Tundra’s V8 offers pleasing, potent power output
Model: 2014+ Toyota Tundra Vehicle type: Pickup truck History/description: Toyota revamped the Tundra for the 2014 model year with revised looks, new steering and suspension systems, an updated cabin, improved feature content and connectivity, and plenty more. A wide range of model grades, body-styles, powertrain options and feature packages remained, helping Tundra connect with a wide range of shoppers.
Feature content included the Toyota STAR safety system, as well as Bluetooth hands- free connectivity, a backup camera, climate-controlled leather, navigation, a premium JBL stereo, Blind Spot Monitoring, two-zone climate control, keyless entry, a power sliding rear window, automatic lights and plenty more.
All models were V8 powered, with a 4.6-litre V8 generating 310 horsepower, and the popular 5.7litre V8 bumping that figure to 381.
All units got a proven six-speed automatic transmission that should prove worry-free if properly maintained, and two and four-wheel drive variants were available.
A 2016 or newer model may be best for frequent towing as Toyota added an improved towing package from 2016 and on which included a transmission cooler, and other upgrades.
What owners like: Many owners report positively on ride comfort, performance and a set of easy-to-use features. Power output from the larger V8 engine is said to be pleasing and potent, and a quiet and comfortable ride is also noted.
What owners dislike: The most common owner gripe, as it tends to be for pickup trucks, is the wish for better fuel mileage. Many owners say they find it difficult to achieve the Tundra’s rated fuel economy figures in “real life.”
The test drive: We’ll put this check up here, but do it last: after your test drive of the Tundra, turn the engine off for about two minutes, and then restart it. If it takes several seconds to fire back up, or exhibits trouble restarting, the likely culprit is computer-related and can be fixed with updated software for the engine computer. Dealers should be able to look up a technical service bulletin relating to “flex fuel extended crank due to alcohol density calculation” to fix this problem quickly.
Next, check the parking brake, noting that some owners have reported weak parking brakes on this generation Tundra. Stop the Tundra on the steepest available incline you can find, leave the vehicle in neutral, and apply the parking brake. If it fails to hold the vehicle in place, it will need some attention. This issue may also keep the Tundra from clearing a safety inspection.
Have a technician check the 5.7-litre engine (if equipped) for signs of oil leakage from the cam seal on the engine’s cam towers. Most Tundra models do not suffer from this well-documented issue, though an out-of-warranty repair can be pricey, so be sure to double check. On detection of any such oil leakage on an inwarranty used Tundra, have a Toyota service department assess and document it as soon as possible, to help with future warranty claims.
Some owners have reported various niggles and issues caused by weak or dying factory batteries. One warning sign is the illumination of a multitude of warning lights or error messages, simultaneously or randomly. For minimized likelihood of headaches, treat the Tundra to a professional battery check, and replace it if it doesn’t start with flying colours. Don’t underestimate the headaches a weak battery can cause with modern vehicle electronics.
Listen closely to the Tundra in a variety of conditions. Note that unwanted slamming, banging or popping sounds are typically a sign of wear or trouble that will need attention soon. Gently but firmly poke and release the throttle in rapid succession (about a third of the way to the floor), at a low speed, after locking the vehicle into first or second gear. This can coax trouble- related noises from the driveline, in the form of clunking, for instance. Have a technician take a closer look at the driveshaft, motor mounts, and rear differential carrier if any noises are noted.
Also, while stopped, quickly twist the steering wheel of the Tundra you’re considering back and forth, on the lookout for popping or clunking sounds which may be evidence of a problem with the power steering rack. Have any unwanted sounds or sensations checked professionally before you buy.
Sometimes, a non-factory “liftkit” may negatively affect the operation of other components, like axles and differentials.
Consider having a full tune-up performed at the time of your purchase, if the service history of the model you’re set on is unclear. Fresh engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, differential fluid, brake fluid and both air and fuel filters can go a long way toward added confidence.
The verdict: A used Tundra of this vintage that passes a pre-purchase inspection should prove a hassle-free truck for years to come, but shop carefully and be on the lookout for signs of oil leakage from the 5.7L engine and problems caused by dying batteries.
Tundra Many Toyota Tundra (2015 model shown here) owners report positively on ride comfort, performance and a set of easy-to-use features.
Potent power from the larger V8 engine for those off-road moments