As of 2022, there are a number of hybrid cars & SUVs. But there has only been one true hybrid pickup truck; the Ford F-150 Powerboost. Now Ford has competition from the new 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid. So how well does the Tundra Hybrid stack up against the F-150 Powerboost?
Engine – On paper, the Tundra Hybrid’s powertrain is a little bit more powerful than that of the F-150’s hybrid powertrain. The Tundra i-Force MAX is motivated by a 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 that is aided by an electric motor which is in between the engine and transmission. Total output is 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque (326 kW & 790 Nm). The electric motor on its own produces 48 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque (36 kw & 250 Nm). Thanks to the instant torque of the EV components and the quick spooling turbochargers, the Tundra Hybrid accelerates ferociously. Whether it’s off the line or to overtake a slower moving vehicle, the truck sheds its weight and nearly flies. However, because of its 2,725 kg (6,007 lbs) as equipped weight, it is a heavy truck. The lighter F-150 Powerboost out-accelerates it from a stop by almost half a second.
Then again, this is not a sports truck or a sporty vehicle by any means. In day-to-day traffic, the engine effortlessly gets the truck moving with the electric motor taking over to maintain speeds. This hybrid system will allow the truck to accelerate from a stop but you have to be extremely gentle with the throttle pedal. As well, the truck will be accelerating at a snail’s pace. Ideally, the hybrid system works best in heavy rush hour traffic where speeds are barely above a jogging pace, maintaining speed while on city streets, and at drive-thrus while getting your morning coffee. On highways, the electric motor doesn’t have enough power to maintain the truck’s speed. When coasting, the engine will shut off but as soon as you touch the throttle pedal, it fires up again. The electric motor almost never takes over and it only provides an extra boost in power when it’s needed.
Fuel Economy – This 2022 Tundra Hybrid has the TRD Pro off-road package which does hamper the fuel economy figures. It is rated for 12.9 L/100km (18.2 MPG) in a city and 11.6 L/100km 20.2 MPG) on a highway. Non TRD Pro versions of this truck have pretty much the same city fuel economy number but the highway fuel economy rating is improved to 10.5 L/100km (22.4 MPG).
Although these numbers are really good for a 6,000 lb pickup truck, the F-150 hybrid’s fuel economy numbers are better still. Whatsmore, It’s much more difficult to achieve the Tundra Hybrid’s fuel economy ratings in the real world. In city traffic, I struggled to get the numbers below 15 L/100km (15.6 MPG). On highways, it was easier to get closer to the official rating but it was still a bit higher at around 12.5 L/100km (18.8 MPG). At the end of my week-long test drive with the truck, I averaged 14 L/100km (16.8 MPG), well above the 12.3 L/100km (19.1 MPG) combined fuel economy rating.
Transmission – Sending the power to the wheels 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. Overall, this is a good transmission.
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. This TRD Pro utilizes the same brakes as the non-TRD Pro versions but the mud terrain tires don’t have quite as much grip on pavement as the standard street tires.
Handling – The TRD Pro package turns the 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid into a capable off-road pickup truck. It’s not as extreme as something like the Ford F-150 Raptor or Ram TRX but it’s more than enough for 98% of owners. The truck receives larger diameter sway bars, TRD front skid plate, 2.5” FOX internal bypass dampers, a 1.1” front lift, 18” BBS forged wheels with 33” all-terrain tires, TRD dual tip exhaust, TRD grille with integrated light bar, and a bunch of TRD Pro badges. In addition to all the TRD goodies, the Tundra also has Multi-Terrain Select, crawl control (which is like cruise control but for slow speed off-roading), a locking rear differential (that can only be used in 4LO), and downhill assist control.
Off the beaten path, the FOX dampers absorb the harshest ruts and bumps that you may drive over. They are not electronically adjustable like in some other off-road pickup trucks but are instead tuned to provide a comfortable ride without sacrificing too much off-road performance. But if you do plan on taking this truck off the blacktop, take it somewhere that is spacious. This is a wide truck with a long wheelbase so it’ll probably get easily scratched on narrow trails and possibly even get hung up in the middle. Thankfully you can avoid some of the bigger obstacles thanks to the surround view camera system which can simulate an invisible hood. It essentially records the area in front of the hood and displays the image between the front wheels when moving forward.
On paved roads, the truck leans through corners a little bit more than the SR5 TRD Off-Road version that I test drove not too long ago. However, it can still change direction relatively quickly and the direct but light steering makes it easy to maneuver on city streets. But this still is a physically massive truck and parking it can be a challenge in some parking lots.
Capability – The Tundra TRD Pro is only available as a CrewMax (Crew Cab) configuration with a 5.5-foot long bed. Max payload is 1,600 lbs and max towing is 11,175 lbs. The bed is made out of a composite material to reduce weight and prevent corrosion. There are LED bed lights and a power outlet but only 4 tie down points which are bolted on rather than welded or bonded to the bed like the Silverado/Sierra. Also, the Toyota Tundra does not have any sort of trick tailgate like the big 3 truck manufacturers. The only “trick” that it can do is opening via a button on the driver’s side of the taillamps.
Ride Comfort – With the FOX dampers, the 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Hybrid feels a little bit more forgiving over road bumps. The jolt of hitting a pothole doesn’t translate as harshly into the cabin as the other Tundra I test drove. The seats are also plenty comfortable with wide bolsters and lots of padding for your back & bum.
Interior Space – Though the Toyota Tundra is a physically imposing truck from the outside, the interior is not as spacious as its American counterparts. Having said that, it still has a lot of space for tall adults like myself at 6’4”. Both front seats are power adjustable and the rear seats can flip up 60/40. However, this version of the Tundra does not have any sort of underseat storage because that space is taken up by the nickel-metal hydride battery for the hybrid powertrain. As well, there is a hump in the middle of the floor whereas other pickup trucks have flat floors.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – Even with the raised ride height and 33” all-terrain tires, the Tundra Hybrid is surprisingly quiet on highways. Yes, you will still hear the roar from the tires hitting the pavement but it’s not as loud as in other off-road focused pickup trucks. As well, the TRD exhaust makes the engine sound muscular with a nice deep tone. Unfortunately there are a couple of creaks from the interior trim pieces as the truck drives over bumps but the worst offender is the center armrest. It always creaks when you put a little bit of pressure on it with your elbow.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – As mentioned earlier in the review, the TRD Pro package is only available on one Tundra trim level. The 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid Limited starts at $66,390 CAD ($56,000 USD) and the TRD Pro package will cost an additional $14,415* CAD ($11,930* USD) for a total price of $80,805 CAD ($67,930 USD) before fees and taxes. *The price of the TRD Pro package includes the cost of the Solar Octane paint.
Gadgets – One of the biggest gadgets that you’ll notice is the 14” touchscreen on the dashboard. It displays the newest iteration of Toyota’s infotainment system that looks drastically different from the previous generation. It takes a little while to familiarize yourself with it but after a few minutes of prodding all of the menu items, it becomes fairly logical in its structure and operation. It supports wireless Apple CarPlay & wireless Android Auto along with Bluetooth. I should mention that I had issues in using wireless Android Auto on this new system with the other Tundra that I reviewed but with this one, my phone paired with the system quickly and wireless Android Auto works as it is designed.
Other gadgets on the Tundra TRD Pro include heated & ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, panoramic sunroof, surround view cameras, wireless phone charging, automatic climate control, push button start & keyless entry, front & rear parking sensors, power folding exterior mirrors, and adaptive cruise control to name a few.
Interior Design – The TRD Pro doesn’t look all that different from other Tundra models on the inside. The large “Toyota” lettering in front of the passenger is the only major difference along with the fabulous TRD steering wheel but everything else looks the same. It has chunky toggle switches and physical buttons for various controls, a big gear selector to hold onto, and plenty of bins to store small items (or to lose them). My only disappointment with the interior is the extensive use of plastics. Most of the common touch points are covered in a Softex material but the rest is hard plastics.
Exterior Design – It is really hard to ignore this truck when you see it. From its physical size to the TRD extras to the Solar Octane paint color. By the way, the orange paint is a $255 CAD ($425 USD) extra and if you get the truck in white or black, the interior receives red upholstery.
Back to the outside, not only is this truck wearing its own high visibility jacket but all the extra marker lights make it easy to spot at night. Speaking of which, the integrated light bar in the grille floods the front left and front right portions of the truck with the high beams covering the center.
Safety – The 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid Limited is equipped with standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 which includes forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian and cyclist detection, left turn oncoming vehicle detection with emergency braking, lane tracing assist, auto high beam, sway warning system, and adaptive cruise control. This trim of the truck also comes with standard blind spot sensors, lane departure warning with lane keep, and rear cross traffic alert with braking.
The IIHS gave the 2022 Toyota Tundra CrewMax a Top Safety Pick+ with Good scores in every crash test and Advanced or Superior crash avoidance ratings for the driver aids.
Warranty – The 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid is covered by a 3 year / 60,000 km basic and 5 year / 100,000 km powertrain warranty. The hybrid components are covered for 8 years / 160,000 km and the battery pack is covered for 10 years / 240,000 km, whichever comes first. For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For information on USA warranty, click here. (Scroll to bottom of page)
Conclusion – Overall the Toyota Tundra Hybrid TRD Pro is a good truck but it does fall short in a few areas. It’s not the biggest and it’s not the most capable among the big 3 truck manufacturers. Also the F-150 Powerboost is more fuel efficient than this as are the diesel options from Ram & GM. But for most half-ton truck buyers and owners, this new generation Tundra has enough carrying, towing, and off-road capability. Plus it’s a Toyota so more likely than not, it’ll still be running a decade or two into the future.
Thank you to Toyota Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Toyota.ca