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Mid-year review of the new Toyota Tundra

Take the Tundra to the lake!
Take the Tundra to the lake!
Diana Merrill Claussen

2014 Toyota Tundra


For the Labor Day weekend this truck-loving chick wanted to go on an expedition. Thankfully Toyota had just the vehicle for me to both utilize and test drive for my weekend holiday adventure. The brand new Toyota Tundra was to be my weekend travel chariot (of sorts), and its mission was to whisk me to Lake Whitney for the weekend.

Located just a little over an hour South of Ft. Worth and Metro Dallas, Lake Whitney is the perfect place to escape to for a weekend get-away. It also has plenty of options from which to choose when it comes to accommodations. From RV-only campgrounds to tent and fifth wheel options, and even log cabins, some of the best accommodations are directly on the lake such as Thousand Trails camping facility, and Cedron Creek Park.

For the ultimate weekend get-away, the crew and I loaded up the Tundra with a six-person tent, and plenty of gear. The model included a bedliner with a deck rail system which included four adjustable tie-downs. The tailgate opened smoothly and felt like it had a hydraulic characteristic. The tailgate also proved to not only be very lightweight but was also a cinch to close. For a truck girl the Tundra's light tailgate was a major plus!

With a full tank of gas we were ready to hit the highways and byways - Big Red (as I lovingly called the Barcelona red, high-flake Bolero painted Tundra) and I put DFW in our extra large rear view mirror and didn't look back.

The drive to Lake Whitney provided a perfect mix of both city and highway driving for reviewing the 2014 Toyota Tundra 4x4 LTD Crewmax (5.7L V8). There was a lot to test in the truck and it proved to be a highly enjoyable drive - it was also a highly comfortable ride. Tundra engineers paid special attention to the suspension of the vehicle and included individual coil-spring wishbone front suspension with stabilizer bar, and trapezoidal rear-leaf suspension. The comfortable interior provided a plush leather which virtually wrapped me in a comfy cocooned bucket seat. The driver seat was fully powered and included a heated seat.. however with 100 degree exterior temps, an air-conditioned seat would have been extremely welcomed for a shorts-wearing driver.

Cruising down to Whitney offered more than just a good mix of city and highway driving. There was also a variation of road conditions which included potholes, dirt, and steep graveled drives. Although the Tundra was equipped with 4x4, and Towing hitch (tow/haul) capabilities, this trip had no need for either feature - although a little off-road action would have provided a little extra thrill.

The interstate driving allowed me to test the cruise control which (used the old cruse lever system). The cruise feature was easy to figure out, but did not have the acceleration response as found in other vehicles. The steering wheel though was very comfortable and the truck steered exactly where I wanted it to.

After about a 45 minute interstate drive, the back roads of a few country towns were a fun site to see. However the trick when driving through Whitney's teensy downtown is to not blink or else you'll miss it. It also made for a few speed traps where posted mph would drop by 25 mph at a moments notice. So the Tundra's response and braking received a bit of a work out- but performed wonderfully.

Just about a few minutes from downtown is a lone grocery store with a few fast food eateries paving the way to our destination, Thousand Trails at Lake Whitney. Known for being a 'higher end' way to camp, Thousand Trails is a members-only (predominantly) RV camping facility and has adult only areas such as a pool and rec center. Which of course for a girl on a weekend getaway, adults only areas were a beautiful thing!

Needless to say, the weekend was relaxing and the the Tundra made for an exceptional and capable one-tank-trip vehicle.

Review and photography by: @AutoGoddess1