The 2022 Toyota Tundra is finally here, and it has a new hybrid option, a coil-spring rear suspension, and a significantly improved interior with a massive 14.0-inch touchscreen to make it more competitive against American pickups.
The standard powertrain is a 389-hp twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V-6, but there's also an available hybrid powertrain that makes 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque.
It will go on sale by the end of this year in SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794, and TRD Pro models. The hybrid won't be available until a few months after, Toyota says.
Since the last new Toyota Tundra debuted 15 years ago, Ford redesigned the F-150 three times, Ram separated itself from Dodge as its own brand and released two new generations of its half-ton pickup, and Chevy redid the Silverado three times. All three of those American pickups have long outsold the Tundra by a wide margin, but now Toyota is finally launching a new generation of its full-size pickup that looks to be more competitive in this hugely important segment.
The new Tundra is built on Toyota’s TNGA-F body-on-frame platform, which will also underpin the next Tacoma mid-size pickup and Sequoia and 4Runner SUVs. Like the Ram 1500, the Tundra now employs coil springs, which should improve ride and drivability compared to the old truck's leaf springs—a setup that the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado still use. Electronically controlled adaptive dampers are now available, as is a set of air springs on the rear axle that can raise the truck for low speed off-road driving or lower it to make loading the bed or hooking up a trailer easier. The off-road-focused TRD Pro model is fitted with 2.5-inch Fox dampers with internal-bypass chambers and remote reservoirs and 33-inch Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires.
A new twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V-6 engine replaces the previous model’s 5.7-liter V-8 engine and produces 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, increases of 8 horsepower and 78 pound-feet over the V-8. It’s paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. To compete with Ford’s new F-150 PowerBoost hybrid, Toyota is offering a hybrid version of the V-6 called iForce MAX, and this powertrain comes standard on the TRD Pro. It has a low-speed EV mode and uses an electric motor sandwiched between the twin-turbo 3.4-liter and 10-speed that’s powered by a roughly 1.5-kWh nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Its output is higher than the Ford’s, making 437 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 583 pound-feet of torque at 2400 rpm, but unlike the F-150 there’s no built-in generator. Toyota says it will announce fuel economy estimates in the coming months, and the aim is to beat the PowerBoost’s 25 mpg EPA rating.
Tundras can tow up to 12,000 pounds, 1800 more than the previous-generation truck, but that’s still less than what some versions of the Chevy, Ford, and Ram half-tons are capable of. Max payload is rated at 1940 pounds, also less than the domestic trucks max ratings. An available 360-degree camera can help while towing, and an integrated trailer brake controller can detect the blind spot of whatever is hooked up. Every Tundra's tailgate can be released by a button on the key fob, and crew-cab models come with either a 5.5- or 6.5-foot bed, while the extended cab configurations can be equipped with a 6.5- or 8.1-foot bed. Both rear- and four-wheel-drive Tundras are available.
That colossal grille looks like it might be able to swallow a Prius, and different styles are available depending on trims and options. TRD Pro models have “Toyota” script across the top with an integrated LED light bar below that’s toggled by a button below the dash when the high beams are on. Toyota went for a more modern and jagged design with the Tundra's third generation, and it's drastically different than the previous truck. We'll let the truck's sales numbers determine if the new look is more attractive than the other half-ton pickups.
Interior improvements are significant compared with the old truck's cabin, which featured many hard plastics and a small and dated infotainment system. To one-up Ford and Ram’s 12.0-inch screens and Chevy’s new 13.4-inch unit, the Tundra has an available 14.0-inch touchscreen (an 8.0-inch screen is standard). It’s the first Toyota to use its new Audio Multimedia interface, and its crisp graphics and simplified design are easy to use. Say “Hey, Toyota”, and it can give directions or pull up the standard wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto along with other commands. An analog gauge cluster comes standard on the base models, but a 12.3-inch digital screen is available on the higher trims and displays five different national parks upon start. A mobile app can save driver settings and remote start the truck.
A TRD off-road package is available (pictured above) and adds either 18- or 20-inch black TRD wheels, a TRD grille, Bilstein dampers, skid plates, mud guards, and a TRD leather shifter. Four-wheel-drive models with the TRD off-road package get an electronically controlled rear locking differential, MTS, and off-road cruise control. The TRD Sport package is exclusive to the SR5 model and adds 20-inch black TRD wheels, a TRD grille, lowered suspension, and the TRD shifter.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra will be on sale by the end of the year in SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794, and TRD Pro models, and Toyota says trucks with the iForce MAX will arrive a few months after. Pricing, along with fuel economy estimates, will be announced closer to its arrival. It will be built at Toyota's factory in San Antonio, Texas.
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