After assembling all the right physical ingredients, Toyota still faces the cultural and psychological barriers keeping Tundra from gaining a wider fan base. It still faces the entrenched loyalty enjoyed by pickups that have been around longer.
Patience will help with that. A lot of drivers still coming of age admire Toyota for the popular passenger cars it makes. Many of those young guns who mature to pickup status will look favorably on a Toyota truck.
Another boost comes from Tundra’s all-American origins, noted Horgan. Tundra was engineered and designed by Toyota facilities in Michigan and California. The truck is assembled in the United States, from parts sourced largely in the U.S. as well.
“There is a common misconception that Toyotas are still made overseas,” Horgan explained. “But the Tundra is made in San Antonio, Texas, and it has more American-made parts than its competition. Toyota has been more aggressive in recent years to get the word out about that fact.” Greater awareness of Tundra’s American roots is helping to sell it to workers who appreciate red, white, and blue, Horgan said.
Jeffrey Zygmont is an author of fiction and non-fiction books, and a long-time auto writer. Contact him at www.jeffreyzygmont.com.
2014 Toyota Tundra
Vehicle type: 2- and 4-door, 3- to 6-passenger, rear- and four-wheel-drive full-size pickup truck
Price range: $26,915 to $48,315 (plus options)
Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles basic warranty; 5 years/60,000 miles powertrain warranty; 5 years/unlimited miles corrosion warranty; 2 years/25,000 miles free scheduled maintenance and roadside assistance
Base engine: 4.0-liter V6
Power: 270 horsepower at 5,600 rpm; 278 lb.-ft. torque at 4,400 rpm
Base transmission: 5-speed automatic
Fuel economy: 16 mpg city; 20 mpg highway
Standard wheelbase: 146 inches
Standard length: 229 inches
Width: 80 inches
Height: 76 inches
Weight: 4,760 pounds
Fuel capacity: 26.4 gallons
Turning circle: 39.2 ft.