Stick Shift: 2016 Toyota Tundra (1794 CrewMax)

Recent years have seen many major truck models from the big domestic three (Ford, GM and Chrysler) all deeply transformed. From the F-150’s aluminized about-face just around the corner, to the Dodge Ram suddenly becoming the most comfortable ride on the road, for a truck anyways. Even the Nissan Titan got a piece of the action recently with some considerable changes of its own. Having undergone a serious makeover in 2014, not much has changed with the Tundra for 2016. My 1794 edition still got a slight front end restyling, an improved off-road package and an upgraded electronics interface. The gas tank has been enlarged to 38 gallons as well.

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Despite the lack of major remodeling compared to its competition, The 2016 Toyota Tundra 1794 CrewMax still brings plenty of heat. It’s beautiful on the inside and edgy on the out. Aggressively styled and just as composed on the road as it is capable and confident off of it. The 1794 edition is on top of the pile when it comes to luxury packaging and trim. Named after the founding date of the famous JLC Ranch in Texas where the Toyota Manufacturing Plant now sits, the 1794 edition boasts more southwestern flair than Clint Eastwood wearing a serape.

Nestled inside its cavernous extended cab, we find adequate leg and headroom for five adults, cowboy hats included. The desert brown leather and suede-trimmed seats are perforated and can be heated, cooled and adjusted 12-ways for the driver. Fold-up rear seats can slide forward and aft, with a 60/40 split. Leather clad interior panels boast lightly colored stitching and deeply grained wood trim that offer a striking visual contrast next to other metal and black interior pieces. While the extended cabin is a joy to commute around in with your whole cowboy crew, it cuts deep into the bed space, which measures in at only 5.5 feet.

Making its way into the CrewMax model as standard equipment is Tundra’s biggest engine yet, an aluminum 32-valve 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower and over 400 pound ft. of twisting torque. Despite its nearly 6,000 pound curb weight, the streetwise six-speed automatic helps this pickup accelerate eagerly. Towing capacity is 9,000 pounds with a tow/haul mode and heavy duty battery to help handle whatever ‘truck-level’ jobs that get thrown its way.

Toyota’s major refresh in 2014 is still holding up against all the big changes we are seeing everywhere else. The 1794 edition Tundra is tough on the outside but refreshing and surprisingly luxurious on the inside. It’s managed an impressive balance of both hard working and high living that’s worthy of a long careful look. 

Price as tested: $50,375.00

    By: Brandon Randall 

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