Go Back   Club Lexus Forums > General Forums > Car Chat
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?

First Drive: 2014 Toyota Tundra

Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-30-13, 12:14 PM   #1
Hoovey2411
Lexus Fanatic
Trader Score: (16)
 
Hoovey2411's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: California
Posts: 27,751
Default First Drive: 2014 Toyota Tundra

2014 Toyota Tundra


"Raising A White Flag To The Competition"

Click the image to open in full size.

Gallery:
http://www.autoblog.com/photos/2014-...photo-6064232/

We all benefit from highly competitive battles. In the automotive sector, few campaigns are so closely fought as the decades-long struggle for supremacy in the fullsize half-ton pickup truck segment. The Ford F-150 has dominated for ages, but Chevrolet, Ram and GMC have been closing the gap with freshly redesigned trucks that are rocking the industry.

Today's half-ton trucks are better than they've ever been, and we have fierce competition to thank for that.

But where does the segment leave a truck from an automaker that has chosen to no longer fight and deliver its best product? What kind of vehicle comes from a company that has relinquished any desire to strive for the top of the class – one who is now content offering nothing more than minor updates and mediocrity in an aim to placate brand loyalists?

Such a calculated underachiever would look a lot like the 2014 Toyota Tundra.

Click the image to open in full size.

Toyota introduced the completely redesigned second-generation Tundra at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show for the 2007 model year. Unlike the first-generation truck, this new Tundra was properly sized to compete with other full-size half-ton pickups in the segment. To wage the difficult battle against the Chevy Silverado, Dodge Ram, Ford F-150, GMC Sierra and Nissan Titan, Toyota fitted the body-on-frame truck with a fresh 5.7-liter V8 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The new Tundra was much more competitive than Toyota's previous half-ton (sales peaked at just under 200,000 units in 2007) but the looming economic crisis and loyal American truck buyers caused sales to fall to just 83,000 units four years later.

Seven years after its introduction, at the 2013 Chicago Auto show earlier this year, Toyota introduced a refreshed Tundra set for sale as a 2014 model. "Tundra's new exterior design and new interior were inspired by customer feedback requesting a more chiseled exterior and refined interior, with improved driver ergonomics and easy-to-use technology, giving customers more of what they want," said the automaker. The reception for the mostly cosmetic changes was understandably lukewarm – especially amidst major redesigns by the fiercely competitive Detroit Three.

Six months after Chicago, with the ice and snow nothing but a memory, we found ourselves behind the wheel of the 2014 Toyota Tundra on a warm and soggy rain-soaked Pennsylvania trail.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

The exterior of the Tundra has lost much of its bubbly appearance in favor of a more "chiseled and masculine truck look," says Toyota. Most noticeable is the front hood, raised 1.6 inches in height, and the new aggressive front grille (with a "mock-air inlet") that reaches down to the top of the bumper. The resculpted front bumper is now a three-piece modular design, allowing consumers easier repair if a section is damaged (the bumper improvement is carried over to the rear as well). Other changes include single-bulb headlamps, new quarter panels with integrated fender flares and a new soft-drop tailgate with "TUNDRA" embossed in the sheetmetal. There are also four new wheel designs ranging in diameter from 18 to 20 inches.

Toyota has worked hard on the Tundra's aerodynamics. Look closely to find tiny vortex generators (they look like small speedbumps) on the mirror bases and taillamps. These increase turbulence in the air passing over the body to reduce drag and aid high-speed stability.

The interior has also been redesigned and modernized to have a "true truck look," says the automaker. Continuing that objective, the dash and doors have been restyled with more soft-touch surfaces and the instrument panel upgraded and moved over slightly to improve ergonomics. There is a new, larger center console and with additional power outlets (AUX, USB and 12-volt) above the console tray, and the infotainment system has been updated with Toyota's latest Entune system. Four-door CrewMax models have also been fitted with a "tip-up" rear seat cushion to improve load capacity and utility.

Click the image to open in full size.

With the exception of a new transfer case and driveshaft, the mechanicals have mostly been left alone. The Tundra's frame (high-tensile steel boxed in the front with a C-channel under the cab and rearward for better weight distribution) and suspension (independent double-wishbone up front with a live axle in the rear) are unchanged, save for a set of retuned shock absorbers. And it's the same story with the hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion steering and ventilated disc brakes at all four corners.

The engines are carried over too. Those who aren't towing much will likely be content with the 4.0-liter V6 (rated at 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque) and five-speed automatic that are standard equipment on the entry-level model.

Most Tundra's will arrive with one of two optional V8 engines. The first engine, displacing 4.6 liters, is rated at 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque. It's a nice powerplant, but we'd recommend giving up a couple MPG for the larger 5.7-liter V8, rated at 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. Both optional V8s are bolted to a proven six-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive models have an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case that requires the vehicle to be completely stopped and put into neutral to engage low range.

Click the image to open in full size.

Unlike most other players in the fullsize pickup segment, Toyota rightfully brags that the Tundra is SAE J2807 compliant. This non-mandatory litmus test of towing strength challenges truckmakers to pull a real-world load (a heavy trailer plus a full load of passengers and cargo) under grueling conditions. Once the test is successfully completed, the new tow rating is calculated only after subtracting the vehicle's load. Toyota has been in compliance since 2011, but other manufacturers are just coming aboard now. Properly equipped, the Tundra can tow upwards of 10,400 pounds with a gross combined weight rating of 16,000 pounds.

The latest generation of the Texas-built Tundra will be offered in five different grades. Buyers will be familiar with the carryover SR, SR5, Limited and Platinum models, but Toyota has added an all-new premium 1794 Edition that features unique 20-inch wheels, saddle brown embossed leather and suede upholstery. The name pays tribute to the San Antonio ranch, founded in 1794, where the assembly plant is now located. You'll be able to have your five trim levels in three cab styles – two-door Regular Cab, four-door Double Cab and four-door CrewMax – and a choice of 4x2 and 4x4 powertrains.

Rather than spend just minutes in each of the dozen or so models, we split our time cleanly in half: morning was spent on the challenging off-road course in a Radiant Red SR5 Double Cab 4x4 optioned with the TRD Off-Road package, while the afternoon put us in a Blue Ribbon Metallic Limited Double Cab 4x4 on the (mostly) dry pavement. Both trucks we drove were equipped with the 5.7-liter V8 since Toyota estimates such a small percentage of owners will choose the V6.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Visually, Toyota has achieved its mission objective in terms of a designing a more distinctive (if polarizing) exterior appearance. Even though it was a bit overwhelming at first, we quickly grew accustomed – even liked – the new façade and the embossed tailgate. The Tundra finally has some much-needed stage presence.

The Tundra's redesigned interior is also a pleasing improvement over last year's model. The cabin materials feel more substantial and the ergonomics have been simplified. The meaty leather-wrapped steering wheel felt great in our hands and we liked the round, swiveling vents that allow better air distribution. We did discover, however, that those real metal rings quickly coat themselves with water droplets in humid air. The gauge cluster is also easier to read, with the new 3.1-inch color TFT display being particularly clear, and the Entune touchscreen is well placed for viewing from either seat and features a standard backup camera. Safety equipment stays largely the same as before, but the options list will now also include a segment-first blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert. Overall, we wished we were equally as smitten with this Toyota's driving dynamics as we were with its updated cabin, but that isn't the case.

On-road, the Tundra felt heavy, ponderous and frankly archaic compared to others we have driven in this segment. While wind noise was kept under control, the ride was firm and sharp impacts jolted the undercarriage noisily. Handling was sluggish, and the half-ton drove with a heavy feel that didn't encourage us to push it even moderately on the twisty sections. The competition has been successfully taking the "truck" out of its half-ton offerings for some time now, leaving the Toyota feeling dated.

Click the image to open in full size.

While some in the class are using direct injection (GM), turbochargers (Ford) and eight-speed automatics (Ram) to improve fuel economy and drivability, Toyota's "updated" setup adopts none of the above. In response to a heavy foot, the Tundra accelerated with authority off the line and it had plenty of grunt for passing. Yet we would never consider the 5,600-pound truck on the "quick" end of the scale. There is no arguing with the V8's strength, as the 5.7-liter is damn strong, but it achieves its muscularity through displacement, not refinement. Fuel economy ratings have yet to be released for the 2014 model equipped with either engine, but we don't expect them to exceed or even meet the domestic competition. For reference, the outgoing 2013 Tundra 4x4 with the 5.7-liter V8 gets EPA ratings of 13 city miles per gallon city and 17 highway, with the 4x2 eking out an extra mpg on the freeway.

Off-road, the Tundra performed much more admirably. Models optioned with the TRD Off-Road package will be fitted with specially designed Michelin LTX AT2 tires made with a compound specifically engineered to improve performance after the pavement ends. The new tires clamored through the muck and climbed wet rocks and logs with ease, yet still kept their composure on the asphalt. It's a shame they aren't offered across the board, as models without the TRD package will ride on all-season Bridgestone tires. We had plenty of fun in the mud and water, but yearned for a grab handle on the A-pillar each time we stepped out of the cab on a slippery slope, and we missed the optional forward-facing camera offered on the Ford SVT Raptor when we crested blind hills.

Vehicle launches should be both exciting and fulfilling as we grasp new automotive systems, experience innovative technology and learn about the exhaustive research that brought the product to life. Yet after driving Toyota's updated half-ton pickup models over a variety of roads and terrain, the refreshed Tundra left us feeling, well... empty.

Click the image to open in full size.

And, as is often the case, there is more to this story.

Even after selling a record 196,555 units in 2007, Toyota's slice of the half-ton pickup market was but a fraction of the volume of the Ford F-150 (690,589 units), Chevrolet Silverado (618,259 units) and Dodge Ram (364,177) that year, despite offering an arguably better product at the time. American truck owners have always been very loyal to their badge, and the Japanese reasoned that earning additional conquest sales would be a prohibitively expensive undertaking.

At some point in the recent past, the fate of the 2014 Tundra was sealed - the company would not make an investment in an entirely new truck, the existing engines would be carried forward and the talked-about small displacement diesel powerplant would be shelved.

When pushed for sales estimates, Toyota said it expects to sell about 107,000 half-ton pickup truck this year and about 130,000 in 2014. But the numbers will level off at that point. Rather than spend the money to build the segment's best product to capture additional conquest sales, Toyota appears to have ceded to the competition. Stepping away from the hard-fought battle between the Detroit Three, it has chosen the path of least resistance - it will dial back its efforts and build the Tundra in Texas simply to satisfy the 100,000+ faithful Toyota owners who show up to buy one every year.

It's that premeditated, defeatist mindset that bought us this refreshed but half-hearted pickup we drove in Pennsylvania. So you'll have to forgive us for walking away from this Toyota with the same feeling.

http://www.autoblog.com/2013/07/30/2...w-first-drive/
This ad is not displayed to registered members.
Register your free account today and become a member on Club Lexus!
__________________
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic95774_1.gif
|Version 3.5 |TLN #918|
GIANTS|NINERS|SHARKS|WARRIORS
Hoovey2411 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 12:23 PM   #2
Hoovey2411
Lexus Fanatic
Trader Score: (16)
 
Hoovey2411's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: California
Posts: 27,751
Default

Quote:
Click the image to open in full size.
Interior design is much improved over the last gen. That said, the exterior...

Quote:
Click the image to open in full size.
Some of the most hideous trucks I've ever had the displeasure of seeing. Holy hell.



Long live the Blue Oval
__________________
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic95774_1.gif
|Version 3.5 |TLN #918|
GIANTS|NINERS|SHARKS|WARRIORS
Hoovey2411 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 12:26 PM   #3
TF109B
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,959
Default

They look great. As long as you get body colored bumpers and not the metal. That looks cheap on any truck.
TF109B is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 12:29 PM   #4
MPLexus301
Lexus Fanatic
Trader Score: (3)
 
MPLexus301's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 8,637
Send a message via AIM to MPLexus301
Default

They make it out like Toyota has rolled over and packed up shop in the full size truck segment, when in reality, they are just eeking out another year or two on this platform before debuting the totally redesigned model, much like Avalon, LS, etc.

Sensationalism journalism.
__________________
"It's not so much that I drive in excess of the speed limit, officer... I just like to reach it as quickly as possible."
MPLexus301 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 12:52 PM   #5
TF109B
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,959
Default

Thats ABlog for ya! They do this quite often.
TF109B is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 01:12 PM   #6
LexsCTJill
Lexus Test Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ON
Posts: 1,486
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MPLexus301 View Post
They make it out like Toyota has rolled over and packed up shop in the full size truck segment, when in reality, they are just eeking out another year or two on this platform before debuting the totally redesigned model, much like Avalon, LS, etc.

Sensationalism journalism.
Well, most of the reviews are not very good. The Tundra aince 2007 has been a disaster for Toyota.

IMO, here is the probelm, when you parked the first gen model next to everything exceot the Ram, it was a similar truck that was traditional. It did remarkably well for a model that had limited engines, features, trim levels as well as its size. It was pure Toyota truck just like many Toyota trucks of the past were.

Now, the 2nd gen is an absolute polar opposite compared to what is currently offered by the big three, the giant rear crew max doors, roll down rear window, c channel frame, small box on crew cab are all enough to turn off a loyal big three owner. Then add in the rediculious size of the reg cab model and very poor MPG and you can see why the Tundra flopped.

Fianlly, Toyotas maketing of the Tundra stinks, that whole "Truck that's changing it all" never worked and for some reason Toyota thinks it still has to remind everyone that it can tow a big boat and it its overbuilt.
Not to Toyota , everyone gets it, the truck can tow a boat.

I like the new style and I love the new interior, however, the Tundra is nowhere near as competitive as the big three trucks.

Last edited by LexsCTJill; 07-30-13 at 01:57 PM..
LexsCTJill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 01:55 PM   #7
SteVTEC
Lexus Test Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
SteVTEC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,246
Default

Ouch!

That had to hurt.
__________________
Steve

12 BMW E70 X5d (IT'S HERE!)
11 BMW E93 335i convertible (the Bavarian | pics)
02 Highlander Ltd V6 AWD (the beloved)
SteVTEC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 02:35 PM   #8
BrettJacks
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
BrettJacks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 3,258
Default

How original that interior looks(*coughfordcough*)
__________________
-Brett
2012 Ford Fusion SE 3.0 V6
1992 LS400 - SOLD!
BrettJacks is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 02:44 PM   #9
spwolf
Lexus Fanatic
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 15,583
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MPLexus301 View Post
They make it out like Toyota has rolled over and packed up shop in the full size truck segment, when in reality, they are just eeking out another year or two on this platform before debuting the totally redesigned model, much like Avalon, LS, etc.

Sensationalism journalism.
yeah, except that Toyota is planning to double their Tundra sales in 2014 and looks for ways to expand capacity at plant as they dont have enough.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...exico/2588771/

I bet they will work on pricing like with Camry...
__________________
- 07 Lexus GS350 AWD
spwolf is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 03:17 PM   #10
Joeb427
Lexus Fanatic
Trader Score: (1)
 
Joeb427's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 8,985
Default

I buy Japanese vehicles but when it comes to a pick up,I'd go F-150 over a Tundra.
__________________

'13 GS 350 AWD Starfire Pearl/Black
Luxury&Cold Pkg,BSM,LED Fogs,Puddles,Door Panels,Trunk,Reverse
'15 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring w/Tech AWD Crystal White Pearl Mica/Black

Joeb427 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 03:42 PM   #11
84Cressida
Lead Lap
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: CA
Posts: 617
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MPLexus301 View Post
They make it out like Toyota has rolled over and packed up shop in the full size truck segment, when in reality, they are just eeking out another year or two on this platform before debuting the totally redesigned model, much like Avalon, LS, etc.

Sensationalism journalism.
Seriously. Ford has done the same thing with the F150 since what, 2004, yet they claim that's just "leadership getting ahead".
84Cressida is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 03:48 PM   #12
LexsCTJill
Lexus Test Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ON
Posts: 1,486
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 84Cressida View Post
Seriously. Ford has done the same thing with the F150 since what, 2004, yet they claim that's just "leadership getting ahead".
Ford has done a lot of nice things to the F150. Next will be lightweight materials etc.
LexsCTJill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 04:21 PM   #13
pvmike1
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
pvmike1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: California
Posts: 2,139
Default

The article is right about the Tundra having steep competition (more so from Ford and Ram than GM). But it's still a great truck. Just paint the grill.
__________________
pvmike1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 05:20 PM   #14
jwong77
Lexus Test Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
jwong77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: CA
Posts: 957
Default

There is just too much grill on that truck.
__________________

2009 Mercedes E350
2007 BMW 328i Coupe
2008 Acura TSX
2004 Infiniti M45 (Sold)
jwong77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 05:52 PM   #15
spwolf
Lexus Fanatic
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 15,583
Default

Click the image to open in full size.

interior is a lot nicer...
__________________
- 07 Lexus GS350 AWD
spwolf is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-13, 05:52 PM
 
 
 
 
Reply

Tags
2013, 2014, camry, date, difference, gas, interior, larger, limited, release, sale, sequoia, tank, toyota, tundra

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:38 PM.

Join ClubLexus
Advertising


Copyright © 2000-2008 Internet Brands, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Terms of Use | JOBS


Get all contact info

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2