Texan Tundra Revisited: The Feature the Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition Had that All Trucks Should

Sections: Car Safety

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214 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition Photo Shoot 051

That roller on the upper right adjusts the beam of your headlights in the 2014 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition. It’s a feature I wish all full-size trucks had — and that all full-size truck drivers used when they follow me at night while I drive in a lower-riding vehicle. (Lyndon Johnson photo)

As a truck was following me on my way home late one night during my test of the Fiat 500 Sport, I remembered the Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition had a great feature all trucks should have: Dippable headlights.

Is “dippable” even a word? Well, it ought to be. Just like this feature controlled by a discrete wheel on the dashboard ought to be standard on every full-size pickup truck. Let me tell you, there are few things more annoying to me as a motorist than to have a hulking truck behind me at night with its headlights boring a hole into my brain because they’re shining straight into my back window and rearview mirrors. This little feature has the potential to make that problem a thing of the past, so long as the truck’s driver is courteous. (Good luck with that, but we can dream, can’t we?)

So here’s how it works: You’re driving down a country road? Reach down to your left. There on the dash of the Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition is an up/down roller wheel that will adjust the headlights’ aim. Roll it all the way up when there’s no traffic around to make your headlights illuminate the maximum amount of road ahead. But then you run up on a slow-moving huckster in a low-slung hatchback. You reach back over to that wheel and crank it down a few clicks, and you watch as the headlights’ cutoff line sinks down the back window of the hatch.

I have no idea whether the motorists I caught up to on the road even noticed my use of this feature. I don’t make a habit of tailgating, so at a safe three-second following distance, I guess it might not have been as obvious as it otherwise would have been if I had been following as closely as it seems many impatient motorists follow me. And let’s be honest, in the realm of in-car technologies, a rotary switch that rolls your headlights’ beams up or down  isn’t exactly groundbreaking, high-tech stuff. But it’s the undeniable usefulness of the feature that makes it, in my opinion, so indespensible — especially for a truck like the Tundra, which rides higher than a great many cars and SUVs it will follow on the road.

Pay attention, truck makers: We need this on more of your products. And then we need to educate truck buyers about how much motorists in lower-riding vehicles would appreciate its appropriate use.

Disclosure: Toyota provided the vehicle, insurance, and a tank of gas.

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