Domestic automakers have a monopoly on the full-size pickup truck segment, but the 2022 Toyota Tundra appeals to a slightly different audience, particularly those loyal to Toyota. Most half-ton pickups have a sturdy, albeit antiquated, leaf-spring rear suspension. The Tundra features coil springs out back that make it ride and drive much better than most. Plus, it can still tow up to 12,000 pounds and comes standard with a suite of driver assists. Unlike its domestic rivals, the Tundra isn’t available with a V-8. Gasp! The lone engine option is a twin-turbo V-6, but it’s available with a hybrid system that’s good for 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque. With a cabin that’s considerably prettier than its predecessor and an infotainment system that offers a 14.0-inch touchscreen, there are numerous reasons the 2022 Tundra has the goods to take on the Americans.
What’s New for 2022?
Toyota gives the Tundra a much-needed, total redesign after the previous generation went largely unchanged since its debut in 2007. Although it was refreshed for the 2014 model year, it struggled to steal sales from domestic half-ton rivals such as the Ford F-150, the Ram 1500, the Chevy Silverado 1500, and the GMC Sierra 1500. The new Tundra still isn’t expected to outsell any of those alternatives, but its myriad improvements should make it much more competitive and desirable when it reaches dealerships this winter. A new top-of-the-line Capstone trim level features 22-inch wheels, flashy chrome, and a full suite of fancy features.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 Tundra is the only full-size pickup truck that’s not available with a V-8 engine. Instead, it’s only offered with a twin-turbo V-6 and a 10-speed automatic transmission. This engine comes in three different potencies. On the base SR trim, the nonhybrid engine develops 348 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque. Otherwise, it makes 389 horses and 479 pound-feet. The hybrid version features an electric motor integrated into the transmission, which allows pure electric driving at low speeds. The combination generates a combined 437 horses and 583 pound-feet. Also changed from its predecessor is the rear suspension, which previously utilized a leaf-spring setup. The Tundra now utilizes a more refined coil-spring rear suspension that improves its ride and handling characteristics. This was evident with the version we drove. Toyota continues to offer the popular TRD Off-Road and TRD Sport packages. The former includes an off-road suspension, skid plates, and unique wheels. The latter includes a lowered suspension and 20-inch wheels. Those seeking maximum off-road capabilities will want the TRD Pro, which features a lifted suspension and exclusive dampers as well as a special set of black 18-inch wheels mounted on all-terrain tires.
Towing and Payload Capacity
The Tundra is capable of towing up to 12,000 pounds, which is slightly lower than other full-size trucks. The F-150, for example, can pull up to 14,000 pounds. The Tundra also has a maximum payload capacity of 1940 pounds. Again, several other half-ton pickups can haul more weight in their cargo bed, with the Ford maxing out at 3250 pounds of payload.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Toyota’s decision to give the Tundra a twin-turbo V-6, along with a more powerful hybrid variant, versus a V-8 is expected to pay dividends when it comes to fuel efficiency. We’ll evaluate the 2022 Tundra’s real-world fuel economy on our 75-mph highway route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, once we get one at our headquarters. For more information about the Tundra’s fuel-economy ratings, visit the EPA website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the Tundra has a chunky dashboard that’s dotted with prominent air vents and a thick, smooth center section that connects the door panels. The materials used on the center console, dash, and doors are much nicer than what was used in the previous generation. Of course, the quality also increases with the trim levels, with the top-of-the-line 1794 Edition sporting attractive wood accents. All models have a versatile center console with lots of cubby storage and a huge center bin. While a pair of analog gauges and a small driver-information display are the standard instrument panel, the top trim levels have a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. The Tundra comes in two body styles with three different cargo-bed lengths. The extended cab (a.k.a. Double Cab) is available with either a 6.5- or 8.1-foot bed. The crew cab (a.k.a. CrewMax) is offered with either a 5.5- or 6.5-foot bed.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Gigantic touchscreens that measure at least 12 inches are now available on almost every full-size pickup truck–save the Nissan Titan. While an 8.0-inch touchscreen is standard in the Tundra, it can be upgraded with a horizontally oriented 14.0-inch touchscreen that trumps what’s offered in all other trucks. It features a useful volume knob as well as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but there’s no tuning knob and the controls on the steering wheel have limited functionality. A subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot is also offered.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Every Tundra is stocked with a full complement of driver-assistance technology that includes automatic high-beams, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and more. For more information about the Tundra’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
e, and a full suite of fancy features.