2022 Toyota Tundra
2022 Toyota Tundra
Model year 2022 brings a redesign to the Toyota Tundra full-size pickup truck. The V-8 and 6-speed transmission have been replaced by a twin-turbo V-6 that’s faster and more fuel efficient; they’re mated to a 10-speed automatic. A new hybrid version delivers much better fuel economy, and the Tundra now offers five suspension choices and more towing capacity.
Just when you thought trucks couldn’t get any bigger, the 2022 Tundra sits 2.0 inches taller, a bit wider, and 4.7 inches longer than last year’s model with the standard bed.
The interior is a giant leap from its predecessor, trimmed in available walnut or leather, and featuring large touchscreens integrated into the instrument panel.
The base 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 makes 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, easily topping the outgoing 5.7-liter V-8. The hybrid is built on that same V-6 but it’s even more powerful, with 437 hp and 583 lb-ft at a super low 2,400 rpm. The Hybrid is standard on TRD Pro, and offered on Limited, Platinum, and 1794 models.
With a double wishbone front suspension, and multi-link with coil springs in the rear, the ride is calmer and smoother both on and off-road. There’s an available air suspension to go one level better.
The redesigned Tundra comes in two four-door body styles: extended cab and crew cab. Extended cabs have a choice between a 6-foot-5 or an 8-foot-1 bed, while crew cabs have either a 6-foot-5 or a 5-foot-5 bed. The maximum payload is 1,940 pounds, an increase of 210 pounds.
Toyota estimates the base V-6 will get 18 mpg city, 23 highway, 20 combined in rear-wheel drive, while 4WD will bring 1 less mpg. Hybrids can earn up to 22 mpg combined.
Neither the IIHS nor NHTSA have crash-tested the 2022 Tundra yet. Every Tundra comes with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control. Options include blind-spot monitors, a surround-view camera system, and side-mirror cameras.
Made in Texas, the new Tundra comes in many forms: SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794, and TRD Pro models, with select TRD packages, and then the combinations of cabs and beds.
The base Tundra SR costs $37,645. It includes keyless start, power features, power tailgate, three USB ports, and 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that’s vastly improved. Options include a panoramic roof, heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster (standard on the Hybrid), 4.1-inch vehicle info display, and a surround-view camera system. A wi-fi hotspot enables connections for up to 10 devices, and available navigation gets over-the-air updates.
The Limited adds a 14.0-inch touchscreen, 8-way power front seats with heating and cooling, and blind-spot monitors.
Platinum and 1794 models are equipped almost the same as Limited, but with different trims, for example walnut on the dash of the 1794.
A TRD Off-Road package is available on SR5, Limited, and 1794 models. The package replaces the standard twin-tube shocks for monotube Bilsteins, adds 18-inch or 20-inch TRD wheels, a special grille, skid plates, mud guards, and on 4WD models, an electronic rear differential lock.
The TRD Pro gets 2.5-inch Fox internal bypass shocks with a 1.1-inch front lift, big front stabilizer bar, aluminum front skid plate, and all-terrain Falken tires. A Capstone hybrid tops the range at $75,225.
The warranty is 3 years/36,000 miles, including scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for 2 years or 25,000 miles.
There are no less than seven different grilles across the lineup, but basically the new Tundra’s omega-shaped grille bulges into narrow LED headlights that wrap into the big blocky fenders. Eight wheel designs in sizes of 18 or 20 inches fill the squared wheel cutouts. Three available bed sizes change the looks, but every version is broad and muscular.
The TRD Pro has a light bar below the grille. It has a wider track and bulging fenders that make it 1.4 inches wider.
The ridged hood has sculpting that makes it look like it has big biceps. Standard LED headlights and DRLs wrap into the big fenders. There’s a recessed character line low across the doors.
The cabin materials range from cloth seats through synthetic leather to real leather with walnut trim and ambient lighting. A power rear window is optional.
The touchscreen on the instrument panel is flanked by D-shaped vents that look like ears. The screen can be 8.0 inches or 14.0 inches. The wide center console with padded armrests holds the gear lever, and has features like available wireless smartphone charging.
The SR5 crew cab seats five in comfort. The cloth front seats with manual adjustment are roomy, and the rear seats have a vast 41.6 inches of leg room and more head room thanks to the Tundra’s increase in height. The extended cab loses rear leg room, down to a mere 33.3 inches, less than many compact crossovers.
The bed sizes are a bit different; the short bed is an inch longer at 5-foot-5, while the standard bed and long bed are an inch longer, at 6-foot-5 and 8-foot-1. The inside of the beds lose about an inch in length, depth, and width due to the new resin composite shell that protects against rust and dings.
A power tailgate is operated by a bump switch near the left taillight or by the key fob.
Pair it with a power corner step for easier access to the bed.
The 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 is strong, with 389 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque at a conveniently low 2,400 rpm; the twin-turbo system eliminates turbo lag. You don’t expect this kind of quickness from a truck weighing 5,400 to 5,700 pounds. Aluminum body panels offset some of the weight, more than before because of added equipment.
But the headline news for the 2022 Tundra is the hybrid, standard on the TRD Pro and available on Limited, Platinum, and 1794 models. It’s even quicker than the non-hybrid V-6, using the same engine but making more horsepower and torque: 437 hp and 583 lb-ft at the same 2,400 rpm. A motor/generator mounted between the engine and transmission provides boost to the engine at highway speeds, while the system powers the stop/start, regenerative braking, electric assist, and EV driving at speeds under 18 mph. A 1.87-kwh nickel-metal hydride battery pack lives under the rear seats.
The 10-speed automatic transmission upshifts so smoothly it virtually can’t be felt.
Most Tundra buyers go for 4-wheel drive, with its electronic limited-slip rear differential and two-speed transfer case.
There’s a lighter double wishbone front suspension, and rear coils instead of the old leaf springs, and as a result the Tundra bounces less with an empty bed. It also leans less in the turns, and provides calm and quiet handling. The 20-inch wheels cut into ride smoothness, though the available air suspension and adaptive dampers can help unruffle the ride. The system offers Sport+ and Comfort settings that change the shock stiffness and steering resistance.
The 2022 Tundra easily handles off-road chores, thanks to ground clearance of 10.9 inches on the TRD Pro, and 11.2 inches on the SR5 crew cab. Available side mirror cameras project what can’t be seen with the eye, and with the front camera, there’s enough of a view to climb a narrow rocky trail without a spotter.
The maximum towing weight is 12,000 pounds with the SR5 extended cab, and with an optional surround-view camera system the new Tundra brings a new level of comfort to the difficult job of towing.
Toyota has been saving up its ideas for the 2022 Tundra. Priced squarely against the bestselling trucks on the planet, it’s laden with features and choices, not to mention a great new hybrid version.
—By Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection