2022 Toyota Tundra Review: Bigger, Better and Stronger

December 02, 2021 by Jerry Hirsch, @Jerryhirsch

The 2022 Toyota Tundra pickup truck is bigger, stronger and more refined than the current model thanks to a complete redesign.

A recent driver across 200 miles of Texas hill country near San Antonio’s proved that the new version represents a considerable improvement from the 2021 Tundra. The current model is 14 years old and has fallen behind the other pickup trucks.

Previously the main selling points for the aging Tundra were its reliability and resale value. While it beat all competitors in those characteristics, the pickup trailed the field in fuel economy, comfort, noise and ride quality.

Toyota has addressed those issues with the redesigned 2022 Tundra. It’s now a truck that shoppers need to consider seriously with the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 – the half-ton pickups that have fared best in previous Trucks.com evaluations. 

2022 TOYOTA TUNDRA OFFERS MORE COMFORT AND SAFETY

The cabin is comfortable, spacious and has improved ergonomics. The controls are intuitive and easy to reach. There is less noise intrusion from the engine, the road and passing vehicles.

The new Tundra has among the best standard safety features of half-ton pickups. It comes with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning and adaptive cruise control. The truck also has automatic high beams, which switch on and off depending on oncoming traffic.

Toyota has engineered body roll out of the truck and improved stability by beefing up its construction while still using lightweight materials. The truck is now slightly wider and longer than the current model.

2022 TOYOTA TUNDRA TECHNOLOGY

Technology is one of the areas where Toyota has made significant upgrades to make the Tundra competitive with the latest offerings in the segment. If the owner pays for the service, the truck can act as a hotspot for 10 devices. It has a 110-volt outlet in the truck bed. 

While Toyota offers a Google-cloud-based navigation and infotainment system, the Tundra also has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

New Tundra comes with an optional 14 inch touchscreen.

The dashboard has a standard 8-inch touchscreen, but an optional 14-inch screen is available. Both are huge improvements over the previous screen. They also offer better resolution touch responsiveness. The driver information display has two analog readouts surrounding a 4.1-inch information screen. There’s an optional, all-digital 12.3-inch driver information display. Toyota has mounted two microphones in the cabin so that passengers can access the phone and voice controls. That’s a feature more automakers need to emulate.

2022 TOYOTA TUNDRA POWERTRAINS

Toyota has scuttled the truck’s gas-guzzling V8 engine and is going for a two-engine strategy.

The Tundra’s standard engine is a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 that will produce up to 389 horsepower and 479-pound-feet of torque. It easily pulled a 7,000 pound, 26-foot Airstream up various inclines and at highway speeds in the backcountry near Canyon Lake. It has a top towing rating of 12,000 pounds and a maximum payload of 1,940 pounds. That’s a significant improvement from the current model’s maximums of 10,200 and 1,730 pounds.

2022 Toyota Tundra easily tows an Airstream trailer.

Toyota follows its standard playbook and offers a hybrid option, just as it does throughout its model range. The automaker is calling the hybrid option the i-FORCE MAX. It will provide up to 437 horsepower and 583-pound feet of torque. The hybrid will have the same payload as the standard V6 engine, but its maximum towing capacity falls to 11,450 pounds.

STYLING

That is the one area where Toyota might have missed the mark. Both the fenders and the hood feature prominent ridges that are distinctive. It is part of a design language stylists from Toyota’s Newport Beach, Calif., design house called “technical muscle.” They say they want it to be a visual “exemplification of toughness and capability.” But some will see bulges rather than muscle. It lacks the toughness of typical pickup truck styling that channels Peterbilt and other Class 8 trucks and the sleekness of the most advanced vehicles, such as the new Rivian electric pickup.

BODY  TRIM LEVELS

Toyota will sell two four-door options, a Double Cab and CrewMax with a larger cabin. The Double Cab models will be offered with the choice of a 6.5-foot bed or an 8.1-foot bed that comes with the double cab models. The CrewMax truck models will have either a 5.5-foot bed or a new 6.5-foot bed. All will have a four-wheel-drive option.

There are five trim levels: SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum and 1794 available. The off-road driving optimized TRD Pro only will be available with the hybrid powertrain. Additionally, the i-FORCE MAX only is for sale with the Limited, Platinum and 1794 trims.

2022 TOYOTA TUNDRA FUEL ECONOMY

Toyota said the EPA estimated fuel economy for the standard Tundra’s two-wheel-drive powertrain comes in at 18 mpg in city driving, 24 on the highway and 20 in combined driving. On all other two-wheel-drive trim levels, the highway estimate drops to 23.

The EPA estimates the four-wheel-drive Tundras at 17 in city driving, 23 on the highway and 20 combined. But the heavier Limited, Platinum and 1794 trim levels have estimated ratings of 17 for the city, 22 on the highway and 19 combined.

Toyota has not provided mpg estimates for the hybrid version.

2022 TOYOTA TUNDRA PRICE

The starting price for the Tundra 4×2 SR Double Cab with a 6.5-foot bed is $35,950. It tops out at $61,020 for the 4×4 1794 Edition CrewMax with a 6.5-foot bed. The prices don’t include any options. 

It goes on sale this month.

Jerry Hirsch November 18, 2021
The Ford Ranger, Ram 1500 and GM's heavy-duty trucks scored well in Consumer Reports' annual auto and truck reliability rankings.

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