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Is the Redesigned 2022 Toyota Tundra a Good Truck? 6 Things We Like and 5 We Don’t

toyota-tundra-trd-pro-i-force-max-2022-01-exterior-truck-wheel-white 2022 Toyota Tundra | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

The Toyota Tundra has finally gotten a redesign after 15 long years, and the updates make it much more competitive. Fifteen years is an eternity in new-vehicle lifespans, and several of the Tundra’s primary competitors have seen more than one redesign during that time.

Related: 2022 Toyota Tundra Review: Better Where It Counts

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But even with the extensive makeover, the 2022 Tundra still lacks both the choices and capabilities of its Detroit-based competitors, foregoing the opulent interior options and over-the-top towing and payload capabilities that have become standard fare with the domestic brands. You still get plenty of choices, with six trim levels, three bed lengths and two cab configurations — you just don’t get the dizzying array of powertrains and features available from the Detroit Three, or the stratospheric towing capacity for those wanting to start a side business hauling lumber or freight.

The 2022 Tundra should hit a sweet spot for most buyers, with a good range of standard and available features across the lineup, especially in the middle trims favored by most buyers. The Tundra also has plenty of towing and payload capability to meet the needs of most buyers.

We recently had a chance to sample a variety of 2022 Tundra configurations and came away mostly impressed — but not all is perfect. For a closer look at the truck, click the link above to read Kelsey Mays’ full review. For a quicker look at what’s good and what isn’t, read on. Here are six things we like about the 2022 Toyota Tundra and five we don’t:

Things We Like

1. Upgraded Engine Choices

toyota-tundra-platinum-i-force-max-2022-12-engine-interior-truck Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry | 2022 Toyota Tundra

The Tundra’s ancient 5.7-liter V-8 is history, replaced by a choice of two turbocharged six-cylinder powertrains with more power and better fuel economy. The standard setup is a 3.5-liter V-6 that pumps out 389 horsepower and 479 pounds-feet of torque in all but the base SR trim, which gets a detuned version good for 348 hp and 405 pounds-feet of torque. Optional is a hybrid version of the V-6, with 437 hp and 583 pounds-feet of torque.

Though we didn’t drive the SR (none was unavailable for journalists to sample), we found that the other engines provide more than enough grunt to keep buyers from missing the V-8, with quick acceleration and minimal turbo lag.   

2. Impressive Standard Features

The Tundra may not offer the array of trims and luxurious interiors of some competitors, but Toyota has buyers of entry-level and popular mid-trim versions covered with important standard features. Even base Tundras come with an 8-inch touchscreen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with automatic climate control, keyless entry and one-touch power windows all around. The list of standard advanced safety features is also impressive, including adaptive cruise control with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection along with lane departure warning with steering assist and hands-on lane centering.

3. Available Air Suspension

toyota-tundra-2022-06-undercarriage 2022 Toyota Tundra | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

The redesigned Tundra gets coil springs all around with available rear air springs and adaptive shock absorbers. Going with both is the hot setup and gives the Tundra a ride rivaling the best in class for comfort. Driver-selectable choices include a Comfort setting that makes the Tundra quite civilized even when empty. Most impacts are well muted, soaking up bumps with little of the jitters associated with typical pickup trucks.

4. Off-Road Options

toyota-tundra-trd-pro-i-force-max-2022-08-exterior-rear-angle-truck-white 2022 Toyota Tundra | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

For those who like to keep going when the pavement ends, the Tundra is available with two different off-road options. The TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Off-Road variant adds 20-inch wheels, Bilstein monotube shocks, skid plates, a locking rear differential and a terrain selector on four-wheel-drive models. Crawl Control is also included for creeping over really rough stuff with minimal fuss. The TRD Pro adds 2.5-inch Fox shocks, a stiffer stabilizer bar, 1.1-inch front suspension lift and more.

On Toyota’s off-road course, the TRD Off-Road “managed the hilly terrain with little drama,” Mays said. “Crawl Control bogged down a few seconds if I dropped an axle into something deep, then applied dogged throttle to get moving again. It did so without palpable wheel slippage at any corner even over some uphill rock facings without the rear locking differential engaged. With the lock engaged, the Tundra crawled off-kilter over half-buried logs with minimal wheel spin.”

5. Composite Bed

Toyota skipped some of the bed and (arguably gimmicky) tailgate features now available with competitors, with the notable exception of a tailgate release built into the taillights on upper trims that can be triggered with an elbow. But the Tundra comes with one feature that’s both practical and useful: The bed floor is constructed of a rugged aluminum composite that Toyota says is more rust- and dent-resistant than steel, and it mimics the look and feel of a spray-in bedliner. The durable texture does not extend up the bed’s sides, however, so some buyers may still opt for additional aftermarket protection.

6. Improved Multimedia System

toyota-tundra-limited-2022-28-center-stack-display-interior-truck 2022 Toyota Tundra | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

The new Toyota Audio Multimedia System is standard, with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, straightforward menus, oversized icons and reportedly five-times-greater processing speed than the old system. Lower trims get an 8-inch screen, while upper trims use a 14-inch screen with a large volume knob.

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Things We Don’t Like

1. Fewer Available Features Than Competitors

Even with its impressive list of standard safety and convenience features, the Tundra doesn’t offer some of the latest advancements available on competing trucks. There’s no hands-free lane centering, something either already available or coming with the Ford F-150 and updated Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500s.

2. Capability Trails Rivals

toyota-tundra-2022-01-towing-black-exterior-mobile-trailer-truck

If you’re looking for enough towing and payload capability to haul your own home, look elsewhere. The Tundra is rated to tow up to 12,000 pounds and has a maximum payload capacity of 1,940 pounds; while both represent substantial increases over the outgoing model, it still falls short of maximum ratings for the Silverado 1500, F-150 and Ram 1500.

3. Transmission Falls Short

The Tundra’s new turbo V-6 engines that Mays drove (excluding the SR’s detuned version) are impressive indeed, but the 10-speed automatic transmission was a disappointment. Downshifts can be painfully long, especially at critical moments like pulling out to pass on a two-lane road. We also noticed occasional clunky upshifts. While the 10-speed helps keep revs down for increased fuel economy and greater efficiency, this is one area that still needs work.

4. Multimedia Missteps

toyota-tundra-sr5-trd-sport-2022-10-cockpit-front-seat-interior-steering-wheel-truck 2022 Toyota Tundra | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

We like the new Toyota Audio Multimedia System overall, but Toyota has still chosen to forego a tuning knob for quick changes on the fly. That omission seems even more notable in a pickup truck, where designers routinely go for oversized controls to make for easier operation with gloves.

Speaking of which, another oversight is that while the 14-inch system has an oversized volume knob, the 8-inch unit in lower models has a tiny one that could be difficult to use — and it’s employed on models more likely to be chosen by glove-wearing contractors.

5. Limited Visibility

Advanced driving aids like blind spot warning and intervention are invaluable assets, and we applaud Toyota for including these features on even base trims of the Tundra. But there is still no substitute for good sight lines and visibility, particularly in a large vehicle. Here, the Tundra comes up short, with big B-pillars that impair the view over your shoulder when changing lanes or in traffic.

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