These last generations; Ford, Chevy and Dodge have been tromping the truck market like bullies on the playground. It’s time for someone to give them a run for their money. The redesigned Toyota Tundra is sure to give them a taste of their own medicine and claim back its part of the stomping grounds!
Newly restructured for 2014, the Tundra is leaner and meaner than ever before. It has grown up substantially with crisp bold lines and a larger intimidating chrome grille. This Tundra came strutting its stuff in Magnetic Gray and the TRD Off-Road Package that filled the wheel wells pleasantly with chunky off-road tires and 18” alloy wheels – replacing the standard 20” Limited wheels. The Tundra is very appealing from the rear, having muscular shaped taillights and an embedded “Tundra” emblem – don’t have to worry about them Chevy owners stealing your Tundra badge for milk money. Toyota took its customers into consideration by making the back bumper into 3-pieces – that way when you crash into something, it’s cheaper to replace.
This Tundra came caring the Limited badge offering the Crewmax with 4-doors and a short bed with an easy open and close tailgate. Many options can be chosen to customize your Tundra from a Double Cab to an extended bed. Our short bed was just enough for our needs; though the back seat on this Crewmax was a little excessive… but I didn’t hear anyone complaining.
The size of the Tundra is massive and quite overwhelming at first. The vast interior makes room for all your friends and then some. The leather seats are very comfortable and the front seats are heated for extra relaxation while the driver can find effortlessness in the 10-way power adjustable seat. The dual-zone climate control fills the cabin contentedly while rear seats passenger can find that exceptionally substantial amount of leg room.
For a large size truck, Toyota did a pretty good job designing the layout of the dash and center console. Full of your typical dark wood, leatherette surface and painted silver trim the dash is well laid out and pleasing to the eye – over the previous unappealing generation. Going for the Limited features a 7” hi-resolution touch screen Navigation with Entune, Premium Audio and App Suite. The Entune system from Toyota is one of our top favorite systems on the market that is utterly user friendly. Most of everything can be controlled through the voice command system – from changing the radio station to entering a destination. If you go with one of the more basic modeled Tundra’s a 6.1” touch screen system is standard along with a back-up camera… which is quite useful for backing up this beast.
When it does come to storage, Toyota was thinking of a man constantly on the go. The center console is large enough to hold a full size laptop – surprisingly though the glove box was very small; what doesn’t fit can go in the center. The rear seats fold up for precious bulky items that you don’t want to store in the bed. And for items that do land in the bed, the $365 optional bed liner felt of good quality and added an overall attractive look to the truck.
Toyota certainly knew its way to a man’s heart and it starts with the 5.7L iForce V8. Put the power down and listen to the grumble of 8-cylinders hurtling out 381hp and 401lb-ft of torque that rips up the asphalt from 0-60 in an impressive 6 seconds. Such a shame though when you lift the hood, you can’t really see it. Gear changes through the 6-speed automatic are fairly smooth even when hitting the maximum 5,600rpm. If you choose to use manual mode, you’ll have another thing coming – it’s about as handy as a handyman without a hammer. But this truck isn’t about sport driving; it’s about payload and towing capacity. And with a maximum payload of 1,525lbs and 10,200lbs of weight to tow makes it’s the smallest of the four, compared against the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado and Dodge Ram – although it is a tight race between the F-150 and the Ram by just 100lbs… give or take.
When it comes to all around driving, the Tundra impressed us significantly. It drove like an ordinary car… a very big car at that. Around town it was smooth and quiet, a very relaxing place to be. It was easy to maneuver about into parking spaces and tight turns. Road and tire noise was kept to a minimum, that is until you rolled the back window down. But when traffic came to a stop and I needed a short cut to the scrap yard, the TRD 4×4 Off-Road package came into play nicely with the Bilstein Shock Absorbers and Engine/Fuel Tank skid plates.
It was all fun and games until it came time to fill up. The Tundra came very close to hitting its mark of 13mpg city at an average of 12.7mpg and highway mpg’s… we tried very hard to achieve the 17mpg’s but only managed to barely get 16mpg highway for a combined average of 14.4mpg. It will max out your credit card though costing nearly $80 to fill up the 26.4 gallon tank if you take down to empty. And even though it wasn’t required, we fueled with premium grade fuel that gave us a short distance of 315 miles of range.
So the question now has to be asked: is the Tundra tough enough to take on the big three? We are inclined to say yes. Driving the Tundra was surprisingly excellent; we honestly couldn’t find anything we didn’t like about it. The fuel economy was expected; if you wanted great mpg you’d get a Prius. But against its enemies, the Tundra is a fierce competitor and is definitely worth a second look.
|Price (As Tested):|
|2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 4×4:||$41,895|
|TRD Off-Road Package:||$100|
|Limited Premium Package:||$595|