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2021 Sequoia vs. Tahoe Comparison

When you need a vehicle that can handle road trips or off-roading adventures with the whole family, sport utility vehicles (SUV) offer the best of both.

Toyota unleashed this combination in the Sequoia which hit the market in 2001. Now in its second generation, Toyota has made improvements in engine performance, MPG ratings, interior, and exterior features. However, Toyota is not alone in working to perfect the SUV. Introduced six years earlier, the Tahoe, formerly known as the Chevy Blazer, entered the market in 1995. This full-size SUV has also made improvements in performance and introduced a variety of trim options.

The Sequoia offers stout performance with its 5.7L V8 engine with 381 horsepower while the Tahoe's 5.3L V8 engine has a lower 355 horsepower. For towing and low-end power off-road, Sequoia has 401 lb.-ft. torque while Tahoe’s 5.3L V8 has a lower 383 lb.-ft. torque. Plus, the Toyota Sequoia offers off-roading-styled trims which include available skid plates and beefy suspension.

The Tahoe High Country does have the option for a 6.2L V8 that has 420 horsepower starting at $70,895 MSRP.

But if you’re just looking for a roomy, reliable vehicle in the city, you'll also find more standard active safety and interior features even in the base-grade Sequoia SR5.

Along with these performance features, see more ways these two full-size SUVs compare in other areas of safety and interior.

Publish Date: 11/13/2020

2021 Sequoia parked against a mountain skyline

Performance

  • The Sequoia SR5 2WD has a more powerful engine that produces 381 horsepower.
  • The comparable Premium Smooth Ride suspension, which is not available on the Tahoe Premium, is standard on the Sequoia.
  • You get more off-roading features with the Sequoia TRD Sport and TRD Pro.

Make a big statement with a full-size SUV that has the power and off-road-styling options to support your next adventure.

Power and Off-Roading

The Sequoia SR5 2WD (starting MSRP $50,100) comes standard with a 5.7L V8 engine that has 381 horsepower, while the base model Tahoe LS 2WD has a 5.3L V8 engine that has 355 horsepower for a starting MSRP of $49,000. Starting at $70,895 MSRP, the Tahoe High Country has the option for a 6.2L V8 that has 420 horsepower.

While both the Sequoia and Tahoe offer 4WD options, the Sequoia takes it up a notch with the TRD Sport and TRD Pro off-roading trims. The TRD Sport offers upgraded Bilstein® shock absorbers and Multi-Mode 4WD with Torsen® limited-slip center differential with a locking feature. The TRD Pro has TRD FOX® shocks with piggyback reservoirs and a TRD-stamped front skid plate.

The high-end Tahoe Z71 has a mechanical limited-slip rear differential but no locking feature. It does include a standard front skid plate but does not include the Adaptive Air Ride suspension that is comparable to the gas-filled shock absorbers standard on all Sequoias.

Close-up of 2021 Sequoia seat

Safety

  • You get more standard safety features with the Sequoia.
  • New Toyota Sequoias come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P).
  • The NHTSA awarded the Sequoia a higher rollover safety rating than the Tahoe in a loss-of-control scenario.

When you're driving your family around you want to know that you’re protected. With the standard active safety features of the Sequoia and Tahoe you can be.

Standard Safety Features

Compared to the Tahoe, the 2021 Sequoia offers better standard active safety features with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P).

Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) provides drivers with a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) on all trim levels. Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) is an added bonus. On the other hand, the 2021 Tahoe LS 2WD has available Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam, and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning with the Enhanced Driver Alert Package for an additional $695. These features come standard on the more expensive LT and Premier. For standard Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert you'd have to get the Tahoe Premier. Adaptive Cruise Control is not available on Tahoe LS model.

While the 2020 Sequoia 2WD received a 4-Star Rollover rating from NHTSA, the 2020 Tahoe received 3-Stars. The 2021 ratings have yet to be awarded as of the time of this article being written.

Interior of 2021 Sequoia

Interior

  • For more connectivity options the Sequoia comes standard with Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa.
  • For maximum entertainment, Sequoia with the Platinum interior add-on comes with 14 JBL® speakers.
  • Choose between Easy-Clean fabric or leather-trimmed 40/20/40 second row and 60/40 third row split in the Sequoia depending on your needs.

For your next road trip take advantage of the standard connectivity features and interior configurations of the Sequoia.

Multimedia Features

For more connectivity options, the 2021 Sequoia offers Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. While the 2021 Tahoe does offer Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay, it lacks an Amazon Alexa connectivity option. For an upgraded sound system, the Sequoia Platinum interior comes equipped with 14 JBL® speakers for enhanced sound. The Tahoe Premier has a Bose® 10-speaker Surround with CenterPoint® audio system.

Additionally, the Sequoia SR5 2WD has the option for a 40/20/40 second row and a third row 60/40 split for the easy-clean fabric-trimmed seats, while the Tahoe only has the option for a 60/40 split.

2021 Sequoia parked on a wet road at night

Conclusion: Sequoia vs. Tahoe

  • For a starting MSRP of $50,1001, the Sequoia comes packed with standard features that you have to purchase as extra packages on the Tahoe.
  • The Sequoia comes standard with TSS-P which includes Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
  • Get Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility with the Sequoia.

Although it hasn't been around as long as the Tahoe, the Sequoia has been quick to keep up with performance, safety technologies, and convenience features. The 2021 Sequoia offers more standard features at a lower starting price.

With relatively similar starting prices, the Sequoia starting MSRP of $50,100 comes with more than the Tahoe LS starting at $49,000. This means less add-ons at the checkout.

For example, to get Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert that are standard features on the Sequoia, Chevy drivers would have to get the Tahoe Premier for $63,895.

The Sequoia also comes with Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, while the Tahoe only offers Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay®.

If you're looking for more standard active safety features, more horsepower, and more connectivity and audio options, the Sequoia has what you need.