By Matt Degen
KBB Expert Rating: 7.4
The Tundra is Toyota's entry in the full-size truck market, a segment long dominated by GM, Ram and America's best-selling vehicle, the Ford F-150. For now, the revamped 2014 Tundra remains competitive, especially when fitted with a 5.7-liter V8. But in today's world, power isn't all that makes a model king. Even among full-size trucks, fuel efficiency is becoming just as important as firepower. And this is where the Tundra's luster fades. For its 2014 update, Toyota did little to address the Tundra's aging and thirsty engines. While competitors introduce potent V6 powerplants and 8-speed transmissions, the Tundra soldiers on with the same powertrains. The truck remains a workhorse with stellar resale value, but faces an uphill battle, especially with an all-new F-150 around the corner.
If you haven't already pledged allegiance to a truck brand, the Tundra has allure with Toyota's reputation for quality in general and this model's excellent resale value in particular. Some buyers may also like to know that the Tundra is made in America at Toyota's San Antonio, Texas, factory.
Aside from blind-spot monitoring, the 2014 Tundra offers little that others don't. More power, better fuel economy, higher tow ratings and a wider variety of trims can all be found among this truck's rivals.
The Tundra has been significantly updated for 2014 with a more ergonomic interior and a freshened exterior that includes a higher hood and replaceable bumper panels. The Western-themed 1794 Edition joins the top-line Platinum model. Its name is derived from the founding date of the Texas ranch where the truck's factory now resides.
Driving Impressions On road and off, Toyota's full-size truck is still formidable when equipped with a V8 engine. The 310-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8 is totally adequate for lighter duties, while the 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter...... V8 is up for almost any task (yes, it even pulled the Space Shuttle over a bridge). The 270-horsepower V6 has acceptable performance in regular-cab models, but its capability declines with the added weight of double-cab setups. On the highway, the Tundra scores points with its quiet cabin. This half-ton truck isn't exactly nimble, but it drives smaller than its dimensions otherwise suggest. The Tundra's 6-speed automatic transmission on V8 models is smooth, though not as buttery at Ram's new 8-speed. The Tundra does not offer a locking rear differential, but the big truck had no traction problems in our tests in which we drove a 4-wheel-drive TRD edition up muddy embankments, crawled down steep hills and waded through several feet of water.
REPLACEABLE BUMPER PANELS
Treat a truck like a truck and it's almost bound to happen: bruising a bumper. The 2014 Toyota Tundra features a 3-piece design for its front and rear bumpers that makes them easier and less-costly to replace should/when they get banged up.
BLIND-SPOT MONITORING SYSTEM
Driving a big truck means dealing with a wider zone in which you can miss spotting other vehicles to the rear left and rear right. Sedans have been offering electronic monitoring of these areas for years, but Toyota claims the title of being first to bring the technology to a full-size truck.
The most notable differences in the new Tundra come on the inside. The truck's big knobs remain (easier to use with gloved hands), but the controls and layout are sleeker. They're also within easier reach of the driver. To be exact, controls for audio and climate functions have been moved 2.6 inches closer. Regular-cab models seat three passengers across, while the 2-row double cab and even larger CrewMax 4-door models seat five or six passengers, depending on whether the front is configured for a bench or two bucket seats. A helpful feature from the past model that did not find its way into this one is a driver's-side grab handle.Exterior
The 2014 Tundra is available in three cab configurations and three bed lengths. Regular-cab and double-cab models can be had with a standard bed (78.7 inches) or long bed (97.6 inches). The CrewMax has the biggest cab of the bunch and is only available with a short bed (66.7 inches). The new Tundra's hood has been raised slightly and is better integrated into the grille. As with other full-size trucks, the Toyota's gaping grille appears to just get bigger and bigger. At the other end, the lockable tailgate automatically lowers slowly to prevent the dreaded tailgate slam.
Like most of its competitors, the Tundra spans from basic work truck to leather-laden luxo hauler. Spend the least on an SR model and you'll get power windows, cruise control, and Toyota's Entune 6.1-inch touch-screen audio system, a USB port, Bluetooth and a backup camera. The more popular SR5 brings a manual sliding rear window and a high-resolution 7-inch touch-screen display with HD Radio and Traffic. Limited models add navigation, dual-zone climate control and leather with power-operated and heated front bucket seats. Premium and 1794 Edition trims use plusher leather like that found in the Lexus LS, heated and ventilated front seats, a moonroof and JBL premium audio.
Most extras for the 2014 Tundra are bundled into trims. Those that are available as options include a segment-exclusive blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, power-operated tow mirrors, running boards and a deck rail system with tie-down cleats. The TRD Off-Road Package brings Bilstein shock absorbers and skidplates to further protect the engine and fuel tank.
Three engines are available in the 2014 Tundra. The base 4.0-liter V6 is standard in SR rear-wheel-drive regular cab and double-cab configurations. It is connected to a 5-speed automatic transmission. A 4.6-liter V8 is standard in both rear-wheel-drive and 4-wheel-drive SR5 models. The most powerful engine in the Tundra's stable is the 5.7-liter V8 that is standard in the Limited trim and up, and available all the way down to base regular cab models for those who want to take advantage of the truck's 10,400-pound tow rating. Both V8s are connected to a 6-speed automatic. All Tundra engines run on regular gasoline, and the thirsty 5.7-liter is E85-capable.
270 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
278 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20 mpg
310 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
327 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/19 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 14/18 mpg (4-wheel drive)
381 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
401 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 13/17 mpg (4-wheel drive)
As with other full-size trucks, the 2014 Toyota Tundra's price roughly doubles from a base model to a loaded top-line version. At the low end, a regular-cab, V6-powered Tundra has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $27,000. At the other end, a 4-wheel-drive Premium or 1794 CrewMax Tundra climbs to about $50,000 when loaded. Compared with its competitors, the Toyota starts a couple of thousand more than the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Ram 1500. An entry-level Tundra is about $3,000 below a base Nissan Titan, which is only available with a king-cab or crew-cab configuration. Before buying, check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Toyota pickup. Though the Tundra's price starts higher than most rivals, it is also expected to lead the pack with the best resale value.
By Mr. Unhappy on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Cons: "Bad exhaust drone!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"My truck came with a horrible exhaust drone. Have spent over $500 to date to help eliminate the drone. Was giving me migraines and nausea. Dealer said they were all like this so Toyota did not see it as a problem. Told me to go away and not come back. Toyota knows about the problem. Have told over 30 people not to buy a Tundra. Next thing to do to deal with drone is sound absorbing undercoat or trade in and take a bath on the trade in. Again, don't buy a Tundra. Last note, cup holders won't hold a regular coffee cup, only tapered coffee mugs."
5 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Will on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "15 Cup Holders, Sounds Great, Chicks Dig It"
Cons: "Large Trailer Hitch, Size around town, Gas Guzzler"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had this truck for 5 months now, and put roughly 8000 miles on it. I have taken it on 300 mile road trips and around town. It does great on the highway, however gas mileage drastically decreases from 55 to 70 MPH. Around town, the 5.7 Liter V8 is quick off the line. After towing a 4500 lb. boat around (more than 3,000 more than the limit), the truck showed no fatigue or problem. It did struggle, but that should be expected after nearly quadrupling the max. towing. The hitch receiver is very large, and I had to buy an extra large locking pin in order for it to fit. However Toyota has placed the connections for trailer lights above integrated into the bumper as to not rip out cords when you are off roading and rocks are hitting your bumper. The Limited interior is well laid out, providing lots of leather and wood trim. And holy cow! The back seats are massive! My 6'7" 270 pound uncle fits in the back no problem at all! The legroom is incredible. One thing to improve on in the back is that the air conditioning takes a while to reach all the way back, as there is only one small vent for all three back seats while there are 4 vents for the front seats. The rear seats fold up, and the large back door allows you to easily take in and out large, heavy objects. One thing that I wish toyota had put on the truck is an under hood light, as that would have significantly increased the ease of checking your engine (as if you were to ever break down - this truck doesn't do that) at night. The adjustable headlights allow you to not blind the driver in front of you at night when you have 4500 pounds of weight dragging the back end down. The humongous center console could hold a small adult inside of it, and has a charging port inside. The entune navigation system is very user friendly and easily allows you to input destinations, change radio stations, and change vehicle settings. The refreshed exterior is tasteful, but does not show off. The tailgate of the truck is a easy lift and lower tailgate, and you can take if off in 45 seconds. I've timed myself :-). Cup Holders are in no short supply - there are 15 of them. Everything is removable from the truck with some basic tools, so you can add accessories and clean certain bits. I have taken the front and rear seats out several times already to clean the interor of the truck really well. The rear power sliding window (by the way, it it the whole window that slides down, not just a small square of window) drastically improves the airflow through the truck when the windows are down. Despite all the upsides, it is a bit of a lumber bus around town since it is as wide as is legal in the US and is plenty long with the crew cab. Bottom line, I would absolutely reccommend this truck to anyone and would buy it again in a heartbeat. Not to mention, I can run it to ten million miles with just oil changes because its a Toyota!"
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By KJ on Tuesday, December 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,300overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Safety. Price. Comfort. Handling. Torque. Fun!"
Cons: "Need a lock on gas cover or cap."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I purchased my Rock Warrior because of it's stats for safety. I am impressed by it's ride and comfort. Most new vehicles the seats dip down' the Tundra are 'flat' and adjustable. Also, the back of the seat is a fantastic height for tall people and do not 'force' you into a 'C' position whereas your shoulders are forced forward. The MPH is not bad for such a large engine. I just pulled a near 8000 lb. older trailer for my son to Texas from Vermont. Yes, the fuel bill was high... but with the tow package; the Rock Warrior was stupendous regarding stability. All I am waiting for is for Toyota to come out with a diesel engine of their own or the Cummings."
17 people out of 24 found this review helpful