- The 2022 Toyota Tundra starts at $37,600 in the United States and at $46,880 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.
- Improved driving dynamics, increased payload and towing capacities, good reputation for reliability.
- Less spacious cabin than before, larger turning diameter, fuel economy still not up to par with the competition.
It isn’t easy for foreign automakers to grab a slice of the profitable full-size pickup truck segment. However, with the 2022 Toyota Tundra, the Japanese manufacturer is seeking to finally gain some serious ground in this extremely popular and lucrative category.
To achieve this, the Tundra received a complete overhaul this year. The outgoing second generation was produced for the 2007 to 2021 model years, an eternity in the automotive industry, even though several changes and improvements were applied over the years, including a mid-cycle refresh with an updated interior for the 2014 model year.
The big challenge, in fact, is to rival American brands GM, Ford and Ram in the number of configurations, powertrains and features. After two generations, the Nissan Titan didn’t succeed and will soon retire from the U.S. market, while it’s already gone from the Canadian market. However, the Toyota Tundra is hanging around, built in Texas where full-size pickup trucks rule the land.
While the outgoing Tundra was recognized for its outstanding reliability, largely surpassing those of its rivals, its fuel consumption was also known for being very high. The company is resetting the trip odometer with the new 2022 Toyota Tundra, no longer equipped with a V8 engine, but two variants of its twin-turbo 3.5L V6 (actual displacement is 3,445 cc). The first one develops 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, up from the 381 horses and 401 pound-feet produced by the retired 5.7L V8. However, the SR trim level gets a detuned engine with 348 horsepower and 405 pound-feet, just to make it a little less interesting.
Managed by a 10-speed automatic transmission, the 2022 Tundra boasts city/highway/combined ratings of 17/23/19 mpg or 13.6/10.4/12.2 L/100 km with 4WD. The old Tundra consumed at a combined rate of 14 mpg or 16.3 L/100 km, so that’s quite an improvement. During our test of a Limited TRD Off Road CrewMax, we observed an average of 17 mpg or 13.5 L/100 km.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra can also be equipped with a new twin-turbo hybrid V6, which develops 437 horsepower and a massive 583 pound-feet of torque, thanks to the assistance of an electric motor and a 1.87 kWh battery. With this powertrain, fuel economy is even lower in city driving, with city/highway/combined ratings of 19/22/20 mpg or 12.7/10.5/11.7 L/100 km.
Meanwhile, the Tundra is also a better workhorse, as its towing capacity increased from 10,200 to 12,000 pounds or 4,627 to 5,443 kg (11,170 pounds / 5,069 kg max in Canada), while payload capacity climbed from 1,730 to 1,940 pounds or 785 to 880 kg.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra start at $37,600 in the United States and at $46,880 in Canada, freight and delivery charges includes. It’s worth noting that the CrewMax can be specified with either 4×2 or 4×4 drivetrains in the U.S., but in Canada, only the CrewMax 4×4 is available. The trim level walk includes SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1974 Edition, TRD Pro and new-for-2022 Capstone, while TRD Off Road and TRD Sport packages can be added to some of these trim levels.
What the 2022 Toyota Tundra Does Well
- First and foremost, it’s the most reliable full-size pickup truck on the market, according to Consumer Reports. It’s way ahead of the Chevy Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Ford F-150 and Ram 1500, which are stuck dealing with various powertrain, mechanical component and electronic system issues. We’ll see if the new Tundra can follow in the footsteps of the outgoing generation, but it’s usually the case with Toyota products.
- The hybrid twin-turbo 3.5L V6 provides lots of power and plenty of torque, acting as an interesting engine upgrade that doesn’t cost more to fuel up. It’s actually more efficient around town than the base 3.5L engine. With both engines, fuel consumption has been significantly reduced.
- The new Tundra is much more modern than before, with newfound comfort and convenience items, such as a heated steering wheel, which was sorely lacking in the previous-gen truck. A power panoramic sunroof is also offered, and the new Capstone edition brings more luxury features than ever to the Tundra.
- Payload and towing capacities have increased in the new generation. While very few owners likely exploit these extreme capacities, it’s nice to know the Tundra can handle a load of up to 12,000 pounds.
What the 2022 Toyota Tundra Doesn’t Do Well
- While fuel consumption is down, it’s not better than the competition’s numbers, which have more powertrain choices as well. The twin-turbo hybrid V6 may be more powerful and more efficient, it still can’t beat the F-150 Hybrid’s 430 horsepower, 570 pound-feet of torque and city/highway/combined ratings of 23/23/23 mpg or 10.3/10.0/10.2 L/100 km with 4WD.
- The Tundra’s all-new infotainment system is more modern and quicker, which is obviously appreciated. However, the optional 14-inch touchscreen is big to the point where some on-screen menu text is exaggerated, in-your-face too big. There’s no home button because there’s no home screen, and although the system includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, our test truck constantly disconnected our Android phone, which was very irritating. This should get solved with a software update.
- Towing and payload are up, but once again, we’re still not to what the competition can muster. In addition, the Tundra brings no innovations for making the work day easier, such as trick integrated bed steps, lockable tool boxes, multi-adjustable tailgates and other cool features the competition stands out with.
- Ride quality has improved notably, but the Tundra’s turning diameter has increased compared to the outgoing generation. Interior space isn’t as generous as before, either, with slightly lower rear-seat legroom and headroom.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra has improved in many ways, and it’s safe to say it has caught up to its rivals in on-board tech, comfort and convenience features as well as payload and towing capacities. It’s also uses much less fuel, so its biggest shortcoming has been addressed.
On the other hand, is catching up to the competition good enough in this all-important segment, where the spec sheet is just as important as ride quality, fuel consumption and how rugged its looks are? It would have been nice to see Toyota actually leapfrog Ford, GM and Ram in certain aspects, if only for a while. On the other hand, the Tundra’s ace in its sleeve is its strong reputation for reliability, and that may be enough for many full-size truck buyers.