It would seem that Toyota has chosen to go a different direction altogether. For the 2014 Tundra, Toyota decided to keep it simple and give the pickup buyer a real pickup, with little fluff and a lot of ruff…
The new Tundra is a back-to-basics work-truck that does little if not make noise, go fast, and carry a bunch of anything your heart desires -- both in the bed and in the cabin. It’s difficult to fault Toyota’s full-size pickup as it has the will to please but lacks refinement, comfort, and more refinement. As its competition moves away from the traditional work truck, the Tundra stays behind for the right and possibly the wrong reasons.
What is the Toyota Tundra?
As the most capable work vehicle in their lineup, the 2014 Tundra has been unable to capture the attention of large pickup buyers, as has the Tacoma in the compact pickup segment.
The Toyota Tundra is built in San Antonio, TX. It was first introduced as a 2000 model year truck. At the time, it took over from the T100, which you would be excused for never having heard of as it was sold in limited numbers.
2014 Toyota Tundra Price and Specs
The 2014 Toyota Tundra sports a base price of $26,750. As with all pickup offerings, the Tundra is available in countless versions, with various cab and bed configurations, and a pair of engines and drivetrain options. At the top of the Tundra heap is the Crewmax Platinum 5.7L with the 1794 Edition package for an even $54,000.
As tested, my 2014 Tundra double Cab Limited 5.7L tipped the pricing scale at $47,935.
The 5.7L i-Force V8 is the powerhouse behind the Tundra’s capabilities. It produces 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. The other V8 on the menu is a 4.6L V8 that’s good for 310 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque. Both are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Depending on the body configuration, engine and drivetrain selections, towing capacity rises to 4,760 kg (10,500 lbs). The same goes for payload that reaches a maximum of 855 kg or 1,895 lb.
Driving the 2014 Toyota Tundra
The 2014 Toyota Tundra is, as mentioned, a real pickup -- but from 10 years ago. There is nothing inherently wrong with it; however, where countless families in North America call upon their pickup as both a work truck and family car, the Tundra’s lack of good manners makes it a less convivial choice.
The ride is the first issue: harsh and choppy, it does not forgive. The rear heavy-duty multi-leaf springs are mostly at fault as they’re far too high-strung for daily usage. Our tester’s 640 kg (1,420 lb) payload capacity was lightly tested with a 227 kg (500 lb) cargo of hay, but the ride did not improve. The basic suspension setup is designed for the heaviest of loads, but the cost is unpleasantness whenever the truck has only its weight to carry.
I can forgive the 2014 Toyota Tundra’s steering that lacks in all facets save for turning the front wheels because of its powertrain. The 5.7L V8 is a monster, in both power and presence. Its roar can practically be heard from miles around when the pedal hits the metal. From that moment on, the Tundra leaps forward and the transmission is right there, knocking back gears with glee.
The autobox is just as comfortable slipping back and forth in town, and it will drop a cog or two at the slightest drop of the hammer. This makes the 2014 Toyota Tundra loads of fun. Unfortunately, the absence of ride refinement spoils everything, not to mention that fuel consumption takes a hit in the process.
Inside and out of the 2014 Toyota Tundra
In our recent full-size pickup comparison test, the 2014 Toyota Tundra also fell short because of its less-than-stellar exterior styling. Sure, a massive grille sends a message, but if there’s nothing behind the message, what is it good for?
The Tundra is typically bland and with little character. A few chrome touches do little more than attempt to distract the eye from what is otherwise slab sided and undefined.
The big Toyota’s cabin had a whole other effect. Its ergonomics and styling are in tune with the times, despite the lesser plastics that abound. The fit is good and the overall impression is that the dashboard will wear well with time.
With every 4-door pickup, passenger room is generous which also means that every occupant finds their ease once in their seat. Said perches are cozy and the driving position is good. I would have liked a few more (and deeper) front storage bins for various pocket junk, but what’s on-hand is manageable.
Comparing the 2014 Toyota Tundra
2013 was a huge year pickup-wise. With the arrival of the latest versions of such heavy hitters such as the 2014 GM trucks, the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, and a revised RAM 1500, both of which are superior and then there’s the omnipresent Ford F-150 that continues to tower over its segment in nearly every aspect hence the incredible and continued success. The Tundra had to be good. It’s good, but sadly nowhere near good enough.