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The 2014 Toyota Tundra raises the bar

When people talk about the most popular trucks on the market, most of the attention is focused on offerings from Ford or Ram. These American-made models dominate sales of pickup trucks and are the most common choices for drivers looking for an off-road vehicle or heavy-duty work truck. 

Toyota hasn't always produced the best trucks for the general public. Previous models have been criticized as being too small and not powerful enough for the needs of many drivers, as even with truck modifications they were not consistently reaching the performance of U.S.-based counterparts. All of this may change when the 2014 Toyota Tundra makes its debut on American roads. 

What to expect in the 2014 Tundra
Those drivers who haven't loved previous Toyota trucks may change their tune when they get a glimpse of the 2014 Tundra. One of the most anticipated parts of the upcoming truck is its enhanced engine. As a matter of fact, the truck boasts three different engine options, and drivers can choose whichever one they want to get the most out of their investment. 

A 4.0L V6 comes standard on the most basic model, achieving 270 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and reaching 278 foot-pounds of torque at 4,400 rpm. The next step up is the 4.6L V8, which features 310 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 327 foot-pounds of torque at 3,400 rpm. At the top of the class is the 5.7L V8 engine. With this motor, which is the most popular one offered by Toyota, the Tundra can reach 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 foot-pounds of torque at 3,600 rpm. 

What's under the hood is certainly impressive, but the exterior of the Tundra has also been given a facelift. Edmunds.com reports that larger headlights and a more prominent front grille create an imposing figure - one that is highlighted by a new three-piece front bumper that adds to its distinguished look. 

How it drives
The design changes made to the Toyota Tundra do more than create a more rugged appearance. Many have also improved the entire driving experience of the truck, whether motorists are cruising down highways or off-road driving. Drivers can choose what size tires they want to include for a customized driving experience, while upgraded front and rear springs contribute to a much smoother ride no matter what wheels they select. 

It's also much easier to control all of the capabilities of this truck thanks to an overhaul of the interior. A new instrument panel includes color displays loaded with information and a more centered dashboard. Enhanced safety features, such as larger airbags, have also been added to ensure anyone taking part in off-roading or even standard driving can stay safe. 

The bottom line
This full-size pickup truck will be offered in five price grades. While the bottom line will vary based on some of the variables that drivers choose, as well as which edition the base truck is. The most basic version of the truck comes with a suggested retail price of $25,920. With additions like a Double or CrewMax cab, as well as the customizable engine and all-wheel drive options, the MSRP can rise to as high as $47,320, with many sticker prices landing in the mid-$30,000 range. 

All of these variables make it easy for an off-roading enthusiast to create his or her ideal truck. Drivers can choose from 4x2 or 4x4 models depending on their needs, while also selecting one of the three engine options to match their desired power output. 

The 2014 Toyota Tundra started arriving in dealerships Aug. 9, and will become available around the U.S. throughout the month.