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Tundra fundra: 2014 Toyota Tundra’s double cab proves it’s all about packaging

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2014 Toyota Tundra SR5 Photo Shoot 012

(Lyndon Johnson photo)

Toyota has sent me a Tundra before, in the form of the mighty luxurious 1794 Edition. But last week, it was time for me to see “how the other half lives” by driving a working man’s Toyota Tundra SR5 Double Cab. Though it competes against the Chevrolet Silverado Double Cab like the one we tested a few months ago, the interior packaging is much better on the Tundra — at least where rear passenger space is concerned.

The thing about the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Double Cab was its tiny rear door openings made ingress and egress from the back seat difficult. Couple that with what felt, to my long legs, like a smaller amount of leg space, and it would have made things awkward for any rear-seat passenger. My two-year-old son had no trouble keeping his feet lodged in the back of mommy’s seat on the front passenger side, that’s for sure.

Cut to last week in the Toyota Tundra SR5 Double Cab, and it was a night and day difference. The rear door openings are large enough to feel useful. I didn’t have to contort myself to climb in or out of the back row of seats, and I had plenty of room to wrestle my son’s child safety seat into that back row. Those are both things I couldn’t say for the Chevrolet Silverado Double Cab we tested last fall.

Officially, the rear seat legroom isn’t that much different. Toyota’s own Tundra comparison tool says the Tundra SR5 Double Cab only has 0.1 inch of extra legroom over the Silverado 1500 Double Cab, but I don’t buy it. Had I thought to measure the legroom in the Silverado while we had it, I would have done the same for our Toyota Tundra SR5 just to prove that point. But since we don’t have hard measurements, we’ll go with photographic evidence. Here’s the 2014 Silverado Double Cab with rear door open:

204 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Photo Shoot 051

The Chevrolet Silverado Double Cab’s door openings are tiny, and legroom is not plentiful. (Lyndon Johnson photo)

And now, here’s a photo of the 2014 Toyota Tundra SR5 Double Cab with rear door open:

2014 Toyota Tundra SR5 Photo Shoot 011

The door opening on the 2014 Toyota Tundra SR5 Double Cab are much larger, lending themselves to easier ingress and egress. (Lyndon Johnson photo)

You can see the wider door opening in the 2014 Toyota Tundra Double Cab. What isn’t as immediately clear is how the packaging of the front seat vs. the packaging of the rear seat worked much better for me all the way around. In the Chevrolet, I had to keep the passenger front seat scooted forward a few clicks to keep my son happy. Not so in the Tundra. He was totally fine with the front passenger seat being scooted all the way back — because it didn’t interfere with his own feet and legs the same way the Chevrolet did.

Perhaps the ultimate test of rear seat comfort for me is to see if I can comfortably sit behind myself. I’m glad to report that in the 2014 Toyota Tundra Double Cab, I can. In the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado? Not for long. That truck nearly required me to splay my legs around the front-row seat when I did the “sit behind myself” test. In the Tundra, I could rub my knees on the seatback, but I couldn’t press them into the seatback unless I was slouching intentionally. If kid- and occasional adult passenger-hauling duties are on your agenda for your next pickup, the Toyota Tundra would warrant shopping for its rear seat usability alone.

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

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