Like its peers, the Tundra’s new sheet metal is more chiseled and bold. The front end gets the most attention with a sharper grille and angular headlamps…which by the way are now adjustable to compensate for heavy loads.
The rear tailgate and lamps get the same treatment with sharper creases and a blockier look. The tailgate now has TUNDRA stamped into the sheet metal and if you tow you will notice the trailer connectors have been moved up into the bumper so they can’t be scraped off by terrain.
Opening the tailgate is more controlled with a soft touch damper that keeps it from dropping down hard. Bumpers front and rear are a new three-piece design that looks cool, but also enables less expensive repairs.
The restyle goes deeper than just the front and rear clips though. Fender flares along the sides have a more squared off look and add to the more muscular stance of the Tundra. Only the greenhouse sheet metal remains the same as before.
Available cab styles remain the same as before with a Regular Cab, Double Cab and the largest CrewMax. The latter is still only available with a 5′ ½ foot bed, a complaint we noted about the previous model.
As I said, the interior got the most attention in the 2014 Tundra. New materials, a new center stack design, and new trim grades make this truck. The audio and HVAC controls were moved closer to the drive2 by 2.6”. Great news!
Our tester was a Platinum grade which is of the top of the line. This brings rich soft touch trims with a crosshatched thread pattern that line the dash and door panels and can be found in the comfortable leather seats. Handsome chrome Platinum emblems add a nice touch, but aren’t over done.
Even on base models, the layout of the new dash and door panels brings a bolder heavy duty premium look that will appeal across the board from fashionable connoisseurs to the leather biker set.
For 2014 Toyota adds a new 1794 Edition which takes the Platinum trim grade and mixes it up with bold colors and rich wood grain trim. It’s Toyota’s answer to Ford’s King Ranch and RAM’s Longhorn editions.
On CrewMax cabs the rear seat also now folds up and out of the way offering a lower load floor area with increased space. This is a nice improvement over the previous model.
Standard now is a backup camera and Toyota’s Entune display audio across the product lineup. The system allows for Bluetooth connectivity and a full suite of app functions when paired with your Smartphone, something that used to be optional.
Under the hood is the same powertrains found in the 2013 Tundra. These include the range topping 5.7 liter V8 with 381 horsepower mated to a six-speed transmission. Also available is a smaller 4.6 liter V8 with 310 horsepower and the fuel sipping 4.0 liter V6 with 270 horsepower.
Thus the 2014 Tundra drives virtually the same as the the 2013 and previous models. The suspension has received some shock valving enhancements to improve the ride. If you option the TRD Offroad Suspension, the rear leaf springs have been massaged as well.
The power steering has been re-tuned to offer better on center feel and control, particularly when towing or well loaded with weight.
Even with few other mechanical changes, the Tundra still drives and handles with a premium feel that other trucks lack. For a full review and photo galleries, see our report at ActivityVehicle.com