2014 Toyota Tundra

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — Bear with me, here. Do you remember when Charlie Bucket went on the tour of Willy Wonka’s amazing chocolate factory? Remember all the choices and options there were? Lickable, flavored wall paper. Everlasting Gobstoppers. Chewing gum that packed a 3-course meal into one delicious treat.

Then, at the end, there was the great glass elevator with hundreds of buttons that took you not just up and down, but sideways, and frontways, and diagonal, too.
I think Tundra’s designers took a cue from Mr. Wonka himself. Tundra is now offered in five trim levels, with a slew of options available within each grade. Flavored wallpaper (darn it) is not one of them. What is offered, however, is the opportunity for every Tundra consumer to get exactly the pick-up truck they need.

With three engine choices, various cab configurations, and a host of bells and whistles, the American-built 2014 Tundra should give Ford, Chevy, and Ram a run for their money.
I had a chance to take the 2014 Tundra for spin through Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I spent time behind the wheel of an SR5, a Limited, and a 1794 Edition Tundra.
Toyota engineers listened to their customers when it came to designing this latest iteration of the 1/2-ton pick-up. Owners wanted a less bubble-like look and designers answered with stronger horizontal lines, a more chiseled body, and a front fascia that looks like it means business. The hitch connector was moved next to the license plate light, where it is both easier to see and access. The front bumper is now a 3-piece modular outfit, which should help out the guys who are always pulling something out of both the proverbial and literal ditch.
Inside, soft-touch materials give the SR and SR5 versions a more refined feel. Leather options deck out the interiors of the Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition. All trucks I tested were double cabs, which offered spaciousness and comfort; as well as plenty of room to stretch out in back.

One innovative feature is the “tip-up” back seat, which sounds exactly like it is. When you need to secure something within the interior of the truck, the back seats tip up and out of the way, meaning lower load height and increased cargo capacity.
The Tundra handled beautifully on hills, highways, and off road. The cabin remained quiet. It accelerated with little effort. Depending on which model you choose, the Tundra is capable of towing up to 10,500 pounds. I towed a 5000-pound trailer, and while it was a little slow to reach cruising speed, it did so easily and smoothly. It was absolutely no effort to steer, maneuver, or turn -- even on unpaved surfaces.
The 1794 Edition is definitely the star of the line-up, though not any more or less capable than any of the other trim levels. Its name pays homage to the founding year of the ranch that the San Antonio Toyota Plant now calls home. With special badging, 20-inch wheels, and Lexus-quality leather, the 1794 Edition is a workhorse in show horse clothing. Toyota designers wanted the 1794 to reflect the truly American truck it is. The Tundra is designed, engineered, and built entirely in the U.S. and is mostly made from American-made components.
With so many choices, features, and options, when it comes to the Tundra, you might just find yourself feeling like a kid in a candy store. Pricing ranges from $25,920 for SR to $47,320 for Platinum and 1794 Editions. 

— Cindy Stagg, MyCarData