‘We’re number three’ might have been a memorable advertising slogan for beverage-giant Snapple when it first cracked the U.S. market, but that type of attitude typically doesn’t resonate as well in the auto industry. This is especially true for a company like Toyota, which has consistently won the battle for the title of the best-selling car in America thanks to the excellent Camry mid-size sedan, but hasn’t been able to generate the same momentum in the lucrative world of full-size trucks.
The 2014 Toyota Tundra represents a new vision for the brand’s large pickup, but this year's redesign is an unusually restrained effort that doesn’t match the recent developments from the domestic brands that dominate truck sales year-to-year. In fact, aside from more aggressive styling and a renewed commitment to pursuing the luxury sales that have become such a cash cow for pickup builders, the 2014 Tundra is surprisingly similar to the model that it replaces, especially under the skin. It’s not easy to understand Toyota’s motivations for taking such a hands-off approach to its flagship truck – unless, of course, it doesn’t actually plan to compete with the likes of the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado for the title of top dog.