According to Toyota, the redesigned Tundra is a truck with true American roots. That’s because it was engineered at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, designed by the Calty Design Research center in Newport Beach and assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in San Antonio. The 2014 Tundra is the first major change since the launch of the current generation for 2007.
Trim levels include the base SR, volume-leading SR5, the well-appointed Limited, and two premium grades: Platinum and the all-new 1794 Edition, Tundra is offered in three cab styles, two-door Regular Cab, four-door Double Cab and four-door CrewMax, all available in 4x2 and 4x4.
Tundra’s front design integrates the hood and grille for a modern industrial look. The chrome grille has a tall, bold look. The front lower bumpers are now a three-piece design to provide for grade identity. In addition, the fenders and wheel wells have been squared-off for a wide and sturdy stance.
An all-new cargo box has a rugged new bed and tailgate. The integrated spoiler in the deck helps with fuel efficiency, while the tail lamps have a tool-like appearance to match the rest of the body. Like the front bumper, the rear bumper is a three-piece design to lower replacement costs.
The interior has a rugged appearance with an all-new instrument panel. The meters feature 3-D metallic rings and individual gauges are grouped in a clear, easy-to-see layout with a center-mounted multi-information display screen. The console has storage areas for personal items and electronics.
Interior variations are thematic and cater to a specific customer with a specific budget. The SR5 interior features a no-nonsense theme, with unique driver and passenger zones, metallic accents and bold contrasting fabric. The Limited grade has leather seating surfaces matching soft-touch stitched door and console surfaces, and wood-style interior trims.
Our test vehicle was the Platinum grade that obviously targets those who want a truck, but don’t necessarily need one. It has an upscale yet urban feel with its perforated black leather-trimmed seats, double-stitched diamond plate leather, door and instrument panel inserts, and chrome seat and console accent badging. Standard amenities include a 12-speaker JBL audio system with Entune, heated and ventilated front seats, navigation and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
The 1794 Edition has a western theme and includes premium saddle brown leather seating with embossed leather and ultra-suede accents. Matching soft-touch materials also accents the shift console, the front and rear door trim, and the instrument panel. Like the Platinum, the 1794 Edition includes an array of standard features.
Tundra offers three powertrains. A 4.0-liter DOHC V6 is standard on Tundra Regular and Double Cab models and produces 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. peak torque. It is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission with uphill/downhill shift logic.
The 4.6-liter DOHC V8 delivers 310 horsepower and 327 lb.-ft. of torque, and the 5.7-liter DOHC V8 produces 381 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Both V8’s come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The SR and SR5 models have 18-inch styled steel wheels, while the Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition ride on all-new 20-inch alloy wheels specific to each grade. When equipped with a tow package, Tundra has a maximum tow capacity of 10,400 pounds.
All Tundras models offer a number of comfort and convenience enhancements, including a new Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a standard back-up camera (viewed from the audio display screen), and standard Bluetooth.
The Limited grade adds eight-way power driver seat, standard chrome door handles and outer mirrors, 20-inch alloy wheels and a deck rail system.
The Platinum and 1794 Edition come standard with a 10-way power driver’s seat with memory and a four-way power passenger’s seat, both with heat and ventilation, power moonroof (CrewMax only), parking sonar, and Display Audio with Navigation, Entune and JBL.
Driving our Platinum Crewmax test truck was mostly a pleasant experience. On good roads the ride was remarkably smooth and quiet. Poorly maintained roads produced a ride that was, well, truck-like. The 5.7-liter powertrain performed flawlessly, but the 13 city/17 highway fuel economy is a high price to pay for size and capability. And, finding a parking space for something that’s 19 ft. long can be challenging.
During our test drive of the new Tundra, we couldn’t help but notice how much it resembles the three domestic pickups. In fact, if you removed all of the identifying badges from the new Tundra, you’d have a hard time telling it apart from any of those three pickups. That’s because Toyota has done a remarkable job of copying the best features of its competitors.
Tundra base prices range from $25,920 to $47,320. The Platinum Crewmax reviewed here was priced at $49,930.