2014 Toyota Tundra Interior – First Take
Editor’s note: this review is on the Platinum package. Unfortunately, the photos of the interior with that package are unavailable at this time.
The biggest change on the 2014 Toyota Tundra is arguably the interior of the truck. While at the regional press preview event in late August, I got to check out the interior for a brief time. Here are my thoughts.
The design philosophy for the new interior was as follows:
1. Have a modern design with a “true truck” look
2. Enhance ergonomics/technology offerings
3. Incorporate a grade strategy with each trim level to differentiate offerings
Also, a key note is that the Entune system is now standard throughout the lineup. Whether you like the system or not, you will now not have a choice. On the plus side, the center line of the Entune system and controls like AC has been moved 2.5 inches closer to the driver. This wasn’t a big deal on the older models and it didn’t really stand out to me. I should note as well I am 5′ 7″ and I have “average” length arms.
Another thing on the Entune is that they have really worked to make it more consumer friendly. You can now rearrange the icons and it has many features to split up the map, check in on Facebook or read Yelp reviews (both while you are stopped of course). For me, I had some difficulty rearranging the icons and have, frankly, never found the systems to be that great. I am often grabbing my iPhone well before I mess with them. Another interesting question, is how well do they work with gloves on? I didn’t have gloves with me, but based on my bare fingers, I’m not sold that it works that well AT ALL.
The first thing to notice is the new instrument panel. While personal feelings will vary, it is a much easier display to read. Also, the amber color is gone and is now replaced with a white background. Even though, I didn’t get a chance to drive the truck at night, my guess is that it is much more pleasing to look at.
One of the other first things to notice about the interior is the new steering wheel. It feels different and response is different when driving. Also, they have added the four-way adjustable button and a few more buttons.
The seats have great stitching added to them and it really blends together with the panel on the glove box. The look blends together and it is really a premium package.
Another change is that the seats have been adjusted. Toyota says:
- + 0.79-in. increase in seat sliding range for both bench and bucket seats (8.27-in. to 9.06-in.)
- + 0.59-in.wider lifting range of seat height adjustment on front seats (1.77-in. to 2.36-in.)
- + 0.39-in. larger cushion length adjustment range on driver’s seat (1.20-in. to 1.59-in.)
Again, not a big deal for me, but I could see it having some value for taller or shorter individuals.
Now, they did do a cool thing with the cooling feature of the seats. The lower part pushes cool air into your legs while the upper “pulls” the hot air away. As anyone knows with a sweaty back, adding cool air to it keeps the moisture in place. But, pulling the air away, really cools the air and wicks the moisture away. A good touch.
There are several things on this package that I’m not a fan of. While, the look IS more American and any semblance between it and the Ford F-150 is purely intentional. Yes, intentional. That is my first issue, it really lost the unique look it used to have.
Other “new” features simply don’t work like the multi-informational display that sits the guages. Quite simply it is nearly impossible to see with daylight on it. There is also no brightness adjustment. This is terrible. I, literally, had to be stopped or pull over to now “cycle” to see the different information like fuel economy, fuel range and temperature.
Another item that bugged me is that there is no longer a quick read of time/temperature. The older model Tundra pickups (non-Entune) have a time/temperature display built into the dash along the top. This is gone and you will now need to “cycle” through the multi-informational display to find the temperature. Frankly, this is just a poor solution. While the clock has been moved to the top of the Entune display, it is small and can be tough to see (see: daylight issue). And it is worth noting, the temperature has not moved, say, next to the time. While some drivers don’t care about the temperature, I really liked it. Too bad, they didn’t add it to the rear-view mirror (like other makers) or put it somewhere on the Entune home display.
A small item I noticed is that on the 2013 model, there is a small tray behind the shifting knob. This tray is perfect for loose change and my cell phone. Frankly, I use that tray more than anything else. I tried to find another place for my cell phone and was unable to locate such a “sweet” spot. Not cool. Readers have pointed out that it does seem that the limited package has this tray, but not the platinum I drove. Odd. (Note: they did remove the map slot which helped move my drink closer. I think that is a win with lots of door storage for maps.)
Next, the driver side grab handle has been eliminated and this stinks! On the older Tundra pickups, I used this handle each and every time I stepped into the vehicle. When asked about this, the response was to use the steering wheel. That is just poor. The steering wheel shifts and moves. One time when entering the truck, it moved just right and I about lost my balance. Without running boards, I would have probably been looking up at the sky. Considering Toyota says they built the interior to fit a 5′ 6″ women, apparently they didn’t design it for her to get in. Point blank, without running boards, I am nervous about getting into this truck AND I get into a TON of trucks (not my first time).
Lastly, the obvious issue, is the lack of the slide and recline seats in the CrewMax. Their answer is of course, the flip up style seat which is in response to customer feedback that they couldn’t load items in the back of their truck. The example was a flat-screen TV. Not only would it be difficult to load with the old seats folding flat, but it wouldn’t really fit. Now wit the larger space and a lower entry level (down 11″), it would be easier to load such an item. I had a certain reply to the answer in mind, but I don’t like to cuss in a large room.
While the loss of slide and recline is a poor design choice with no storage underneath, the end result is less leg room. That’s right, less leg room. A detail that seemed to escape every other journalist, the rear leg room of the CrewMax is now 42.3 inches according to Toyota’s spec chart. The old, “class-leading” leg room was 44.5 inches. You think 2 inches doesn’t matter. Think again when hauling a crew of tall guys or kids. I noticed that I would not be able to put my kids in their car seats without leaving the rear seating area. Right now, I can buckle each kid in without having to enter and exit the vehicle for each one. That is a BIG deal to a parent and was completely overlooked.
The interior really is a hit and miss for me. While I can certainly see the instrument panel as a big plus, the loss of functionality and storage throughout the cab is sad. It used to be a perfect mix for my family and this new model certainly has some shortcomings. Agreeably, some buyers/owners won’t care about that, but when you want to put your change somewhere, you will.
What’s your take? Is storage a big item or do you want more plastic and streamlined look?
Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com