You are here
Home > 2021 Vehicles > Here’s How the 2021 Toyota Sequoia NightShade is Different on Everyman Driver

Here’s How the 2021 Toyota Sequoia NightShade is Different on Everyman Driver

While most Toyota Nightshade models are based on SE grade versions, the 2021 Nightshade pickups and Sequoia are built on the more luxurious Limited grade models. All have black leather-trim seating and slightly sinister looking black exterior trim, including a darkened chrome grille, black mirror caps and black door handles. All three of the Toyota Nightshade trucks offer the choice of 2WD or 4WD.

From there, the details vary by model. The Tacoma Nightshade is also distinguished by Dark Smoke 18-inch alloy wheels, black exhaust tip and fog light bezels, and a new grille insert design.

The Tundra Nightshade has black wheels and exhaust tip, while the Sequoia Nightshade uniquely features darkened chrome ‘Sequoia’ badging, body moldings, and lower grille and fog light surrounds.

The Nightshade Editions look particularly wicked in Midnight Black Metallic or Magnetic Gray Metallic. For more customization, the Tacoma and Tundra are also available in Windchill Pearl*, and the Tundra can also be ordered in Super White. The Sequoia Nightshade offers Blizzard Pearl as an additional choice. *Added Cost Color

Toyota is planning to build 5,000 each of the Tacoma and Tundra Nightshade, and 2,500 Sequoia Nightshade.

Named for California’s massive, majestic redwood trees, the Toyota Sequoia has always been about family adventure. For 2020-2021, those adventures can be enjoyed farther off the beaten path with the first-ever Sequoia TRD Pro.

With its robust body-on-frame construction, four-wheel independent suspension, generous ground clearance and 381-horsepower 5.7-liter i-FORCE V8 engine, the Sequoia was already one of the most capable full-size SUVs on the market. The TRD Pro takes that capability to an extreme with a chassis fortified by Fox aluminum-bodied internal bypass shocks, standard Multi-Mode 4WD, and proven off-road equipment specially designed or selected by Toyota Racing Development engineers.

Help with getting to family adventures, and enjoying some music along the way, falls to upgraded multimedia systems for 2020-2021. All Sequoia audio systems for 2020-2021 gain a new multimedia system that includes, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

The Sequoia is the latest in a line of TRD Pro vehicles that also includes Tacoma, Tundra and 4Runner, providing Toyota with the unique position of offering a complete lineup of next-level off-road trucks and SUVs. Introduced in 2014, the TRD Pro line emerged from Toyota’s rich off-road racing heritage. The TRD Pro badge signifies a vehicle that’s capable of going where ordinary pickups and SUVs fear to tread, while still retaining comfort for daily driving.

With seating for up to eight (seven in TRD Sport, TRD Pro and Platinum), the Toyota Sequoia makes a solid candidate for the ultimate family vehicle. It’s all there: roominess, luxury, off-road dexterity, high towing capacity, packaged in rugged yet elegant Toyota SUV design. In addition to the new TRD Pro, the 2020 Sequoia line includes the SR5, TRD Sport, Limited, and Platinum grades in two-wheel drive or Multi-Mode 4WD.

Long on Room, Big on Safety

Sequoia offers ample comfort and room in all three seating rows. Independent rear suspension endows Sequoia with a smooth ride, plus the agility one might expect from a smaller vehicle. The suspension design plays a large part in allowing for the third row’s roominess, which offers adult-size legroom (35.1 in.). Second-row legroom is full-size sedan-like at 40.9 inches. Even with its capaciousness, the Sequoia immediately gives the impression of driving “smaller than it is” thanks to its supple ride and 38.1-ft. turning diameter.

Got lots of gear to haul? The Sequoia has the room. With both third-row seat backs folded flat, there’s 66.6 cu. ft. of carrying space, enough to haul camping gear for four. With the second-row seatbacks also folded, the space increases to a cavernous 120.1 cu. ft., enough for a very long camping trip for two. The Sequoia can even carry objects up to 11 feet long, provided the maximum weight is not exceeded. The liftgate has a versatile separate power window, with auto up/down and jam protection.

Toyota safety comes to the fore in the Sequoia with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) standard on every grade. This advanced active safety suite bundles the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Alert with Sway Warning System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, plus Automatic High Beams.

In addition, all Sequoia grades come equipped with standard Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The interior features a dual-stage, advanced front air bag system, seat-mounted side airbags for the driver and front passenger, roll-sensing side curtain airbags for all three seating rows, plus driver and front passenger knee airbags.

TRD Pro: A New Legend in the Making

The 2020-2021 Sequoia TRD Pro is available exclusively as a 7-seat model, featuring middle-row captain’s chairs and a three-across third-row seat with 60/40 split backs that also recline. One could never lose the 2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro in the parking lot of an outdoor gear store. The TRD Pro “TOYOTA” grille leads the charge, flanked by LED headlights and, below, Rigid Industries LED fog lights. The 18 x 8-in. black BBS forged aluminum wheels wear P275/65 R18 tires.

In addition to TRD Pro-exclusive Army Green, other exterior color choices include Super White, Midnight Black Metallic and Magnetic Gray Metallic. All feature black TRD Pro front door badges. A TRD front skid plate helps protect the front suspension and oil pan during trail driving, while cast aluminum running boards and a roof rack enhance function, convenience, and the adventurous attitude.

Out-Foxing the Trail

TRD Pro is of course much more than a tough look. TRD engineers went through the Sequoia chassis and made it even more adaptive to the great outdoors. A key to the vehicle’s new level of trail capability comes courtesy of Fox, a preeminent maker of off-road suspension components.

Aluminum-bodied internal bypass shocks employed on the 2020 Sequoia TRD Pro (and all TRD Pro models) are tuned by TRD engineers specifically for each model. Compared to external-bypass shocks used on off-road race vehicles, the Fox internal bypass shock compactly integrates bypass zones inside the shock body, which allows the shock’s fluid to bypass the piston through regulated ports as it moves through its travel. Providing a cushioned ride during typical driving, the Fox shock damping gets progressively firmer through the shock piston’s stroke to resist bottoming over rough trail surfaces.

The 2.5-inch Fox front shocks on Sequoia TRD Pro include 7 compression zones and 2 rebound zones, and the front shocks also provide an increase in rebound travel of 18mm. TRD engineers reduced the front spring rate on Sequoia TRD Pro to improve its off-road compliance.

For the rear suspension, Sequoia TRD Pro employs 2-inch-diameter Fox piggyback monotube shocks that feature bottom-out-control technology, which is designed to increase damping force for improved bottoming resistance in unforgiving terrain. Compared to the standard rear Sequoia shocks, the 2-inch Fox units feature larger 47mm pistons (15mm larger than original equipment) and beefier shock rods that are 3.2 mm larger in diameter.

The Fox shock bodies are constructed of fully anodized aluminum to help reduce weight while also efficiently dissipating heat to reduce shock fade during off-road driving. A combination of high-temperature damper fluid and pressurized nitrogen gas inside each Fox shock improves bump compliance and help maximize seal life.

The Powerful Sounds of TRD

Sequoia TRD Pro is also available with a TRD cat-back exhaust, featuring a single outlet with a black chrome tip and TRD debossed logo. The system produces a bolder exhaust note that TRD engineers designed with a frequency-tuned sound cancellation device to improve in-cabin sound quality.

The TRD Pro cabin treatment mixes ready-to-get-dirty function with luxury, because there’s nothing wrong with a little comfort out on the trail. Black TRD Pro leather-trimmed seats with red contrast stitching and “TRD Pro” stitched into the front headrests are comfortable and durable, while TRD Pro all-weather floor mats add bring-it-on cabin protection.

Inside sound is provided by the Sequoia top Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and JBL® with Clari-Fi® technology and 14 speakers, including subwoofer and amplifier.

Upgraded Multimedia and Connectivity

For 2020-2021, the standard 8-speaker Audio Plus system (Sequoia SR5 and TRD Sport) includes a 7-in. touchscreen display, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa and Apple CarPlay compatibility, AM/FM/HD Radio, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (with 3-month All Access trial), USB media port, two USB charge ports, plus advanced voice recognition and Bluetooth hands-free phone capability and music streaming. Safety Connect and Remote Connect are standard, each with a 1-year trial, while Service Connect comes with a 10-year trial. Wi-Fi Connect comes with up to 2GB/3-month trial, whichever comes first. Both the SR5 and TRD Sport can be optioned with Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and 8 speakers.

The Limited comes standard with 12-speaker Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation system, which includes Dynamic Navigation with up to 3-year trial, Dynamic POI Search and Dynamic Voice Recognition.

The Platinum and new TRD Pro step up to Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and JBL with Clari-FI technology and 14 speakers, including subwoofer and amplifier. This comprehensive system includes Dynamic Navigation with up to 3-year trial, Dynamic POI Search, and Dynamic Voice Recognition. The Limited also can be optioned to the JBL system as well.

High-Tech, High-Power V8

All Sequoia models are powered by the dual-overhead cam (DOHC) 5.7-liter i-FORCE V8, which produces 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 rpm. Dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and an Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS) ensure ample torque across the engine’s entire speed range. This powerhouse uses only regular-grade (87 AKI) gasoline and is paired with a 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.

Notably, the big V8 produces 90 percent of its peak torque at a low 2,200 rpm, a boon to towing. Compliant with the SAE J2807 towing standard, the Sequoia TRD Pro can tow up to 7,100 lbs. and features an integrated tow hitch, driver-selectable Tow/Haul transmission mode and Trailer Sway Control. The latter uses the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) to help counteract handling forces that can lead to trailer sway.

The available Multi-Mode 4WD system (standard on TRD Pro) uses a lockable TORSEN limited-slip center differential to apportion torque to the front and rear wheels, and a two-speed transfer case provides a low range ratio for tackling steep off-road trails. Low range is accessible on the fly via a rotary knob, and the driver can lock the center differential with the push of a button.

Rooted in Strength

The Sequoia’s body-on-frame construction provides a stable, comfortable foundation for towing, off-pavement driving, and everyday commuting. Four-wheel independent suspension yields outstanding bump absorption on-road and excellent wheel articulation off-road.

The Sequoia Platinum grade steps into luxury territory with its load-leveling rear air suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension, an electronic damper control system that offers driver-selectable settings for Comfort, Normal, and Sport. The rear air spring suspension helps maintain appropriate ride height and chassis attitude when carrying heavy loads or towing.

Sequoia’s stopping power is as impressive as its go-power. The 13.9-inch ventilated front disc brakes utilize four-piston brake calipers, while 13.6-inch ventilated disc brakes are used in the rear. The Sequoia SR5 rolls on 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 275/65 R18 tires; TRD Sport, Limited and Platinum grades have 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 275/55 R20 tires. The Platinum’s wheels feature a distinctive diamond-cut finish.

The off-road capable Sequoia TRD Pro joins the Sequoia TRD Sport in the 2020-2021 model lineup. The latter features TRD chassis upgrades that enhance on-road handling performance. Sport-tuned Bilstein shock absorbers are employed front and rear, and TRD front and rear anti-sway bars also enhance road handling.

The TRD Sport stands out with unique styling cues that include a metallic black grille surround and mirror caps, 20-inch black sport wheels, Black Satin finish TRD Sport badging, and available 7-passenger black leather-trimmed seats with contrast stitching. A TRD shift knob, floor mats and sill protectors complete the makeover.

Toyota Value, Unexpected Luxury

The Sequoia SR5 sets the stage as one of the best-equipped vehicles in its class. The long roster of standard amenities includes LED headlights, DRLs and fog lights; front and rear sonar parking assist; tilt/telescoping steering wheel with integrated audio and Bluetooth hands-free phone controls; engine immobilizer with alarm; tri-zone automatic climate control with separate rear-seat controls; power tilt/slide moonroof; towing package; 8-way power driver’s seat; fog lamps; roof rack; running boards, and more.

The Sequoia Limited adds functionality and convenience with a power rear liftgate with sliding window, power folding and reclining 60/40 split third-row seat and 20-inch alloy wheels. The Limited also ups comfort by way of heated front leather-trimmed seats, with a 10-way adjustable power driver’s seat and 6-way power front passenger seat, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and second- and third-row retractable sunshades.

Topping the range, the Sequoia Platinum incorporates the luxuriousness of perforated leather seating surfaces throughout, with front seats that are heated and ventilated. A 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat is also featured, as well as rear load-leveling air suspension, a power seat memory package and second-row heated seats. Additional technology on this top-line model includes a Blu-ray rear seat entertainment (RSE) system with a 9-inch LCD screen, separate rear seat audio system and dual wireless headphones. (The RSE is available for the Limited grade as an option.)

Versatility Throughout

The Sequoia provides a quiet, comfortable space for the family to spend time on the road. The overall design and exterior features have been shaped to minimize wind noise, which helps keep the cabin serene. Optitron gauges add an elegant high-tech luxury touch in every grade.

Side-view mirrors on the Limited grade are power-retractable and auto-dimming and have built-in turn-signal lamps. The Platinum grade’s mirrors up the ante with puddle lamps, position memory and reverse-linked tilt functions.

The versatile 40/20/40 split second-row bench-type seat allows a variety of combinations, augmented by a seat-slide adjustment range of 5.9 inches. The middle row folds flat and there’s a one-touch easy-slide feature to make it easy for passengers to enter the third row. In place of the standard center bench-style seat, luxurious second-row captain seats are available for a 7-seat cabin.

The third-row seat, which is fully hospitable for adults, is split 60/40 and can recline. The third row also easily folds flat, a task made more convenient by the available power tilting and folding feature. The rear liftgate features a power rear window that features auto up/down, jam protection and defogger, and the huge cargo area is equipped with handy hooks for grocery bags. Extra-large cup/bottle holders outnumber passengers two to one, and the Platinum grade adds two more for good measure.

Sequoia: Also Big on Safety Features

Sequoia is an SUV large enough to fit the whole family (and then some), and it’s also big on safety. Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) comes standard on every grade of Sequoia, and this active safety system includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Sway Warning System (SWS), Automatic High Beams (AHB) and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). It also includes Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).

The standard rearview camera on Sequoia helps when parking or positioning a trailer. The backup camera is displayed on the 7-in. high-resolution touchscreen display.

The 2020-2021 Sequoia is also equipped with Toyota’s STAR Safety System, which includes: Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRAC), and Smart Stop Technology (SST) brake override. On 4WD models, TRAC is replaced by A-TRAC (Active-Traction Control). All models have a direct tire pressure monitoring system.

Limited Warranty and ToyotaCare
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. The Tacoma also comes standard with ToyotaCare, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 24-hour roadside assistance for two year, unlimited mileage.

Similar Articles