- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

In its first major update since 2007, the full-size ToyotaTundra pickup truck is redesigned with a bold, American-style exterior, a refined, quieter interior and standard backup camera and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity.

What’s not changed are the engines - a V-6 and pair of V-8s, all gasoline-powered - as well as the Tundra’s two-year/25,000-mile free scheduled maintenance. Also unchanged: Consumer Reports lists the Tundra as a recommended buy, with reliability that has been above average.

Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, for Toyota’s largest pickup is $27,195 for a base, 2014 Tundra SR 4X2 Regular Cab with 270-horsepower V-6 and five-speed automatic transmission.

The lowest starting retail price for a 2014 Tundra with Double Cab is $28,085 for an SR 4X2 with standard bed and V-6. The lowest starting retail price for a 2014 Tundra with four-wheel drive is $32,180, and this is the base SR Double Cab model with 4.6-liter V-8.

Meantime, the lowest starting MSRP, including destination charge, for a 2014 Tundra SR5 4X2 CrewMax, which has four regular-size doors and an especially spacious back seat, is $35,455 with V-6.

Toyota offers two V-8s as well, and trim levels range beyond the base SR and next-level SR5 to Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition.

Built at a San Antonio assembly plant, the Tundra competes with America’s top-selling, full-size pickups.

The nation’s No. 1 seller, the Ford F-150, has a starting retail price, including destination charge, of $25,640 for an XL 4X2 Regular Cab with 302-horsepower V-6 and six-speed automatic.

Note that the base F-150 does not include power windows, power outside mirrors and power door locks, which come standard on every Tundra. These items are part of an option package on the base F-150 that pushes the price to $27,000, according to pricing on Ford’s consumer website.

Meanwhile, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup carries a starting MSRP, including destination charge, of $26,670 for a 1500 4X2 Regular Cab model in 1WT trim with 285-horsepower V-6 and six-speed automatic. Adding a rearview camera to the base Silverado boosts the starting retail price to $27,505, which is $310 more than a base, 2014 Tundra that has a standard backup camera.

The U.S. full-size truck market, inhabited by loyal truck brand buyers, is a difficult segment to crack.

Tundra sales last calendar year grew 11 percent, to 112,732. But this was far below the 763,402 Ford F-Series truck sales.

Part of the problem is the limited Tundra product line. Unlike competitors, Toyota doesn’t sell heavy-duty versions of the Tundra and doesn’t offer a diesel engine or hybrid.

But buyers who don’t want or need complicated order forms for their new trucks can find Toyota’s Tundra line to be streamlined and easy to understand.

Another plus: Toyota’s reputation for durable and reliable vehicles tends to rate highly among Tundra buyers.

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