By the way, it wasn’t always covered with mud. I did get some pictures before the fun starts. And while I said at the outset we test drove a Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition nearly identical to this one, there are a couple differences. This one has the TRD Off-Road Package which has 18-inch wheels with black accents that I like a bit better than the standard wheel design for the 1794.
If you like chrome you won’t be disappointed as it comes with heavy doses of the shiny stuff on the front bumper and grille. If not with the TRD, you can also option up 20-inch chrome wheels if you like all the bling.
Though the 1794 Edition is based on the same trim level as the Toyota Tundra Platinum, it differs on the exterior in that the Platinum has a body color front bumper and fascia. The 1794 also has a grille similar to the SR5, and different from the Platinum.
The TRD Off-Road package comes with not only those wheels, but specially tuned Bilstein shocks at all four corners, extra skid-plates, and the all-important graphic on the bed side. Of note here, the Double Cab Toyota Tundra is only available with a 5.5′ bed. Toyota has yet to offer their full size cab with anything longer like the competition does. At least it has a soft opening tail gate.
Once behind the wheel however you’re likely to forget all about that. The 1794 has Toyota’s version of the cowboy western store saddle shop interior theme that has become popular in full sized trucks. Think King Ranch, Longhorn, High Country. It’s right up there with them.
The rich brown hides on the seats front and rear match trims on the dash, the door panels, and on the center console. There’s lots of hand stitching to make it all feel highly crafted, and a few small doses of fake wood to keep it all warm. It’s flashy and maybe over the top, but I kind of like it.
The front seats are plenty comfortable, power adjustable on both sides, heated and the driver has memory settings for their adjustments. They’re handsome too with 1794 logos in them and suede inserts to help keep you planted.
Rear seat passengers have one of the largest spaces to stretch out and relax this side of a RAM Mega-Cab. Leg room, head room, and hip room are all quite good and its comfortable for three across with no problems. Those seats fold upward in a 60/40 split which allows for taller items to be stowed.
This interior in my opinion and measured experience is one of the best in class in terms of build quality, fit and finish, ergonomic design and appeal. If the colors are a bit much for you, the Platinum has the same level of features and equipment, but is all black instead. Overall though I rate the interior here at 5 of 5 stars.
The infotainment in the top level 1794 Edition is Toyota’s venerable JBL audio system with touchscreen, navigation and full Entune suite of applications. The center console has a good phone spot, and there’s both USB and Bluetooth connectivity for it.
The menus are easy enough to use, and it functions well. But the audio quality from its 11-speakers just isn’t at all up to top-level expectations, surprising at first blush with the JBL name.
When scoring for technologies, we also look at driver-assistance systems of which the Tundra has many including backup camera, blind-spot warning with cross-traffic alert, rear parking sonar and more. These all work well and contribute to a technologies score at 4 of 5 stars.
Technology under the hood remains the proven 5.7 liter DOHC V8 that has powered the Tundra for some time. Rated at 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, it comes only with a six-speed automatic transmission.
It’s capable of running on E85 like most in its class, but I’m not sure who really ever buys it. None the less it’s rated by the EPA at a thirst 13 mpg city, 17 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined. I managed 16 mpg in my week with it, a slight bit more than promised.
Even though it’s not the latest and greatest whizzbang hardware available today in terms of turbochargers and multi-displacement toys it still works remarkably well I think, earning it 5 of 5 stars in the powertrain department.
Some of you might ask why didn’t you really put it to the off-road test with more challenging terrain. That’s really something the Tundra TRD-Pro model more geared and marketed for. And we’ll be testing one soon doing just that.
As you can tell I’m impressed when something just feels of quality. Period. The chassis is one of the most important areas of quality for any vehicle because touches every part of your driving experience. It gets 5 of 5 stars here which is rare for a pickup.
When it comes to quality feel the Tundra also impresses well over some of the domestic brands. It is after all the Toyota of full-sized trucks. Fit and finish are faultless inside and out. And here, even the doors slam with a solid thunk that is better than most Toyotas. Thus quality feel comes in at 4 of 5 stars.
With the 2016 Toyota Tundra 1794’s price coming in at $50,375 we found it missing a few features offered by competitors, even though they can be optioned much higher. There are some features you can elsewhere not offered here at any price. This brings our value score to 4 of 5 stars with a total test score at 4.5 of 5 stars.