2014 Tundra: Tougher image mirrors power

Farm Forum

Toyota serves up a large order with the newest version of its full-size Tundra pickup — with all of the right ingredients to whet truckers’ appetites.

This 2014 “American-born” pickup, said Bill Fay, Toyota Division’s group vice president and general manager, gets bumper-to-bumper upgrades that consumers demand, highlighted by a more-chiseled exterior and refined interior with improved driver ergonomics and easy-to-use technology.

The 2014 Tundra, which is engineered, designed and assembled in the United States, is offered in five grades: base SR; high-volume SR5; well-appointed Limited; and a pair of premium models — Platinum and 1974 Edition — to better compete in the strong upscale-pickup segment. The 1794 Edition, a new addition to the Tundra lineup, pays homage to the San Antonio, Texas ranch founded in 1794 on which the Tundra plant is located.

Tundras are offered in three cab styles: two-door Regular Cab, and Double Cab and CrewMax four-door models. All Tundras are available with a choice of two-wheel drive or part-time four-wheel drive. Pricing for the truck, which is expected to arrive in dealerships in the summer or early fall of 2013, has not yet been announced.

Powering the new-look Tundra is a choice of three engines, which are recalibrated but have not received significant hardware changes. Standard on Regular Cab and Double Cab models is a 4.0-liter V-6 engine delivering 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. of torque. Its transmission mate is a five-speed automatic that features shift logic, which provides optimal gearing in uphill and downhill situations.

Added grunt comes with a pair of i-Force V-8 offerings — a 4.6-liter producing 310 horsepower and 327 lb.-ft. of torque and a 5.7-liter generating 381 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines are partnered with a

absorbers, springs and spring rates — has helped improve overall ride quality. Bilstein shocks on TRD Off-Road Package-equipped models also were retuned to provide better ride quality, but the change, engineer Sweers said, doesn’t come at the sacrifice of off-road capability.

An audio display screen and backup camera, 3.5-inch multi-information display in the gauge cluster and Bluetooth connectivity are standard on all models.

The 2014 Tundras boast the availability of segment-leading features, such as a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert on premium models, the largest front brakes in the class, plus the segment’s only front knee airbag.