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by Tony West and Sommer Thornton
Toyota redesigned their Tundra pickup truck for 2014 adding powertrain enhancements and a brawny lux interior. The Tundra 1794 Edition commemorates the founding of the San Antonio ranch where the Toyota plant now stands. Along with premium functionality, the Tundra 1794 Edition offers top-notch style inside and out that‘s attracting fans who never considered owning a pick-up truck. The 2014 Tundra is offered in three cab styles, the 2-door Regular Cab, the 4-door Double Cab, and the Crewmax-all available with 4×2 or 4×4. We reviewed the Tundra 1794 Crewmax that has brains, brawn, and style.[divider]
Sexy Big Boy Design
The look of the 2014 Tundra is purposeful style with eight optional exterior colors. The Crewmax was redesigned with a taller chrome grille and a three-piece front and rear lower bumper. The 1794 Edition has standard LED daytime running lights and 20 inch alloy-chrome wheels. The grille now connects the upper intake with a silver lower bumper.
And the rear spoiler is integrated into the tailgate. The 66 inch bed in the Crewmax has also been re-imagined with power liftgate. Toyota also enhanced the Tundra’s steering system and added stabilizer fins to the rear tail light lens and outside mirror to reduce drag. Power folding chrome side mirrors add swag and aerodynamics.
The 2014 Tundra is a real head-turner. Truck owners were impressed that Tundra added stylish elements that can compete with the award-winning RAM 1500. The Tundra looks brawny and capable of handling anything. Its resilience is enhanced by its Triple Tech frame. The Triple Tech frame uses wide full boxed rails for the front, a reinforced C-channel under the cab, and an open C-channel underneath the bed to maximize ride comfort and resilience.[divider]
3 Available Powertrains
The 2014 Tundra has three available powertrains. Standard is a 4 liter DOHC V6 with 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. The 4 liter V6 is paired with a 5 speed automatic transmission for a combined EPA of 17 mpg. A 4.6 liter DOHC iForce V8 is available with 30 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque and an EPA of 16 mpgs. Lastly, the Tundra 1794 Edition has a 5.7 liter DOHC iForce V8 engine with 381 horsepower, 401 lb-ft of torque, and a combined EPA of 16 mpg for the 4×2 and 15 mpg combined for the 4×4 model.
The 5.7 liter iForce V8 has dual variable valve timing with intelligence and direct injection. The 5.7 liter V8 is said to be one of the most advanced engines in its class. It is offered with Flex Fuel that will deliver a EPA of 17 mpg highway, 13 mpg city, and 15 mpg combined. All Tundra engines have an aluminum cylinder block and DOHC heads. The 5.7 liter V8 in the 1794 Edition and the 4.6 liter V8 are mated to a standard six speed electronically controlled transmission.
For a 3-ton truck with a 9,000 lb tow capacity, the Tundra’s ride is smooth. Acceleration to 60 mph drags a bit, but once the truck gets up, it carries its load smoothly. And there’s no whiplash with sudden braking. One drawback, even with the Blind Spot Monitor is that small cars can get lost in the Tundra’s blind spots. At times compact cars were able to slide through the Tundra’s right blind spot undetected even by the side view mirror because the Tundra’s doors are so tall.
The biggest criticism I had was the fact that the Tundra 1794 Edition has virtually no off-road features. While Ford has perfectly blended luxury and functionality in their F-150, and GMC is killing the game with the Sierra and Dodge with the RAM, the Tundra can’t compete. Missing were the features to adjust suspension for terrain. There was also no ride height adjuster, just a 4wd and 2wd selection. Some off-road features would’ve helped with the shocks. Over smooth surfaces the Tundra rides like a sedan. Over bumps, I was shaking and rattling. The downside is that after a day of running errands in the Tundra 1794, I was physically exhausted-as if I had been carrying something on my back. The Tundra 1794 Edition has paddle shifters for manual mode.
All Tundra models have independent double wishbone front suspension with nitrogen shock absorbers. In the rear, Tundra employs trapezoid multi-leaf springs with inboard mounted nitrogen gas shock absorbers.
Safety Features and Tow Capacity
The 2014 Toyota Tundra has a wealth of safety features despite the absence of off-road adjustments. Standard safety features are part of the Toyota Star Safety System that includes traction control, vehicle stability control, Trailer Sway Control, ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Brake Assist, and Smart Stop technology. Automatic Limited Slip Differential (LSD) is also standard. Auto LSD helps acceleration in deep sand or mud and is supposedly more responsive than normal LSD. A blind spot monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert is optional. The Tundra comes standard with 4-wheel disc brakes with ventilated rotors.
The Tow Package adds gives the Tundra a 10,400 lb tow capacity. The Tow Package also adds an enhanced cooling system , a more robust alternator and battery, and a tow/haul mode selector.[divider]
Supreme Luxury Interior
The Tundra 1794 Edition has one of the most stylish interiors I’ve seen in a pick-up truck. Before RAM fans get mad, let me explain. The 1794 Edition has saddle brown leather-trimmed interior with suede accents.
Standard in the 1794 Tundra is heated and ventilated front seats and dual zone climate control. The 12-way adjustable driver’s seat is raw. Tall or short drivers can adjust their POV to see over the perfectly sloped hood. The 1794 Edition has cool wood grain and ultra suede accents that swag out the interior and still pay homage with its “western style” color.
Drivers use a 4-spoke leather steering wheel and cool 3.5 inch multi information LCD display that reiterates the gauges. Drivers have a wide dash that has the multi information display and a speedometer, voltmeter, tachometer, engine oil pressure gauge, and coolant temperature gauge. Front passengers have 39 inches of headroom and 42 inches of legroom, while the rear has 39 inches of headroom and 42 inches of legroom. The Tundra 1794 Edition has a ton of storage space. The center console can hold a laptop.
Double Cab and Crewmax model are available with bucket seats or bench seats. The rear has 60/40 fold-up seats. Standard in the 1794 Edition is a power sliding rear window, front map light, and a cool moon roof.
The interior of the 1794 Tundra is where the magic happens. It has a great blend of functionality and comfort with rugged luxury. Wood and leather compliment the soft touch trim materials on the door panels, shifter, and the dash. The 1794 Tundra also has a 7 inch hi-res touch screen with navigation and Entune Premium that offers real-time traffic, weather, fuel prices, stock, and sports, along with apps like iHeartradio, Facebook places, and Pandora. Entune also includes a bangin 12-speaker audio system.
The 2014 Tundra 1794 Edition is a swagtastic pick-up truck that stands out among its peers. Performance could be improved easily by adding more capabilities under the cabin, not just inside the cab. I enjoyed our review of the 1794 Edition but I’m not sure if I’d love the car as much without the cool interior. But the Tundra is great for hauling, braking is on a dime, traction is agile, steering responsive, and comfort second to none.