Top Five Fixes for the 2014 Toyota Tundra

2014 Tundra II

We recently had the chance to test-drive a good selection of the coming 2014 Toyota Tundras. Considering what the update focused on, we thought Toyota did some nice things. However, at a time when the big players in the pickup truck segment are redesigning platforms, powertrains and offering all sorts of segment-first technology, this is not the time to pull back and take a pause.

Our guess is that by the time Toyota saw what the 2013 Ram 1500 and 2014 Chevy Silverado were going to be, its truck team was too far along its strategy (and financial) path to add new features. That's too bad, because even a few small changes could have helped a lot. As it stands, we look to the next model for the big changes. And to help that process along - are you listening Toyota? - we thought we'd toss out our top five suggestions for the next iteration, as well as give our readers a chance to chime in. Here's our wish list. What's yours?


2014 Tundra engine II

We understand the carry-over high-tech overhead cam engines are good, but that's the base price of admission nowadays. Your powertrains need to be stronger, produce more power, weigh less and offer better fuel economy. Whether that get's done with what you have or you get on the direct-injection bandwagon, so be it. Also, unless you're coming into the game with a heavy-duty Prius powertrain, you better offer one of your Hino-sourced diesel-electric hybrids on the next midcycle-refreshed Tundra. No excuses.



2014 1794 II

The 1794 Edition leather is wonderful and takes the Toyota brand to a place it's never been before. But you need to understand luxury pickup buyers are not looking for Lexus (or Mercedes or BMW) luxury here. They want something more stylish and "over the top" (without being excessive) than either the Ram 1500 Longhorn or the Ford F-150 King Ranch. We're not talking stupid here, but we are talking pricey boots, belt buckles and Stetsons.



2014 Tundra gauges II

You've taken the first steps and delivered a much better way to communicate information to your driver with the new gauge screen. That's a good start; now you have to place good information in that resource center that continually makes that new Tundra owner believe you understand how he uses his truck. Put some towing info in there, some altitude readouts, some smarter tire pressures or bumper weight numbers, or maybe just make important towing advice more accessible than it is in the owner's manual. Show that you understand us.



2014 Tundra under II

You've told us the frame of the Tundra is strong enough to handle anything a half-ton buyer could ever want to do. But you can't convince me that in the last 10 years there isn't smarter technology that would allow you to keep the strength you need in that frame but shave a good amount of weight here and there. Ford, Ram and GM are light-years ahead of you on this one. Computer modeling can do amazing things, and you're still using C-channel. If we can have lighter motors that give us more power and better fuel economy (everyone has done that), we can get lighter truck frames that offer better towing and payload numbers (GM just did that, and Ford will too).



2014_Toyota trans II

Probably our biggest disappointment was how little was done with the electronic programming of the transmission. Again, we get it - your transmission is strong enough and your customers like it. Fine. You can still offer better readouts or give us some other way to track how well or how often the engine needs a shift. Maybe even provide one or two other push-button settings beyond the Tow/Haul on-off switch. Perhaps a four-wheel-drive or high-mileage setting. Those are the kinds of little things that could have been done with the existing technology by just programming them into the computer. That lets us know you've got our back.



Does appear that Toyota and GM could take a page out of Ford and Ram and update their trucks every couple of years with the type of updates mentioned in the article and do major styling changes every 5 or so years.

As a former Tundra owner, I agree with this review. The truck market is moving forward quickly and Toyota's "me too" updates might be off on timing. I believe Toyota would have been smart to throw in a small diesel to get head start in the power train battle and wrap it with a deacent fame while they're at it. Till then, I'm not going back to Toyota as the competition of value is simply elsewhere.

The fuel economy gagets are great if you can drive like a grandma to make them work. Car and Driver just tested all the big 3 trucks and they all averaged 13MPG on their 500 mile test.

Just stick to the Camry's and leave the trucks to the big boys.

If it wasn't for the Tundra in 2007 coming out with a 380HP motor, Ford would probably still be sholdering on with a 5.4 V8 with 300 HP.

And G.M. need to get a larger gas tank ,and get the shifter on the console. That is so 60's!!!!

I'm All About Function & Utility for the $$$.
The 5.&L has plenty of power and the trans works awesome imo. Toy has the best engine transmission combo imo.
Shifts wonderful and downshifts quickly and smoothly in an instant when you mash the go pedal.
Wish it got better mileage but what is Great about Toyota is they are keeping it simple which translates to no problems and great longevity. Ive got 38K on my 2010 dbl cab 4x4 and ZERO issues. KISS, i think applies to the tundra now the most of all trucks. Cyl deactivation doesn't do much and adds a lot of complexity to the engine and problems. All the Electric steering stuff isn't proven yet and puts more strain on the alternator, wonder how that is going to wear and last.
So i don't agree with 1) it needs more power
2) I'm not a Luxury truck buyer so i don't care about having lexus seat leather, i buy more of a base truck and when the cloth wears out can put in leather then. Anything about $30K price is real hard to accept for me.
3) i don't need anymore info. in instrument panel. And i am smart enough to do a visual and or ck air pressure in tires.
4) Frame only complaints is the bed bounce when empty. Cant wait to test drive the 2014, I think think the bed bounce is from the frame being too complex, boxed in front, a double C in cab area, then a normal C channel in back. they transmit different frequencies which leads to the bed bounce. keep it simple and just go all C or all boxes and that should cure that problem.
5) Imo the trans is awesome dont need to make it more complex then make it less reliable.

Again I'm all about making it reliable, simple and cost effective with the most utility. Be nice to have the step bumper like the 2014 chevy's and either a ram box or in floor trunk like the ridgeline for bed utility, led bed lighting, store a ramp(s) under bed, have a tail gate extender like on atlas to hold up a ladder on tail gate end and a pocket in roof to hold other end of ladder. Please add some supports and or steel to roof so it doesn't buckle when i wash it. And i don't need 50 airbags, remove half the airbags and then you can put some steel back in the roof and or other body panels. its a truck not a hybrid.

How about an article on the issues with the 2014 Sierra now or the 2013 Ram. How about the fact that the Ram has poor erganomics where the front passenger has to sit with thier feet right in front of the like they are sitting on a park bench since their is a big hump in the floor. Or the fact that the Ram has an old school 5.7 liter V8 w/o direct injection and I don't think its even 32 Valve.

How about actual four-wheel drive?
There are NO pickup trucks with a center differential for sale in the USA.
A nice 1/3 front 2/3 rear torque split, with a button to lockup the center differential.

I'm really really liking that interior. It's not enough to make me overlook the badge, but I could almost see myself in one.

@Andrew my thoughts exactly

It must be nice to be the big three and have biased sites like write NOTHING but good reviews about you and NOTHING but negative reviews about Toyota. It's amazing how flawless the big three trucks are and how full of flaws the Tundra is, before it even came out!

"Toyota, make your interior nicer" - Toyota does it and this site STILL has a problem with it - laughable.

Last I checked Ford still doesnt make a V-8 that can compete with the Toyota 5.7. And don't even bring up that ancient displacement dinosaur the gas hog 6.2. Anybody notice that the "all-new F-150" is basically the same chassy and body it was in 04'????

Ram makes a nice truck at first, but talk to me after 100,000 miles with an 8-speed chrysler tranny and air bag system.

What I'm saying is sites like this one are no different than the liberal media, they're biased, and they have an agenda. Too bad you can't find independent objective reporting.

I personally am really looking forward to the new Dodge ram Eco-diesel. Americans have long been itching for a modern Diesel and a half to pick up truck. I understand many auto manufacturers Shy away from diesel technology because of the US' Emissions. And their overall greater cost of production. But they are just so much more powerful and efficient then these behemoth gas guzzling V8's we have in the states. What gets me is manufacturers such as Toyota already have Tried and tested straight six diesels along with reliable transmissions That they've been using in their overseas models for decades now. Toyotas hino based turbocharged in-line six diesel Is just about half the size of the 5.7 I force And yet make more torque and about three times the fuel economy. It's not like they have to spend a ton of money on research and development. They have the engine , transmission , and the truck already developed. But hey I'm no engineer just my two cents

"But you can't convince me that in the last 10 years there isn't smarter technology that would allow you to keep the strength you need in that frame but shave a good amount of weight here and there. Ford, Ram and GM are light-years ahead of you on this one. Computer modeling can do amazing things, and you're still using C-channel"

I hope when does a review on a Ford Super Duty. This statement is not 100% correct. I'd love to hear about how good the fully boxed frames are when you come to the rust belt, and the salt they put on the roads eat your frame from the inside out. It's much easier to clean a C-channel frame than a full boxed one.

^*I hope when does a review on a Ford Super Duty, they put this statement in about the C-channel frame*

Ditch the c-channel frame? The same design used by the Super Duty? So, now we need to see a Super Duty fix list, and there should be one since it too use a c-channel frame.

Sorry, but 4 of those 5 reasons aren't the same ones I'm reading elsewhere. Here's the four I read about most:

1) larger fuel tank
2) more cab/bed length configurations > crew cab and 6-1/2 or 8ft bed is what most want, thus they buy Fords
3) mechanical limited slip rear end
4) different gear ratios. ex: 3.30 gearing would improve mpg for those not towing heavily; gardeners towing a light trailer want bed capacity and minimal towing

Agree about the frame...most don't care, but some do

As a (former Toyota truck owner), professional engineer, MBA candidate, and truck guy I could write a book on what Toyota has done right and wrong with the Tacoma and Tundra.
The only thing keeping the Tundra going is the Toyota brand and quality of engine and transmission components.
The C-Channel frame is a decade behind the big 3.
Transmission has too few cogs
Engine doesn't have multiple displacement or direct injection.
Truck still has an ugly jelly bean shape like the F150's of a few years back.
The truck is not a segment leader in any notable category.
Toyota Corp. is financially unwilling and unconvinced about the's obvious.
As an MBA guy, there may be more profit in Toyota's future by dumping the Tundra and creating perpetually segment leading Tacoma that dominates the "competition" for the next 20 years. How could Toyota do this with Tacoma?
Prius Hybrid technology, a 1.8L - 2.0L 4 cyl turbo diesel.

This site needs a "fix list" itself.
It's obvious that it has a hidden agenda.

@DJ the f150 was all new in 09 new frame new bodies new beds new cabs new 5.4l new transmision, in 2011 they got new motors new transmision and new electronics, in 13 they got new infotainment. Just like the Ram when it went form its 09-12 to a 13 the trucks look similar but are actually completly diffrent, pick up buyers are conservative and don't like sudden changes. the GM twins even resemble their predessesors but with new grills. the tundra however kept the same frame, drive train and lots of the same sheat metal, it is not all new, the refresh is less than the 2011 refresh of the f150 and is more on bar with the 03 silvarado refrech where a new grill and new interior trim pices and radio where included. Also Ford does have a competator with the iforce, its called the ecoboost. when you look at vehicles you need to look at their actual competition, the mere fact that the ecoboost is the number one engine choice in the f150 says alot its been out for 3 years, and in that time proven to be pretty reliable

The only thing I think Toyota needs to do is improve thier MPG a bit, its plenty powerful and capable, but maybe direct injection and cylinder cut off, maybe some weight reduction but other then that its a great truck and very competitive.

The 1794 edition stamp on that seat sure looks crooked? I drove a trundra a few times. Just seemed too foreign looking and boring to me all around other than that powerful engine which seemed very comparable to my hemi. The front end of the truck looks way too messed up for me now. Really cartoonish. It's probably the only truck I could not buy because of the looks alone. I don't think I will even give it a test drive. Maybe if the nearest dealer was closer than a 45 minute drive for me.

Console shifters have no business in a truck IMO. Just a waste of otherwise usable space. is losing all credibility now with ridiculous statements like they are now plastering all over the web. This is the exact same thing when Ben Barsnakie telling us Monetary Easing is making our life so much better – yea right.

Factory Trailer Brake Controller would be nice and I completely agree on Toyota putting a diesel in the tundra, why does the rest of the world get their great diesel engines and we dont??

All it needs is a 8-speed tranny, Direct Injection, maybe a 3.5 310 hp V-6 trailer Brake Control and ill trade in my Much loved Ecoboost,and yes i like the fact that its built in San Antonio,oh and maybe another Ironman Edition Raptor Fighter

I agree sandman, my next truck will have a bench seat vs limiting center console. I can build my own custom phone, tablet, drink & phone holder that can be easily removable if i need a 6th passenger seat. I wonder how many so called truck experts and reviewers actually drive a truck and or have one in their driveway. Maybe PTC should have one of us who have owner various makes and driven pickups are entire lives give their opinion and experience about trucks. My Arse has been in enough of them over the years, i have owned em all except the titan and just the test drive and issues keeps me from tryin that truck. i think i can give real world reviews on all and or my memory good enough to give a review from a guy that lives, uses and utilizes a truck everyday.

Of the wish list Mark Williams published, I can only agree about the transmission upgrade except that I would like to see the Lexus LS-460 8-speed automatic behind the 5.7-liter V8, albeit with beefier clutches.

The rest is non-sequitur for me.

I own a 2011 Tundra SR5 and after an initial minor adjustment on my part, I have grown quite fond of the interior, the display and the capabilities of the frame.

It was quite a step up from the archaic Silverado and F150 I owned prior; like having your eyes opened and seeing for the first time after a life of blindness.

The 5.7 engine remains as the most outstanding feature of this truck IMO, far surpassing the offerings of all others with the exception of the Titan 5.6 Endurance V8.

I understand about different strokes for different folks, but for MY money, I'll take a Tundra 5.7 over anything else, any time, any day, any where.

Best truck I have ever owned. Seriously!

35+ gallon fuel tank a must in these gas guzzlers.

I could add all of those issues listed in the article and the comments as well. But why stop there?

Remember in 2009 when Toyota showed off the HD concept, with the Hino-developed diesel and chassis and the dual-axle setup? Given that Hino is part of the Toyota family and has capacity in California and West Virginia, it should have been a done deal.

Maybe its just me, but I think Toyota may not be as seriously interested in the big truck market as it claims to be and is selling the Tundra to keep Toyota loyalists in the fold, just as Nissan did with the Titan and Honda with Ridgeline...and we know how well that strategy worked. But it seems Nissan is more serious about its efforts. They're changing the Titan for 2015, with a standard cab, V6 and maybe a diesel. I wouldn't be surprised if an HD is lurking in the shadows. And with the full-size vans on sale now, Nissan wants to make up for lost ground. If Toyota doesn't do something soon, the Tundra's troubles are going to get worse.


Are you the same bone head from earlier that every other word out of your mouth is MBA candidate and Engineer? Everyone is an MBA candidate who has a Bachelors, some more so than others. Have you taken your GMAT to get in to a well respected program? If not then I am more a candidate than you.

Professional engineer, in what? Automotive is about the only concentration that enables you to think you are even remotely above anyone in terms of insight. Are you a Structural, Electrical, Nuclear? Many of those don't apply to you giving a more profound understanding. Any weekend/backyard racer who turns their own wrench or restores their own cars is more knowledgable and would have a better grasp than you.

Everyone on this site is a car/truck guy so that doesn't give you any more points.

Seriously, I would love to meet you in person. You sound like the guy that leads with "Hi, I am Mark a professional engineer and MBA candidate, what do you do that is below my profession" with anyone you meet. If you want to brag start with your salary, that usually gets more bites.

Honestly a guy who beholds himself in a way such as you probably could write a nice 8 page kids picture book on what Toyota has done right and wrong on their trucks.

Have fun on your make shift pedestal...


I do like the leather interior shown above. Nice color.

Tyler, the dude is entitled to his opinion.

Opinions are like a$$ holes, everybody's got one. This guy appears to have two, one at each opposite end.

I base my personal opinion about what works for me on what I have owned before, and I will not hesitate to buy another Tundra 5.7; probably a 4-door 4X4 in Model Year 2015/2016.

I have owned the rest. Now I want to drive the best. And the best is when I put MY money where my mouth is, regardless of what others think of it. It's gotta work for me! I'm the one paying for it. With Tundra, often paying too much for it.

nlp would be wise to do the same because currently his credibility as a commenter is zero.

I noticed on the Toyota website a lack of diff. options or special packages like a plow package or high output alternators. That could be helpful to have.

I would say this article is spot as Tundra Headquarters just rolls with whatever Mike Sweers says. You can try and bring up the powertrain thing they will just say it is "proven" which I don't understand because that would mean when they bought a 2008 it wasn't "proven". I tried the lighter and stronger frame thing and that won't work either.

As for the C-Channel thing we all know I have defended it because everything HD uses it not fully boxed but with that said the Tundra is a 1/2 to truck so it is overkill on this truck and loses some of it benefits over fully boxed. We all know that upfit operations prefer open c ex. Ford Super Duty, we also know that open c handles cyclic loading better than fully boxed because of deflection ex. Medium Duty trucks and HD trucks and pickups. We also know the shorter the wheelbase and the lighter the truck the more you build for strength over durability "The rule of thumb is that with wheelbases under 160", design for strength; and with wheelbases over 160", design for deflection."- ex. Tundra 145.7" is the common wheelbase with the exception of the rare DC Long Bed. An open c frame is a HD truck frame and a fully boxed is passenger vehicle and LD truck frame so you can open c any truck probably but that doesn't mean you should. That is probably the thinking behind the differently designed frames used by F150 and Super Duty.

Column shifters have two places and that is in police cars and work trucks. You work truck guys can keep your column shifter but I want a floor shifter. More comfortalbe, looks better. I at least need a center console, I'm used to having it for storing thing as well as resting my left leg against while driving.


That's a great idea. I wonder why no one has offered a front center differential...

I have an undergraduate Civil Engineering degree. I am a PE, licensed to practice in 7 States.
Currently enrolled in an accredited MBA program with just under a 4.0 GPA. Generally speaking an MBA candidate is one who has completed at least half the credit hours and is on track to complete the MBA.
I have been a passionate car/truck guy since I was 12 years old and received a Motor Trend subscription for a B-day gift.
I would have gone into mechanical/automotive engineering back in the day but in 1980's-90's you would have had to move to Michigan for that kind of career, something I would NEVER be willing to do.
My engineering background and ongoing MBA educations affords me a different perspective into discussions such as these. Look up every CEO of every major automotive company. 90% will have an engineering background along with an MBA. That combination must be good for something.
So don't hate smart people.

Having an MBA does not make you smart, more knowledgeable yes. Inelegance or smartness is born in and their are plenty of stupid people with MBA's out their.

Mike, I agree with you. BUT, there are NO stupid Engineers.
You can't graduate from an ABET accredited engineering program and be dumb. I completed 3 semesters of engineering Calculus, advanced Differential Equations, Thermodynamics, Statics and Dynamics, just to name a few.
There is no undergrad degree tougher than an ABET accredited engineering degree.

Hank, you mean the right leg! ;-p

I could not care any less about luxury interior.
I actually PREFER "Sport" interior styling & I do not find the overall looks of this new model to be even remotely appealing.
I love my 2012 Toyota Tundra Crew Max "Rock Warrior!"
It is my first Toyota vehicle after owning 7 NEW GM trucks since I was 15 (now 41) & hauling GM trucks (LOCAL car hauling truck driver) for 15 years now (out of Pontiac East - until the plant closed & Flint, MI. currently for 3 years).
NOT to mention GM screwing my dad over after 40 YEARS of employment.
Yes... I haul GM trucks, but I LOVE my Toyota!

NLP, I agree most engineers are not stupid, but their are plenty that are book smart but lack common sense.

I tend to agree with @cmon.
Gadgets and electronic gimmicks give me what?
The whole " I need a light to tell me what gear my truck is in" line that I keep hearing is silly.
Pay attention to what your vehicle is doing.
My F150 has the column shift and no lights and same can be said for my wife's Sienna. I've done 1200 mile long trips in both of them and never said to myself " I wonder what gear its in?".
Perhaps one is paying TOO MUCH attention to all of the other gizmo's and geegaws that the manufacturer has thrown in and not what is critically important = driving.

I totally agree.
I'm 100% US born/US bred American engineer.
Do you know that only 1 out of 10 students seeking their MS or PhD in engineering is US born? It's a scary fact, in the sense that foreigners are kicking our American butts in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
Granted, many of these foreign engineering students ultimately stay in the US and find employment. Problems often arise from their lack of communication skills. If a highly educated scientist, physician, engineer, etc can't effectively communicate with the normal citizen population or elected leaders we all suffer. It's past time for Americans to demand far more from our education system and our students. America without American engineering and science education can not lead the 21st century world in anything other than ignorance, poverty, unemployment, and blue-collarness.

@CDN Mark, the last volume pickup with a center differential was the Dodge Ram, with the NV 244 gen II transfer case. That was fully gone by the '09 M.Y.

It was the MBAs who decided to take the content out of pickups, to increase the huge profit margin on the cash cows of the auto industry.
An MBA has been worthless for the last 30 years. Sorry nlp.

@ Highdesertcat, Toyota can use Aisin's other longitudinal 8 speed automatic-TR-80SD. Good for 590ft-lbs, and 7.25:1 ratio spread. There isn't enough ratio spread in the other one.



Most MBA's in the US make $100,000-$200,000/yr
or 40% more than a undergrad degree in business.

Put your paystubs away...nobody cares.

Not certain of this, but my guess: 4LO reliability vs. mileage. A selectable limited-slip center differential strong enough to live behind a modern (400 ft-lb) truck engine in first gear/4LO (with a 4:1 first gear and a 2.72:1 T-case LO it would need to handle approximately 11x the amount of torque that the engine makes) would need to be pretty heavily-built. As such, it would add a significant amount of drag which would adversely affect mileage and power via parasitic driveline loss. That's my guess anyway.


1. ITS FUNNY to me how you criticize the 5.7 engine that has whooped everyone till now and still competes at the TOP of everything if you have a decent set of tires on it yet and because Toyota actually is realistic with fuel economy numbers you bash them yet in the real world they get equal to the best so says EVERY objective 3rd party site!

2. you criticize Toyota for NOT putting upscale interiors in their trucks (personally i like the interior of my 2010 platinum BETTER than the current king ranch and laramie) So they put in LEXUS LS leather and you find a way to say thats not right LOL LOL!!!!!!!!! I hear jealously now that your favorite truck doesnt have something the others dont. CLEARLY this is the nicest interior of ANY TRUCK ON THE ROAD!

3. For starters on info. some people actually have a brain and can figure things out on their own without a computer.. )not that i would shun the idea) its cool but unnecessary. The Toyota Entune system COMPLETELY EMBARRASSES EVERYTHING that the other manufacturers have as far as infotainment goes and is updated BY YOUR PHONE SIGNAL! NO ONE has anything close to it. yet you dont bring up that point because its LIGHTYEARS above everything else out there.

4. You CLAIM to everyone that there is better technology in frames so surely Toyota should use it and some other lightweight products to drop the curb weight. PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY THE SUPER DUTY IS USING THE EXACT SAME FRAME THEY DID IN 1997-98?????? SERIOUSLY????? YOUR BIAS IS SO OBVIOUS HERE I LAUGHED FOR 5 MINUTES!!!!!!!!! You said QUOTE! (GM just did this Ford will too) So does Ford fund this site or the UAW?

5. REALLY YOU NEED MORE BUTTONS?????????????????
ITs ashame YOU dont know that this Transmission has adapted how it shifts and works to maintain itself and your efficiency since 2007 and i personally dont need any more than what i have now. If i'm in Sequencial shift mode i can see my gear selection in the dash cluster of each gear OH and its been that way since 2007!

seriously you people need a new job if you cant publish objectively as this site suggests you do!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why dont you just rename this website as UAWTRUCKS.COM. its BLATENTLY OBVIOUS your bias lies here!

I've got not problem with any of these suggestions. I agree that all of these things would be nice.

Still, a lot of these complaints would apply to at least one major rival product. What's more, none of the rival products match Toyota's record with JD Power, resale value, etc.

So when you make one of these for the 2014 F150, be sure to mention that part about reliability...

@marc I have an idea. Drive over to Uhaul or Penske. Rent one of those box trucks, like a Volvo diesel, and drive it around for a few days. Your love affair with diesel will be over.

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