Year after year, more trucks are sold in Texas than anywhere else in the country, making Texas the top truck market and the battle over it, pretty fierce.
In a genius move, Toyota opted to build its half-ton entry, the Tundra, in San Antonio in 2006, making it the only Texas-built pickup and Toyota a major employer, bringing more than 2300 jobs to the Alamo city. That number will expand further when Toyota relocates its headquarters to Plano, TX next year.
In 2014, Toyota took it up one more notch by introducing a special edition model, the Tundra 1794, a premium pickup named for the eighteenth century ranch in San Antonio founded by Juan Ignacio de Casanova and upon which the Toyota manufacturing plant currently sits.
On a recent test drive in Austin for Latino Traffic Report, the Tundra 1794 lived up to its position at the top of Toyota’s truck lineup.
For starters, it’s a premium pickup and that means the interior should be plush and this one is. The 1794 comes only in the CrewMax (supersized four-door) configuration giving it seating for five full-size passengers.
Design cues on the inside reflect a western theme with exclusive saddle brown (or more like nice burnt orange for Texas Longhorn fans) premium leather-trimmed seating with embossed leather and ultra-suede accents. Matching soft-touch materials also accent the shift console, the front and rear door trim, and the instrument panel.
Standard features like an AM/FM/CD stereo get upgraded to the Entune Premium JBL stereo with a seven-inch touch screen and navigation. Additionally, the power back window facing the bed, fancy floor mats with the 1794 brand, a tilt-sliding moonroof with sliding shade, and heated and cooled front seats are standard.
Toyota doesn’t offer a V6 engine on the Tundra, instead a 4.6-liter V8 is considered the standard engine. The 1794, however, comes with an upgrade—the 5.7-liter iForce V8 with 381 horses and 401 lb-ft of torque.
Matched to a six-speed transmission, it has an EPA city/highway estimated fuel economy of 13/17 miles per gallon (mpg). I averaged 16.2 mpg. The powertrain also has a towing capacity of 9,800 lbs. and a maximum payload of nearly 1600 pound in the 5.5-foot bed.
When it comes to safety features, a back-up camera and parking sensor are standard but the blind-spot monitor with rear-cross traffic detection remains a $470 option, even on the 1794. I’d certainly pay the extra price for these features, especially on a truck.
Pricing for the 2015 Tundra 1794 starts at $46,120. The as-tested price, which included the 4×4 configuration and a few other options like the blind-spot monitor, came to $49,715.
Sí: Attention to details and premium features make the Tundra 1794 competitive in its segment.
No: The blind-spot monitor should be standard on a top-of-the-line truck.
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