comforts and whether you favor open-air hauling or enclosed space.
If off-roading part of your plans, the flagship TRD Pro versions of these rigs might strike your fancy, but keep in mind there also plenty of aftermarket solutions like modern all-terrain tires to improve off-road performance of the less expensive models.
We'd say go with one of the lower-trimmed Tundra models like the SR5 if you are going for a value play, but beyond that you'll find it really just comes down to the needs of your family or your hauling preference.
No matter your pick, here's hoping these new engines and platforms prove to be as stout and reliable as the ones they replaced.
More From Driving Line
- Not looking to buy a brand new pickup truck? Here's why the first-generation Tundra continues to be a great choice 20+ years later.