2014 Toyota Tundra, toughening up: Motoramic Drives
“It’s too bubbly,” said a respondent at a consumer clinic, talking about the ginormous Toyota Tundra pickup. “It doesn’t look very big.”
Ouch. That had to hurt.
Actually, we know it hurt, because in response to that comment and many similar ones Toyota received from customers over the years, Toyota heaped on the macho when redesigning the 2014 Toyota Tundra.
While Toyota is calling this the “third-generation” Tundra, it is not a completely new truck, but rather a “top-hat” refresh of the second-generation Tundra that Toyota has been building in San Antonio since 2007. Due in showrooms starting in September, the 2014 model brings new sheetmetal and a massively updated interior, but few changes you can’t see while standing up. Still, the new look effectively projects more than enough cajones to stand next to the freshened Dodge Ram, the ever-popular Ford F-150, and the all-new 2014 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra twins.
Changes to the Tundra’s styling are extensive, with the most obvious being the new front end. Each of the Tundra trims — which include SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, and the new, range-topping 1794 Edition — gets its own freight train-sized grille, and the 1794 Edition comes drenched in enough chrome to be visible from space. The front and rear bumpers are new, too, featuring a modular three-piece design which can be easily replaced as it collects dents and scratches.
Also new for 2014 are headlamps underscored by LED running lamps, and flared, beveled fenders that impart the body sides with a more muscular and toned appearance. Chunky, three-element taillamps flank the Tundra’s new tailgate, which now incorporates an aero-enhancing spoiler lip designed to enhance fuel economy. Our favorite bit can be found on the lower right corner of the tailgate, where the word “TUNDRA” is embossed in all caps as a bit of retro whimsy.
Similarly effective are the changes made inside the Tundra’s massive cabin. Much of the cheap, scratch-prone silver plastic on the dash and doors of last year’s Tundra has been replaced by higher grade materials that even includes quilted, diamond-pattern simulated leather on Platinum and 1794 trim levels (yes, quilting in a full-size truck). Even better, the previous asymmetrical dashboard layout that rendered the radio way over toward the passenger side has been replaced by a symmetrical design.