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Testing Toyota’s Tough Truck in the Tundra: Part 1

Apr 30, 2014 - 11:09 AM - by

Would you be disappointed to find out that a major auto manufacturer wanted to convey the ruggedness of one of its toughest vehicles by sending it down a mere dirt road?

And yet, it was on just such a road that Toyota expected a group of automotive journalists to test the 2014 Tundra’s off-road capability during a recent press event. For a company that touts quality, durability and reliability above all else, it seemed like a seriously lackluster display of what the all-new Tundra can do.

Upon finishing the day, complaints were heard throughout the gathered media, but none louder than Howard Elmer’s (disclosure: my Father). Surprisingly, Toyota didn’t defend its weak off-road course. Instead they replied with a question: “what would you do with the truck and when are you leaving?”

The first answer that ran through his mind jumped out before he considered the implications. “We’ll run from Toronto to Newfoundland, via the Trans-Labrador Highway, in April,” he said. A few months later, four of us gathered to set off on the journey.
Read part one of's two-part Toyota Tundra adventure series here. Part two will be published on May 1 at noon EDT.
  1 Reply | 1,940 Views

Putting Toyota’s Truck to The Frozen Tundra Test

Apr 04, 2014 - 5:04 PM - by truck expert Stephen Elmer takes the 2014 Toyota Tundra on an Epic Tough Truck Test resident truck expert Stephen Elmer wasn’t born with 4:10 gears, locking differentials and trailer towing specs on the brain, but he might as well have been.
His father is known as the “Canadian Truck King,” so its no surprise that Steve takes to pickups like white on rice. But the King wasn’t pleased when Toyota invited journalists to test the 2014 Tundra. His criticism wasn’t with the truck, but the planned route that did little to test its purported capability. Fast forward a few months and Elmer Sr. and his progeny are tag-teaming the Texas-built truck on a no-holds-barred week-long trip meant as a stress test to benchmark what potential owners can expect.

The daring duo also got their hands on a used Tundra for a frame of reference to see how much the new generation – which has a carryover powertrain – has really been improved. Elmers² started their journey outside of Toronto, Canada and will venture into the rough northern reaches of Canada, ending on the country’s east-most reaches in Newfoundland and Labrador. Their route follows the Trans-Labrador Highway, the majority of which is unpaved. With winter coming to an end, much of the path will be mired with mud and loose ground. To top it off, they are also towing a trailer with a snowmobile in it that weighs roughly 4,000 lbs.
You can track Steve’s trip on Twitter or by visiting the Facebook page he is using to share updates.
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