Redesigned 2014 Toyota Tundra brings big truck cred to small truck brand
While Toyota’s early presence in the North American light truck market was built on the well-earned reputation of its compact pickup trucks, the company’s momentum in the full-size pickup segment has been a bit slower to develop. After entering the full-size market in 1993 with the T100, and then relaunching in 1999 as the Tundra, Toyota was still catching up to the domestic brands’ full-size pickups.
Even though the Tundra always came across as a solid truck, it usually seemed to feel a decade or so “too plain” on the inside. No longer the homely cousin, the Texas-built Tundra has been completely redesigned for the 2014 model year. Without being a clone of its Detroit-based brethren, the 2014 Tundra is definitely competitive both inside and out.
Pick Your Model
The 2014 Tundra has a grade strategy consisting of the work truck SR, the mass market SR5, the well-appointed Limited, and two premium grades: Platinum and the all-new 1794 Edition. The new 1794 Edition is a tribute to the ranch, founded in 1794, on which the Toyota plant is located in San Antonio.
The Tundra is offered in three cab styles, all available with 4×2 or 4×4 powertrains. The three cab styles are the two-door Regular Cab, four-door Double Cab, and the super sized four-door CrewMax. The Regular Cab and Double Cab models are offered in standard 78.7″ bed or long 97.6″ bed configurations, while the CrewMax comes with a 66.7″ bed. All beds are 22.2″ deep.
Toyota continues to offer three powertrains. A 4.0L V6 is standard on Regular and Double Cab models, producing 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. The V6 is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission with uphill/downhill shift logic. The EPA-estimated fuel economy for the V6 is 16 mpg in the city, 20 mpg on the highway, and 17 mpg combined.
The available 4.6L i-Force V8 offers 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque. The 4.6L V8 is EPA rated at 15 mpg city/19 mpg highway/16 mpg combined on 4×2 models and 14 city/18 highway/16 combined on 4×4 models.
The most popular Tundra engine is the 5.7L i-Force V8, which generates 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. The 5.7L V8 is offered in both gasoline and flex fuel variants. Fuel efficiency on 4×2 models is 13 mpg in the city, 18 mpg on the highway, and 16 mpg combined, while the 4×4 models achieve 13 mpg city/17 mpg highway/15 mpg combined.
As noted earlier, the Tundra’s previous feelings of austerity have disappeared without skimping on real-truck capability or going over the top just to prove a point. Without having had a chance to weigh the truck, I suspect that it may tip the scales a fair bit lighter than its competitors. Combine that light weight with the power of our test model’s 5.7L V8, and impressive performance is the result.
While not specific to driving, one of the most impressive features of our CrewMax Cab test model was the leg/foot room in the back seat. The leg room in most crew cab pickups is adequate at best, and getting one’s feet between the seat and the door pillar is difficult for most adults. The CrewMax borrows a page from the extended-length luxury car models that offer a substantially larger rear door opening to make rear seat access user-friendly for even the largest adults.