Although Americans tend to overwhelmingly go with one of the Big Three when buying a full-size pickup, brands like Nissan and Toyota have done their best to try to keep up. The Toyota Tundra, for example, has been very popular as a fantastic off-road option that doesn’t rely on overwhelming you with half a dozen choices for the engine you want. That being said, the Tundra had been getting more than a little “long in the tooth” in its previous generation and desperately needed an update. Thankfully, Toyota has finally come through, and the 2022 Toyota Tundra is an all-new, heavily upgraded model that’s sure to win a lot of new fans.
This isn’t some minor refresh or exterior update – the 2022 Tundra has been revamped and improved inside and out. The engine is powerful, and you have two options available – it’s the same engine, but one features an impressive hybrid system for boosted power. A lot of people have complained about how dated the interior of the Tundra had become, but the update includes a gorgeous redesign, including an available, massive 14-inch infotainment display. If you’ve been looking for a full-size truck, but you’re bored with the Big Three, then the 2022 Tundra is definitely one you want to check out.
Long Overdue Update
I’m not being overly critical when I talk about the fact that the Tundra was due for an update – seriously, Toyota dragged their feet on this way too long. Consider this: the Tundra was first released for the 2000 model year; a second-generation model was released in 2007. The all-new 2022 model is the launch of the third generation, so for the last 15 years, the Tundra has remained largely the same (there was a refresh in 2014, but it really didn’t do much).
By comparison, the Chevy Silverado launched for the 1999 model year; its first generation ran from 1999 to 2006, the second generation from 2007 to 2013, the third generation from 2014 to 2018. Right now, the 2021 Silverado is a fourth-generation vehicle going up against Toyota’s second-generation Tundra, even though they’ve both been around for about the same amount of time. Toyota couldn’t possibly keep up with the kinds of changes the Silverado was getting without major updates for the Tundra, and it showed – Car and Driver gave the 2021 Tundra a 4.5/10 rating, and they were probably being nice.
Thankfully, with the 2022 Toyota Tundra, we’re finally getting the update that this full-size pickup really deserves. This isn’t a minor refresh or facelift – the Tundra has been reinvigorated throughout, starting with the engine. One of the great things about the Tundra is its simplicity – there’s only one engine offered on the 2021 model, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on anything (it’s just outdated).
For the 2022 Tundra, there’s still one primary engine, but you now have two options available for it. Every Tundra model comes with a 3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 engine that can give any V8 out there a real run for its money. The baseline i-Force option delivers 389 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque for great performance, though you can do even better. An available i-Force Max engine features the same engine paired with a hybrid system that features an electric motor to boost performance up to 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque – from a V6 engine!
This hybrid system also helps with fuel economy: at low speeds, the electric motor will do most of the work and help save you gas. At higher speeds and while towing, it helps boost the gas engine’s performance, so no matter what kind of traffic you’re in, you’re getting something from it. Regardless of which engine you choose, you’ll get a new 10-speed automatic that replaces the old 6-speed transmission.
In previous years, the Tundra continued to use a leaf-spring suspension, like a lot of other trucks, which resulted in a rough ride. The suspension in the Tundra was the source of a lot of complaints due to how it really lets you feel every little bump in the road – considering how popular the Tundra is for going off-road, that wasn’t ideal. Fortunately, the suspension has been completely reworked, and Toyota has taken things to the next level.
The new rear suspension on the 2022 Tundra uses a coil-spring system that allows for a far more comfortable ride. This new suspension and the redesigned frame allowed Toyota’s engineers to adjust the placement of the truck’s shock absorbers, which has improved overall efficiency and comfort. The double-wishbone front suspension has been improved over previous generations for added stability, better cornering, and a superior overall driving experience. You can see that Toyota has heard the complaints and criticism and rolled all of that feedback into a much-improved Tundra.
The interior of the Tundra was definitely feeling its age – it was spacious but not exactly luxurious or cutting edge. As you might expect, all of that has changed (well, not the spacious part) for the all-new 2022 model with a fully updated and stunning interior. There’s no mistaking this for a Tesla: the interior dashboard sweeps strongly from side to side with plenty of buttons and knobs to let you control everything you need. Standard features include a small driver information display and an 8-inch infotainment screen, but you have options.
Higher trims and going all-out on your interior choices will get you not only a huge 12-inch driver display behind the steering wheel but also a horizontally-oriented 14-inch infotainment display that looks amazing. There’s a volume knob (I can’t believe I have to specify that, but here we are) along with standard support for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus plenty of other bells and whistles that you’d expect. Pair all of that tech with options like available heated and ventilated leather-trimmed seating, real wood accents, and a push-button panoramic moonroof, and you’ve got something special.
Bold Off-Road Options
If you’re familiar with the Toyota Tundra already, then you’ve probably heard of the off-road-focused TRD Pro model. Good news: it’s still available, and it takes the off-road performance of the all-new 2022 Tundra to the next level. For starters, it has a unique TRD Pro grille with a bold appearance and an integrated light bar to help you on the trail at night. Then there’s the unique 18-inch forged alloy wheels, which are wrapped in Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires that provide incredible traction and really let you go anywhere.
Alongside the boosted off-road suspension, the TRD Pro features FOX shocks designed to handle even the roughest terrain. You’ll also get skid plates, mudguards, and 4×4 models have an electronic rear differential lock, a Multi-Terrain Select system, and a Crawl Control feature that’s perfect for handling rock crawling and similar situations. Altogether, the TRD Pro is something special that’s perfect if you plan on hitting the trail.
Was it Worth the Wait?
Undeniably, it would’ve been nice to see an update for the Tundra quite a few years ago – the refresh back in 2014 really should’ve been a new generation. As they say, however, “better late than never,” and this is certainly evidence of that. We don’t have every detail yet about the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra, but what they’ve shown so far is definitely exciting and much improved over what they offered last year. I don’t expect it to dethrone Ford, Chevy, or Ram any time soon, but at least there’s another excellent option if you’re looking for a full-size truck.