2014 Toyota Tundra Ride Review – First Take

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At the media preview event, I was able to log around 100 miles on the new 2014 Toyota Tundra. Here is what I found.

2014 Toyota Tundra Ride Review - First Take

Cruising around in the 2014 and you will notice a subtle, yet improved difference.

Officially Toyota has done several things like the addition of aero fins or “vortex generators.” They also improved the suspensions by:

  • Optimizing the spring and dampening rates
  • Retuned front shock absorbers
  • Friction reduced in struts
  • Stiffer coil-spring rates

As many of you know, I currently drive a 2013 Tundra and have put many miles in it already. While I had a short ride with the new truck (I’m hoping for a longer one down the road), I did find it to be an improvement over the previous model.

My driving experience can be summed up with the word “solid.” I don’t mean clunky by any means, I mean the truck feels more smooth and is more responsive. Also, they have really improved the drive on-center ability of the truck and I could relax my hands while driving down a straight road. The truck simply stayed “on line” longer which is a big deal for long road trips. I meet one of the their test drivers and a Baja driver extraordinaire Joe Bacal. We had a great conversation about how much staying on line is important for driver comfort. He shared many stories including spending obscene amounts of time on the test track to make this happen.

2014 Toyota Tundra Ride Review - Aero Fins

These little pieces of plastic matter like shark fins on other models. Don’t try to sand them off, keep them and enjoy the ride.

Another big item for me and Bacal is the aero fins (Mr. Sweers term) or “vortex generators” (marketing’s term). It is simply incredible how much they matter and I have thoughts on how to adapt my 2013 with them! Bacal shared the story on the shark fin addition that is commonly found on other Toyota models. While, most buyers overlook this small item, Toyota doesn’t. They spend lots of time getting the ideal height for these features. Bacal said even adding less an inch of height either way, really impacts the driver experience.

They work by creating more air “disturbance” along the side and downforce on the rear. It is all aimed and reducing the bed bounce of a light-duty truck. Trust me, don’t miss the importance of these aero fins. They matter.

All in all, the truck is a pleasant drive and is an improvement over previous generations. Is it enough to surpass the improved rides from Ram and GM? Time will tell.

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Filed Under: Tundra News


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  1. GoBig says:

    I’ve mentioned this in the past I believe, but Vortex Generators are more than a gimmick. “VGs” are used extensively throughout the aviation industry.

    Airlines and aircraft manufactures spend a lot of money to outfit planes with VGs. Smart guys using wind tunnels can determine optimum placement of the VGs to maximize airflow over a surface, and create a vortex of air where needed.

    I smile at the comparison of rides between the ’13 and the ’14 model. Mind you I drive an ’85 with a solid front axle, and stiff leaf springs. It’s rides about like the Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster at Disneyland.

  2. Rick says:

    My ’12 CrewMax rides great and has a very good on-center feel. I can take my hands off the wheel and it tracks in a straight line. Who said it wasn’t?

    I drove a ’13 F-150 double cab and had to make several steering corrections all the time. I tend to think tires have something to do with this. This Ford is shod with stock, tall sidewall tires that affected the ride, steering and braking. Also the Ford’s steering wheel is big and you sit lower in the seat, where the Tundra has me sitting up over the hood. Huge difference in drive appeal. My steering is more car-like and quicker with shorter radius. It’s GOOD.

    My gripe was the outdated maps on my nav. Its antiquated overall. Its performance was intentionally allowed to fall behind technology wise. And that goes for other Toyotas and Lexuses. No excuse for outdated maps in a new vehicle. That’s poor but I can still use the system and get what I need out of it with a Garmin backup to find newer roads. I could swap it out for an Alpine or whatever. Not an issue now.

    I love my ’12 and am keeping it.


    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      “Who said it wasn’t?” I do, LOL! All I am saying that the 2014 versus the 2013, the 2014 drives more on center. They specifically worked on making that better. Not downplaying the 2012, just saying the 2014 is better. Frankly, not a deal breaker for me, just something to note.


  3. Mike T says:

    The ride quality is the result of retuned dampers and spring rates for the 2014 model year, and while the feel may be a touch on the firm side, it’s a vast improvement over the often mushy feel of the previous versions of the Tundra.

    Mike T

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