Test Drive: 2014 Toyota Tundra trucks toyota car test drives
Test Drive: 2014 Toyota Tundra trucks toyota car test drives
2014 Toyota Tundra. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Tom Sedens

When you compare it to the previous generation, it looks like Toyota’s aim was to create a more masculine truck. It comes across as more chiseled, squared-off and somewhat angry. The bright strip of LED driving lights grab your eyeballs and the massive grille is something to behold – you can see it a mile away. The side profile gets integrated fender flares that look bigger and more squared off to me.

The tailgate has the Tundra name stamped into the steel, rather than being adorned with less manly badging. I really liked the huge 20-inch rims, in this case shod with 275/55-sized gummies. Although it’s easily recognizable as a Tundra, and has been given a somewhat polarizing über-masculine style, the new Tundra definitely looks better than the outgoing model in my opinion.

Toyota made a few changes inside too. Hard plastics make up the dash (similar to the majority of the competition), and styling is simple and attractive. Fit and finish seemed a bit lacking as I often heard some plastic on plastic buzzing and some rattling over bumps as well.

My tester’s 1794 interior trim, which clearly takes cues from Ford’s King Ranch trim, is pretty handsome – it gets tan saddle leather seats (with suede inserts), as well as dash and door panels, and an armrest upholstered in the same stuff. You’ll find all the expected gauges and a driver information screen in the middle, and a power-adjustable steering wheel. The steering wheel isn’t heated – a bit surprising at this price, especially since much of the competition has it. I found those pretty leather seats (which are power-adjustable, heated and ventilated!) very comfortable, even for long distances.

Test Drive: 2014 Toyota Tundra trucks toyota car test drives Test Drive: 2014 Toyota Tundra trucks toyota car test drives Test Drive: 2014 Toyota Tundra trucks toyota car test drives
2014 Toyota Tundra. Click image to enlarge

Some of the main controls on the centre stack are chunkier, making them usable with gloves. The seven-inch touchscreen is a bit of a reach, but it’s responsive and works well, handling the audio, phone, navigation and vehicle settings. Toyota makes a big deal about the JBL sound system – it has a ton of speakers and plays your tunes from any kind of input you can think of – it sounds fine, but didn’t overly impress me. There’s also a dual-zone automatic climate control system and a sunroof.

Test Drive: 2014 Toyota Tundra trucks toyota car test drives
2014 Toyota Tundra. Click image to enlarge

In the back, you’ll find three seats, each with a seatbelt and a headrest. There is space for three adults with headroom and legroom to spare, which means the rear seating was definitely wide enough to accommodate our three kids – that includes two child seats (there are two sets of LATCH anchors for that purpose if you need them).

Rear passengers get adjustable air vents, a 12V plug and an armrest that folds down out of the middle seatback.

In terms of cargo capacity, you’ll find that the seat bottoms fold up and out of the way (in a 60/40 split), creating a massive open cargo space with an almost flat floor. This is very convenient for moving a lot of stuff. The rear window is powered, allowing it to vertically slide open (and out of the way) – very cool!

These days, trucks are often mobile offices. Which means they need places to put stuff, and conveniences to get the working person through their day. The Tundra gets a big glove compartment, good door bins, and an organizational space at the front of the centre console where you’ll also find two 12V plugs (and the USB and aux inputs). There are little smartphone-sized drop-in bins – one on top of the dash and on top of the armrest lid. Speaking of the armrest – pop the lid open and there’s a massive open space under there (with another 12V plug). When it comes to staying hydrated and caffeinated, there are three cupholders in the console.

Irritatingly, there are no 120V household plugs to be found. The competition offers them, and frankly the old-school 12V plug should be headed toward extinction. This is a major oversight, especially when you compare it to the massively charger-ready console of the new GM trucks.




About Tom Sedens

Tom Sedens is an Edmonton-based automobile journalist, husband, dad and driving enthusiast, as well as an accredited member of AJAC.