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Toyota loves getting as much mileage as possible out of its truck designs, which is why the automaker went a decade and a half before replacing the full-size Tundra pickup. A massive improvement over the truck it replaces, the 2022 Toyota Tundra has better technology, more power, and improved fuel efficiency, yet it retains its predecessor’s (and little sibling Tacoma’s) fun-to-drive personality and impressive off-road capability.
There are a few shortcomings, namely rear-seat room that’s way at the back of the full-size segment, as well as this Limited TRD Off-Road tester’s gaping maw of a front end. The new Tundra is also missing a few features that some self-indulgent pickup owners might like. Nevertheless, the redesigned pickup is not only a huge step forward for Toyota, it’s also a worthy competitor to the half-ton establishment.
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|Quick Stats||2022 Toyota Tundra Limited TRD Off-Road4x4|
|Engine:||Twin-Turbocharged 3.5-liter V6|
|Output:||389 Horsepower / 479 Pound-Feet|
|Towing Capacity:||11,120 Pounds|
|Trim Base Price:||$51,900|
Gallery: 2022 Toyota Tundra Limited: Review
The 2022 Toyota Tundra is much more attractive than the vehicle it replaces, with a low beltline and upright greenhouse that look far more muscular than the almost van-like short hood and sloped windscreen of the previous-generation truck. Adding to the appeal are blacked-out A- and B-pillars that give the new Tundra a wraparound-canopy effect, almost like the visor of a full-faced helmet. Conveniently, the composite-molded bed is corrosion- and dent-resistant, precluding bedliners. I also really like the chunky, sculpted fenders, which partner with gleaming Supersonic Red paint to catch light in interesting shapes and patterns.
However, there’s no denying that the Tundra has an outrageous front end design, with a C-shaped chrome surround and blacked-out bumper bar visually connecting the grille and skid plate in one huge opening. Pythons and anacondas could take a lesson from this Tundra’s unhinged jaw. In my not-humble-enough opinion, the inelegant front end doesn’t match the rest of the truck’s restrained, sculpted contours. If I were buying a new Tundra, I’d be tempted to send that black front bumper insert to the body shop to have it painted red.
Inside, the Tundra is far less polarizing. A standard 14.0-inch touchscreen display headlines the interior of Limited models and above, with four trapezoidal upper air vents and a wide dashboard accent proving that Toyota’s designers aced Geometry 101. A low beltline padded windowsill make it easy to hang an arm out trucker-style, and the armrests, door panel inserts, and other common touchpoints are done up in pleasantly cushy materials. I also really liked this example’s black faux leather (Toyota calls it SofTex), which feels soft, supple, and durable.
The strategically placed padded materials do a good job of hiding the hard plastic that appears liberally on the door panels and center console, but the Tundra’s silver plastic accents won’t win any Oscars for their portrayal of aluminum. Still, the new Toyota pickup is competitive with its rivals’ volume trims in terms of material quality – to exceed the Tundra would require stepping into a pricier Ford F-150 King Ranch or Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn.
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- Seating Capacity: 5
- Seating Configuration: 2 / 3
- Bed Dimensions (inches): 65.6L x 58.7W x 20.9D
- Cargo Volume: 48.8 Cubic Feet
The 2022 Toyota Tundra is a comfortable pickup, especially for the two passengers in the front row. Neither I nor my co-pilot had any complaints after a full day of cruising down the highway, and in spite of their width, the seats even do a good job of holding their occupants in place during off-road maneuvers. Space up front is also more than adequate for a human of above-average height, and finding a comfortable position is the work of eight-way power adjustments on both chairs. Standard seat heating and ventilation only add to the Tundra Limited’s posh factor.
The rear seat itself is similarly supportive on long drives, but space in the back isn’t nearly as impressive as on the outgoing Tundra or on contemporary competitors. In the old truck, I had more than enough head- and legroom, while the new one has my hair brushing the headliner almost constantly. Unfortunately, the measuring tape bears out that impression. Rear seat room for the 2022 Toyota Tundra CrewMax is down on every other full-size, crew-cab pickup except the Nissan Titan. Families with children or young teens may not notice the difference, but crews that roll five deep to a remote jobsite will.
|Headroom, Front/Rear||Legroom, Front/Rear||Shoulder Room, Front/Rear|
|Toyota Tundra||41.0 / 38.5 Inches||41.2 / 41.6 Inches||65.0 / 62.4 Inches|
|Ford F-150||40.8 / 40.4 Inches||43.9 / 43.6 Inches||66.7 / 66.0 Inches|
|Chevrolet Silverado||43.0 / 40.1 Inches||44.5 / 43.4 Inches||66.0 / 65.2 Inches|
|Ram 1500||40.9 / 39.8 Inches||40.9 / 45.2 Inches||66.0 / 65.7 Inches|
This Tundra Limited features the well-regarded TRD Off-Road package, which includes dampers tuned for rugged conditions, all-terrain tires, and some other goodies. In spite of being optimized for the dirt, the Tundra rode reasonably well on the highway too. There are some pogo motions when driving over expansion joints, but there’s limited wind noise or tire roar, and the Tundra’s new four-corner coil springs improve ride comfort over bad pavement and potholes. And while the new truck is much smoother than its predecessor, it doesn’t forget its roots, retaining the fun and funky drop-down rear window from Tundras (and 4Runners) past.
- Center Display: 14.0-inch Touchscreen
- Instrument Cluster Display: 4.1-inch
- Wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto: Yes
Finally, finally, Toyota is retiring its dated infotainment system, and the 2022 Tundra will be the brand’s first recipient of the new interface. Unimaginatively named Toyota Audio Multimedia, the new software lives on a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen on the SR and SR5 trims, while Limited and above get a segment-best 14.0-inch display. The screen is beautiful to look at and easy to use, but I do wish there were a home button to make it easier to swap between native apps and smartphone mirroring. Otherwise, the screen is very responsive to touch inputs and pinch zooming, and the menu layout is intuitive and simple.
Wireless phone integration is standard, and it worked perfectly during my week with the truck. CarPlay looks gorgeous on the Tundra’s big display, and the split home screen view leaves plenty of space for Google or Apple Maps while also incorporating phone and audio controls. And the screen’s horizontal orientation is easier to get used to than the Ram 1500’s available 12.3-inch portrait-style touchscreen.
The infotainment might very well be best-in-class, but the Tundra comes up a bit short in other tech areas. With only a single 120-volt outlet in the bed and another in the cabin, the ‘yota lacks the functionality of the Ford F-150’s available Pro Power Onboard generator, which still includes two 120-volt bed outlets and one cabin plug in its most basic form.
- Engine: Twin-Turbocharged 3.5-Liter V6
- Output: 389 Horsepower / 479 Pound-Feet
- Transmission: Ten-Speed Automatic
Not since 1998 has Toyota offered a full-size pickup without a V8 engine option, but that’s the case for the 2022 Tundra. The standard engine (and the one tested here) is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 making a healthy 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet, a torque rating that far eclipses its competitors’ V8 engines – though the Ford F-150’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 is gruntier still. The Toyota V6 also emits a mellow, husky growl on cold starts or under full throttle, making me feel a lot better about losing the old Tundra’s smooth 5.7-liter V8 – and surprising anyone who might expect the Ford’s vacuum-cleaner song.
Paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission, the twin-turbo six is a willing companion in daily driving. The gearbox is smooth and mostly transparent as it shuffles through the cogs – although if you’re watching the tachometer, you’ll notice it shifts a lot, especially when ascending freeway grades. Sport and Eco modes have a palpable effect on powertrain behavior, the former ideal for towing and hilly driving and the latter good for normal errands around town.
That said, the 2022 Toyota Tundra exhibits lower overall limits than some of its competitors, with a maximum towing rating of 11,120 pounds and a payload rating of 1,820 pounds in Limited 4x4 CrewMax form. Similarly spec’d Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trucks have towing and payload ratings that are at least a few hundred pounds higher than the Tundra. Those trucks also feel marginally more composed on winding roads and freeway cloverleafs, since the Toyota is prone to bobbing around on its shock absorbers over midcorner bumps.
Where the Tundra distinguishes itself from its rivals is in good, dirty fun. The aforementioned TRD Off-Road package includes monotube shocks from Bilstein, a full complement of underbody skid plates, an electronic-locking rear differential, and Toyota’s excellent Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select drive modes. The package also includes a high-definition forward camera view that makes picking lines and avoiding obstacles easier. It all adds up to the kind of approachable off-road fun we’ve come to expect from Toyota, with plenty of ground clearance and a softly sprung suspension keeping an even keel over big bumps.
- Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 2 (Hands-On)
- NHTSA Rating: Not Rated
- IIHS Rating: Not Rated
Every 2022 Tundra comes standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane centering and lane-departure prevention, and automatic high beams (all bundled within the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 tech suite). The new Tundra also gets standard blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic detection, while my Limited tester sported optional automatic rear braking.
The long list of standard safety features is a boon for the Tundra shopper – getting lane-centering technology and adaptive cruise control often requires some options-ticking on the competitors. That said, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will both offer hands-free Super Cruise later this year, while the Ford F-150’s Blue Cruise hands-free tech is already on the market. Toyota hasn’t yet announced whether it would offer its hands-free Teammate driver assistance on the Tundra, but it won’t arrive on Lexus models until later this year.
- City: 17 MPG
- Highway: 22 MPG
- Combined: 19 MPG
Ditching the thirsty V8 from the old Tundra is a good move for Toyota, which is also known for efficient hybrids and zero-emissions fuel cell vehicles. The 2022 Tundra CrewMax 4x4 is rated for 19 miles per gallon combined, a huge improvement over its predecessor’s 14 mpg. However, the Toyota still lags behind the Ford F-150 EcoBoost 4x4’s 20-mpg rating, and surprisingly, the Chevrolet Silverado’s 5.3-liter V8 and the Ram’s mild-hybrid 5.7-liter V8 match the Tundra in combined fuel economy. Going for the 6.2-liter V8 in the Chevy nets 18 combined, while the non-hybrid Hemi will achieve 17 combined.
In 300 miles of traffic-clogged driving and about 30 miles of low-speed off-roading, I observed 15.6 miles per gallon – again, a big improvement from the old Tundra, but about even with other modern pickups. Like most of its competitors, the Tundra runs on a diet of regular unleaded gasoline, and although Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost can take regular, it makes more power on premium, while GM’s 6.2-liter V8 demands it.
- Base Price: $35,950 + $1,695 Destination
- Trim Base Price: $53,595
- As-Tested Price: $60,188
The most basic Toyota Tundra is the Double Cab SR 4x2 model, starting at $35,950 plus $1,695 destination and handling. Two rungs up the trim ladder is the Limited model, which will likely be the volume trim when combined with my tester’s more spacious CrewMax configuration. Starting at $53,595 in four-wheel-drive form, the Tundra Limited is a decent value when compared to the $55,020 Ford F-150 Lariat SuperCrew 4x4 equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.
However, like most full-size trucks, it’s easy to drive the price of the Tundra skyward. The TRD Off-Road package is the most expensive line item on my tester at $3,085, while a Technology package (wireless phone charger and two 120-volt outlets in the bed and cab) costs $385. The JBL premium audio probably isn’t worth its $565 cost for most casual listeners, and although I would be tempted by the $425 coat of red paint, others might not be. All in, my tester cost $60,188 with a handful of packages and options.
Yes, that’s a lot of money, but a similarly equipped Ram 1500 Laramie with the Off-Road package demands more than $63,000 for the pleasure – ditto a comparable F-150 Lariat FX4 – while a Chevy Silverado LTZ with the Z71 kit is at least $60,000. Those models also lack the Tundra’s fun persona and reputation for off-road capability. At the same time, the Toyota can’t match its rivals’ interior space or cargo-hauling capability. At long last, the Tundra is competitive in terms of driving experience, technology, and efficiency. The rest is all a matter of priorities.
Tundra Competitor Reviews:
Gallery: 2022 Toyota Tundra Limited: Review
2022 Toyota Tundra Limited TRD Off-Road 4x4