Skip to Content

Toyota Highlander vs. Sequoia

This is a black Toyota Sequoia parked in a garage.

Getting a new vehicle, particularly an SUV can be a daunting process, especially when you do not know much about them. How do you decide which one to go for? Toyota Highlander and Toyota Sequoia are two of the most favored SUVs that Toyota has to offer. 

There are many things to take into consideration, and having the correct information will be helpful.

The most significant difference between the Toyota Sequoia and the Toyota Highlander is that the Sequoia is much larger. The other major difference is the cargo room and towing capability that the Sequoia offers compared to the Highlander. The Sequoia also has a truck-based frame.

Both of these SUVs do a great job of getting people from one place to another. However, does one have more advantages than the other? In this article, you will read about the differences between these two and the features that they offer so that you can decide which of these is worth spending your money on.

2021 Toyota Highlander vs. 2021 Toyota Sequoia

Size and Look

This is a black Toyota Highlander on a concrete road.

The main reason why SUVs are popular is that they offer seating that can accommodate people with big families or a large group of friends. The Sequoia is noticeably bigger than the Highlander, and although the Highlanders cabin quality is commendable, the Sequoia offers a cabin that is more spacious as it has a total cargo space of 120.1 cubic feet compared to the Highlander that only has 84.3 cubic feet.

However, taller drivers will find themselves appreciating the Highlander more due to the headroom being greater than that of the Sequoia. Those extra inches make a whole lot of difference when it comes to comfort. Although the Highlander is smaller, both Toyota vehicles have a passenger capacity for eight people.

The Toyota Highlander has redesigned the look of its SUV to make it look less rugged and more sophisticated. Because the Toyota Sequoia has not been redesigned much over the years, it is difficult for it to compete with the Toyota Highlander in some instances as the Highlander is now more modern.

Both of the vehicles utilize their unique build in different ways. The Toyota Sequoia can smoothly navigate off-road driving while the Toyota Highland focuses more on the tech side of things, like Amazon Alexa.

Performance Comparison

This is a black Toyota Sequoia on a snowy forest road.

Performance-wise, both SUVs are competent and even thrilling. However, the Highlander is not as powerful as the Sequoia due to it having a lower torque of 263 lb-ft compared to the Sequoias 401 lb-ft, meaning that the Sequoia will feel faster, more responsive, and more powerful overall.

The horsepower of the Sequoia (381hp 5.7 L V-8) also triumphs that of the Highlander (295hp 3.5 L V-6), making the Sequoia a much more exciting SUV because its engine will deliver more power and has an oomf when it comes to the acceleration possible. If you are more interested in power, then the Toyota Sequoia is the best choice due to its large engine.

Due to the desirability of consumers for the powertrain of the Toyota Sequoia, the Toyota Highlander came up with a hybrid model that boasts a 2.5 L engine that generates a horsepower of up to 243. This makes it an attractive choice for buyers who want the modern look, spacious SUV feel, fuel efficiency, and powertrain.

The Highlander takes the cake with its V-6 engine type and a 26 mpg highway when it comes to fuel efficiency. The Sequoias V-8 engine uses a lot more fuel, with a 17 mpg highway, which means that there will be a lot of gas station stops in the future.

However, the powerful engine also means that the Sequoias towing capacity surpasses that of the Highlander. Therefore, when it comes to heavy loads being pulled, at 7400 pounds, the Sequoia is definitely the better choice compared to the Highlander, which boasts a towing capacity of 5000 pounds.

Costs Involved

This is a gray Toyota Highlander on display at a car show.

Both of these SUVs cost a pretty penny, but one is significantly more expensive than the other. The starting MSRP for the Sequoia is a whopping $50,100, while the Highlander is $34,810. Clearly, the Highlander is a much better choice when it comes to finances.

One of the other things that need to be considered when looking at the overall SUV cost is the Destination Charge. This is the charge of transporting the vehicle from where it was built to the dealer. The Toyota Sequoia has a much higher Destination Charge than the Toyota Highlander, making it a better option when all you’re looking at is the cost.


This is a look at the interior dashboard of the Toyota Sequoia.

When it comes to safety, both of these SUV vehicles take it seriously. This is proven by the various safety features that they offer. The Toyota Highlander is considered the safest of the two due to it having upgraded its Safety Sense, which offers more advanced safety features than the system that the Toyota Sequoia still uses.

This is why the Highlander was awarded as the Top Safety Pick and received a five-star rating. Although Toyota Sequoia has not yet received a rating from the NHTSA agency, there is no doubt that passengers have nothing to worry about when it comes to safety.


This is a look at the interior dashboard of the Toyota Highlander.

Both the Toyota Sequoia and the Toyota Highlander have similar warranties, like most Toyota vehicles. The Sequoia warranty consists of a basic three-year/36000-mile one and a five-year/60000-mile powertrain warranty. The Highlander has the same warranty plan with an additional one for corrosion perforation, which is a five-year plan and unlimited mileage.


Both Toyota SUVs are family-oriented and have many features in common. Essentially, they are both reliable vehicles, and each offers durability. Overall, the choice remains yours as to which of the SUVs meet your needs. They both have advantages and disadvantages that will impact your decision.

Although these SUVs are different in many ways, including the power that they both offer, the interior feature, the design as well as how much fuel they use, etc., they are both exceptional and would be well worth the money spent.


Motor Biscuit: Why Would Anyone Buy a Toyota Sequoia Instead of a Toyota Highlander

The Car Connection: 2021 Toyota Highlander vs. 2021 Toyota Sequoia