The Toyota Sequoia has seen a good number of years since its last big redesign. Something that becomes increasingly obvious as cutting edge rivals keep popping up in the popular big SUV segment. For 2021, nothing much has changed to help the Sequoia catch up in the areas where it’s fallen behind. The big change for the new sales year, is the addition of a Nightshade model. What amounts to a seriously dark and sinister appearance package. Like something Batman would pick out if he decided to ditch the Batmobile for something with a third row and lots more cargo space.
If looks could kill though, the Nightshade package on the Sequoia certainly moves things closer to a lethal level. For starters, big 20” split-spoke wheels are stunning in black, along with the heavily darkened chrome grille. Door handles, badges, exterior trim pieces, all black. The integrated LED fog lights have darkened chrome surround. The leather upholstery also comes in, you guessed it, black. But is also available in gray or Wind Chill Pearl. Though if you’re going to commit to a cosmetic makeover titled Nightshade, a matching black interior seems the obvious choice.
The 2021 Toyota Sequoia continues to use the same V8 engine, matted to the same 6-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration around town is responsive and smooth, with plenty of power for highway passing. Decently powerful it may be, but it comes with an insatiable thirst for fuel. With 13 mpg around town, and 17 highway, this V8 makes a case for why V8’s are quickly disappearing. It continues to share the same chassis used on the Toyota Tundra, albeit with a much more modern rear suspension. This helps cushion the worst of the roads many imperfections, though many bumps and shakes still find their way into the cabin. Steering feedback feels absent most times and in general, the Toyota Sequoia drives like the big truck on which it’s based. Not as composed and tightened up in the corners as many of its competitors.
The addition of the visually impressive Nightshade package will undoubtedly buy the Toyota Sequoia another year before the pressure to make more substantially improvements overwhelms. We live in an age where shaving badges, blackening out trim and wrapping cars extra dark for that ‘murdered out’ effect is all the rage. The Nightshade package is giving you the best version of this cosmetic trend, factory installed to perfection, with stunning effect. This is a win. But the interior is still full of cheap plastics and unimpressive materials. Driving mannerisms still feel like a dated full-sized pickup truck and poor fuel economy is simply harder and harder to explain away these days. All of this will need to be addressed soon if the Sequoia is to survive the hoards of full-sized SUV’s that are arriving each year.
Starting msrp: $60,420.00