Why the 2014 Toyota Tundra Matters:
The 2014 Toyota Tundra represents the Japanese brand’s effort to stay current with the rapidly-changing full-size pickup landscape. With each of its competitors from Ram, General Motors, and Ford having been redesigned within the last couple of years, Toyota had no choice but to refresh the Tundra. Although its sales in the United States crested the 100,000 mark in 2012, and the vehicle has enjoyed reasonable recent growth, the older generation of the truck simply wasn’t capable of keeping the pace stylistically or in terms of available technologies when compared to other major players.
- Exterior refresh
- All-new interior
- Increased differentiation between trim levels
- Additional safety equipment
New 2014 Toyota Tundra: Styling and Design
The Toyota Tundra was already a handsome truck, and the 2014 redesign maintains the same basic cues found on the pickup while making several changes intended to give the pickup a bolder look. The front hood has been raised 1.6-inches and features an exagerrated air inlet at the top of the grille, while the front fascia itself has been angled to more organically surround the grille and headlights. The TUNDRA-stamped tailgate is all-new (featuring an integrated lip spoiler), as are the front and rear three-piece bumpers, and the short box crew cab model’s cargo area is more than a little reminiscent of the current Ford F-150. There is nothing about the 2014 Toyota Tundra’s design that takes any risks or advances the segment in terms of style, but the overall effect is pleasant enough that it shouldn’t deter any current Tundra owners from upgrading to the new model.
New 2014 Toyota Tundra: What’s Under the Hood
The most surprising tidbit concerning the debut of the 2014 Toyota Tundra has to do with the decision to maintain the status quo in its engine department. Toyota has elected to soldier forward without making any changes to any of the three drivetrains currently available with the truck. The base Tundra mill is a 4.0-liter V-6 that is rated at 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque, while a pair of V-8 options (a 310 horsepower, 4.6-liter and a 5.7-liter unit that is good for 381 horses and 401 lb-ft of torque) are also still in the mix. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with the V-8 models while the V-6 makes do with a five-speed autobox, and four-wheel drive can also be ordered with the pickup.
Toyota representatives touted the efficiency and power of the existing engine lineup, but in the face of some competitors introducing turbocharged, mileage-oriented options it seems as though an opportunity has been missed with this generation of truck. The five-speed automatic could also be perceived as a misstep, although one that is in keeping with Toyota’s practice of milking as many years as possible out of a gearbox before putting it out to pasture (see the Corolla’s four-speed tranny).
New 2014 Toyota Tundra: Features and Technology
The 2014 Toyota Tundra’s interior design and features list are now focused on providing better differentiation between the lowest and the highest trim levels, with the morning’s presentation speaking specifically about mixed-use, personal trucks like the Crew Cab versus the more pedestrian SR5 work-oriented models. A new ‘1794 Edition’ is also available, and the name refers to the founding year of the ranch that previously occupied the land in San Antonio, Texas, where the Tundra plant is now located. Yes, we thought that was a tenuous connection as well.
All versions of the truck will now enjoy a standard backup camera, and higher trims will gain a blind spot monitoring system with a cross traffic detection feature that is useful when reversing the pickup. Standard knee airbags for driver and front passenger makes the Tundra the only truck in the segment with this feature.
New 2014 Toyota Tundra: What Autobytel Thinks
The 2014 Toyota Tundra absolutely had to happen, but it doesn’t seem like the redesign has gone far enough. Still a sharp-looking truck, the Tundra remains a ‘safe’ choice in an area of the market where buyers are more often looking either for value for their money, a features list dripping with luxury, or abundant power and capability. Keeping the same trio of engines that were available with the previous-generation Tundra could give prospective full-size shoppers the impression that the truck is treading water – an impression that might keep a long list of truck fans from opening up the Toyota’s doors and checking out its revamped interior.