Both the 2020 Chevrolet Suburban and Toyota Sequoia have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Suburban has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Sequoia’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Suburban are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Sequoia doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
The 2020 Chevrolet Suburban has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Sequoia doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.
Full-time four-wheel drive is optional on the Suburban. Full-time four-wheel drive gives added traction for safety in all conditions, not just off-road, like the only system available on the Sequoia.
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Suburban Z71’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Sequoia doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.
The Suburban has standard OnStar, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Sequoia doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Suburban and the Sequoia have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.
WARRANTY & RELIABILITY
The 2020 Chevrolet Suburban corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Sequoia’s (6 vs. 5 years). There are over 2 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Suburban warranty.
The Suburban has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Sequoia doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Suburban has a standard 720-amp battery. The Sequoia’s 710-amp battery isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.
Engine & Transmission
The 2020 Chevrolet Suburban optional 6.2 V8 produces 39 more horsepower (420 vs. 381) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 401) than the Sequoia 5.7 DOHC V8. A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Suburban EcoTec3 6.2 V8, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Sequoia.
On the EPA test cycle the Suburban gets better fuel mileage than the Sequoia:
5.3 DOHC V8
15 city/22 hwy
6.2 DOHC V8
14 city/23 hwy
5.2 DOHC V8
14 city/21 hwy
6.2 DOHC V8
14 city/20 hwy
5.7 DOHC V8
13 city/17 hwy
5.7 DOHC V8
13 city/17 hwy
An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Suburban fuel efficiency. The Sequoia doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine. The Suburban has 4.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sequoia (31 vs. 26.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
Brakes & Stopping
The Suburban stops much shorter than the Sequoia:
Motor Trend 60 to 0 MPH
Consumer Reports 60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
Tires & Wheels
For better traction, the Suburban optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sequoia (285/45R22 vs. 275/65R18). The Suburban optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sequoia TRD Sport/Limited/Platinum/TRD Pro’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Suburban offers optional 22-inch wheels. The Sequoia’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.
The Chevrolet Suburban wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Toyota Sequoia only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.
The Suburban has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Sequoia doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
Suspension, Handling & Chassis
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Suburban wheelbase is 8 inches longer than on the Sequoia (130 inches vs. 122 inches).
The Suburban Premier handles at .77 G’s, while the Sequoia Limited 4x4 pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test. The Suburban Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Sequoia Limited 4x4 (27.8 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 29.8 seconds @ .55 average G’s).
The front grille of the Suburban uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Sequoia doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
Passenger & Cargo Capacity
The 2020 Chevrolet Suburban offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the Sequoia can only carry 8. The Suburban has 8 inches more front headroom, 2.8 inches more front legroom, 4.2 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear hip room and 4 inches more third row headroom than the Sequoia. The Suburban cargo area provides more volume than the Sequoia.
Behind Third Seat
39.3 cubic feet
18.9 cubic feet
Third Seat Folded
76.7 cubic feet
66.6 cubic feet
Second Seat Folded
121.1 cubic feet
120.1 cubic feet
The Suburban cargo area is larger than the Sequoia’s in almost every dimension:
Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Suburban optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Sequoia doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Suburban’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Sequoia doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
Payload & Towing
Maximum trailer towing in the 2020 Toyota Sequoia is limited to 7400 pounds. The Suburban offers up to a 8300 lbs. towing capacity.
The Suburban has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Sequoia (1670 vs. 1250 lbs.). The Suburban has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the Sequoia (1690 vs. 1350 lbs.).
The engine computer on the 2020 Chevrolet Suburban automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Sequoia’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.
The Suburban Premier offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Sequoia doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The power windows standard on both the Suburban and the Sequoia have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Suburban is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Sequoia prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The Suburban power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Sequoia’s power window (except driver window), power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
The Suburban’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Sequoia’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
The Suburban power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Sequoia power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.
On extremely cold winter days, the Suburban optional (except LS) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Sequoia doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Suburban Premier has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Sequoia doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Suburban is less expensive to operate than the Sequoia because typical repairs cost much less on the Suburban than the Sequoia, including $87 less for a water pump, $634 less for a starter, $65 less for a fuel pump, $168 less for front struts and $114 less for a timing belt/chain.
Consumer Reports recommends both the Chevrolet Suburban and the Toyota Sequoia, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Suburban outsold the Toyota Sequoia by over five to one during the 2019 model year.