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Here Are The Toyota Sequoia Years To Avoid

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Toyota Sequoia by juan — CC BY-SA 4.0

The Toyota Sequoia has been around for a while. It was introduced in 2001 as a full-size SUV meant to fill the gap that existed between the Toyota Land Cruiser and the Toyota 4Runner. As it is with many cars, it comes with problems that are unique to it. 

This makes it necessary to know which Toyota Sequoia years to avoid. The information provided in this article is based on the problems recorded for each model. We’ll also let you know about the Sequoia years that are safest to buy. 

Quick Answer: Avoid Toyota Sequoia Year Models 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

We recommend staying away from Toyota Sequoia models manufactured between 2001 and 2008. When compared to models made after 2008, earlier versions of this full-size SUV recorded serious defects in their construction and drivability. 

The Toyota Sequoia seems to have been plagued by several issues in its early years. The most common include brake problems, body/paint problems, steering problems, engine problems, and suspension failure—these present serious safety issues. 


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Which Toyota Sequoia Models are Safe to Buy Used? 

The Sequoia has been around for about two decades now. In that time, it has gone through various changes and improvements to make it the vehicle that it is today. As mentioned earlier, the first models made between 2001 and 2008 weren’t that reliable. 

However, there are still plenty more to choose from that provide great service and reliability. Owners of these model years have reported fewer problems when compared to earlier owners. We recommend buying the following Toyota Sequoia year models: 

  • 2009 Toyota Sequoia 
  • 2010 Toyota Sequoia 
  • 2011 Toyota Sequoia
  • 2012 Toyota Sequoia 
  • 2013 Toyota Sequoia 
  • 2014 Toyota Sequoia 
  • 2015 Toyota Sequoia 
  • 2016 Toyota Sequoia 
  • 2017 Toyota Sequoia 
  • 2018 Toyota Sequoia 
  • 2019 Toyota Sequoia 
  • 2020 Toyota Sequoia 
  • 2021 Toyota Sequoia 

Looking at the progression of the Toyota Sequoia, it’s easy to tell that after 2008, Toyota made some major changes to ensure the vehicle was more reliable. The first generation, which ran from 2001 to 2007, seemed to have had way too many problems. 

The second generation came with major improvements, such as a rear independent suspension that improved ride comfort. Models made since 2009 have produced fewer complaints. Most of the problems involve the brakes and engine. 

It’s good to point out that the complaints are very few and far between. Some model years barely produced any complaints at all. For others, only one or two complaints were made. Most of the vehicles that registered any problems had already covered more than 100,000 miles. This shows that the Toyota Sequoia is indeed a reliable vehicle that does not disappoint. 


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Which Toyota Sequoia Years to Avoid

There are several Toyota Sequoia years that you should avoid. Most of these cover the earlier models that were made between 2001 and 2008. They don’t do well when it comes to offering the reliability needed by most drivers. Below is a list of Toyota Sequoia years to avoid. 

  • 2001 Toyota Sequoia 
  • 2002 Toyota Sequoia
  • 2003 Toyota Sequoia
  • 2004 Toyota Sequoia
  • 2005 Toyota Sequoia
  • 2006 Toyota Sequoia
  • 2007 Toyota Sequoia
  • 2008 Toyota Sequoia

The most common problems with all these model years involve the brakes, steering, engine, body/paint, and suspension. Some years also came with a rear hatch handle that stops working at about 90,000 miles. Earlier Sequoias also experience severe problems as they age.

Some of the worst problems reported included an erratic VSC traction control system, transmission failure, and a cracked manifold gasket. We recommend avoiding the 2002 Toyota Sequoia, as it recorded the highest number of problems. In addition, the engine may fail and die at as early as 100,000 miles. 

If you own a 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, or 2007 Toyota Sequoia, you’re also likely to experience other problems such as a rear window that stops working; a malfunctioning ABS, brake, or VCS light; loss of acceleration, air injection system failure, excessive rusting, rear end clunk noises, a leaking camshaft tower, or a battery that runs down. 

A few of the problems pop up at 3,000 miles or thereabouts. Others are experienced when the Toyota Sequoia has more than 90,000 miles on the odometer. The 2005–2008 model years record fewer problems when compared to the 2001–2004 model years. 

To stay safe, we recommend staying away from all of the years mentioned. You can purchase any Toyota Sequoia made since 2009 with much greater peace of mind. These models perform exceptionally well and showcase the highest levels of reliability. 


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Toyota Sequoia Problem Counts by Year

Below is a list of the number of problems reported by owners on platforms such as Car Talk Community, Carcomplaints.com, and Carproblems.com. These problems cover all the models since the year 2001.

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