Everything Loyal Toyota Buyers are Looking For
Competing against the Big-3 when it comes to full-size pickup trucks is anything but easy, but the Toyota Tundra has held its own in the segment for some 20-years now. And with the debut of an all-new 3rd generation, it looks like it's not about to shrink from that fight anytime soon.
The Toyota Tundra long ago proved its standing as a worthy member of the full-size pickup truck class. The goal, now, is to continue to eat away at Big-3 dominance, as well as to keep bringing new buyers to the segment. The Tundra is redesigned for 2022 and seems to offer a little something fresh for just about everyone.
Truck-talk usually begins with what’s under the hood, so we’ll start there with Toyota’s modern approach that embraces the new rather than the traditional. So, no V8, but there is an all-new standard 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 that outputs 389-horsepower and 479 lb-ft. of torque.
A hybrid upgrade is called i-FORCE MAX. It essentially wedges a 36–kW electric motor between that V6 and the 10-speed automatic transmission, upping power to 437-horsepower and 583 lb-ft. of torque.
It does allow for some slow speed EV-only driving below 18 miles-per-hour; but it’s actually the standard V6 that achieves the max tow rating of 12,000-lbs. as the hybrid brings additional weight into the equation. There are now 2 Tow/Haul modes; standard for smaller trailers, Tow/Haul+ for when you plan on using the Tundra’s full capabilities. Numerous cameras are available of course, to aid in parking as well as navigate off-road obstacles.
If you trace this truck’s history back to the T100 days, it gets bigger and bolder looking with each generation. And for ‘22, Toyota has turned the dial up to 11, trying to out-grille them all with this chrome-trimmed beauty taking up almost the entire front end.
Available in 4-door Double Cab and CrewMax, both handle 5 people with ease; the CrewMax adding an additional 8.3-inches of legroom to the rear seat space.
The composite bed is aluminum reinforced, and there are 3-lengths available: 5½-foot short bed, 6½-foot standard bed, and a full 8-footer, but only for the Double Cab. The tailgate is 20% lighter than before, and power release is standard.
Underneath it all, the Tundra sports a new ladder-type frame made of high-strength steel; it’s now fully boxed with cross members that are twice as big as before. Upper trims add hydraulic cab mounts.
Inside, it’s not quite Ram luxurious, but there’s plenty of soft materials, as well as some ultra-comfortable leather seats in Limited trim. It’s also very slick and tech heavy, with an available 14-inch touchscreen debuting a new Audio Multimedia with 5-times the previous unit’s processing power. Standard screen size is 8-inches, along with an analog gauge cluster that features a 4-inch multi-information display, while the upgrade is this 12-inch TFT panel. To go along with the typical sliding rear window, there are also a few swanky options not usually found in the full-size truck segment, like a panoramic roof and rear sunshade.
Available 4-wheel-drive is Toyota’s 4WDemand part-time system with an electronically controlled 2-speed transfer case and automatic limited slip rear. Taking a page from the Ram’s script, the Tundra’s rear suspension moves to a new multi-link coil spring design. While up front is a new double-wishbone setup; TRD PRO models get an inch of lift with upgraded Fox shocks.
TRDs also get a CRAWL Control feature, which is, essentially, an off-road specific low-speed version of cruise control, allowing you to just focus on steering while the Tundra maintains speed and controls wheel spin.
On pavement, the ride is quite comfortable and not very truck-like at all; combine that with a good turning radius, and the Tundra makes for a very pleasant daily driver. Government Fuel Economy Ratings are not yet final, but Toyota estimates 18-City, 23-Highway, and 20-Combined for the standard 2-wheel-drive V6; no estimates yet for the hybrid.
Pricing starts with a rear-wheel-drive SR Double cab at $37,645 and climbs through various cab and trim configurations into the mid-60s; 4-wheel-drive is a $3,000 option.
The Tundra will begin rolling into showrooms before years’ end; and, when it does, it will be better equipped than ever to take on Ford, Ram, and Chevy in the full-size truck battlefield. Though the truth is, it really doesn’t need to make huge inroads against them to be highly successful. There are more than enough loyal Toyota buyers out there and, for them, the 2022 Toyota Tundra is everything they want and much more.
Engine: 3.5L twin-turbo V6
Torque: 479 lb-ft
Tow Rating: 12,000-lbs.
EPA (estimated): 18 City / 23 Highway / 20 Combined