With its engineering done at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., the styling a product of
the Calty Design Research Center in Newport Beach, Calif. and the final assembly taking place in San Antonio, Texas, the 2014 Toyota Tundra is truly an all-American effort.
There is little in the 2014 Tundra that will shock earlier Tundra owners. The drivetrains and suspension are carried over. However, the interior is redone and more welcoming. It features both improved ergonomics and new smartphone interconnectivity capabilities. A rear backup camera is now standard in all models and, for the first time, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is now optional.
Carried over for 2014 are the regular, Double Cab and CrewMax cabs. The regular cab seats three with a
front bench seat. The Double Cab and CrewMax cabs feature four doors, with the rear doors hinged at the front and able to open independently of the front doors. These rear doors provide access to a roomy backseat in the Double Cab, or a far more spacious rear seat in the CrewMax. Today, the majority of pickup trucks offer four doors and a rear seat.
Toyota has expanded the trim lines to five, with the SR serving as the entry-level Tundra. It’s offered
with the regular or Double Cab. The SR5, expected to be the volume leader, comes in Double Cab or CrewMax versions. The top three trim levels, the Limited, Platinum and 1794 editions only use the CrewMax cab.
In addition, three cargo boxes are offered. The regular cab comes with an 8.1-foot cargo box; the Double cab offers this cargo box or a 6.55-foot standard cargo box. The CrewMax comes only with a 5.55-foot cargo box.
For this review, my wife Paula I had a SR5 Double Cab equipped with the optional 5.7-liter V-8. Toyota
also offers a 4.6-liter V-8 and a 4.0-liter V-6. The latter engine is only available in the rear-wheel drive SR or Double Cab versions. Four-wheel drive, another option on our review truck, mandates the selection of a V-8. The 5.7-liter V-8 engine is optional on SR and SR5 models and standard on Limited, Platinum and 1794 editions.
The new SR5 drives much like the previous Tundra. The 5.7-liter V-8 turns in an impressive performance. With proper equipment, the Tundra can tow up to 10,400 pounds. Our SR5 Double Cab maxes out at 9,800 pounds, which is still impressive. Note that Toyota follows the SAE J2807 standards for rating towing capacity, something that competitors have been slow to do since it can reduce the rating and diminish bragging rights.
Acceleration in the empty truck is rapid, with the six-speed automatic, the only transmission offered,
shifting nicely. Our run to 60 miles per hour required seven seconds.
A 600-pound load in the cargo box had no discernible effect on the ride, throttle response or handling.
The Tundra feels heavy and substantial and while it’s perfectly controllable, there are pickups out there that feel more responsive and offer a smoother ride.
Still, there is nothing about the Tundra that will make a buyer envious of a competitive vehicle. This
is especially true when considering the number of Tundras that have amassed very high mileage totals on little more than regular maintenance.
Engines: 4.0-liter V-6 4.6-liter V-8 5.7-liter V-8
HP: 270 310 381
Torque (lb/ft): 278 327 401
EPA RWD: 16/20 15/19 13/18
EPA 4WD: Not offered 14/18 13/17
Starts at: $25,920; as reviewed: $34,015
Next week: Kia Cadenza