By Mary Lowry
In the full-size pickup territory densely populated by the Detroit Three, Toyota seeks higher ground with a redesigned version of the half-ton Tundra for 2014.
A bolder and more sculpted exterior is matched to an upgraded interior with more neatly-arranged controls and advanced connectivity and safety technology. Improvements to the steering system and a multitude of sound-deadening measures under the hood – as well as inside the cabin – also contribute toward a more civilized experience behind the wheel.
Bluetooth and a back-up camera are standard on all 2014 Tundra models. Also standard on all models is an updated version of the Entune Audio system, which receives several enhancements including a new App Suite featuring Yelp and Facebook Places.
Front and rear bumpers change from being one-piece to three-piece, which reduces replacement costs, and the new rear bumper has a repositioned plug-in for trailer towing.
Available cab configurations are Regular, Double and CrewMax; bed-length options are Short, Long and Standard.
There are now five trim levels instead of four: SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, and 1794 Edition. The new model, the ornate 1794 Edition, pays tribute to the former ranch property in San Antonio, Texas, where the Tundra assembly plant is located. The ranch was established in 1794.
The new Tundra is the only full-size pickup to offer a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert. It’s available only on Limited CrewMax, Platinum and 1794 Edition models.
The engine choices are unchanged for 2014: a 270-horsepower V6 with 278 lb-ft of torque (standard on 4×2 SR regular and double cab models); a 310-horsepower V8 with 327 lb-ft of torque (standard on all SR5 models and the SR double cab 4×4); and a 381-horsepower V8 with 401 lb-ft of torque (standard on all Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition models, and the SR regular cab 4×4).
Average fuel economy ratings range from 15 to 17 mpg, depending on engine size and drivetrain configuration. Toyota recommends 87-octane or higher gasoline.
Transmissions are also carried over from the previous version: a five-speed automatic for the V6 and a six-speed automatic for the V8s.
Tundra is capable of towing more than 10,000 pounds, and is the only full-size pickup that is compliant with the SAE J2807 towing standard.
Base pricing ranges from $26,915 for the SR 4×2 Regular Cab to $48,315 for the Platinum and 1794 Edition CrewMax 4×4 models. These prices include a $995 destination charge.
The 2014 Toyota Tundra is available now at local dealerships.
This is a preview of the 2014 Toyota Tundra based on an introductory event held by the manufacturer. Although the vehicle was driven during the event, automotive reviews that include driving impressions and other opinions are written only after a vehicle has been given a weeklong test-drive.