Feast your eyes on this pugilistic bad boy truck. The iconic, multi-award-winning half-ton full-size workhorse has had its biggest make-over in over half a decade, and what a makeover it is. Revamped inside and out, the 2014 Toyota Tundra looks as though it’s been chiselled from granite, its muscular front hood raised by 1.6 inches with an aggressive front grille at the lead. Three new hues have been added: Attitude Black Metallic, Sunset Bronze Mica and Blue Ribbon Metallic, bringing the total color schemes to eight. 4x2 or 4x4 options are up for grabs.
Available grades are the SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum and the 1794 Edition, in tribute to the site of the former Texan ranch where the Tundra plant now rests. Vortex generators have been added at the mirror bases and tail lamps to increase turbulence, reduce drag and improve high-speed stability. The front fascia is oversized for added menace and the fenders and wheel wells squared off for a sturdier stance, ready to pounce. The newly designed bed adds to the athletic profile with carved tailgate and rear spoiler. Across the back, “TUNDRA” is stamped into the sheet metal for a one-piece forged look.
Choose from three cabs: the two-door Regular, four-door Double and the super-sized four-door CrewMax. Regular and double cabs come with a standard (78.7-inch) or long bed (97.6-inch) while the CrewMax sports one 66.7 inches long. All are 22.2 inches deep. There’s a lockable, easy-lower-and-lift slam-less tailgate which can be removed at whim.
Under the hood of the Regular and Double Cabs sits a 4-liter Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) V6 with an option to upgrade to a 4.6-liter V8 good for 310-hp. A 5.7-liter DOHC i-Force V8 is also available in both gasoline and “Flex Fuel” variants. The suspension has had a massive overhaul for better handling and a smoother ride and the cabin noise has been nigh-on eliminated. All models sport four-wheel disc brakes, Electronic Brake-Force Distribution and Brake assist. Automatic Limited-Slip Differential makes for improved acceleration on tricky surfaces. The tow package brings with it a towing capacity of 10,400 pounds along with upgrades to the cooling and electronic systems.
Standard convenience features across the range include a back-up camera, Bluetooth with audio streaming, front and rear mudguards, windshield wiper/de-icer and the high solar energy absorbing glass filters heat and most UV light to protect both the vehicle and its occupants. Standard Safety features include vehicle stability and traction control, brake assist, anti-lock brakes and smart stop brake override technology.
Inside the Tundra, there are ergonomic controls and larger knobs and buttons which make handling while wearing work gloves a breeze. An LCD screen is mounted on the center console. The back seats of the CrewMax can be folded for extra space, and the front seats – along with those of the Double Cab – are available as a bench or buckets. The SR5 houses premium surface treatments for a “professional gear” theme and the Limited sports leather seats and wood-style trim. Diamond pleated premium leather and chrome furnish the Platinum model, along with a 12-speaker touch-screen Entune JBL Audio System with navigation. For the cowboys out there, the 1794 Edition boasts a western vibe with saddle-brown leather and similar gadgets to the Platinum.
The SR and SR5 ride on 18-inch styled steel wheels and the rest, 20-inch alloys specific to each grade. The TRD Off-Road package comes equipped with specially designed Michelin LTX AT2 tires for added grunt in the mud. Otherwise, Bridgestone tires are standard.
The Tundra upholds its U.S. roots, designed in California and engineered in Michigan. The V6 and V8 engines are built in Alabama, transmissions are forged in North Carolina and all finished articles then constructed in San Antonio, Texas. Gents, it’s the all-new, all-American hero. Enjoy it.