Toyota stands pat as fullsized pickups evolve
It is difficult to attribute Toyota for taking the path with the reengineered 2014 Tundra fullsized pick-up.
The reshaped outside of the Tundra is a point of the hat to the Detroit pickups, in that it's more squared-away than the softerlooking outgoing truck. The bumpers are now built of three bits both to allow for distinctive styling for the respective equipment levels and to make repairs easier.
The whole package has more existence compared to the Tundra it replaces, but it still looks familiar complete, an impression bolstered by the truth that this is basically a refresh. The chassis is mainly unchanged, save for some suspension retuning meant to iron out the old truck's expressway hop. We have just a smattering of dimensional details for two or three configurations, but as the one it'll replace, including wheelbases, overall size, and breadth the reworked Tundra will therefore take essentially the same number of property.
Toyota appears to have shifted from its aim of conquesting domestic truck owners. Instead, it now appears to be trying harder to keep Toyota loyalists.
It expects to make a bigger gain on each one, while Toyota may be selling fewer units.
The basics: The Tundra keeps its threeengine line: 4.0liter V-6 and 4.6liter and 5.7liter V-8s. The V-6 is still mated to a fivespeed automatic transmission, while the V-8s stayed hooked up to sixspeed automatic transmissions.
The Tundra has a shorter total length than similar tailored levels of the brand-new Ram and Chevrolet Silverado, but it has got the top approach angle of any fullsized pick-up - - a huge plus for offroaders and ranchers.
Toyota adjusted the spring rate on the back leaf springs and altered the valving in all four shock absorbers, even though the suspension layout is carryover.
Notable features: Inside, the instrument panel layout has different binnacles for each gauge; now they're all under exactly the same hooded screen.
The center console and touchscreen display are 2.6 inches nearer to motorist.
The front and rear bumpers have been transformed from a onepiece outdoor assembly to three bits for easier and cheaper replacement in case of an injury.
Toyota now appears to be trying harder to keep brand loyalists than to conquest national truck owners.
The Tundra's gear levels have been cranked up, adding more luxurious trim packages in an attempt to raise the trade cost. It expects to make a bigger gain on each one, while Toyota may be selling fewer units.
What Toyota says: "When we started in 2007, we had the most advanced powertrain on marketplace. Now [Detroit's engines] are merely competitive," said Mike Sweers, Tundra leader engineer, in the press opening here. "We updated the hardware and still have some of the very complex powertrains in the marketplace. In realworld testing, our 5.7 gets same fuel economy as their turbo-sixes, notably in a heavyload towing situation."
Shortcomings and compromises: Toyota also deleted the bed from the regular trimming level.
The market: The fullsized pick-up market is recuperating, but Toyota has traditional sales goals -- about 137,000 units in 2014, compared with its peak of almost 200,000 units in 2007. Toyota can adjust generation as needed, with the Tundra and Tacoma built in San Antonio, said Bill Fay, Toyota Office general manager.
For its marketing drive, Toyota will augment the quality, sturdiness and reliability capabilities of the truck, and "tell the American narrative" of its local production, Fay said. He said Toyota will likely not do any compare and comparison marketing against the contest.
2014 Toyota Tundra - 2013 Chicago Auto Show
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