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?

1.

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.

 

2.

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.

 

3.

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.

 

4.

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).

 

5.

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.

 

Comments

@Jason H. I didn't say 'limited-slip'.
Just a simple 35/65 double planetary, so when you factor in the greater losses from the front drivetrain you end up with 33.3/66.7 split at the pavement.

So: 2x from torque converter (but the stall speed is not at the engine's peak, so use a 0.75 multiplier)+ 5x from 1st gear (Aisin's 'trucky' 8 speed automatic has a 4.97 1st gear) + low range (say 2.7:1), for a total of about 20x engine peak torque. But that is somewhat transient, because either the vehicle is going to move, you are going to spin some wheel(s), so the torque converter multiplication is going to go away. And in low-range, the throttle-by-wire usually has an intentionally slow response.

If the design is axially long, it won't add much rotational inertia. I think the bean counters didn't want to spend the money on quality CAV joints...

Porsche/Audi/MB have all used center differentials in 500+ hp applications.

George_C | Aug 8, 2013 2:26:28 PM,

That's an idea! The Tundra turned the 1/2-ton pickup truck world upside down in 2007 with the 5.7 & the 6-speed automatic, and now Tundra needs to lead the pack again with an 8-speed automatic just to get on par with RAM.

IIRC, the Aisin is on par with the Alison as far as capability. I do believe it would be a great match behind the smooth-as-silk 5.7.

BTW, I drove my Tundra on US70 yesterday and cruised at 95mph from the Missile Range to the Border Patrol station, a distance of about 42 miles, and it was truly smooth as silk!

My wife snoozed in the passenger seat until the Border Patrolman asked her if she was a US citizen. Scared her awake. That's how soothing it was.

It isn't often that I drive my Tundra empty or without a trailer behind it. But this time I did and it was glorious! I'd love to do it again soon.

The long knives are really out so here comes my two cents. I am a degreed mechanical engineer that has gone thru many jars of go jo. I would not trust any engineer that is working toward or has an MBA. I got interested in engineering to work on things and invent things- not learn how to count beans. thanks, Robert

I read this thread because I will be buying a 2014 Tundra, with the honkin' 5.7 as soon as they are available in Oklahoma.

The comments re engineers has merit in my book because I, too, am an Engineer, an Aeronautical Engineer with a Bachelors from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Masters from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson AFB.

As it happens, I also earned an MBA while working for the FAA for more than 20 years.

Here's the difference, for those who are wondering. When I was an Engineer, I worked as an Engineer. I was maxed out in my career.

When I got my MBA, I was promoted to where I HIRED Engineers and they WORKED FOR ME.

That's what sets MBAs apart from other degreed people. They are usually over other specialized degreed people. MBAs are Generalists. Engineers are Specialists.

Lol all the little Toyota queers have their panties in a bunch.

I only have one recommendation:
Crusher.

Leave the trucks to the big three. Do your hilux only and leave the real stuff alone.

Scott, what do you care if you don't like anything but the big three don't buy anything else, I will just laugh at you when I drive buy in my Tundra while your broke down in you detroit garbage on the side of the road.

Without the foreign competition, the Big three would still be soldiering on with 270HP V8 motors, 5 speed trannies and crappy designs.

@Hemi lol aren't you a Toyota Salesman? i just test drove a bunch of trucks and you remind me of the Chevy sales man when I pulled up in a Raptor. The guy tried to tell me how great the G80 was and that GM exclusively offered lockers. I told him my truck had a locker, and he told me that mine was a limited slip lol. I replied that on my truck and our work truck if you turn on the locker on dry pavement the rear end bounces cause its locked. If I worked at a car dealer I would go out and test drive the competition and get the sales pitch so I could convice people to buy my product.

All Diesel Comments:

My understanding is the Federal Gov has made there MPG demands, but has yet to call out guidelines and EPA requirements, leaving manufactures in a holding pattern.

Everyone seems to assumes it isn't an option, or isn't something slated for the future. Why develop something that may become obsolete in 2 years?

Again, this is the best motive behind a "soft" update I can see, waiting until the Fed and EPA get their ducks in a row before diving into costly development. That's not to say there hasn't been testing with current diesel engines that meet the present regulations.

@hemi lol

That's probably because they do not want the checks to stop coming in the mail from GM/Ford, ect. :)

I guess its safe to say some are happy and some are not. With over 100k logged on an 07 5.7 TRD and now an Ecoboost owner with currently 75k, I can say they both have strong points. I would guess many would agree that Toyota reacts very slowly to the market as Toyota works on something new only when sales are considerably down. The other big 3 think more proactive and throw more on the table to cash in on the sales trend and continue to ride the wave fighting for the number one spot. To do that you sometimes need to cater to the commercial market as well as Toyota never jumped in that market with both feet. Allot of R&D is done in that market unlike what people think. Toyota built a good full size truck in 07 and was class leading in many ways, but Toyota couldn't just hang up their hats as the big 3 continued to innovate and broaden their fleet to cater to more different customer needs and wants.
Nobody buys a truck to save money on fuel, but if one had an open mind, why not spend less money if you can go an extra 100 miles on the same size tank with a bit more technology in an engine? My ecoboost does just that and makes better power at low RPMs making it a bull for towing. Fuel economy with both trucks were't good when towing, but the ecoboost worked far better as it didn't need to rev at the c note to make the peak power.
My Toyota didn't come without problems just like my other domestics I've owned. However, Toyota brakes and suspension components are second to none from my experience as my Ford brakes went on the bum far less then half the Toyota brake life.
So when we're talking bang for the dollar, Toyota is priced well on paper. However, the big 3 bulk sales numbers come from the many big rebates, which brings the prices more in perspective to what they are actually worth. Pay less and sell for less works out the same as pay more and get more for resale so I haven't seen the benefit of the so called resale benefit with my Toyota.
There is just to much going on with the big 3 for me to go back to Toyota. A decent small diesel matched up with a well calibrated transmission would be a winning combo IMO and yes I have allot of experience with diesels. Gonna keep my Ford for another year or 2 and I'll see what will be in my garage next as I'm not loyal to any maker.

Fix #1: Make the red truck's grill standard across the models. Other grills optional.
Fix #2: Make all engine sizes available across models; larger engines optional.
Fix #3: MAKE IT SMALLER; no more than 90% the size of the American trucks.
Fix #4: Give it a manual transmission at least optional.
Fix #5: Lower the price by at least $5,000.

As a former 2012 Tundra 5.7 owner I have a few observations;
1) The Tundra is like a appliance to me, just never fell in love. I loved the motor/engine. It lacks character that USA trucks have.
2) The MPG's are strange, I could easily get 20mpg on the freeway, but only get 12-13 in town. A lot of Tundra owners talk about how the mpg's drop when switching to different tires. I had the factory skinny tires with the light weight aluminum wheels and i think that helped get my better freeway mpg's.
3) Hated the suspension, it is rolly polly on twisty roads. My 2010 Ram was flat and now my 2013 Super Duty is flat as a pancake in turns. I even installed the TRD sway bar (helped some)
4) I would buy another despite all this though. The rock solid reliability is hard to beat.

FYI; after switching to the new Ford diesel, the love affair for torque has just started. the torque is unbelievable. It will easily spin the huge tires.

Hassell, I hope your love affair with the Ford Diesel does not turn into the kind of relationship I have with my 2009 F350 Diesel.

It was in the shop 6 times for a variety of ailments during the first year of my ownership, to include a failed injector and a slipping transmission.

Since my business involves hauling feed and towing a 16-horse trailer, every day the F350 was in the shop was a day that I could not make money.

Yeah, the repair may have been free but I lost time and money taking that pig back to the dealer and losing it for three days at a time.

That 6.7 is proving to be super reliable and economical. The 6R140 is the toughest tranny on the market with a 1400 lb-ft input torque rating. I really want one, but there's probably an all-new one right around the corner.

It's a shame that several things didn't happen with this refresh. The gas engines should all be DI and they should bring their 4.5L TD v8 from Europe over here for this truck. It needs a real limited slip diff and/or just offer a eaton true track torsen diff. The new instrument panel is a step in the right direction but ditch the rings and make it all flat again. As for the frame I think they should box the whole thing and call it a day. I also agree with a previous poster who said they should add strength to the roof so we don't dent it while washing the truck. I've done this to my 1st gen on both sides.

@ Mark Williams

Great idea with the hybrid!

- 6800 lb curb weight (1000 lb iron block 5.1L 4-cylinder, min 500 lbs for e-drive system)
- 240 horsepower
- 400 lbs payload
- the class 5 Hino hybrid system costs $13,000

lol

@Lou - It doesn't matter how you slice it, when the RCSB Frontier went away, so did half its sales. Most mini-trucks sold during the '80s craze/fad/invasion were RCSBs and that didn't matter to consumers.

Consumers buy small trucks because they're "small". Otherwise you might as well get a 1/2 ton. When buyers shop for 1/2 tons, they might as well step up to an extra cab, at least. This hasn't changed it the last 30 years, just because small truck OEMs are tired of taking a loss on RCSBs. They lose either way, because their sale tank when the take RCSBs away.

Extra cab full-size have existed since the early '70s while the 1st true extra cab mini-trucks took another decade.

Also the Tacoma Access cab gives you less interior volume and costs more than the F-150 RCSB. I don't see the point. Consumers probably don't either. The same is true of the Tacoma Crew cab vs. the Super cab F-150. I realize quite a few people love paying more for less, but that's why it's niche market.

Another great thing about RCSBs is your kids get to ride up front. I know mothers hate to keep reaching back while driving.

Not to mention small truck RCSBs are Cheeeeeeeeeaaaaapp!!! For the price and fuel economy, in this economy, you can not beat small truck RCSBs. Their turning radius and ease of parking is unbeatable... unless you don't mind sub-compact crap boxes.

The bottom line is that this truck will sell mainly to loyal Toyota owners and those who are first-time truck buyers. You'll seldom see a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge owner in TX (where I live) moving over to a Tundra. Of course, Toyota knows this, and that's why they have invested so little in this redesign. Any way you slice it, the company makes money on the truck despite putting little effort into it.

Get rid of the slot above the grill and rework the exterior styling to something more soothing. The Chiseled look does not work for Toyota. Smooth it out and make look aerodynamic.
1999-2002 Chevy Silverado smooth.
Let everyone else be bloated and chunky carve your own path Toyota.
I`m not even a Toyota fan but I don`t like the styling of the half ton trucks by anyone except maybe the Dodge.
I`ll stick with my 2001 Silverado with hope that the new Colorado turns out right.

While I like the Toyota, I just don't think the Chisled look goes well on top of a swoopy design. The cab still has a bubbled look but the Fornt end is now edgy and the wheel wells round bu the flares square.. If you want edgy you need to start over from the beginning.

I personally think Mark Williams is right on the money with this review. I'm glad someone was man enough to say something to them!!!

Thanks Mark

i would love to see a built in inverter with 20A outlets in the bed.

This site used to have good articles, but with articles like this they are quickly losing credibility. How can you say that the powertrain is outdated?

According to this site:

0-60 Tundra 3rd place .2 seconds behind the Ram
0-60 w/ 1,200-pound payload 2nd .1 second behind Ford
0-60 towing 8,500 pounds 3rd .3 seconds behind Ford which got to use a boosted launch.

I had the 2011 f150 for a year and a half 7 trips to the dealership for engine, transmission, and electrical problems. So I sold it with 33k miles took a huge hit on resale because they don't hold their value and got a Tundra and will never look back.

Toyota can take their time as far as I'm concerned I don't wanna be someone's test dummy again. I'll keep driving my "outdated" super reliable truck for the next 250k miles.

Bring back the 2006 size Tundra....It looks better and is a better size for most pickup owners.

What about the J2807 standard. Toyota is the only manufacturer that has stepped up to the plate on this, and unti the other trucks do the same there is no discussion. What you say you can do with your truck and back it up under all conditions is all that matters.

I bought my 2010 Tundra Platinum to haul my 8500# travel trailer and it's a beast. I've towed it in 100 degree weather for hours on end and it never heats up, has plenty of power, can easily maintain highway speeds, and is a comfortable ride for my family. I know the other guys make potent trucks too but I trust Toyota for the quality of the rig. In 60k miles, I've never had a mechanical issue and that's what it's all about for me.

I think I like my 2010 over the new style but if something ever happens to my truck, I'd march right out for one of these new ones and be perfectly happy. I did notice that there's no transmission temp gauge. Maybe the info is on the screen but if there isn't one on the new truck, that's a minus.

I own a 2000 Tundra. After 14 years, its time to replace it. I've waiting for Toyota to come out with a crew cab long bed.

I only buy TOYOTA no matter what!

1. needs bigger gas tank
2. needs built in electric brake controller

Toyota needs a diesel option in the Tundra and needs to begin making heavy duty pickups with big diesel engines! I love my 2012 Tundra and will not trade until there is a diesel powered Toyota, preferably 3/4 Ton pickup on the market. I have also owned a Ford and several Chevys and can tell you the Toyota is far superior in quality and horsepower. I will only buy Toyotas in the future because they don't nickel and dime you to death!

"They want something more stylish and "over the top" (without being excessive) ..."

Over the top, without being excessive?

GFY you worthless troll.

I love to read reviews of trucks by people whining about how a truck doesn't perform as well as the BMW Series 5999999 or whatever. Doesn't have the luxury options of the Lincoln and on and on. It's a freaking truck!

Sure, manufacturers have come a long way in comfort and power, but geeeezzzzzzz. If you want luxury, go buy a luxury car.

BTW, those of you driving around an Esclade or similar shouldn't even be near a truck because it's obvious you have no idea what you want. Personally, I think you're red necks in denial.

i can't figure out why toyota doesn't offer different rear end ratio options. you only offer 1 rear end. give the costumers a few choices plus it will greatly help the tundras crappy fuel economy

I just gt 2014 tundra today and marker lights wo t go off while
Running at night in park. Ideas?????

Toyota Kool aid drinkers are funny! It's not just about the frame that assaults the cab on a rough road. This C channel noodle isn't remotely comparable to a Ford C channel heavy duty frame. The Toyota 1/2 ton C channel frame is under engineered as it's has riveted cross members like 20 yr old domestic. There are scores of horror stories with Tundra owners who actually tried to work their trucks within the manufacturers claimed capabilities and have plenty of problems. If you want a fast truck to polish up and drive around carrying sports equipment, Home Depot an best buy runs- you'll believe its a great truck. If you load this noodle up over half it's towing and payload ratings regularity your in for a world of hurt. Crack tailgates with a few sheets of drywall, bent frames, rear difs etc. we're not talking overload or abuse here either. Does the North America wide recall on gen 1 tundras and Tacomas for rusting out frames speak volumes about Toyota frame building prowess? A fellow racing friend who combs write offs at ICBC (socialized auto insurance in BC Canada) and rebuilds cars told me 5 years ago about written off Toyotas whose air bags didn't deploy! 5 years of the NHTSA in Toyotas pocket explains why they've only been recently recalled! The one thing hard core Toyota lovers avoid is the truth about the malfeasant dirt bag company they patronize. Even if the Tundra was any good it's just another cost cutting Toyota equipped with unsafe ticking time bomb kitchen sink firmware ECU! Search Michael Barr Toyota and learn the truth about the recent scientifically proven evidence of faulty defectively engineered embedded firmware that causes unintended accerleration, brake failure, random engine stalling etc. as per Oct. 2013 Oklahoma wrongful death suit. Barr group found the defective code, exposed Toyotas lies about there poorly designed 'kitchen sink' firmware where the memory can easily be corrupted thus rendering back up tasks (safety actions to correct a malfunction like U A) unable to function! Barr reproduced the UA acceleration on an 05 and 08 Camry! The jury concurred and found Toyota guilty and also was ready to assign punitive damages on top of the plaintiffs claim for negligence as Toyota knew all about its cheapo software! Software engineers have weighed in by the scores to support Barrs findings. Now Toyota is throwing billions in hush $ in exchange for silence. It gets better still, Toyota is bullying the corporate controlled media into silence about Barrs findings! New Toyotas have the same defective embedded firmware and are still experiencing the same disproportionate number of unintended acceleration events/accidents as ever as per NHTSA complaints ( check for yourself). One software engineer weighed in on Toyotas defective firmware and to paraphrase said that not even the most rookie U.S. Software engineer would design a system like this for an automobile! A search of 'beware of Toyota' you will find Paris Boyd's thorough blog that has pertinent links in a timeline. Truly shocking what a dirt bag company Toyota really is and how little effort is put into their vehicles as opposed to their 'reputation'.....So much for the Obama GM conspiracy theory eh chuggers! Lol!

That's right. I bought a 1794 edition but seems like I liked my 08 limited tundra better!! Same o'l shitt with redesigned interior! WTF??? I ready to go back to dodge or Chevy!!!!!!

I have a 2014 Tundra TRD Premium.

I have a love-the relationship with the truck.

My big three complaints are 1. Transmission, 2. Engine and 3. handling.

The way it shifts and how little control I have over the tranny makes it feel like it was designed for a grandma. The engine has great power, but it doesn't have that solid low-end torque that makes a car/truck fun to drive. I don't feel connected with this truck. And the mileage is crazy stupid. I'm getting 10 to 13. That is muscle car from the 80's sort of stuff. I feel a little ripped off when I talk with other 2014 truck owners that are getting much better mileage.

Handling is just stiff. Better with a bit of load...as expected. Feels top heavy and hates...HATES...corners.

By comparison - the best motor and tranny and handling on the planet is my 2011 BMW 5.0 X5. Mind blowing how perfected this car is.

Lastly, I think the styling on the outside is cool from the side, but silly up front. That grill....good gawd. Over the top.

Interior is nice but not really truck like. Very wanna be cool. And the interface on the radio and nav is not great. Not bad, but not great. Someone please tell me how to delete a pre-set!!!!

This is the first time I have purchased a new vehicle and within the first few months been thinking about getting something else. My only consideration would perhaps be a Raptor. Wish someone that really had their stuff together would make a truck. A real truck.

My 2010 Toyota Tundra has been a great pickup until my Torque converter went out. I was hoping a change was made from this issue back in 2007, but apparently the problem is still there. Luckily I got the extended warrenty, but it's a shame this issue is not resolved. I'll have to see evidence of a change before I can purchase another Tundra.

I traded my 2011 5.7l Tundra crew cab on the equivalent 2013 Dodge 5.7l hemi. It was a mistake and I was so disappointed I traded the Dodge on a 2014 Tundra after 5months. The 2013 Hemi is rated at higher torque and hp than the Tundra, I dont know where they are taking readings from but the Tundra is in a different ball park, the Hemi is slow and sluggish, and btw I have owned 3 5.7l Hemis, I thought the 2013 hemi with its higher output than previous would be awesome but it just wasnt. I tow a 6000 pound trailer every day, as soon as I put it on the back of the dodge the rear end squated about 8 inch's. The dodge was also rated higher fuel economy, not in the real world it isnt. The Dodge was a nice truck to drive, lower quality interior and lower quality all round than the Tundra but ok, if your using it as a work truck though the Tundra is so much more superior in every way. I dont know how the 1500 has won the motor trend truck of the year two years running, it is simply no where near as good as the Tundra. The only complaint I have with the Tundra is that the radio constantly skips, almost like a CD skipping and constantly in and out of stereo or high def etc.

@Todd Carpenter

Sounds like you'll be ready for a Silverado or Sierra in a few months.

Be sure to consider the 6.2 Sierra for its nice interiors and awesome towing capacity.

My Silverado was five years old in February and it has been a real peach. Gas, oil changes, tires, wipers. The idiot light came on not long after I bought it and the dealer swapped out the crankshaft trigger just in case. No cost. Zero issues other than that.

I agree with this review 100% I have been a toyota owner for some time now my very first truck was a 94 pickup with a 22re and it still runs today with 310k miles on it all original parts. I have owned a 2004 tundra a 2012 tundra and now I am in a 2013 tundra. I cant seem to get away from toyota at all I love them I have the speed the power the towing and comfort of the truck but however I get crappy gas mileage compared to others around me with the chevy and ford. I also dont like the fact that people can put a lift on there trucks and put 35's on there as the tundra a leveling kit a 35 will rub unless you trim and cut. as big as the truck is there should be a change to that so it can be done also why the 5 lug and not the 6.

I just had I big problem with mine the engine wouldn't shut of when I turn the key off do you guys have had the same problem? ? My truck only has 2000 miles on it please elaborate if any one knows about the issue.

Owned 2 ecoboost f150 not impressed. Have new tundra. Love it

just live how all the Toyota fans get so but hurt when someone talks about the tundra. for one they are ugly and have a weak frame and they are way too trendy.

i have a 2011 tundra SR5 5.7 V8 with around 80,000 miles. no problems, have loaded the bed with well over 3 thousand pounds while towing a 15,000lb trailer loaded with skid loaders. no problems and have done that multiple times. great truck all around shifts great runs great and i get around 13 mpg city 17-18 highway... when pulling i run E-85 and get about 10mpg with a 7500lb trailer.. thats not bad at all. i think the only thing that i dislike is how low the receiver hitch is to the ground. other than that i wouldnt change a thing.

As one of the few owners of a Toyota Tundra in the UK which
is the crewmax 5.7 2008 model.
I have owned this vehicle from new (6 years) I would not
change this vehicle for anything else other than another Tundra.
This has been a superb vehicle.

I just took delivery of a 2015 tundra with the big motor. hoping to have good luck with it. Was a shame to find out about the lack of brake controller capabilities since I tow 10,000 lbs often and can't use it yet.And a big question session about towing to the sales staff before the deal was finallized with NO indications at all what I ended up with. VERY DISSAPOINTED about THAT!,,,,,,As a matter of fact, I Still am really passed off, Thank you for allowing me to vent



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