2022 marks the start of a new generation for the Toyota Tundra. It’s not the first full-size pickup truck that comes to mind among shoppers but Toyota wants to change that with the addition of a new hybrid powertrain, a more fuel efficient base engine, and bold new looks.
Engine – The “base” engine (if you can even call it that) in the 2022 Toyota Tundra is a 3.5L V6. It has help from a couple of turbochargers to produce 389 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque (290 kW & 650 Nm). That is around the ballpark power figure of the Ram 1500 V8 but significantly more torque. The optional engine that is available with the 2022 Tundra is a hybrid variant of this twin-turbocharged V6. It can produce 437 hp & 583 lb-ft of torque (326 kW & 790 Nm). Those are slightly higher numbers than the F-150 Powerboost – the only other full hybrid pickup truck on the market right now.
But getting back to the “base” engine, the low end torque allows this V6 to easily and quickly pull the 2,440 kg (5,379 lbs) body up to speed. The response is also good with little turbo lag and a low boost threshold. The power and torque of this engine make the Tundra feel as though it’s much smaller; like a Tacoma.
Fuel Economy – With the new twin-turbo V6 engine, the 2022 Toyota Tundra 4×4 is rated for 13.6 L/100km (17.3 MPG) in a city and 10.5 L/100km (22.4 MPG) on a highway. It does not require premium fuel and it has a relatively smooth auto start/stop system. The problem is that while on paper the fuel economy numbers look good, it’s harder to achieve them on the roads. On mostly highway drives, I was averaging closer to 11.5 L/100km (20.5 MPG) and on mostly city drives, I was getting closer to 14.5 L/100km (16.2 MPG). So essentially, just add 1.0 L/100km to both rated fuel economy numbers and that should be more accurate as to what this truck can achieve in the real world and not during ideal laboratory experiments.
Transmission – Paired with this engine is a 10-speed automatic transmission. The shifts between gears are smooth and quick enough for a pickup truck. You can take over shifting and the transmission reacts quickly enough on the upshifts but is slower on the downshifts.
Braking – The brake pedal has a long travel with a progressively firmer feel the more you push on it. The brakes themselves don’t require much pressure to bring the truck to a stop when unladen.
Handling – The handling dynamics of the 2022 Toyota Tundra further make the big truck feel smaller than it actually is. Again, it’s akin to a Tacoma. Don’t get fooled though because the width and length will immediately feel massive down a narrow alley or tight parking lot. But the steering is light enough to maneuver at slow speeds and firms up just enough on highways to keep the truck stable.
This particular demo truck is equipped with the TRD Off-Road package which adds a locking rear differential (that can only be used in 4LO), downhill assist control, crawl control (which is like cruise control but for slow speed off-roading), Multi-Terrain select, and TRD Off-Road shocks. For a more serious off-road driving experience, the TRD Pro is available but only on the CrewMax Limited Hybrid Tundra.
Capability – With the non-hybrid V6 engine, the Tundra is capable of towing up to 12,000 lbs and carry up to 1,940 lbs of max payload. With the hybrid V6, the tow rating decreases by a bit to 11,170 lbs. As tested, this Tundra can tow 11,200 lbs and carry 1,885 lbs.
The bed is available in a few different lengths. In double cab configuration, it is available in a 6.5-foot length or an 8.1-foot length. In CrewMax configuration, it is available as a 5.5-foot and 6.5-foot. The bed has side rails with adjustable cleats and it can be equipped with a 120-volt power outlet. The 2022 Tundra does not have any sort of trick tailgate like other trucks.
Ride Comfort – The 2022 Toyota Tundra is designed with new suspension that was designed to not only improve driving dynamics but also ride comfort. In the front it has a double wishbone setup while in the back it has a multi-link setup. The ride is smooth for a pickup truck. It’s not Ram 1500 smooth but even with the off-road tuned shocks in this demo vehicle, taking long road trips or driving on rough city streets is not a punishing endeavor in the new Tundra.
Interior Space – The 2022 Toyota Tundra is one of the smaller full-size pickup trucks but it still offers a lot of space, especially in CrewMax configuration. This double cab configuration has ample space for front occupants but not so much space in the back seats. They are not only small in general but there’s less legroom than in other comparable double cab trucks. There are compartments underneath the seats for storing small items but the floor in the back is not completely flat like how it is in other pickup trucks.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – The new Tundra is one of the most quiet pickup trucks on sale. Wind, road, and engine noises are very well subdued from intruding into the cabin. You do hear them but they’re not as loud as in some other pickup trucks. As for interior build, nothing rattles and all the trim pieces feel solid.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – The 2022 Toyota Tundra starts at $44,990 CAD ($35,950 USD) for the double cab SR 4×2 trim. As equipped, this double cab 4×4 SR5 TRD Off-Road costs $54,290 CAD ($48,255 USD).
Gadgets – This SR5 Off-Road Tundra comes equipped with just about everything one would need from a pickup truck. It has heated seats, heated steering wheel, wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, an 8-inch touchscreen, backup camera with front and rear parking sensors, and automatic climate control. If you do want more, higher trim levels of the 2022 Tundra come equipped with leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, head-up display, a larger 14-inch touchscreen, surround view cameras and much more.
The infotainment system is brand new and paves the way for future Toyota models. The response is quick and though it takes a little while to familiarize yourself with the new structure, it is logically laid out. One issue I’ve had with it is the inability to connect Android Auto to it. I’ve tried wireless Android Auto, I’ve tried physically connecting my phone, I’ve tried disconnecting and re-pairing my phone. None of it worked. I tried an Apple phone as well and that went more smoothly but for whatever reason, the new infotainment system did not like my phone.
Interior Design – The new interior is a welcome update with new styling but the physical controls remain. A lot of the physical buttons and toggles are chunky too so they can be easily used with thick gloves. But when you take those gloves off and start touching some of the panels with your fingertips, it starts to feel a bit on the cheap side. This is a low to mid-range trim level of the Tundra but the plastics in other pickup trucks feel a little bit nicer.
Exterior Design – The exterior has also received a complete refresh and the “chunky” theme continues with a large grille and bold vertical taillights. The truck definitely has a presence on the roads. Some of the panels are now aluminum for some weight savings but others are still steel such as the rear doors and front fenders.
Safety – All 2022 Toyota Tundra models come equipped with standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5. This includes forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking and emergency steering assist, lane departure warning with lane keep, lane tracing assist, automatic high beam, dynamic radar cruise control, front pedestrian detection and emergency braking, left turn oncoming vehicle detection with emergency braking, and sway warning system. The only options that can be added are the blind spot sensors and rear cross traffic alert.
Warranty – The 2022 Toyota Tundra is covered by a 3 year / 60,000 km basic and 5 year / 100,000 km powertrain warranty. For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For information on USA warranty, click here. (Scroll to bottom of page)
Conclusion – Overall, the new 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Off-Road is a really good improvement over the previous generation. The way that it drives and the quietness of the cabin are the biggest highlights of this new truck – among a few others of course. However, if you need something with more capability, the big three American truck brands still do a better job. Then again, Toyota is not known for being a truck focused company and as such, their truck customer base is different. This Tundra’s capability is just enough for lighter duty towing or carrying and it is a much better truck to drive than before.
Thank you to Toyota Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Toyota.ca