A white 2020 Toyota Sequoia is shown from the front at an angle.

Toyota’s All-Time Best SUVs

When you think of Toyota, practical cars like the Corolla or hybrids like the Prius are likely going to be the first things to come to mind. They’ve made a name for themselves crafting reliable, efficient vehicles that tend to come in a smaller package. Here in the United States, we favor larger vehicles. Pickups and SUVs have enjoyed incredible popularity, so there’s a good chance that’s what you’re looking for when shopping for a car. You may be surprised to learn that a Toyota used SUV dealer is a great option for getting that larger vehicle that you want. Sure, SUVs may not be what they’re best known for, but that certainly doesn’t mean they don’t have them in their wheelhouse. They don’t always dabble in this territory, but when they do the results have been impressive. In fact, there have been a number of downright iconic SUVs that came from Toyota over the years. This list isn’t exhaustive, but these model years are some of the automaker’s frontrunners. They may be enough to convince even the most skeptical shoppers that Toyota is the brand to shop for their used SUV.

1985 Toyota 4Runner

The 4Runner was only in its second model year in 1985, but it already showed promise for the decades-long run it would go on to have. When it debuted, it was essentially a Hilux pickup truck with an added removable canopy. This, of course, meant truck-like capability, plus the potential for open-air riding when drivers decided to go off-road. In 1985, a new engine was added to the mix. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder used electronic fuel injection to eke out some extra horsepower, producing 116 hp, to be exact. Other engine options included a diesel and turbo diesel, and the SUV would soon pick up V6s as well.

1997 Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series

The Land Cruiser 70 Series was an off-roading icon with recon roots similar to the Jeep Wrangler. It was never sold in the United States, but this rough-and-tumble rider made a name for itself elsewhere and is still manufactured today in certain countries. The 70 Series was developed to enhance the comfort of this utilitarian vehicle, and it brought with it changes like a roomier cabin. In 1995, the Land Cruiser had the body-on-frame design that was so popular amongst off-roading vehicles of the 20th century and a series of capable engines, including a turbo diesel V8. It had several different body variations, like two-door and four-door, and hard or soft tops.

2006 Toyota Highlander

A staple in Toyota’s SUV lineup, the Highlander has been providing reliable and spacious transportation since 2000. It maintains a strong presence in the automaker’s playbook and has continued to grow ever more sophisticated during its lifespan. The year 2006 was a big one for the Highlander, as it was offered with a hybrid powertrain for the first time. This marked the first time an SUV with seven seats was offered in a hybridized version, proving that a large vehicle doesn’t necessarily translate to gas-guzzling. The 2006 Highlander hybrid got up to 27 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway, which may not sound like anything to write home about, but when you compare it to the 17 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway that its gasoline counterpart got, it gets a little more impressive.

2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser

The well-loved FJ Cruiser sang its swan song in 2014, officially ending a fruitful tangent in Toyota’s history. Toyota, typically known for its practicality in the automotive world, took a risk when it developed the FJ Cruiser, an off-roading SUV with retro styling. The decision paid off, and the vehicle was lauded by car critics and consumers alike. One of the most notable things about the FJ Cruiser is undoubtedly its styling. Its tall stance, spirited paint options, and prominent roof racks all felt reminiscent of yesteryear’s SUVs and made the vehicle stand out amongst competitors. Performance was a key part of the FJ Cruiser’s success as well, and a 4.0-liter V6 generating 260 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque made the vehicle a go anywhere, do anything type of companion.

2021 Toyota Sequoia

One of the brawniest modern SUV offerings from Toyota, the Sequoia is a durable eight-seater that can accommodate even the rowdiest of families. It can be dressed up or down, switching seamlessly between off-roading ruggedness and shiny exorbitance. The TRD Pro trim, introduced the year prior, outfits the Sequoia for unpaved trails with upgraded dampers, skid plates, roof racks, and a factory lift. In 2021, the Nightshade Edition debuted, adding elegance with a darkened appearance that includes smoked chrome trim and accents, as well as 20-inch wheels. Regardless of its adornments, the Sequoia is a capable hauler, thanks to its 5.7-liter V8 generating 381 hp for a towing capacity of 7,400 lbs. It comes in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Also, in 2021, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto became standard, helping to modernize the long-tenured SUV.

A blue 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross is shown from the front at an angle.

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

The Toyota Corolla Cross is a new vehicle that sports a familiar moniker. It’s Toyota’s contender in the compact SUV segment and is as reliable and approachable as its name implies. It debuted for the 2022 model year and quickly proved to be a comfortable and capable driver, perfect for commuting, errand running, and the odd road trip. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 169 hp and is paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), so smoothness of your ride is guaranteed. The Corolla Cross’s versatility is part of what makes it appealing as a daily driver. It’s offered in all-wheel drive for those who may need extra traction during inclement weather and front-wheel drive for drivers who want to maximize their fuel economy. It will get 31 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway and 29 MPG in the city, which is not too shabby for an SUV with a gasoline powertrain.

2023 Toyota BZ4X

All-new for 2023, the Toyota BZ4X is a part of the electric wave that is currently sweeping the auto industry. The fully-electric crossover will be the first EV Toyota has launched, and it signals a solid start for Toyota’s reach into new territory. Its powertrain can either be front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The front-wheel drive version includes a 53.4 kWh battery pack that powers its 201-hp motor. Its range is either 242 miles or 252 miles, depending on the trim. The all-wheel drive powertrain, on the other hand, is a bit more aggressive, getting 214 hp out of its dual-motor setup. Its range is 222 miles for its Limited trim and 228 miles for its XLE trim.

A silver 2022 Toyota BZ4x is shown from the side at a charger after leaving a used SUV dealer.

Quality Is Quality, No Matter the Size

SUVs may not be the thing Toyota is known for, but when you think about it, it really comes as no surprise that they’re able to excel in this segment. Their whole MO is creating quality vehicles that can reliably and safely get their passengers around for years. There’s no reason why this formula wouldn’t extend to a larger vehicle. The auto industry is in a transitional period right now as we move towards a more electric future, and it’s sure to produce some brand-new vehicles. The BZ4X may be the first EV from Toyota, but there are sure to be more to come. If history is any indication, we can expect nothing short of excellence from this automaker.