2014 Toyota Tundra Preview: Test Driving In The North Georgia Hills |…

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Toyota Tundra

2014 Toyota Tundra Test Driving In The North Hills

Article by Nate Uploaded on September 23, 2013

The pickup truck segment is the most competitive in the automotive says Toyota.

My first of the 2014 Toyota Tundra is . sh*t, look at how big the scoop is on the top of grille.” I write this in my notebook. Me and Mac Demere are sitting in leather chairs on the grounds of Gardens, a beautiful southern retreat built around the of an old plantation house deep in the of North Georgia. The truck is on behind Bill Fay, General Manager, who is running the vehicle’s new features before us loose to play with the thing for an afternoon.

Mac Demere is a auto writer who drove from the South Carolina earlier in the day. He earned a degree from Ol’ started racing cars at age 27, worked as a test driver for for 7 years. He’s been concealed-carry self defense he tells me, learning how to shoot bad “at bad breath distance. I driving but have no formal experience, so I pop in an altoid and latch on a cockleburr to pick up on what he

The screen behind Fay switches to a recording of Mike Sweers, the designer for the new Tundra. Sweers, Toyota, is a farm boy from Ann who gets paid to create The truck’s new look is “more more chiseled, Sweers We really wanted to go after bold design. We think gives the message that ready to take on the industry.”

Toyota trucks have a for longevity and low cost of ownership started with the Hi-Lux 4 Runner (1984), and Tacoma These were trucks if maintained properly and driven regularly lasted 150 to 170 thousand and in many cases lived into their 200s, helped them retain But they were small. needed vehicles to compete the popular half-ton pickups by Ford, Chevy, and Dodge. And so the was introduced in 1999.

A larger of Toyota’s T100 (1992), the new won Motor Trend magazine’s of the Year award in 2000. even with an optional V8 engine the truck’s maximum capacity 7200 pounds was lower than other pickups in the category. In 2007 the got bigger, gaining a 5.7-liter V8 bumped capacity up to 10,400

The 2014 keeps the same plant (and towing in place, but has enough new features to this the most dramatic to the line since that release.

Suspension and Steering

Mac and I up to take the trucks on the road. We a base model single-cab SR — not shown), figuring the vehicle most of our readers actually end up driving. We start a short scenic drive of 15 miles through rural farm country. Mac takes the for the first half. He turns out of the Barnsley Gardens gates a winding two-lane road well marked and well but narrow, with high shoulders to make you aware of the

Mac takes things easy. The way to gauge the feel of a truck, he is to drive it like a rational being. Trucks are made for towing, and practical driving. no need to race in a base He tests the steering by getting as to the edge of the road as he can and says gauging how comfortable he feels, how the truck tracks around and in straight lines.

I take the about halfway through the I can’t help myself, and the speed into upper comfort range. The truck smoothly, accelerating quickly and less like a pickup I expect.

Wheels and Tires

of what you’re feeling on a like this is how well the fit the truck,” Mac says. “Tire spend a million bucks with car companies to develop [to fit their new vehicles].” Michelin, for probably sent Toyota at four or five versions of the LTX A/T 2s come standard on their SR and SR5

“Toyota will say they this about one version, about another, and then the company works to design they want,” Mac says. You with this equation at peril. “If you don’t go OEM on tires,” he says, “you’re like an amateur tire I’m not saying don’t buy I’m just saying you to know what you’re before you do it.”

Off-Road Performance/4-Wheel Drive

The course is off road. We avoid maneuvers in favor of a practical, driving style. Meaning If you want your truck to you have to treat it properly, Mac. Driving fast off is an expensive way to have fun.

driving a TRD Off-Road 4×4 and play with 4-Lo, and 2-Wheel drive, rolling over a field of modest bumps and around some berms; stopping and starting on the stuff. The ride is comfortable; the not too hard on your mid section. A on the dash makes it easy to between drivetrain settings, and is enough steady compression in to make the steeper descents smoothly with minimal required. We have little to test performance in slick since the weather (and are dry.

Tow Test: Weights And

Our last test drive is a The course is short, less a quarter mile, but it does us the chance to navigate through tight, gated corners, out and accelerate quickly into and test the brakes and stopping in a real-world environment. We’re an (empty) 2,200-pound Ranger boat. Acceleration is good, and the 13.9-inch front disc (the largest diameter in the class) kick in with authority when I perform an stop, slowing the truck without letting the boat control.

Two-wheel drive vehicles tow than 4-wheel-drives, Mac tells me, as do with smaller cabs. subtract weight from truck and add it to your towing The truck we’ve picked is a CrewMax (the 1794 MSRP $47,320), which is the (and most expensive) in the lineup and therefore the one with the maximum towing capacity pounds). The new Tundra with the towing capacity (a regular-cab equiped with a 5.7-liter V8) tow 10,400 pounds.

Toyota’s Duerloo sits in the back as we tow the Rachel came up through tech and maintenance operations and is now the Product Education and Development for the company. According to Rachel, the Tundra is the first full-size to comply with the Society of Engineer’s J2807 standards. were created in 2008 to it easier for consumers to compare the capacities of trucks from manufacturers. Ford, for example, test capacity differently Chevy, making it difficult for to compare their trucks.

tells us that Toyota, GM, and Ford (and later have all agreed to adopt standards, which actually the form of a rigorous series of One test measures how well a towing weight can stop and on a 12 percent grade. Another that for any given trailer the truck can accelerate from a stop to 30 MPH in 12 seconds or less, to 60 MPH in 30 or less, and from 40 to 60 MPH over ground in no more than 18 You can read more about standards at this article Car and Driver magazine.

Interior Changes: Utility and

The interior of the base model is and comfortable, though for a tall guy me the seats — which power and can’t be lowered down — felt a high. Higher end models, and Platinum) feel both and luxurious. The top end Model 1794 like the kind of truck Roosevelt might have pulling off well-appointed western (featuring more chrome, a brown leather interior and and leather accents) that classic without much of hokey.

New for 2014 is center that’s 2.6 inches closer to the than before so it’s to reach. Backup cameras now standard (though they’re in the actual tail gate, them useless when carrying longer payloads). seats in their CrewMax now fold up and back (instead of adding 2.6 cubic feet of storage space to the model. also says they’ve the amount of ventilation on their

Exterior Changes:Chiseled and Classic

with the previous model, the new affects a cleaner, stronger, square look, as if the truck had hitting the gym. The new front end a 1.6-inch higher hood the body features squared-off and wheel wells, redesigned lamps (which Toyota tool-like), integrated spoilers, and a Tundra logo remeniscent of tailgates.

On the practical side, my favorite was the pickup’s 3-piece rear which can be repaired in sections, you the cost of a full bumper when you hook yours on a Another nice feature; on models a cross-traffic approach beeps as you’re backing traffic, letting you hear you can’t see coming when in a tight spot.

The Takeaway:

The Tundra is a powerful towing with classic lines should hold its value If you like Toyotas and need a big buy a high-end model and treat it It’ll make a solid payment on your next when you’re ready to let it go.

Grades, Sizes, and Pricing


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