2014 Toyota Tundra: Family Review Checklist

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I had no idea what a luxuriously convenient workhorse the 2014 Toyota Tundra pickup truck would be. There weren't any doubts that the Tundra could handle family life, but I never expected it to do it so easily.

My test truck was a Tundra Platinum 5.7-liter V-8 CrewMax 4x4. For 2014, Toyota's full-size pickup received a new exterior look and updates to the interior's center stack and gauges.

With a 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 engine and a hulking exterior, the Tundra is a much smoother ride than you might think. It seemed massive on the crowded freeways of Los Angeles; I was anticipating stiff shoulders from trying to wrangle this beast on the road. In the end, I didn't even break a fingernail. With its standard backup camera and front and rear parking sensors, the Tundra is manageable on the streets and hassle-free in parking lots.

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My test truck had the CrewMax cab. This gave rear passengers an astounding 42.3 inches of legroom. It's so roomy back there that my stroller fit in the cab after folding the 60/40-split rear seat. I could've used the truck bed for the stroller, but this was more convenient.

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However, what I really enjoyed most about the Tundra was being able to carpool in it. My daughter and I enjoy life on the go in Los Angeles, but with growing families and additional child-safety seats, we can't always carpool with friends like we used to. The Tundra easily accommodated three car seats across the backseat, not to mention a parent crouching in the backseat while buckling up the kids. She could almost stand up inside the cab.

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We installed two forward-facing convertibles side by side in the Tundra — one behind the passenger seat and one in the middle position — and after the toddlers were all set to go, we easily installed a rear-facing infant seat. The Tundra has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats. The toddlers (ages 2 and 3) enjoyed the "game" of climbing in the truck; it wasn't always quick, but they got in with no complaints, thanks to the optional running boards. Shorter moms and dads may find reaching up to buckle the kids in a hassle, but both my 5-foot-7-inch husband and I at 5 feet 3 inches got along fine.

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With the chops to tow a toy — up to 9,500 pounds when properly equipped — and the luxuries to make day-to-day commutes more enjoyable, the Tundra can hit a sweet spot for many families. The price isn't so sweet, though. My test truck cost $49,160. For that kind of money, you can get a fully loaded 2014 Honda Odyssey or an entry-level 2014 Audi Q7 crossover.

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The center console was big enough to stash my purse and my friend's BabyBjorn baby carrier, and the convenient runner to the side of the front cupholders held my receipts and to-do list for the day. What I envisioned to be a utilitarian snooze fest inside ended up much cushier than I'd expected.

The Tundra was a great ride all around — except when I had to stop at the gas station. My test truck gets an EPA-estimated 13/17/15 mpg city/highway/combined. However, I ended my week averaging 10 mpg. If your family can afford that sort of fuel economy, there's a lot to love about the 2014 Tundra.

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Comments 

Jay

A diesel option like the Big 3 offer would help address the gas mileage issue...

zack

Except that diesel fuel is close to $4 per gallon and gasoline is under $3 . There goes the savings from the better mileage. Torque on the other hand would be better if they offered an oil burner..

Wow.

10 mpg??

Good Lord, why don't you just throw your money out in the street? It'd be more entertaining...

Matthew Clay

10 miles per gallon is honestly pretty bad....but not everyone wants a 3 foot long Prius that gets 50 miles per gallon....that is why automakers make different models....to give consumers choices....don't judge me because i like my big trucks!!!

zack

Gotta have the right vehicle to tow the boat. I'll take the new silverado 2wd with the 300 hp v6, which gets 18 in the city and 24 highway without turbo charging. I like that it goes to four cylinders under light loads. Toyota builds a good truck but they got caught napping on mileage. Ford, ram and chevy leave tundra looking uncompetitive. Some people don't care about mileage, but I remember the oil embargoes and long lines at the gas station and will never drive a 10 mpg vehicle like this.

cjm

Ram is the only one of the big 3 currently offering a diesel in a half ton. There seems to be a decent demand out there for more diesel half tons, but with gas powered engines becoming more fuel efficient, I'm not sure people will be willing to pay the substantially higher msrp of a diesel equipped light duty. Either way, Toyota has some catching up to do as far as fuel mileage goes.

Steve

Looks like GM did their homework compared to this truck. I laughed when I read....10 mpg. Wow.

shamid

10 miles?? are you flipping NUTS?, I am going to look at some thing else........ what a JOKE!!

shamid

hey guys tundra means tons of gas,
the good news is, it have 13 cup holders for long trips, so you can full gas in it so you'll not have to stop to full every 11 miles.

cjm

I'm not sure in what conditions the reviewer was driving, but I observed about the same mileage during my recent cross country move (950 miles) with about 600lbs in the bed and a 3000lb boat in tow. My truck is a 2010 double cab 5.7 4x4.

Keith

I have the 2014 5.7 ltr double cab 2x4 and I average 16.6 mpg. Most of my miles are on the interstate and that runs closer to 19 MPG. Trips to my farm on the back roads are closer to 13mpg. This is with no load and what the computer tells me. The important part for me is that I travel 5 days a week to work in it at 70 miles per day at the end of which I can travel about another 40 miles starting with a full tank at the beginning of the week. I had a 2003 hyundai elantra before I got the Tundra which did this for about $40 dollars a week. The Tundra cost me about $65 a week.

Keith

...also my truck was $30,000.

fanboy

If you had purchased the silverado 5.3 with similar driving habits you'd be spending about 30 percent less on gas. I personally would go with the chevy, over the less efficient toyota. Too bad toyota doesn't offer a motor that goes to 4 cylinders under light loads, like chevy. That sounds like most of your driving. You can't argue with an epa rating of 23 mpg highway for silverado 2wd, or 24 for the v6. Ram does even better, with 25 mpg with their v6.

Hector

I have a 2008 Toyota Tundra, and it has been a great truck. I am planning to get the new Toyota Tundra next year and I just want to say that this was a good review. I get an average of 15 mpg, but on the highway I get around 20 mpg. I want to encourage people to take a closer look at the tundra. Look past the gas mileage, a truck is a truck and if you use it as a truck you won't get the gas mileage of a car. Tundra's are very dependable, long lasting, and really reliable. I have owned my truck for the past 5 years and have not had any problem with it. The Toyota Tundra is very spacious and it feels great on the road, it also has a great ride for a truck. One great thing about the Tundra is if you want the top of the line package, like the platinum or 1794 edition, you don't to pay an outrages price like the other competitors. There are a lot of great trucks out there, and the Tundra has what it takes to be in the top for anything you will use it for.

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