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2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum: Luxury refinement in a work truck

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2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum CrewMax

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The new 2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum Edition full-size pickup impresses with its refined styling, available features, comfortable ride and powerful capability - all in a luxury package with a delivered price well under $50,000.

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Our first-look impression of a recent test drive of the Tundra Platinum Edition (delivered price $47,475) was that it was a "gentleman's truck" with its Attitude Black Metallic exterior standing a full 10.4-inches off the ground on its 20-inch Platinum Grade aluminum alloy wheels, with its CrewMax Cab accented by chromed mirrors and door handles along with cab-length black side step. A black color-keyed front bumper and grille surrounded and highlighted its unique silver billet grille while black bumpers, front and rear, complete the look.

Stepping up into our Tundra Platinum Edition, we immediately noticed the power tilt/slide moonroof with sliding sunshade that illuminated the subtle and refined cabin which featured a rich looking black interior with flat metallic accents and perforated, diamond pleated premium leather bucket seats that were heated and cooled with 10-way power adjustable driver seat and power adjustable passenger seat. The rear seating was 60/40 fold-up (for cargo storage) in the same perforated leather.

Other interior items adding to the comfort and convenience included the full-width power sliding rear window, cruise control, leather trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, two front (and one rear) 12-volt auxiliary power outlets, front and rear seat map lighting, variable intermittent windshield wipers, dual zone automatic climate control with individual temperature settings for driver and passenger plus blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert.

The Tundra Platinum was also equipped with the Entune Premium JBL Audio System with navigation and the new Entune App Suite that includes JBL speakers and amplifier and managed through 6.1-inch color touchscreen display. The system is fully featured with MP3, iPod and Bluetooth music streaming and wireless hands-free phone capability plus SirusXM Satellite HD Radio that includes HD Traffic and Weather.

Additional features of note on our test Tundra Platinum CrewMax included multi-reflector halogen headlamps with level control, LED daytime running lights, fog lights, black bedliner, cargo bed lighting, front and rear mud guards, deck rail and tailgate caps, deck rail system with adjustable tie downs and easy-lower lockable tailgate.

One should not be confused by how good this Tundra Platinum CrewMax looks when considering how capable it will be. There is little doubt this truck can work every bit as hard as it looks good.

The Tundra Platinum is powered by their 5.7-liter, DOHC i-Force V8 that generates 381 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque. Mated with the six-speed Electronically Controlled with intelligence (ECT-i) automatic transmission and Sequential Shift, our 4x2 CrewMax had a haul payload of 1,520 pounds and tow capacity of 9,900 pounds (SAE J2807 method) making it a very competitive working full-size pickup - all while looking pretty good when not working.

One concern we have expressed before is that fuel economy is not the strong suit for this power train which is rated at 13/18 mpg City/Highway and 15 mpg average. Our test week delivered right at 15.9 mpg with more than half being local area urban driving. We are not prone to drive test vehicles with a light foot, so we think one could expect a Tundra Platinum CrewMax to meet or exceed the posted fuel economy ratings.

Our test 2014 Tundra Platinum Edition CrewMax 4x2 handled easily while driving equally powerful around town and on the highway. It definitely drove bigger than it actually is while handling smaller. There is no doubt in our mind that it will haul and tow whatever you need for work or play and still deliver you with style every time.

Toyota introduced its new generation Tundra full size pickup trucks to the market last Fall adding two new higher trim levels - the Western themed 1794 Edition and Platinum Edition luxury trucks - with additional features to address the expanding demand for higher end pickups with more features and refinement. We were able to participate in the media first drive event in Wyoming last September - driving both the new Platinum and the 1794 Editions in and around the Grand Tetons at Jackson Hole, Wyo. for several hours.

Our focus in that first drive event was on the new 1794 Edition with its unique western styling and obvious positioning to challenge the Ford F-150 King Ranch and Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn edition luxury trucks in Texas where one-in-five pick-up trucks are sold in the U.S. You may ask how and why Toyota named it the 1794 Edition. Simply, it reflects and honors the heritage of the property where the factory is located near San Antonio, Texas. You can read more in our report "2014 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition: Texas Born and Bred" at examiner.com.

We also have driven the 2014 Toyota Tundra Limited (CrewMax 4x2 model) for a full week ride and drive that included a 700 mile road trip to the Toyota Texas Bass Classic at Lake Conroe, Texas last October. The Limited trim line was previously the top-of-the-line for Tundra and - even with the addition of the luxury level 1794 Edition and Platinum Edition - it is still one very nice truck with an abundance of features and performance. For more on our test drive of the Tundra Limited, read our report "2014 Toyota Tundra Limited: In the Sweet Spot for Work and Family" at examiner.com.

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