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Unveiled: Freshened 2014 Toyota Tundra may not go far enough

Consumer Reports News: February 07, 2013 04:08 PM

Toyota's big splash at the Chicago Auto Show today was showing off a freshened 2014 Tundra pickup truck. Facing tough, significantly updated competition from Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, and Ram, a Tundra update (which debuted in 2007) was inevitable. The question is, did Toyota go far enough?

Pitched as a "redesign," the 2014 reads more like a minor freshening. Core hardware and powertrains carry forward, with a minor interior update and revised appearance.

When it goes on sale in September, the pickup will be sporting a new front and rear bumper design, along with a more integrated hood and grille. There is also a new bed and tailgate designed to be more aerodynamic and help improve fuel economy. Inside, an improvement to ergonomics for controls is promised, along with a new front and rear seat. The rear seat can now be folded up for more cargo space.

The engines carry over, including the standard 270-hp, 4.0-liter V6. There is also an available 310-hp, 4.6-liter V8 and 381-hp, 5.7-liter V8. Both V8 engines will have a standard six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.

The 2014 Tundra will have three trim lines including the SR, SR5, and Limited, plus the "Platinum" and new "1794 Edition" premium trims. (The latter is a tribute to the Texas ranch where the Tundra plant is located.) There will be three cab choices--two-door Regular Cab, four-door Double Cab and four-door CrewMax--all available in 4x2 and 4x4.

New for 2014 is a blind-spot monitor with rear traffic alert, a standard rear-view camera, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 3.5-inch information display.

The Limited trim adds eight-way power driver seat, 20-inch alloy wheels, and a deck-rail system.

The Platinum and 1794 Edition come standard with a 10-way memory power driver's seat, four-way power passenger's seat, power moon roof on the CrewMax, parking sonar, and navigation system featuring Entune infotainment.

The Tundra has been a capable workhorse pickup, but we complained about the long reach for controls in the previous version and visibility issues, which will presumably be helped with the new camera and blind-spot monitor.

See our latest Toyota Tundra road test, and read how it measures up to the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, and Ram 1500.

And see our complete pickup truck buying advice and ratings.

Liza Barth

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