All-new 2022 Toyota Tundra delivers breakthrough utility and technology

Portland Tribune
Portland Tribune

The revised three-quarter ton pickup is now competitive with all others on the market.

Toyota has taken the wraps off the all-new 2022 Tundra, revealing a truck that is likely to change the way consumers view the company's full-size half-ton offering. While the Tundra has been consistently popular, Toyota has never been able to get within striking distance of the segment-leading Ford F-150. This new Tundra could change that story.

The biggest news with the Tundra refresh is the absence of a V8 engine. Toyota has replaced the V8 with a pair of twin-turbocharged V6 options. The first, called the i-Force, uses Toyota's long-proven 3.5-liter V6 as the basis for a new powerplant that produces 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, which is more than the outgoing V8 achieved. Buyers looking for maximum power can opt for the i-Force MAX, which is the same twin-turbo V6 equipped with a hybrid electric motor to add power. The hybrid drivetrain produces up to 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque.

All Tundra trim levels will come equipped with a new 10-speed automatic transmission, replacing the current 6-speed unit. Rear-wheel-drive is standard and traditional part-time dual-range four-wheel-drive is available.

The 2022 Tundra rides on a new frame and uses an all-new rear suspension design. The frame is fully boxed, with extra-thick pieces of steel laser-welded in place at precise locations to increase rigidity and enhance capacity where needed, while keeping overall weight under control. The front suspension is a double-wishbone independent design, as before. The rear suspension trades away traditional leaf springs in favor of a four-link system with a lateral-locating panhard bar and coil springs. This gives the new Tundra a smoother, better-handling ride without reducing payload or towing capacity. Depending on the precise configuration of the truck, the new Tundra can tow up to 12,000 pounds, and carry up to 1,940 pounds of payload.

Body styles will be limited to Toyota's 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 Toyota's bed material. The new Tundra uses a composite bed reinforced with aluminum, eliminating the need for a spray-in or drop-in bedliner. This material resists damage much more effectively than the steel or aluminum beds used by other truck manufacturers and also helps keep overall weight down. The new bed material is standard on all Tundra trim levels.

Inside the cabin, the new Tundra offers a standard eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, but most buyers will want to upgrade to the available 14-inch screen. This massive screen makes map-reading a breeze. One more good feature is Toyota's voice control system, which is easily the best in the industry for recognizing and correctly managing verbal commands. The new interior design is masculine, but not macho. Higher trims include all available luxury features such as ventilated and heated front seats, leather, and wireless device charging.

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. Blind spot was formerly optional, but will now be included on every Tundra.

On the road, you can really tell the difference between the last generation Tundra and this year's model. The truck manages bumps much more smoothly when unloaded, and tows even heavy trailers with grace and control. Inside, the cabin is noticeably quiet even on rough roads. Both V6 engine options pull with great authority, making it unlikely that traditional truck buyers will really miss the V8. The 10-speed transmission is smooth-shifting and always seems to be in the correct gear. Toyota's four-wheel-drive system is easy to engage and the truck features crawl control, hill descent, and traction control that makes the Tundra a go-anywhere kind of truck.

The 2022 Tundra will arrive at area Toyota dealers before the end of the year. Toyota has ceased production on the 2021 model year and new trucks are being built right now for shipment. Toyota has not yet announced pricing on the new Tundra, but it's expected to be competitive with other brands.

2022 Toyota Tundra

Base price: TBD

Price as tested: TBD

Type: Full-size pickup

Engines: 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with optional hybrid (437 hp, 583 lbs-ft)

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

EPA estimated mileage: TBD

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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