In spite of its 14-year-old platform, the current Toyota Tundra continues to sell well. Debuting for the 2007 model year, the Tundra has received only a few updates to keep it fresh, yet folks keep coming back thanks to the fierce loyalty of many Toyota truck owners. Even so, the thirsty 5.7-liter V8 and dated technology look prehistoric compared to the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500, so Toyota went back to the drawing board on the 2022 Toyota Tundra.
Riding on a new chassis and sporting two V6-only engine options, the 2022 Tundra is a significant departure from the outgoing truck, which in its latter years only offered V8 power. Not since the 1997 T100 has a full-size Toyota eschewed a V8 engine option, but unlike that slightly underpowered pickup from the ‘90s, the 2022 Tundra has power to spare. The base engine is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 with 389 horsepower (290 kilowatts) and 479 pound-feet (649 newton-meters), while the hybridized i-Force Max engine adds an electric motor to the 10-speed automatic transmission for a staggering 437 hp and 583 lb-ft (326 kW and 790 Nm).
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Rugged Good Looks (From Most Angles)
The new pickup wears sharp new styling that makes the Tundra look more conventional and muscular than before. A longer dash-to-axle ratio and squarer roofline remove some of the stubbiness of the old truck, but the big news – literally – is a massive front grille that’s visually linked to the ground via a C-shaped radiator shell, with a blackout panel on the bumper giving the truck a gaping maw of a mouth. Not everyone is sold on that styling element, and some of us prefer the looks of the 1794 Edition, which gets a chrome bumper beam to break up the sea of black up front.
Chiseled wheel arches add some visual interest to the side profile, as does an integrated rear bumper that ditches the more traditional separate steel unit. Toyota wanted to give the new Tundra a dose of modernity via blacked-out A- and B-pillars, which give the greenhouse a canopy appearance and emphasize its big, wide windows. As before, the Tundra CrewMax will offer a rear window that drops down into the bulkhead, while the not-an-extended-cab Double Cab gets a horizontal slider.
Speaking of, every 2022 Tundra will be either a Double Cab or CrewMax, with no regular cab available. The CrewMax defaults to a 5.5-foot bed, but buyers can opt for the 6.5-foot bed that comes standard with the Double Cab – that model also offers an 8.1-foot bed. Both body styles feature four forward-opening doors, a feature the previous-generation Tundra pioneered in 2007 for easier access to the cabin.
Gallery: 2022 Toyota Tundra
Inside, current Tundra customers are sure to appreciate the truck’s impressive sightlines and decently low dashboard, though they may be shocked by the amount of technology on offer. The base infotainment system measures 8.0 inches (up from 7.0 inches on the old Tundra), but higher-end models will get a 14.0-inch touchscreen mounted high on the dash. What’s more, it finally ditches Toyota’s awful infotainment software in favor of a new tech suite that’s far more intuitive and responsive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all models, and enhancements like integrated Amazon Music and Apple Podcasts will be available.
Styling-wise, the interior looks clean and attractive, with a thick piece of metal-toned trim running the width of the dash to visually support the HVAC vents and infotainment system. There’s plenty of room in the front row for both stuff and people, with a deep center console providing space for a laptop, handbag, or other daily accoutrement. Side-by-side cupholders and an upright wireless charging pad give everything a place to sit, keeping the front row organized. Back-seat passengers aren’t so fortunate, with seemingly less rear head room than before thanks to an optional panoramic sunroof – legroom seems excellent all around, though.
More Capable Than Ever
Thanks to a Tundra-first fully boxed frame and coil-sprung, multi-link rear suspension, the base engine offers a peak payload rating of 1,940 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of 12,000 pounds – the 2021 Tundra could haul 1,730 pounds or tow 10,200 pounds. However, in spite of its best-in-class power and torque numbers, the 2022 Tundra pales in comparison to the Ford F-150 (which can haul 2,230 pounds or tow 14,000 pounds), Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (2,280 and 13,300 pounds, respectively), and Ram 1500 (2,320 and 12,750 pounds, respectively).
|Power (HP)||Torque (LB-FT)||Towing Capacity (Pounds)|
|2021 Toyota Tundra||381||401||10,200|
|2022 Toyota Tundra||389||479||12,000|
|2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid||437||583||N/A|
|2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost||430||570||12,700|
|2021 Ram 1500 V8 eTorque||395||410||12,750|
Gallery: 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
Down And Dirty
According to Toyota, that’s because its truck buyers are less impressed by maximum numbers than by daily usability, reliability, and off-road capability. To that end, the automaker isn’t allowing its flagship Tundra TRD Pro to rest on its laurels, giving it 2.5-inch internal-bypass Fox shocks with piggyback reservoirs and TRD-tuned springs for a lift of 1.1 inches. A unique TRD stabilizer bar and extensive underbody skid plating come along for the ride, as well as a standard LED front light bar, Crawl Control, and Multi-Terrain Select. Digital camo accents appear on the seat centers and wheel arches for a bit of flair.
The hybrid engine will come standard on the TRD Pro, which is just fine by us since the electric motor should provide a nice shove of low-end torque when off-roading. The i-Force Max powertrain will also be available on the Limited, Platinum, and 1794 Edition trims, while the base SR and mid-level SR5 will receive the non-hybrid turbocharged V6 only. A TRD Off-Road package will also be available on most trim levels, bringing monotube Bilstein dampers, Crawl Control, and Multi-Terrain Select.
Every 2022 Tundra will come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, the automaker’s latest suite of active safety and driver assist systems. TSS 2.5 includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, junction turn assistance that monitors oncoming traffic, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high beams. With standard adaptive cruise control and active lane centering, the Tundra should be as comfortable on a long freeway drive as its predecessor, which boasted a smooth, quiet ride.
Most impressively, the Tundra bundles all of those features in every trim, including the base SR. Most competitors, like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and Ram 1500 require stepping into a higher trim or ticking an option box to get active safety and drive assist. Only the Nissan Titan comes close, with standard automatic emergency braking and collision monitoring, though it does charge more for adaptive cruise and other driver-assistance features.
When, Where, And How Much?
The 2022 Toyota Tundra is still a few months away from its market launch, due in dealers by the end of the year. Unfortunately, the automaker isn’t ready to announce pricing or specifications like ground clearance and i-Force Max towing capacity, but we’re reasonably confident the truck won’t be much more expensive than its predecessor. Plan on a base SR 4x2 costing around $36,000, with the volume SR5 CrewMax 4x4 demanding $45,000 or so. A fully loaded TRD Pro or 1794 Edition should be right about $60,000 with every box ticked, boasting segment-best power and torque to match.
We’ll know more about the Tundra in the coming months, and we’re excited to get behind the wheel and try out the stiff new platform, multi-link rear suspension, and turbocharged powertrains first-hand. While it likely won’t upset the Ford F-150 as the king of the full-size hill, the new Tundra should be very good at keeping its loyal customers happy while also inviting a few more buyers into the fold.