2022 Toyota Tundra: Completely redesigned for today's challenges
A lot of people have apparently been waiting for Toyota to update its full-size Tundra pickup. While driving the completely redesigned 2022 version running errands and on assignment for the Portland Tribune, someone asked me about it every day. They ranged from convenience store clerk to a security guard at a municipal facility who said he been calling local dealers to find one that hadn't already been sold.
I was glad to be able to tell them the 2022 Toyota Tundra is very good. That is because it needs to be. The last generation may have been old and out of date in many respects, but it cost thousands less than its newer competitors. If you didn't need the newest everything, the Tundra with a standard 5.7-liter V8 could easily meet your demands.
But now the Tundra is going head-to-head against its up-to-date competitors at the most challenging time in recent years. The worst inflation in 40 years and the Russian invasion of Ukraine are driving interest rates and gas prices up. Those considering a full size truck who don't really need them are likely to consider their options even more.
Fortunately, although the 2022 Tundra has lost its cost advantage, it matches or exceeds the technologies of its competitors. The V8 has been replaced with the choice of a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 or the same engine equipped with a hybrid option for more power. The solid rear axle has been replaced by coil springs for a smoother ride. All trim levels will come equipped with a new 10-speed automatic transmission with multiple drive modes, replacing the previous 6-speed unit. Traditional part-time dual-range four-wheel-drive is available. And inside, a massive 14-inch touch screen and voice control is available.
The new Tundra is comes in more configurations than before. Body styles include a DoubleCab, which offers four doors and a smaller rear seat area, or a CrewMax with a larger rear seat area. Bed lengths are available in 5.5, 6.5, or 8.1 feet. Another new feature is a tough composite bed reinforced with aluminum, saving weight and eliminating the need for a spray-in or drop-in bedliner.
And did I say the 2022 Toyota Tundra looks modern, too. The previous generation was last updated in 2014. The new one has all the flashy lines of contemporary trucks. But it is still a work horse, capable of towing up to 12,000 pounds and carrying up to 1,940 pounds of payload.
In fact, two new Tow/Haul modes will be available on the new Tundra. The standard mode increases throttle response and is ideal for lighter to moderate needs. In Tow/Haul+ mode, throttle response is more aggressive for situations when towing larger loads. If the Tundra is equipped with the hybrid i-FORCE MAX powertrain, the electric motor is constantly in operation when in Tow/Haul+ mode, for immediate responsiveness when needed. And to make trailering easier, the Tundra comes with several new cameras, displaying multiple exterior angles that are viewable from the available 14-inch touchscreen or the available rearview mirror camera accessory.
During a week of test driving, I did not miss the V8 that was such a strong selling point for the previous generation Tundra. My base i-Force twin-turbo V6 was even stronger, producing 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Buyers looking for maximum power can opt for the hybrid i-Force MAX, which adds an electric motor to produce up to 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque.
The ride was also much more comfortable, thanks to the rear suspension changes. But it also came with electronically activated high and low four wheel drive that made easy work of the deeply-rutted hilly dirt roads in my part of town, even after heavy rains. And that was without the TRD Pro pro off-road package, which returns to the lineup this year.
The interior was also upgraded, with large and obvious knobs and switches for basic functions. The only disappointment with the lack of a tuning knob for the stereo, which required distracting interactions with the display screen to change audio sources and channels. The Tundra is not the only vehicle with this inexplicable omission.
Finally, every new Tundra will receive Toyota's TSS-2.5 safety and advanced driver assistance package. Building on the old Toyota Safety Sense package, the new truck includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, automatic high beams, lane-keeping and curve-tracing assistance, and blind spot monitoring.
All of the improvements make finding the 2022 Toyota Tundra worth the search if you want the newest full-size pickup on the market with all the technological upgrades that anyone could need.
2022 Toyota Tundra
Base price: $35,950 (SR)
Price as tested: $56,990 (base Platinum)
Type: Full-size pickup
Engines: 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with optional hybrid (437 hp, 583 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 10-speed automatic w/manual shift mode
Drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport S, Sport +, Custom
EPA estimated mileage: 18/23
Overall length: 233.6 to 252.5 inches
Curb weight: 5,095 to 5,565 pounds
Final assembly: San Antonio, Texas
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