We study the twisted Eguchi-Kawai (TEK) reduction procedure for large N unitary matrix lattice models. In particular, we consider the case of two-dimensional principal chiral models, and use numerical Monte Carlo (MC) simulations to check the conjectured equivalence of TEK reduced model and standard lattice model in the large-N limit. The MC results are compared with the large-N limit of lattice principal chiral models to verify the supposed equivalence. The consistency of the TEK reduction procedure is verified in the strong-coupling region, i.e. for beta < β(c) where β(c) is the location of the large-N phase transition. On the other hand, in the weak-coupling regime β > beta(c), relevant for the continuum limit, our MC results do not support the equivalence of the large-N limits of the lattice chiral model and the corresponding TEK reduction. The implications for the correspondence between TEK model and noncommutative field theory are also discussed.