The 2014 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition is certainly the fanciest Tundra we’ve seen to date and is yet more proof that a growing number of truck buyers are looking for a combination of toughness and luxury. So acknowledging that the Tundra 1794 Edition’s interior is right on par with the gussied up offerings from domestic competitors, how does the Toyota’s chassis and powertrain stack up against big shots like the Ford F-150 and the pickup siblings from General Motors?
Engine choices have essentially carried over from the pre-refreshed Tundra, including the range-topping 5.7-liter V-8 fitted in our tester. The 270-hp 4.0-liter V-6 and the 310-hp 4.6-liter V-8 complete the Tundra’s engine lineup. The V-8 in our tester is mated to a six-speed automatic and puts out 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to haul the 5899-pound truck from 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds. For comparison, the new 2014 GMC Sierra Denali with the new 6.2-liter V-8 is estimated to do the deed in 6.2 seconds, while the Ram 1500 with the 395-hp 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 did it in 6.9 seconds.
The 2014 Tundra’s quarter-mile time of 15.2 seconds is two-tenths of a second quicker than the Ram, though the Toyota needed 134 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is five feet more than the Ram. At 13/17 mpg city/highway, the Tundra’s iForce V-8 is thirstier than Ford’s EcoBoost V-6 and GM’s 6.2-liter V-8, though it does match the Ram’s HEMI V-8 in the city (equipped with the six-speed automatic). The Ram, however, is 2 mpg better on the highway and the numbers are even better for the HEMI when matched with the eight-speed auto.
When it comes to towing, the Tundra maxes at 10,400 pounds. By the way, that number is based on SAE’s J2807 testing procedures and Toyota is the only manufacturer to comply with the new standard. With an empty tow hitch and bed, the Tundra feels extremely light on its feet. It’s eager to jump off the line with immediate throttle response. The transmission and engine pair well together, providing linear and smooth power delivery. Also linear are the brakes, which feel more than confident enough to handle stopping the Tundra and a full payload. Steering is relatively good, providing plenty of assist in low speeds, while feeling stable during faster paces. Road and wind noise can be a bit intrusive at times, though the overall ride is smooth and the suspension keeps excessive body motions in check quite well.
The Tundra 1794 Edition’s controlled ride only helps showcase its comfortable and luxurious interior. With seats wrapped in leather, suede-like material, with contrast stitching, the 1794 package is the closest thing you can get to a Lexus-grade pickup truck. The soft leather even extends into the dashboard and door panels, which also feature wood accents. Some staffers found the interior finishes a bit too garish for a truck, while others pointed out noticeable imperfections in the contrast stitching pattern.
Ergonomics-wise, the 2014 Tundra is much more intuitive than the outgoing truck, especially the new instrument panel that features clear and simple gauges. The infotainment system gets the job done, though feels slightly dated compared to the Ram’s excellent Uconnect unit. We were slightly disappointed to discover only one USB port and the absence of any 115V outlets. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, for example, have three USB ports.
The refreshed Tundra includes a few tweaks to its sheetmetal, with a bolder front fascia that features sleeker headlights, a larger grille, and more detailing on the tailgate. The 1794 Edition stands out from other models thanks to its grille with thicker slats, 1794 Edition badges inside and out, and available 20-inch chrome rims. While not particularly ground-breaking, the Tundra’s updated look is on par with the chrome-tastic mugs found on the domestics. And since the 1794 Edition sits on top of the Tundra hierarchy, it’s only sold in the CrewMax bodystyle, which means rear passengers enjoy up to 42.3 inches of legroom and 38.9 inches of headroom. The 1794 Edition is loaded, too, with niceties like heated and ventilated front seats and a moonroof. A blind spot monitoring system with rear-cross traffic alert is optional.
In all, the Tundra 1794 Edition is an attractive truck and the 5.7-liter iForce is still a strong engine choice, though the competition seems to be stepping up its powertrain game. Ram, for example, has just introduced a new turbocharged V-6 diesel and Ford’s EcoBoost V-6 is quite popular. The Tundra may have the looks, but some unique offerings under the hood would do much to help the large Toyota pickup standout from the crowd.
|2014 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$49,715|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door truck|
|ENGINE||5.7L/381-hp/401-lb-ft DOHC 32-valve V-8|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||5899 lb (57/43%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||228.9 x 79.9 x 76.2 in|
|0-60 MPH||6.7 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||15.2 sec @ 91.2 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||134 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.71 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON||13/17 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||259/198 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS||1.33 lb/mile|