2014 Toyota Tundra Review and Prices
Past and Future Reviews
The 2014 Toyota Tundra is the best truck for you if you want a heavily revamped -- but not fully remade -- edition of this American-built full-size-pickup.
The 2014 Toyota Tundra has new styling inside and out, more standard equipment, and a new premium model, the 1794 Edition, named for the founding year of the Texas ranch that became the Tundra plant site. Unchanged are this truck’s genuinely full-size dimensions and three-cab, three-bed lineup. Also returning intact is a powertrain roster of a V-6, two V-8s, and five- and six-speed automatic transmissions. Though short of a full redesign, this is Tundra’s most extensive alteration since model-year 2007. Since then, however, all its chief competitors – the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and Ram 1500 -- have launched all-new designs.
Should you buy a 2014 Toyota Tundra or wait for the 2015 Toyota Tundra? Little reason to wait: the 2015 Tundra is unlikely to change significantly, although it almost certainly will cost more than the 2014. This truck should continue principally as a personal-use alternative to the domestic brands, all of which outsell it partly on the strength of their popularity with commercial and trades buyers.
2014 Toyota Tundra Changes back to top
Styling: Toyota stylists build on themes set out with the 2007 Tundra to fashion a familiar but somewhat exaggerated new look for the 2014 Tundra. They say they aimed for a “chiseled and modern industrial image.” What they deliver is better-defined sheetmetal with a less generic appearance, but also a grille that’s visually fussy.
Tundra returns with an even taller chrome grille that links the hood and air intake above and the bumper below. The front bumper is now a three-piece design with interchangeable components that allow Toyota to visually differentiate Tundra’s model grades. It also should be less expensive to repair.
A slight rounding of the rear roofline remains, but Tundra’s new fenders and wheel wells are squared-off to suggest a wider stance and more body-side definition.
A new cargo-bed design carries the sharper lines to the redesigned tail gate, which has an integrated spoiler and “Tundra” stamped into the sheetmetal. Toyota says the spoiler helps fuel efficiency. Like the front bumper, the rear bumper is now three pieces instead of one, for lower replacement costs.
LED daytime running lights are a new feature; they’re standard on the 1794 Edition and on the returning Platinum model, Tundra’s other premium trim level.
Inside, industrial-design cues are evident in a bold new dashboard with large, metallic-ringed gauges, big, round air vents, and controls sized for use by gloved fingers. New is a 6.1-inch central dashboard screen that displays audio and climate information, the backup camera view, and other functions, such as navigation maps. All models gain a 3.5-inch multi-information display in the gauge cluster. Welcome ergonomic updates include climate controls relocated 2.6 inches closer to the steering wheel.
The feel and durability of the cabin materials is improved. And the various interior décors are tailored for stronger differentiation between model grades. Crew cabs get new seats, including a split rear bench that can now be folded up for additional cargo-carrying capability.
The 2014 Toyota Tundra again matches its domestic-brand rivals with a trio of cab choices. The Tundra two-door regular-cab seats three. The Tundra DoubleCab extended-cab continues with a pair of small rear doors and a rear bench seat. And 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax,crew cab again has four full-size side doors. Like the Double Cab, the CrewMax is available with a front bench or bucket seats and has a three-passenger rear bench seat for up-to six-passenger capacity.
With three available bed lengths the 2014 Tundra remains one behind the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and GMC Sierra 1500. Tundra regular-cabs and DoubleCabs offer 6.5- and 8.1-foot cargo beds. And while crew-cab versions of every domestic-brand rival, including the Ram 1500, come in short- and long-bed form, the 2014 Tundra CrewMax continues with a 5.5-foot box only.
The 2014 Tundra offers five basic trim levels: the work-oriented SR; better-equipped, volume-selling SR5; upscale Limited; western-themed 1794; and luxury Platinum. A variety of option packages returns, including the raised-suspension TRD Off-Road group.
Mechanical: The 2014 Toyota Tundra retains the basic chassis introduced with this truck’s model-year 2007 graduation to true-big-pickup status. Wheelbase – a defining dimension that’s the distance between the front and rear axles – is unchanged at 126.8 inches for the regular-cab short-bed,164.6 inches for the CrewMax, and 145.7 inches for all other Tundra versions.
Toyota has, however, made modifications to the shock absorbers and steering to improve ride and handling. Aerodynamic “fins” molded into the edges of the mirrors and taillamps are intended to reduce air turbulence for improved straight-line stability. Toyota says the steering system transmits less road vibration. And it says the passenger compartment is better isolated from mechanical noise and road harshness.
Rivals are updating their pickups’ V-6 engines with enough power to pose as viable alternatives to less-fuel-efficient and more expensive V-8s. By contrast, Toyota retains Tundra’s V-6 mostly so it can advertise a low starting price.
The 2014 Tundra returns a 4.0-liter V-6 unchanged at 270 horsepower. That’s the lowest horsepower of any V-6 in the class. Torque is unchanged at 278 pound-feet, which is entirely competitive, but still no more than adequate in a full-size pickup. Moreover, V-6 Tundras retain a five-speed automatic transmission in a class where more efficient six-speed automatics are the norm and where the Ram 1500 uses a smooth, responsive eight-speed automatic.
Toyota wisely confines the V-6 to the lightest weight 2014 Tundras, the two-wheel-drive (2wd) regular-cabs and 2wd DoubleCabs.
Big-pickup buyers traditionally prefer V-8s for their additional torque, which is the energy responsible for getting a vehicle moving and vital when towing or hauling heavy loads.
The 2014 Tundra’s base V-8 is again a 4.6-liter unchanged at 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque. Repeating as the best engine choice for the Tundra is the 5.7-liter V-8. It again delivers 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, power comparable with any direct rival’s. Both V-8s continue with a six-speed automatic and with a choice of 2wd or four-wheel drive (4wd).
The 2014 Tundra’s tow ratings remain competitive, at around 10,400 pounds with the 5.7 V-8 and around 9,000 with the 4.7 V-8.
The 2014 Tundra’s 4wd system again has low-range gearing but is not designed for use on dry pavement. By contrast, the competition from Ram, GM, and Ford offer the convenience and security of 4wd that can be left engaged on all surfaces.
The 2014 Tundra’s wheel sizes are unchanged, though some designs are new. SR and SR5 models have 18-inch styled steel wheels. Limited, Platinum, and the 1794 Edition have new 20-inch alloy wheels specific to each grade.
Features: The 2014 Toyota Tundra’s list of features expands to include most all the comfort and convenience items a big-pickup buyer might reasonably expect, including a crew-cab rear seat that reclines.
Still, with a basic design that dates to model-year 2007, the 2014 Tundra will again seem a bit behind the curve compared with the F-150 and Ram 1500, both of which were all-new for model-year 2009. In addition, GM’s full-size pickups are re-engineered and restyled for model-year 2014; they were last redesigned for model-year 2007.
Nonetheless, credit Toyota with keeping its big pickup reasonably fresh in terms of features. For the 2014 Tundra it claims a number of segment firsts, including a standard back-up camera (viewed from the central dashboard screen) and standard Bluetooth hands-free mobile-phone linking and music streaming. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system is available on upper-line versions.
Toyota says Tundra’s 1794 and Platinum models are the first pickups to offer a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. This system alerts the driver to unseen vehicles in adjacent lanes and, when reversing from a parking space, to vehicles approaching from the sides.
Among features specific to each 2014 Tundra model, the interior of the SR5 has a “professional gear” theme, with unique driver and passenger zones, metallic accents and bold contrasting fabric.
The 2014 Tundra Limited is intended to project an “active premium” image. It comes with leather upholstery in black, beige, and graphite colors, matching soft-touch stitched door and console surfaces, and faux wood trim. The Limited model adds to the SR5 an eight-way power driver seat, an automatic climate-control system, chrome door handles and chrome outer mirrors, and a deck rail system.
Toyota says the 2014 Tundra Platinum grade is revamped for the “next generation of personal use truckers.” To give the Platinum’s interior an “upscale yet urban feel,” it uses premium upholstery never before in a Toyota truck: black double-stitched diamond-plate perforated leather. The Platinum also has heated and ventilated front seats, special door and dashboard inserts, and chrome-accented seat and console trim and logos. It comes standard with a navigation system, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and a 12-speaker JBL audio system that includes Toyota’s Entune hands-free infotainment control.
The 1794 Edition includes exclusive embossed saddle-brown leather seating with ultra-suede accents. There are matching soft-touch materials on the dashboard, center console, and door panels. Like the Platinum model, the 1794 Edition comes with heated and ventilated front seats, JBL audio and Entune, navigation, and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Among popular Tundra options, the TRD packages are back with specific suspension components and other specialty off-road touches.
Every 2014 Tundra again comes with a knee airbag for the driver and front passenger and head-protecting curtain side airbags that cover all outboard seating positions and incorporate rollover sensors. Antilock four-wheel disc brakes, an antiskid system, traction control, and a limited slip differential will also return as standard to help the Tundra accelerate, stop, and turn with more control.
2014 Toyota Tundra Prices back to top
Prices for the 2014 Toyota Tundra were not announced in time for this review but history suggests a 2014 Tundra base-price range of roughly $27,000-$50,000. (Estimated base prices in this review include the factory mandated delivery fee; Toyota’s factory delivery fee for the 2013 Tundra was $995. Note that Toyotas sold in Southeastern and Gulf states are delivered by an independent distributor and may carry different destination fees.)
Our estimated 2014 Tundra base-price range starts with an SR 2wd regular cab with the standard cargo bed, and V-6 engine It tops out with a CrewMax Platinum with 4wd and the 5.7-liter V-8.
Expect the 2014 Tundra DoubleCab to continue as the Tundra’s most popular body style; it’ll likely start around $29,000 with V-6 and top out around $43,000 in Limited trim with the 5.7 V-8 and 4wd.
Estimated base price for the 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax is $32,500 with the 4.6-liter V-8 and about $33,500 with the 5.7. Expect to pay around $50,000 for a 4wd 5.7-liter 2014 CrewMax in Platinum or 1794 trim.
2014 Toyota Tundra Fuel Economy back to top
EPA mileage estimates for the 2014 Toyota Tundra were not released in time for this review but Toyota likely will make an effort to improve on the truck’s 2013 ratings. That would keep the 2014 within 1-2 mpg of most direct competitors with engines of similar power.
For reference, fuel-economy ratings for the 2013 Tundra with the V-6 engine and 2wd were 16/20/18 mpg city/highway/combined.
Fuel-economy ratings for the 2013 Tundra with the 4.6-liter V-8 were 15/20/17 mpg with 2wd and 14/19/16 with 4wd.
Fuel-economy ratings for the 2013 Tundra with the 5.7 V-8 were 14/18/15 mpg with 2wd and 13/17/14 with 4wd.
2014 Toyota Tundra Release Date back to top
The 2014 Toyota Tundra reaches showrooms in September 2013.
Like the 2007-2013 second-generation model, the 2014 Tundra was engineered by Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and its styling is the product of the company’s Calty Design Research centers in Newport Beach, Calif. and Ann Arbor. Tundra continues to be assembled exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, in San Antonio, Texas. The new 1794 Edition is a tribute to the ranch, founded in 1794, on which the Tundra plant is located in San Antonio.
What's next for the 2014 Toyota Tundra back to top
Toyota pulled out the stops with the 2007 Tundra redesign to create the first import-brand pickup that could compete with the big domestics for size, weight, and roominess. Some industry sources had speculated that the 2014 revamp could bring slightly reduced exterior dimensions if Toyota conceded that the core audience for this truck is indeed recreational users and not contractors and ranchers. A tidier size would mean less fuel-burning weight – a serious consideration for any manufacturer looking to satisfy tightening fuel-economy standards.
Sans significant weight reduction, however, the path to better fuel efficiency leads to more efficient powertrains. Gas-electric hybrids have sold poorly among big-truck buyers, but Toyota has promised a hybrid version of each of its models and is cooperating with Ford on a hybrid powertrain suitable for SUVs and pickups. A diesel engine also could be in the powertrain portfolio of this third-gen Tundra, though high initial cost and unpredictable diesel-fuel prices weigh against it.
2014 Toyota Tundra Competition back to top
Chevrolet Silverado 1500/GMC Sierra 1500: The 2014 editions of these GM cousins are redesigned for the first time since model-year 2007. Evolutionary styling is more muscular and more aerodynamic. And roomier, quieter cabs address what had been a competitive deficiency. Extended-cabs get rear doors hinged at the front not the rear. And all versions are re-engineered for improved ride and handling with revised suspensions and addition of electric power steering. Final specifications were unavailable in time for this review, but GM confirms the return of a 4.3-liter V-6 and V-8s of 5.3- and 6.2-liters. Introduction of direct fuel injection and cylinder deactivation to three cylinders makes each more efficient. Six-speed automatic transmissions with traditional shift levers return. Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning and front and rear park assist are among new safety features. Also new is GM’s MyLink hands-free infotainment control. All models get multiple USB ports. Introduction of a “CornerStep” bumper and built-in hand-grip pockets improve cargo-bed access. The 2014 Silverado and Sierra crew cabs go on sale in the second quarter of 2013, with the regular- and extended-cabs following later in the year.
Ford F-150: Model-year 2014 will be the last for this generation of America’s top-selling vehicle. A full redesign comes in model-year 2015. No major changes are likely for the 2014 F-150 after revisions were made to the 2013 version. A revised grille and available xenon headlamps will carry over, as will an available power-telescoping steering column and power-folding trailer-tow side mirrors. The advanced but glitch-prone MyFord Touch infotainment controller also will return. Two V-6 engines – one the impressive EcoBoost twin-turbo -- and V-8s of 5.0- and 6.2-liters will be back, all with power and fuel economy rivaling best in class. The 2014 F-150 will also defend its class-leading tow rating of 11,300 pounds, achieved with both the 6.2-liter V-8 and the EcoBoost V-6 and. A wide range of cab and bed combinations and such features as the optional Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tool-tracking system will keep the 2014 F-150 highly competitive.
Ram 1500: Reports of the first diesel-engine option in a half-ton pickup headlines the 2014 Ram 1500 story. Addition of the V-6 diesel was still unconfirmed at the time of this review, but the 2014 Ram will expand its eight-speed automatic transmission from just its gas V-6 engine to its most powerful engine, the Hemi V-8. An available air suspension helps Ram extend its lead in ride control while offering off-road settings that produce 10.7 inches of ground clearance. Roomy and exceptionally quiet cabs, aggressive styling, and a full suite of infotainment features round out a pickup that ranks third in sales but first in road manners.