Base pricing for the Tundra starts at $44,990 in Canada and $35,950 in the US.
The V8 is gone, but we don’t miss it, well only a little…
Spruced up, tech-loaded, but still just rough enough around the edges.
Toyota trucks are something of a conundrum. For reasons known only to those who drive or own them, they defy the rules of engagement. In a world where last week’s new SUV is now old compared to today’s latest, a 15-year Toyota Tundra still garnered plenty of attention until the very end.
That Tundra, the second of its name, had it been a dog, lived about 83 human years. But like a good boy, the full-size pickup kept on giving until the very end. The demise of the unfortunate Nissan Titan helped the Tundra’s take rate but, frankly, its unapologetic bruteness and cavalier ways were endearing. Here was a truck dedicated to being what it was without putting on a big show.
V6 double-T power
This unabashed honesty was something that could have been lost when Toyota decided to rebuild the truck but thankfully, the Tundra’s soul remains intact, or nearly. Simply put, the V8’s roar is all this is missing with the new truck. In the V8’s stead is a new iForce twin-turbocharged twin-intercooled 3.5-litre V6 that produces 389 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. of torque. Unfortunately, this engine seems to be suffering from an expensive and apparently occasionally fatal wastegate issues. During my week with the Tundra, the engine performed flawlessly.
In fact, the whole driving experience was essentially perfect, for a Tundra. The new 10-speed automatic suits the V6 brilliantly as it manages to keep the latter in the fattest portion of its power curve. Yes, I miss the V8 but this V6 will smoke it. Speaking of smoking, the hybrid version with its 583 lb.-ft. of torque will out-twist almost all ICE trucks.
The main motive for dropping the V8 in favour of the turbo V6 is fuel efficiency. On paper, Toyota Canada predicts that the Tundra will return an average of 12.2L/100km, but that’s very doubtful. While my near 17L/100km might be excessive, your reality should hover closer to 15L/100km.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra’s ride quality is impressive. Largely responsible for this are the all-new high-strength fully boxed steel ladder frame and the crew cab is mounted on hydraulic mounts. On top of these improvements, the tested unit featured the $3,000 Limited TRD Off Road package which holds 18-inch wheels and tires as well as TRD off-road shock absorbers.
For a Tundra, this combination equates to supreme refinement but it is still more “truck” than an equivalent GM of Ford pickup. As expected, the Crew Max Long Bed configuration makes for a long 20.5-foot vehicle to navigate yet the properly assisted steering and better than decent forward visibility.
The greatest upgrade
By far, the new 2022 Tundra’s best upgrade is the cabin itself. The previous truck’s interior was functional if a little prehistoric, in the nicest possible way. Now, there’s some form to meet the function. For the most part, Toyota retained the use of large buttons and controls which are always easy to operate even with gloves on. Designers couldn’t help themselves and fit typically small and dainty-ish buttons on the steering wheel’s spokes.
Dissatisfaction with the Tundra’s cab ends here. The Crew configuration is generously-sized and all seating positions are spacious and comfortable. There are numerous storage space options and frankly, the new dashboard is stylish and robust.
The same can be said about the 2022 Tundra’s appearance. For the most part, the big Toyota is handsome. I’m still stunned by someone pointing out that the front grille surround looks like a handle-bar mustache. Unfortunately, I can no longer un-see it.
Toyota should have focused on facilitating bed access as most other automakers have. Bumper steps or an integrated tailgate step should be included as standard, or at the very least, from the test Limited’s near $63,000 starting price. Otherwise, the 6-foot-5-inch-long box features notches for bed customization and a power outlet.
The best full-size truck?
No, it certainly is not. This title belongs to the truck you will buy. The all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra is a better alternative than ever (engine issues notwithstanding) to the American offerings. In fact, with the Nissan Titan now gone, it has become the sole “other” offering.
The important takeaways from this review are that, if you loved the old Tundra, its spirit lives on in the new one. And, its popularity will grow.