Toyota delivered their significantly redesigned 2014 Tundra full-size pickup trucks to the market in August of this year with its first major face lift since 2007.
In addition to the facelift of the existing models, Toyota also introduced two new luxury level Tundra pickup trucks, the 1794 (Western themed) and Platinum Editions.
We have been able to drive both the 1794 and Platinum Editions at previous special Toyota media introduction events and confirmed that Toyota now has very credible luxury offerings to compete with the likes of the Ford King Ranch, the Ram Laramie Longhorn and the new Chevrolet High Country.
The top sellers for the new 2014 Toyota Tundra will be the SR5 Crew with its "professional gear" theme (as Toyota calls it) and the "active premium" Limited /Crew with leather seating surfaces, soft touch door and console surfaces and wood style interiors.
The first week of October, Toyota delivered to us, fresh from the San Antonio factory, a 2014 Toyota Tundra Limited CrewMax 4x2 TRD in Blue Ribbon Metallic with a very nicely executed Black/Graphite/Beige interior.
The MSRP for this Limited is $38,845 - $1,990 less than last year - with more features and equipment included as standard.
Some of these include: back-up camera (viewed from the audio display screen), windshield wiper de-icer, front and rear mudguards, power window and door locks, heated, power, outside mirrors; dual zone air conditioning with individual temperature settings for driver and front passenger; auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass; leather-trimmed seats, a 10-way power driver seat, chrome door handles and outer mirrors, 20-inch alloy wheels, a deck rail system, and Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite.
The Tundra also has the Toyota Star Safety System that includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop (SST) brake override technology.
One of the very interesting and helpful features is the power full-width rear window that allows the window to be opened the full width of the bed for easy cargo or service access.
Tundra has not changed their power trains for 2014 and our test truck was equipped with their most popular offering, the 5.7-liter, DOHC i-Force V8. It generates 381 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque. Mated with the six-speed Electronically Controlled with intelligence (ECT-i) automatic transmission and TWO/HAUL shift mode, it has a payload of 1,505 pounds and tow capacity of 10,000 pounds.
This power train is solidly dependable with more than enough power for drivers - according to Toyota owner surveys, says Toyota. Without a major redesign as competitors have done, it now trails the competition in fuel economy with 13/18 mpg City/Highway and 15 mpg average.
In our week long drive of the new Tundra, we covered over 700 miles including a round trip to Conroe (near Houston) for the Toyota Texas Bass Tournament. Our average fuel economy for the full week was 16.2 mpg due, in part, to the majority of the driving being on the highways.
Our 2014 Tundra Limited test truck was also equipped with several option packages. They included:
• Limited Premium Package ($595) that added driver and passenger power windows with auto up and down, lluminated entry system, glass breakage sensor and front and rear parking sonar.
• TRD Off-Road Package ($135) adding Bilstien shock absorbers, 18-inch TRD Off-Road alloy wheels, rear side privacy glass, engine and fuel tank skid plates, front tow hooks and the TRD decals.
• Running Boards ($345)
• Bedliner Insert ($365)
With delivery, our 2014 Toyota Tundra Limited CrewMax 4x2 TRD test truck priced at $41,280.
In our opinion, this Tundra Limited is right in the sweet spot for a well equipped pickup truck solidly capable of performing work and providing family fun - interchangeably - with an affordable price.
The 2014 Tundra has been redesigned both on the outside and inside bringing it up to date with new styling and technology.
On the outside it starts right at the front where the hood and grille are integrated to present, what Toyota calls, a chiseled image. The front fascia is larger with bold surface character lines that visually accent Tundra’s pulling power and wide stance. The fenders and wheel wells have been squared-off to emphasize the wide and sturdy stance that flows to the new more rugged bed and easy open lockable tailgate with an integrated spoiler. There are nine exterior colors including three new colors: Attitude Black Metallic, Sunset Bronze Mica and Blue Ribbon Metallic.
On the inside, the 2014 Tundra has major improvements other than just the cosmetics.
There is easier driver access to controls with a center stack relocation that brings the audio and HVAC controls 2.6 inches closer. The front and rear seats are redesigned for support and comfort and now include ventilation. Front seats have additional travel, and rear seats can now be folded up vertical for additional cargo carrying capability.
The new instrument panel features individual gauges grouped in a clear, easy-to-see design with a center-mounted multi-information (LCD) display screen. The console design holds multiple storage areas for personal items and electronics plus additional padded surfaces and accent stitching.
Overall, our driving impression is that the Toyota Tundra Limited Crew is both a work truck and a family truck without sacrificing one for the other in its capability and performance. Driving most of the 700 miles on highways and country roads, this new Tundra kept both the driver and passenger very comfortable that we were driving a solid and capable truck in all conditions.
This event, featuring pickup trucks and SUV vehicles, pits the brands against each other within their segments - in highway, country road and off road drive testing by the members of TAWA.
The top award is the highly coveted Truck of Texas trophy awarded to the brand and vehicle judged to be the best overall.
For 2013, there are several serious competitors for this award. They include the 2014 Ram 1500 with its new EcoDiesel engines and power trains with top fuel economy and tow capacities; the brand new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado with all-new powerful EcoTec3 engines delivering very good fuel economy, newly styled interiors and latest technology for the driver and the always stylish, tough and powerful Ford F-150 with its EcoBoost engines and proven off-road prowess.
The 2014 Toyota Tundra could be a possible spoiler in this competition for the Truck of Texas.
With its venerable and solid performing power trains, upgraded styling, new interiors and technology along with the new luxury grade offerings for 2014 - plus the fact it is the only pickup truck actually built in Texas - it just may be a dark horse spoiler in the 2013 Truck Rodeo.