Toyota Tundra Performance
Reviewers report that the updated 2014 Toyota Tundra is strong and capable enough to compete with its rivals in terms of towing, hauling and acceleration, but doesn't do anything to raise the bar. The Tundra's fuel economy ratings are also less than its domestic rivals’, and its tow ratings aren't as high either.
- "There's no Toyota Tundra HD, so if you need a heavy-duty pickup, you'll have to look elsewhere. However, compare the Tundra to trucks such as the Silverado 1500, RAM 1500 or F-150, and it's clear the Tundra can get the job done." -- AutoTrader
- "While manufacturers in this class typically try to one-up each other with claims of 'most horsepower,' 'most torque,' 'highest payload capacity,' 'highest towing limits,' or 'best-in-class fuel economy,' Toyota doesn't really play that game. The Tundra is competitive but not class-leading in these areas, and for most buyers, that's plenty good enough." -- Consumer Guide
- "Overall, we wished we were equally as smitten with this Toyota's driving dynamics as we were with its updated cabin, but that isn't the case." -- Autoblog
Acceleration and Power
The base Tundra engine is a 4.0-liter V6 that produces 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. There are two optional V8 engines: a 4.6-liter unit that produces 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque and a 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. The V6 comes with a five-speed automatic transmission, while the V8s get a six-speed automatic. The Tundra achieves up to an EPA-estimated 16/20 mpg city/highway with the V6 and two-wheel drive, which is a bit low for the class.
Few reviewers have tested the base V6-powered Tundra, though one didn't show much enthusiasm for it. Some test drivers say the optional 4.6-liter V8 has ample power, though most seem to prefer the 5.7-liter V8 for its abundant power and torque. The six-speed automatic is liked by reviewers, though some note that it isn't as refined as the Ram 1500's eight-speed automatic.
- "The Tundra's 6-speed automatic transmission on V8 models is smooth, though not as buttery at Ram's new 8-speed." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "During hard acceleration, the cabin fills with beautiful V-8 noises accompanied by brisk performance. Although the transmission is behind the gear count of the Ram's 8-speed, it shifts quickly and smoothly and responds immediately to manually requested gear changes." -- Motor Trend
- "The entry-level V6 remains just that, while the midrange 4.6-liter V8 is smooth and capable. The top-of-the-line 5.7-liter V8 is stellar, as good as anything the competition is offering -- except in the fuel economy department." -- Edmunds
- "The 5.7-liter V-8 is smooth and quiet and has a nice kick. The six-speed automatic is no match for the Ram's eight-speed (and the fuel economy advantage it returns), but isn't a bad transmission." -- Automobile Magazine
- "In response to a heavy foot, the Tundra accelerated with authority off the line and it had plenty of grunt for passing. Yet we would never consider the 5,600-pound truck on the 'quick' end of the scale. There is no arguing with the V8's strength, as the 5.7-liter is damn strong, but it achieves its muscularity through displacement, not refinement." -- Autoblog
Handling and Braking
Test drivers generally think the Tundra's ride is a bit too harsh, especially compared with some of its recently-redesigned rivals. Some reviewers find the Tundra difficult to maneuver in smaller spaces due to its size, though some others say it is easier to maneuver than expected. However, reviewers say that the steering is precise and offers good road feel for a full-size pickup truck.
- "On the road, the Tundra drives a little smaller than it is, which is a compliment. The brakes are a bit touchy, but the steering is precise and its feedback appropriate, even on four-wheel-drive models, which require the 4.6- or 5.7-liter V-8." -- Car and Driver
- "The Toyota's light but accurate steering makes it fairly easy to drive on a daily basis, but the Tundra feels bigger than competing trucks. Moreover, even with various suspension revisions for 2014, the Tundra still has a stiffer ride over bumps and ruts than most rivals." -- Edmunds
- "On the highway, the Tundra feels secure. A re-valved steering rack nicely complements the extra stability provided by the retuned suspension. On-center feel and weighting is as good as anything from Toyota short of the Scion FR-S. On back roads, you might even call the 5000-pound rig borderline sporty. Off-road, there's just enough isolation to keep it from being punishing on the forearms, but it still lets you know exactly what the front tires are doing." -- Motor Trend
- "This half-ton truck isn't exactly nimble, but it drives smaller than its dimensions otherwise suggest." -- Kelley Blue Book
Towing and Hauling
The Tundra can tow up to 10,400 pounds and haul up to 2,040 pounds. Some reviewers say that a Tundra with the 5.7-liter V8 feels strong enough for any task that most owners will throw at it. However, others write that the Chevrolet Silverado inspires more confidence when towing heavy loads.
- "The 310-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8 is totally adequate for lighter duties, while the 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 is up for almost any task (yes, it even pulled the Space Shuttle over a bridge). The 270-horsepower V6 has acceptable performance in regular-cab models, but its capability declines with the added weight of double-cab setups." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "It's hard not to recommend the Tundra, but the Silverado does feel a little more surefooted when towing close to its maximum payload." -- AutoTrader
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