You don’t have to be a Texan, hard hat wearer, or even a cow poop-scooper named Farmer John, to drive around in a pickup truck! No longer viewed as run-of-the-mill workhorses not worth a second glance, today’s current crop of trucks have been bumped up status-wise and are now luxe head-turners. The 2014 Toyota Tundra will certainly make you look, and when you get behind the wheel and hear its growl, you’ll definitely want to experience the ride.
The redesigned full-sized Tundra is traditional truck styling at its bestest, hefty in and out. Our test vehicle was an LTD Crewmax, which is longer than many and sports a more chiseled exterior with a higher hood than the previous design. The pickup’s attractive and aggressive-looking larger grille is an absolute standout. Paired with the Tundra’s brawny self-assured stance, it makes you wanna take the long way home.
Step into the Tundra’s cabin and you’ll find a handsomely appointed interior with a fit and finish that is premium grade. Seek and you shall find not a stitch, knob, or piece of plastic that is loose or cheaply made: refinement is the order of the day in the Tundra. For the driver, the touchscreen display infotainment cluster is a cinch to reach (2.6 inches closer than last year’s model), easy on the eye, and responsive to the touch. Most Tundras are available with Entune, a suite of smartphone-connected services that includes such away-from-home must-haves as a Bing search engine, Pandora streaming radio, real-time traffic, and sports and stock information.
Any former traction patient would be satisfied with the Tundra’s cushioned seating and lateral support. Got tennis elbow? The Tundra’s center and door armrests are padded enough to go the long haul.
The test vehicle, the Tundra 4×4 LTD Crewmax has a vast amount of room front and back particularly for those who are vertically challenged. Go ahead, stretch those long limbs; you’ve got plenty of room to extend them.
The Tundra is offered in three engine choices: 4.0-liter V6, 4.6-liter V8, and the top of the line growler, 5.7-liter V8, and all come in rear- or four-wheel drive. The LTD Crewmax kicks out 381 horsepower and 401 ft-lbs of torque with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Power can be heard and felt in the LTD Crewmax. Upon turning the ignition key, you’ll hear a growl that automatically puts you in fierce mode. You’ll want to ride ‘em cowboy! The Tundra’s steering is light and precise, and for a truck, it absorbs road thumps like a champ. You’ll definitely “get your truck on” once you give the Tundra some gas, as you’re trying to pass ‘Ole Miss Don’t Give a Hoot’ on the road. Don’t let the Tundra’s size fool you: it is remarkably quick for its hunky self.
The Tundra is, however, a guzzler when it comes to fuel: the LTD Crewmax which has the most powerful engine gives you 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway. If you’re a bit of a gas frugalista consider the Tundra SR model, which is less of a lush at 16 mpg city/20 mpg highway.
Safety-wise, the Toyota Tundra brings it all home with features like antilock brakes, stability and traction, trailer sway control, airbags hither and yon, standard rearview camera to clearly peep what’s around you, and a plethora of other peace-of-mind offerings.
The 2014 Toyota Tundra is everything and then some: sporty, fun, mucho macho, a hunk of truck that growls but doesn’t bite.
Prices start at $26,200.