2014 Toyota Tundra (1/2-Ton Trucks)

By: Ron Kiino

We Like: 5.7's guts, 1794 interior, huge back seat.

We Don't Like: 5.7's thirst, cabin noise, numb steering.

Six years ago, when the second-gen Toyota Tundra won our 2008 Truck of the Year, we noted, "Toyota is pulling no punches by introducing one of the biggest, strongest, and most capable vehicles in the segment." American truck buyers agreed, buying more than 137,000 in the first full year of sale, a number that hasn't been met since. Why? The segment has moved ahead while the Tundra has stayed stagnant.

For 2014, all that changes. Though powertrains carry over, including the best-selling 5.7-liter, 381-hp V-8 and six-speed auto, the front fascia, fenders, and bed are all-new and the interior received a full makeover. While most judges praised the cabin's quality and aesthetics, and the ginormous back seat of our top-trim 1794 tester, we weren't quite as smitten with the interior noise -- "Definitely louder in here than in Silverado," said Loh -- or the refreshed exterior. Mortara observed that the front end resembled "gaudy plastachrome," and the chromed 20s evoked "Pep Boys wheels."

Dynamically, the Tundra 1794 4x4 proved a capable performer, despite complaints of numb steering. With the robust 5.7, it romped from 0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds and through the quarter in 15.2 seconds at 91.2 mph, 0.4 and 0.3 second quicker, respectively, than the Silverado 5.3. Even better, pulling 75 percent of max towing, the Tundra widened the gap to 1.8 and 0.8 seconds. Guts? Check.

Alas, those guts require lots of gas. EPA rated at just 13/17 mpg city/highway -- we got 14/19 Real MPG -- the Tundra displayed a Texas-size thirst for petrol. Value? At $49,715 as tested, the 1794 undercut the comparable Sierra Denali by $6510, a Texas-size savings. In the end, though, the Tundra needed to display a Texas-size greatness when our notes suggested more New Mexico.

  2014 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition
Base Price $48,315
Price As Tested $49,715
Power (SAE net) 381 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque (SAE net) 401 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
Accel 0-60, mph 6.7 sec; 14.9 sec*
Quarter Mile 15.2 sec @ 91.2 mph; 20.4 sec @ 69.9 mph*
Braking 60-0, mph 134 ft
Lateral Accel 0.71 g (avg)
EPA Econ (city/hwy) 13/17 mpg
Real MPG (city/hwy) 14/19 mpg
* with 6769-lb payload