By Mike HanleySeptember 19, 2021
Competes with: Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ram 1500, Ford F-150, Nissan Titan
Looks like: A significant overhaul that adds some of the competition’s unique attributes
Powertrain: 389-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine or 437-hp, twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 hybrid drivetrain with 10-speed automatic transmission; rear- or four-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Late 2021
The Toyota Tundra full-size pickup truck is getting a full redesign for the 2022 model year that includes a number of significant changes over the outgoing model, which is based on a platform that dates to the 2007 model year but has seen interior and exterior styling changes over the years.
The 2022 Tundra ushers in two all-new powertrains, including a hybrid; a new multilink rear suspension that features available air springs; more and larger screen technology; and more standard active-safety features. The 2022 Tundra hits dealerships late in 2021, and will be offered in SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 and TRD Pro trim levels. Pricing has not yet been announced.
With bulging fenders, sharp lines and a massive front grille, the 2022 Tundra has a muscular look that’s modern but still maintains a visual connection to the prior-generation truck. Two four-door versions are available: Double Cab (extended-cab) trucks have a 6.5- or 8.1-foot bed, while CrewMax (crew-cab) models have a 5.5- or new 6.5-foot bed. The cargo bed is made of aluminum-reinforced composite for better dent protection and rust resistance compared with a steel bed, and it also precludes the need for a drop-in or spray-in bedliner.
The 2022 Tundra is built on a new, fully boxed high-strength steel frame for better rigidity and capability, and the frame also features larger crossmembers. On Limited and higher trim levels, the cab is attached to the frame with hydraulic mounts to improve overall comfort. Power-extending and folding tow mirrors are available, and they include rear-facing LEDs to help illuminate a trailer at night.
The new Tundra also makes the switch from a traditional leaf-spring rear suspension to a multilink design with coil springs. The Ram 1500 also uses this type of rear suspension, and Toyota says it improves ride comfort, stability and handling.
Like the Ram, the 2022 Tundra offers an available air suspension — though unlike the Ram, the Tundra’s is only available in the rear. The Toyota system includes automatic and manual leveling, as well as High, Low and Normal height settings. An adaptive suspension is available for the first time, too.
The Tundra for off-road driving remains the TRD Pro model. It features 2.5-inch Fox shocks with external reservoirs, a specific front stabilizer bar, red-painted suspension parts, an aluminum front skid plate, extra underbody protection and Falken all-terrain tires.
The 2022 Tundra’s interior is all new and features more technology. It’s the first Toyota model to use the automaker’s new multimedia system, which has standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, as well as over-the-air updates for the navigation system. The system comes with a standard 8-inch touchscreen or an available horizontally oriented 14-inch touchscreen. A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot is available.
The Tundra’s screen technology extends to the instrument panel. While analog instrumentation and a 4.1-inch information screen are standard, buyers can opt for a 12.3-inch customizable digital instrument panel, which is similar in size to the instrument panel screen offered in the Ford F-150. Other available upscale features include a panoramic moonroof, rear sunshade, heated steering wheel, and heated and ventilated front seats.
Under the Hood
Rated at 389 horsepower and 479 pounds-feet of torque, the Tundra’s new standard twin-turbocharged V-6 engine makes more power and torque than the previous Tundra’s 5.7-liter V-8. Selecting the hybrid drivetrain, which adds a motor-generator system in the powertrain’s bell housing, increases output to 437 hp and 583 pounds-feet of torque. Both versions work with a 10-speed automatic transmission that has two Tow/Haul modes designed for different-sized trailers.
The hybrid drivetrain uses a nickel-metal hydride battery pack located under the rear seat, and the Tundra hybrid can drive on electric power alone up to 18 mph. The closest competitor to the Tundra hybrid is the F-150 PowerBoost hybrid, which was new for the 2021 model year.
Maximum towing and payload capacities have increased for 2022; when properly equipped, the Tundra is now rated to tow up to 12,000 pounds and carry up to 1,940 pounds. Previous maximums were 10,200 pounds towing and 1,730 pounds of payload.
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Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 is standard on all 2022 Tundras. The suite of safety features includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and daytime bicyclist detection, as well as emergency steering assist to help keep evasive steering maneuvers within the lane of travel. Other features include automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane-centering steering, the latter of which works with adaptive cruise control.
Blind spot warning is standard, and the system works with the Tundra’s integrated trailer brake controller to recognize when there’s something in the extended blind spot created by a trailer. A 360-degree camera system is available.
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