Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A 2022 Toyota Sequoia Nightshade Special Edition is shown parked on a bridge.

Reliability Tops the 2022 Toyota Sequoia’s Long List of Attributes

Is there such a thing as the ideal SUV for busy families? Poll 100 buyers, and you’ll get 100 opinions, but ask the question more specifically, and a pattern emerges. The better question is: is there an ideal SUV for busy families looking for generous seating and cargo space at an affordable price that’s also inexpensive to own? The answer is yes; the 2022 Toyota Sequoia.

The Sequoia has been around for a long time. While many automakers choose to tinker with their best sellers, Toyota opts for consistency. Buyers like it just the way it is. It offers more standard driver-assist technology than most of its rivals and the reliability only a Toyota can offer. What’s more, the Sequoia seats up to eight, which is perfect for carting your kids and their friends around town.

Generous cargo space means DIY weekend project enthusiasts aren’t stuck borrowing a truck to bring home building materials and bags of mulch. All that space is equally handy if spontaneous road trips to the mountains are more your cup of tea, as is the available four-wheel drive. In short, the Sequoia supports family-oriented lifestyles reliably and safely.

A silver 2022 Toyota Sequoia is showing towing an Airstream on a highway.

Standard Safety Features Are Critical

Safety dominates the top spots on most families’ must-have lists. By now, it should be a given in the SUV category. Vehicles like the Sequoia, which are designed specifically for families, should all contain more than the minimum levels of safety features, and those features shouldn’t cost extra. Unfortunately, even in 2022, not all models meet those expectations.

Vehicles like the current Ford Expedition don’t even offer basic driver-assist systems as an option on their base models, let alone provide them standard. In contrast, all 2022 Sequoia trims receive standard Toyota Safety Sense, a comprehensive suite of driver-assist technologies. The systems utilize radar and cameras to detect potentially dangerous driving situations, like tailgating and unsafe lane changes, and provide feedback to the driver to initiate a correction. Toyota Safety Sense includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).

DRCC is the perfect companion for highway drivers, and frankly, all big SUVs should have it. Set the cruise control, and the radar does the rest, ensuring the distance between your SUV and the vehicle ahead remains safe and consistent. If it senses traffic is slowing, DRCC automatically adjusts speed to maintain a safe distance. This goes a long way to keeping highway drives relaxing, especially when you have to keep an eye on kids in the back seats.

Automatic High Beams offer a similar benefit in that they take the drudgery out of nighttime driving by automatically switching between high and low-beam settings in response to oncoming traffic. It’s a smart technology that’s long overdue. It benefits not only you, but also drivers who might otherwise be temporarily blinded by your high beams when you (like everyone else) forget to switch to the low beam setting.

Families Need Space for People and Stuff

Busy families usually stash a lot of gear in their vehicles, whether it’s luggage for a weekend hiking trip or a stack of overstuffed backpacks and science projects belonging to your kid and his buddies (who have just overtaken the rear seats and commandeered the audio system on the way home from school). It goes without saying that buyers choose large SUVs primarily because they want the extra roominess.

The best large SUVs support their owners’ lifestyles, and that’s exactly what the 2022 Toyota Sequoia is designed to do, with its versatile interior and comfortable accommodations. You won’t hear any gripes from third-row passengers because the Sequoia offers an impressive 34.5 inches of third-row legroom – that’s only a quarter-inch less than the second-row in a Corolla.

The Sequoia also supplies over 120 cubic feet of space for cargo which is noteworthy because if you set your sights on a different vehicle in the segment, you might have to “supersize” to the extended-length version. The Sequoia’s straightforward large stature eliminates the price creep associated with more graduated model lineups. It can be tricky to navigate the size differences, which sometimes only add up to mere inches, but Toyota keeps things simple.

We all work hard, and not too many of us have the time to spend hours poring over detailed vehicle specifications. That’s why the Sequoia’s straightforward lineup makes sense. Buyers can choose between six trims, including the special Nightshade Edition, and get all the features they need while still staying within budget.

What kind of comfort features does the Sequoia give you? On the mid-level Limited trim, you’ll get plenty, including leather seating with heated power front seats, an upgraded audio system, and an infotainment touchscreen with connected navigation. Tri-zone climate control and ultra-bright LED lighting, including fog lights, round out the features for good measure. It’s nice to know that the vehicle you’ll be driving for the next several years is on the luxury end of the spectrum.

A family is shown preparing for a hike outside of their silver 2022 Toyota Sequoia.

Low Cost-of-Ownership and Reliability

Second only to safety, reliability is of primary concern for families. When both parents work, no one has time to spend hours at the local dealership waiting for the technician to finish yet another repair. Also, what about those annoying knocks and pings that may not signal big trouble but are nonetheless a headache to live with every day? Whether it’s a small annoyance or a costly overhaul, mechanical problems are a nuisance.

Year after year, the Sequoia consistently receives a “Great” Quality & Reliability rating from third-party review site J.D. Power. Other automotive review sites echo this praise as the Sequoia is legendary for its durability. It’s not uncommon for owners to hang onto their vehicles for well over a decade, logging upwards of 300,000 miles with the dependable 5.7-liter V8 engine.

Even more rugged reviewers concur that while there are no guarantees in life, the Sequoia is the closest thing to a sure thing that you’ll find on four wheels. The discerning experts at Pickup Truck Talk took it even a step further, noting that reliability is more important than even the most luxurious equipment because “the last thing you want to experience is a car filled with cargo, your family, the family pet sitting alongside the side of the road.” With the Sequoia, that’s not a worry.

True reliability is usually accompanied by a thread of stoicism. Consider anything mechanical: the machine with the fewest moving parts generally works better and is easier to fix. The same holds true here. We understand why automakers are rushing to stuff their SUVs full of novelty electronics and power everything, but at the end of the day, none of that does us any good if it’s broken. And with kids in the car, it’s all going to break eventually.

The 2022 Sequoia is a Solid Investment

Newer isn’t always better. Manufacturers tend to redesign their vehicles when consumer demand falls, and a surprising number of full-size SUVs simply stop selling because they fall out of fashion. Always keep your eyes peeled for the outliers – the models that stay consistent, buck the trends, and let their attributes speak for themselves.

We can think of two: the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Toyota Sequoia. Both feature timeless designs beloved by their owners. Both have undergone minimal recent generational changes – until Jeep decided to redesign the Grand Cherokee for the 2022 model year, that is. That leaves the Sequoia. If you’re a busy family in need of a larger SUV that will last, the question isn’t “why the Sequoia?” But “why not the Sequoia?”