2023 Toyota Highlander vs. 2023 Toyota Sequoia

There are sizable differences between these three-row Toyota SUVs.

Side views of a green 2023 Toyota Highlander and a silver 2023 Toyota SequoiaToyota


Though one casts a far bigger shadow than the other, the midsize 2023 Toyota Highlander and the full-size 2023 Toyota Sequoia both offer plenty of cross-shop potential.

Front three-quarter view of a green 2023 Toyota HighlanderToyota

There's a Large Price Difference Between Highlander and Sequoia

The 2023 Toyota Highlander consists of an alphabet soup of trim levels: L, LE, XLE, XSE, Limited, and Platinum. The base Highlander L, priced at about $38,000, is an eight-seat crossover with cloth upholstery, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a host of crash-avoidance features in Toyota's Safety Sense suite of driver-assistance gear.

Work your way up the Highlander lineup and you'll find blind-spot monitoring, wireless device charging, synthetic or real leather trim, second-row captain's chairs, and a 12.3-inch touchscreen. All-wheel drive is about $1,200 more.

The Highlander Hybrid starts at about $42,000 in LE trim, before climbing through XLE, Bronze Edition, Limited, and Platinum trims.

A long-wheelbase version called Grand Highlander will join the Highlander lineup for 2023 with even more third-row space.

View from above of a white 2023 Toyota SequoiaToyota

At about $62,000, the 2023 Toyota Sequoia costs quite a bit more to start, and its lineup climbs quickly from SR5 through Limited, Platinum, TRD Pro, and Capstone trim levels. Base SR5 versions are outfitted similarly to the Highlander with cloth trim, wireless smartphone mirroring, and Toyota Safety Sense. A surround-view camera system is also included. Four-wheel drive is $2,600 more.

The Sequoia lineup can be upgraded with leather upholstery, a sunroof, and a 14.0-inch touchscreen as you work your way through its various trim levels.

Dashboard and steering wheel in a 2023 Toyota HighlanderToyota

Top Sequoia Trim Can Tow Nearly Twice as Much as Highlander

The standard Highlander comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder making 265 horsepower. It delivers that power to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. You'll want this version of the Highlander if you plan to tow since it's rated for up to 5,000 pounds.

Look to the Highlander Hybrid for a 2.5-liter four-cylinder teamed with an electric motor and a battery pack for a total system output of 243 horsepower. Both front- and all-wheel-drive versions use a continuously variable automatic transmission, while those that also send power to the rear wheels do so via a second electric motor.

Dashboard and steering wheel of a 2023 Toyota SequoiaToyota

The Sequoia, meanwhile, comes with a big twin-turbo V-6 rated at 437 horsepower. It's also a hybrid, with a single nickel-metal hydride battery pack and an electric motor. Toyota says it can tow a 9,520-pound trailer, which means it's easily the big-hauling champ here.

Highlanders with all-wheel drive require no driver activation to send power to each corner. Conversely, Sequoia drivers will find a simple part-time setup that requires drivers to switch between rear- and four-wheel-drive modes depending on the terrain.

If the road gets rough, however, the Sequoia's extra ground clearance over the Highlander makes it an easy choice. Also, its available TRD Pro trim level adds all-terrain tires and skid plates for really rough going.

Second row of seats in a 2023 Toyota HighlanderToyota

Highlander Beats Sequoia in Fuel Economy

The Highlander is the easy fuel-economy champ here, even in its thirstiest form. The EPA reports that the base turbocharged engine gets 22/29/25 mpg city/highway/combined. Hybrids come in at 36/35/36 mpg with front-wheel drive and 35/34/35 mpg for models with all-wheel drive.

The front-wheel-drive Highlander Hybrid's fuel economy and big gas tank give it a 616-mile total range estimate using the EPA's test.

Rear three-quarter view of a white 2023 Toyota SequoiaToyota

The Sequoia lineup is estimated at 21/24/22 mpg city/highway/combined with rear-wheel drive and 19/22/20 mpg with four-wheel drive.

All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication) and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.

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Nick Kurczewski
Nick Kurczewski is a freelance automotive journalist based in the New York metro area. With approximately 20 years of experience, he has covered all aspects of the car world, from the pit lane at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to car shows around the world, and a Zamboni lesson in Lower Manhattan. He’s also adept at providing helpful car advice and steering people towards the ideal car, truck, or SUV for their driving needs.