I am an older guy who wants to get a gravel bike.  I (sort of) have it narrowed down to a Kona Rove Steel or a Specialized Sequoia.

I also considered a Cannondale Topstone, a Fairdale Weekender, and a Specialized Diverge.

I can get a 2018 Sequoia for a good deal.

I was wondering what experienced gravel riders think about the relative merits of the Kona Rove Steel or the Specialized Sequoia.

Thanks for any help of insights you can give to me.
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I really enjoy my sequoia Elite.  I have put about 500 miles on it so far with no problems at all.  It is a really comfortable bike.  I am glad I went ahead and got the elite version instead of the base model.  For an extra $400 I got carbon forks, hyrdo brakes, and Shimano 105's.    However, the wheels are way too heavy, and I will have to get a new set of wheels one day to lighten up the load.   For what its worth, the styling/ colors on the sequoia's are great
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That Sequoia looks nice. I have no experience with one but looks tempting, at least the current models on the web site. I'd go Elite model too, mainly for the 11x drivetrain (vs 9 speed on the base model). but i see you have an option for 1x or 2x drives. The carbon fork is nice too with the extra bottle mounts. which can also be used for big cages to carry extra loads, not just water bottles. I don't think the Konas have that feature., just one mount on each fork blade.

The TRP (tektro) Spyre mechanical disc brakes are nice brakes. but hydros on the Elite would be nice to have. If i remember correctly, the Sequoia is not a "light" bike, but certainly well within gravel expectations.

I would insure 650b compatibility on the Sequoia. Its an interesting wheel size that i'm personally loving.

eric/fresno, ca.
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I recommend that you look at Salsa.  The new Journeyman is aluminum with carbon fork--24 #--Sora 2 x  crank plates 30/46 and 11/34 cassette and tubeless ready and more attachment capabilities for stuff than the others---  all for $1100 range.  Wow. 
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I bought a 2018 Sequoia 2 weeks before the 2019 Land Run 100. I was only able to ride it twice before this gravel race putting around 30 miles on it. So I was nervous the night before the ride. But the bike performed flawlessly. Completed the LR100 without any problems. I’ve ordered a lighter wheelset and the carbon cobble gobbler suspension seat post from my local shop. Looking forward to testimg those upgrades at the DK200. 
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I test road a sequoia, and it was the most comfortable drop bar bike I have ever ridden.  That Geometry with a steel frame was great.   It was also a bit on the heavy, slow side.  Maybe better wheels would have helped.

@Brian74 - I'm not a fan of that gobbler.  It didn't work at all for me.  I love the thudbuster, although that is overkill for many situations.  Those Ergon seatposts are the sweet spot for me, as they soak up the bumps much better than the Spec. seat post.
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BEE9A4D4-870F-4439-A4B6-49EDB817B6E7.png  I own a Sequoia, I have about 2,600 miles on it. Super plush & comfortable bike. I installed an Easton EA70 Carbon seatpost & Thomson seatpost collar, Specialized Power Expert seat & Shimano 105 50/34 Crankset but other than that it’s stock.

Hubs were an issue at around 1,500 miles but LBS exchanged with SRAM 900’s and rebuilt the stock hoops. No problems since then.

As Chas stated above, it’s a little on the heavy side but it’s so comfortable I could easily ride it for hours without getting hammered.

I don’t have any problem keeping up with friends riding regular road bikes, just a few more calories burned that’s all. 
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Nice bike and good summary.  You are doing it right!
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