2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum CrewMax 4x4

Gary S. Vasilash

He climbed into the cab of the Tundra—and were it not for the running board (a $345 option), this would have been something of a challenging free-style climb because the ground clearance for the full-size truck is 10.4 in., and that’s non-trivial—and said one word:


As in the German-owned British car maker.

(It is surprising to me how much run that manufacturer gets in these parts of the world, where its cars are about as likely to be spotted as Big Foot.)

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What he was referring to was the diamond-patterned quilt-like appearance of the leather on the instrument panel, seats, and door inserts, which is Bentley-like.

Wait a minute. We’re talking about a pickup truck. A truck with a bed. A 66.7-in. bed that is capable of being filled with all kinds of dirt and manure and rocks and whatnot.

And yet it has an interior that brings a Bentley to mind in the mind of someone who works for another vehicle manufacturer, a vehicle manufacturer whose trucks are as commonly seen as the aforementioned Yeti isn’t?

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Another thing about that interior. It is enormous. I’ve typically found that even with sizeable vehicles that it is necessary to inch the driver’s seat forward in order to provide the passenger behind me knee-saving room. Yet when I had a passenger back there I forgot to adjust my seat and the passenger remarked, with what only can be described as surprise in his voice, that he was, well, surprised at how roomy it was back there. And he was someone who had previously owned a full-size from another vehicle manufacturer, not the one of the previously mentioned person, but from the other company whose vehicles are second in ubiquity to that one.

There are lots of things that are nicely big in the Tundra. Like the knobs on the instrument panel. They are comparatively large and substantial. They are the kinds of things that were one to have meaty hands or diminutive hands in massive gloves that would come readily to hand. The knobs just say: This is a serious, big machine and we’re going to make it easy for you to adjust things.

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(What is a bit of a surprise to me is that the key is sort of a 98-pound-weakling-like object by comparison, the sort of thing that you might figure would be suitable for something like a Yaris. The Yaris has an overall length of 154.7 in. The CrewMax configuration of the Platinum Tundra is 228.9 in. long. That’s a difference of more than 6 ft. Which is to say the key ought to be more like one of those things you sometimes get at old-school European hotels, which are meant to be left at the reception desk when you go out for the day, not lugged along. I’m not saying that the Tundra key needs to be crippling in mass, but it ought to say: This is a serious, big key for a serious big machine.)

Anyway, you’ve simply got to know that the Tundra is big, plush and luxe when you check the Platinum box.

And yet at the end of the day—as well as at its start, for that matter—it is a pickup truck. The 4x4 has a 9,000-lb. towing capacity and can handle a payload up to 1,440 lb.

And no Bentley is going to be able to do that.

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Selected specs

Engine: 5.7-liter DOHC EFI V8

Horsepower: 381 @ 5,600 rpm

Torque: 401 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm

Materials: Aluminum block and heads

Transmission: Six-speed

Steering: Rack and pinion, hydraulic power

Wheelbase: 145.7 in.

Length: 228.9 in.

Width: 79.9 in.

Height: 76.2 in.

Coefficient of drag: 0.38

Inside bed length: 66.7 in.

Inside bed depth: 22.2 in.

Inside bed width: 66.4 in.

Seating capacity: 5

EPA: mpg city/highway/combined: 13/17/15 mpg