Pickup trucks have a long history in this country. For decades, they’ve been symbols of strength, independence, and capability. They’ve helped build the highways that connect states, transport construction materials for millions of homes and iconic buildings, and become synonymous with country music. We really didn’t need to tell you that, though. Truckmakers are more than willing to tell you all about their heritage themselves.
The full-size Toyota Tundra only goes back as far as the 2000 model year, picking up where the T100 left off as the brand’s top truck. However, the trim line you see on this particular 2017 Tundra has history that started before the invention of the automobile itself… technically. The 1794 Edition package is named after the year that a Canary Islands colonist named Juan Ignacio de Casanova received a grant for land that he’d eventually name El Rancho de la Purisima Concepcion.
Flash forward past Casanova’s death, his son’s ownership of the land, and the Texas Revolution to 2003, when Toyota took possession of the sprawling ranch. That’s also the year it broke ground on that plot of land to start construction of the San Antonio, Texas plant that manufactures the Tundra.
The 1794 Edition pays homage to Toyota’s Texas ties with a giant chrome grille, special badging, and a Western-themed interior. We spent a week driving a four-wheel-drive 2017 Tundra 1794 Edition CrewMax equipped with the TRD Off-Road Package in the most fitting of places: the Lone Star State. Put on your boots and cowboy hats, and we’ll tell you all about our experience.
2017 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition Exterior
Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” Toyota certainly did. It bulked the Tundra up significantly for its second generation. Everything about our Tundra review vehicle was big and bold, from its shiny grille to its enormous four-door CrewMax cab to its chunky chrome door handles to its massive taillights. The TRD Off-Road Package added 18-inch wheels with black accents, all-terrain tires, and bed-side decals. If you look a little closer, you might see the package’s trail-tuned Bilstein shocks and skid plates for the engine and fuel tank.
Our truck was also fitted with a mat for the 5.5-foot bed, chrome tailgate lettering, a red TRD rear sway bar, and a TRD performance dual exhaust that sounded even better than it looked.
2017 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition Interior
If you’re going to offer a Texas-themed pickup, it’s generally a good idea to give it an interior with earth tones, such as rich browns – colors that bring saddles and boots to mind. But Toyota did something a little different, and went with a more orange-ish brown for the 1794 Edition’s cabin. That said? We have no complaints. The seats popped against the background of black plastic that surrounded them, and we especially loved the handsome wood-like trim on the door panels, steering wheel, dashboard, and shifter. It looked even better in direct sunlight, which revealed a shimmering, copper-like effect.
Our trip from Austin to Houston gave us plenty of time to realize how comfortable the heated/ventilated front seats were, and how easy the big knobs on the center stack made changing the volume, radio station, and dual front temperature settings. We got to our destination without a problem thanks to the navigation system (part of the Entune premium JBL audio and App Suite bundle) and the seven-inch high-resolution touchscreen.
While shooting photos of the Tundra, we learned it’s as big on the inside as it looks on the outside. There was also a staggering amount of legroom in the second row.
2017 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition Performance
Toyota offers the Tundra with two V-8s. The 1794 Edition comes standard with the largest one: a 5.7-liter engine with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. Even after all these years, the big V-8 is satisfyingly potent. It always seemed to have plenty of get-up-and-go when we needed it. Shifts from the six-speed automatic were perfectly smooth.
We loved the Tundra’s engine, but we were absolutely nuts about the TRD dual exhaust that it was connected to. It sounded perfect. It had a deep growl and a throaty roar when we mashed the gas pedal down, and it also knew when to shut up, too. At highway speeds, it behaved itself and never once boomed or droned.
According to Toyota, our four-wheel-drive Tundra 1794 Edition was capable of transporting 1,530 pounds in its bed and towing 8,800 pounds behind it thanks to its standard tow package, which included a hitch receiver, 4.30 gears, a Tow/Haul transmission mode, a trailer brake controller, and other bits of hardware.
The EPA came up with some numbers for the Tundra as well. Its calculations show that the Tundra we tested is good for 13 city, 17 highway, and 15 combined mpg.** Let’s just say we were glad our truck had a 38-gallon fuel tank…
2017 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition Safety
Given how much driving we did in the Tundra, it was good to know it had a variety of safety features. Some of those included eight airbags, a blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, a backup camera, and a tire pressure monitoring system. The Star Safety System consisted of stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, and Smart Stop Technology designed to prevent sudden, unintended acceleration. All of that technology added up to a four-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
2017 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition Overall
Our attractive, roomy, and powerful 2017 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition had an as-tested price of $54,796. However, you can saddle one up for a starting price of $47,080* at an AutoNation Toyota dealership. Whether you end up taking it over the sandy beaches of California or through the woods of Maine, you’ll be traveling in a rolling piece of Texas history.
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.