2014 Tundra New Car Test Drive
The Toyota Tundra is a full-size pickup offering realistic work capability and durability. It offers three engines, three cabs, three bed sizes and five trim levels in most popular configurations. We've found the Tundra to be a stable, comfortable truck for towing a 20-foot enclosed car trailer over long distances. Towing capacities top 10,000 pounds on some models, and maximum payload ratings exceed 2,000 pounds.
For 2014, there is a new Tundra in terms of appearance. Most of the body panels are new, and to our eyes better looking. The dashboard, electronics and cabin trimming are new and also look better than before. Rear seats in four-door models are more comfortable and allow more in-cab storage. A rearview camera is standard on every 2014 Tundra. The engine, suspension and everything underneath are essentially the same with only small calibration changes most owners won't notice.
The 2014 Toyota Tundra lineup is simpler than before. The two-door Regular Cab only comes in entry-level trim levels and only with a long bed. The Double Cab with conventional front-hinged, secondary rear side doors seats five or six and comes with 6.5- or 8-foot beds. The big CrewMax has four full-size doors, most seat five, and comes with a 5.5-foot bed and vertically sliding rear window that completely disappears.
The 2014 Tundra lineup also introduces the 1794 Edition, the new top of the range that appeals to buyers who would like to be on the range. Named for the ranch on which the Tundra factory sits, the 1794 has requisite big badges, cowboy-color leather and ultrasuede interior, woodgrain trim, and things like ventilated power seats and big JBL sound system to improve the ride after a long day's work. Other Tundra models offer more towing capability, but even a Tundra 1794 loaded with five cowboys can tow more than four tons.
Updated infotainment systems for 2014 all use Toyota's Entune name. Even the least expensive Tundra has a touchscreen, CD player, iPod integration and Bluetooth, and the higher the trim the more features get added: SiriusXM satellite radio, HD radio, subscription-free weather and traffic (where HD radio is supported in urban areas, through your smartphone cellular data outside those regions), GraceNote art, expanded voiced recognition including compound commands, navigation, predictive traffic, radio buffer that lets you pause up to 20 minutes of AM/FM/HD radio for later playback, Entune App Suite (Bing, Pandora, Open Table, Facebook Places, Yelp and more) and a 440-watt JBL sound system.
Tundra's double overhead-cam 5.7-liter V8 engine is rated at 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. It's a good truck engine with EPA fuel-economy ratings of 14/18 mpg City/Highway, or 13/17 mpg with 4WD, and standard on most Tundra permutations. Most newer competitors offer more power, more mileage or both, but the real world difference tends to be 1-2 mpg. Tundra remains the only full-size pickup to publish tow ratings that meet a standard all full-size manufacturers agreed to for 2013, and those standards tend to lower existing ratings; the other manufacturers are continuing to use their own in-house ratings.
The smaller 4.6-liter dohc V8 engine is rated at 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque, with slightly better EPA fuel-economy ratings of 15/20 mpg City/Highway, 14/19 mpg with 4WD. Both V8 engines come with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 4.6-liter V8 is a good choice for drivers who do not plan to do a lot of towing.
The 4.0-liter V6, available only on some 2WD Tundras, nets 270 horsepower, 278 pound-feet of torque and EPA ratings of 16/20 mpg City/Highway. V6 models can't tow as much as the V8s but easily better the V8s for payload due to the lighter weight of the engine. The V6 comes with a 5-speed automatic. It's the best choice for a budget or intercity work truck, but the 4.6-liter V8's added refinement could easily be worth the nominal fuel economy penalty.
The 2014 Toyota Tundra comes in three body styles: Regular Cab with 8-foot long bed, 4-door Double Cab with 6 1/2-foot standard bed or 8-foot long bed, and 4-door Crew Max with a 5 1/2-foot short bed. All ride on a 146-inch wheelbase except the Double Cab long bed at 165 inches. Every Tundra is available with part-time four-wheel drive, and some 5.7 V8 models are flex-fuel. Double Cab is available is SR, SR5 and Limited trim levels. CrewMax cabs are offered in SR5, Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition models all with 5.5-foot beds.
Tundra SR comes in Regular Cab ($25,920) with an 8-foot bed and Double Cab ($26,810) body styles and a choice of 4.0-liter V6 with 5-speed automatic transmission, 4.6-liter V8, or 5.7-liter V8 ($28,465). SR trim comes with a fabric-upholstered 40/20/40-split bench seat, air conditioning, carpet, Entune audio system (6.1-inch touchscreen AM/FM/CD/iPod/USB/Bluetooth) tilt steering wheel, power windows and locks, dual power points, cruise control, fold-up rear seats on four doors, black front bumper and grille trim, tow hooks on 4WD, heated power mirrors, easy lower/lift tailgate and 18-inch steel wheels. Tundra SR comes with two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Options on SR trim include cargo rail retention system, tow hitch on 4.6 Double Cab, and a Work Truck package with vinyl seat and floor that removes cruise control, power accessories and map lights.
Tundra SR5 trim adds to SR with fog lamps, more chrome outside, Entune Audio Plus (7-inch hi-resolution touchscreen, SiriusXM radio with 90-day trial, HD radio with iTunes tagging and weather/traffic in metro areas, elsewhere with a smartphone), dark-tint manual sliding rear window, and additional instruments with 3.5-inch display. Tundra SR5 is available in Double Cab ($29,465) or CrewMax ($31,825) versions with 4×2 or 4×4 drivelines and a choice of 4.6-liter V8 or 5.7-liter V8. Optional equipment includes alloy wheels. SR5 Upgrade package includes bucket front seats, power driver seat, console and shift, tilt and telescope steering wheel, rear underseat storage tray. The TRD Off-Road Package features Bilstein shocks, unique alloy wheels and Michelin tires, skid plates, rear side window privacy glass; and tow hooks on 2WD.
Tundra Limited upgrades to dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, heated 10/4-way power front seats, 20-inch alloy wheels, leather tilt/telescope steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth controls, power sliding rear window (horizontal on Double Cab, vertical on CrewMax), auto-dimming mirror, deck rail tie-down cleat system, Entune App Suite, navigation, upgraded audio system and alarm system. Optional are TRD package, moonroof and blind-spot monitor/rear cross traffic alert on CrewMax. A Limited Premium package adds auto up/down power windows, park sensors front and rear, remote keyless entry. All Tundra Limited models come with 5.7-liter V8 in Double Cab ($36,94) and CrewMax ($38,845), with 4×2 or 4×4.
Tundra Platinum ($44,270) models get perforated leather diamond-quilt pattern upholstery, heated/cooled front seats, driver memory system, JBL audio system, color-matched bumpers and grille trim, auto-dimming power-folding outside mirrors, moonroof, park sensors and glass breakage sensor. All Tundra Platinum models come with 5.7-liter V8 and CrewMax but offer a choice of 4×2 or 4×4 ($47,320). Blind-spot monitoring is available.
Tundra 1794 Edition has Platinum-grade features and options, but uses unique upholstery with ultrasuede and woodgrain trim, silver front bumper and grille, 1794 badging, and offers chrome-clad wheels as an additional option. All Tundra 1794 Editions come with 5.7-liter V8 and CrewMax but offer a choice of 4×2 ($44,270) or 4×4 ($47,320).
Running boards are optional on any Tundra four-door cab and extendable heated towing mirrors are optional on any with the 5.7-liter V8. (All prices are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices and do not include destination charges.)
Safety features that come standard on every model include front- and side-impact airbags for driver and front passenger (the latter with an off switch in Regular Cab models), side-curtain airbags with rollover sensor, driver and passenger knee airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, electronic stability control with traction control, and trailer sway control. The standard rearview camera can enhance safety by helping the driver spot children behind the truck when backing up. Parking sensors front and rear, and blind-spot monitoring are available on some models.