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Road Test: Toyota adds Texas touch to Tundra

The 2014 Toyota Tundra has been fully redesigned,

The 2014 Toyota Tundra has been fully redesigned, with a new chiseled exterior design and a more refined interior. Photo Credit: MCT / David Dewhurst

The newest generation of Toyota's San Antonio-built Tundra full-size pickup truck has arrived for 2014, sporting a new chiseled exterior design and a more-refined interior.

Besides being assembled in Texas, the new Tundra has 75 percent North American content, Toyota says.

The star of the new Tundra lineup is the 1794 Edition, a fancy version similar in concept to GMC's Sierra Denali, Chevrolet's Silverado High Country and Ford's F-series King Ranch models. It comes in the full-size CrewMax version only, with a short cargo box (5-foot-5), and a choice of either rear- or four-wheel drive.

Our test vehicle was the two-wheel-drive version, which has a list price of $44,270. The four-wheel-drive version starts at $47,320.

Toyota says the 1794 Edition -- named after the date of the founding of the ranch upon which the Tundra plant sits -- "reflects a Western lifestyle theme."

Among the truck's unique features are the saddle-brown premium leather seats, with embossed-leather and suede accents; and a four-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood-grain accents. The interior is quite striking to look at, and very pleasant to sit in.

There are bucket seats up front that seem more like fancy leather recliners; the backseat is as long as a leather couch, with plenty of room for up to three people. And there is a huge amount of rear knee- and legroom.

Among standard amenities on the 1794 Edition are heated and ventilated front seats, Toyota's Entune Premium JBL Audio with navigation, a 12- way power-adjustable driver's seat with memory, a six-way power front passenger seat, a power tilt/slide sunroof with shade, and a power vertical rear window with privacy glass.

Also included are dual-zone automatic climate control with separate settings for the driver and front passenger; an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and universal garage/gate opener; and a 60/40 split-fold-up rear seat, which allows for creation of an enclosed cargo area when the seat isn't needed for passengers.

Outside, the truck is a beauty as well. Ours had the quite appealing Barcelona Red Metallic exterior paint, along with very nice, optional 20-inch chrome wheels and optional running boards.

We also had heated/power outside mirrors with built-in turn signals, and separate, smaller manually adjustable convex mirror strips at the bottom to show traffic in the adjacent lanes. The cargo box came with the optional drop-in bed liner, and the truck has a locking tailgate. There is a deck rail system for tying down cargo.

Other interior amenities included a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, along with front and rear sonar parking aid, which warns when the vehicle is approaching an object, such as a pole or another vehicle.

A backup camera system was included, with the image showing up on the 7-inch dash monitor for the audio/navigation system. Optional, but not included on my tester, are a blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

Under the hood was the top engine available in the Tundra, a 5.7-liter V-8 with a more-than-adequate 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque.


2014 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition



Base price: $44,270


Price as tested: $46,034

Engine: 5.7-liter V-8

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Power/torque: 381 horsepower/401 pound-feet

Length: 228.9 inches

Curb weight: 5,480-5,860 pounds

Cargo capacity: 1,255-1,550 pounds

Towing capacity: 9,900 pounds (2WD); 9,000 pounds (4WD)

EPA fuel economy: 13 mpg city/18 highway

Bottom line: fancy truck with a Texas touch

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