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Car Review: 2014 Toyota Tundra 4 x 4 Platinum

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The redesigned 2014 Toyota Tundra has the opportunity to establish new markets, because from the time you see this beast, it makes an impression. For our test model, Toyota upgraded us to a Platinum 4 x 4 version, and it came in handy in the subzero snowy Ohio winter conditions.

EXTERIOR

For 2014, the Tundra sports a new chiseled exterior design that has a distinctive look for the full-size truck segment. Tundra is newly designed, inside and out, representing a major change since the 2007 model year. Each Tundra grade embodies a specific theme through distinct designs that go beyond badging, and that includes the high-end luxury Platinum series. The new front design integrates the hood and grille for a chiseled image. Designers increased the size of the front fascia and tightened up the surfaces and character lines to visually punctuate Tundra’s pulling power and wide stance. The grille has a taller, bolder look, visually connecting the upper intake to the lower bumper. The front lower bumpers are now a three-piece design, allowing for lower replacement costs. In addition, the fenders and wheel wells have been squared-off for a wide and sturdy stance.

A new exterior design helps carry the chiseled character lines all the way down the profile, leading to a rugged new bed and tailgate, with an integrated spoiler and “TUNDRA” embossed into the sheet metal, creating a one-piece forged look. Like the front bumper, the rear bumper changes from one piece to three, for lower replacement costs. Tundra offers a palette of nine exterior colors including three new colors: Attitude Black Metallic, Sunset Bronze Mica and Blue Ribbon Metallic. Popular carryover colors include Radiant Red, Super White, Silver Sky Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Black and Barcelona Red. The Magnetic Gray Metallic that our test model carried fit this truck very well.

INTERIOR

There are no boundaries in the cabin space of the 2014 Toyota Tundra 4 x 4 Platinum, as you need a separate area code for each passenger! Really, this is an awesome interior space with a luxury cap-off from the Platinum grade. Tundra features new contemporary interior styling focusing on differentiation between grades, while improving the availability of features most important to truck buyers. The new interior variations are thematic and cater to a specific customer with a specific budget. Ergonomic improvements include easier driver access to controls as the reach to the audio and HVAC controls was reduced by 2.6 inches. Overall passenger comfort was improved with a new front and rear (CrewMax) seat design and improved front seat ventilation. In addition, front seats have additional travel, and rear seats can now be folded up for additional cargo carrying capability, while maintaining a comfortable seating back angle and lowering load height by more than 11 inches.

Tundra features a number of key standard features and is the only truck in the full-size pickup segment to include a standard back-up camera (viewed from the audio display screen and standard Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming on all grades. Platinum models come with standard dual zone air conditioning with individual temperature settings for driver and front passenger. An auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and HomeLink universal transceiver is standard on Platinum grades. The Platinum and 1794 Edition come standard with a 12-way power driver’s seat with memory and a six-way power passenger’s seat, both with heat and ventilation, power moon roof, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, front and rear parking sonar, and Entune Premium JBL Audio with Navigation and App Suite. Additionally, the 2014 Tundra is the only full-size pickup with available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert!

The interior has a rugged, interlocked construction with new instrument panel. The instrument panel features individual gauges grouped in a clear, easy-to-see design with a center-mounted multi-information (LCD) display screen. The console design holds multiple storage areas for personal items and electronics plus additional padded surfaces and accent stitching in premium grades. Both Double Cab and CrewMax are available with a bench or bucket seats for the front row. The interior of the SR5 features a “professional gear” theme, with unique driver and passenger zones, metallic accents and bold contrasting fabric. Most importantly, the new design uses premium surface treatments such as high granulated paint on the center cluster and unique seat stitching to enhance interior quality and durability. All 2014 Tundra models will come standard with the updated next-generation Entune Audio systems, which feature several enhancements including a new Entune App Suite with an array of popular apps including new additions such as Yelp and Facebook Places.

The Platinum grade as tested has been redesigned for the next generation of personal use truckers. It features perforated, diamond-pleated premium leather seats, door and instrument panel inserts, and chrome seat and console accent badging for an upscale, yet urban feel. In addition, Platinum uses premium leather never before used on a Toyota truck.

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PERFORMANCE

Tundra continues to offer three proven powertrains that are among the best in its segment. The Tundra workhorse, and still one of the most capable and advanced engines in the full-size pickup segment, is the 5.7-liter, DOHC i-Force V8. Tundra’s most popular engine with owners, it generates 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 foot-pounds of peak torque at 3,600 rpm. The 5.7-liter is offered in both gasoline and “Flex Fuel” variants. The power and growl from the 5.7 liter is simply spectacular and can turn one into a truck fan alone. Several enhancements have been implemented on the 2014 Tundra to improve performance. Shock-absorber valving has been re-tuned to improve ride quality over harsh surfaces. All Tundra models feature the standard Toyota Star Safety System that includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop (SST) brake override technology. Fuel efficiency on our test model came in at 13mpg in the city and 17mpg in highway driving. We tested in some very harsh conditions, so we didn’t hit all of the benchmarks, but the safety and security of a 4 x 4 Tundra was well worth it!

Additional standard safety features on all grades include manual headlamp leveling, trailer sway control, tire press monitoring system,and LED Daytime Running Lights on Platinum and 1794 Edition only.

OVERVIEW

There is no doubt that the new 2014 Toyota Tundra 4 x 4 Platinum is in the mix for truck buyers who want the best truck money can buy. Just the new design is enough to spur sales upwards, but when you add in the Platinum grade, it’s like a whole new level for those who demand luxury and toughness in a truck. Our test model stickered out at $49,525, which, when taking all of the upgrades into account, is a reasonable price for the 2014 Toyota Tundra 4 x 4 Platinum.

  

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