Breaking the stranglehold on the full-size truck class is not easy. Toyota has been trying for more than 20 years to break into national brand dominance, although the automaker has stepped up the pace by launching its largest Tundra to date, built at a new plant in the United States (Texas) and offered in dozens of configurations. That was thirteen years ago, just before a major economic downturn and soaring fuel prices that saw large trucks and SUVs lose much of their favor with American buyers. The money spent on the factory (which was well over budget …) and the resources spent to launch this all new and bigger Tundra suddenly felt like a rare Toyota misstep, or at least terribly unfortunate timing. . The fact that the Tundra’s annual sales never crossed the 200,000 mark and averaged about half of it certainly didn’t help the Tundra’s business case.
But Toyota has a history of not giving up, and the all-new 2022 Tundra reflects both the company’s desire for success and its recognition of the financial rewards that come with full-size truck sales. This new Tundra was designed and developed in the United States, and it will be built at that same plant in San Antonio. Its list of upgrades includes a high-strength steel ladder frame, an aluminum-reinforced composite body, and an all-new multi-link coil-spring rear suspension. The rear frame has been widened to improve towing capacity, while an aluminum hood and door panels reduce weight. The result is a towing capacity of up to 12,000 pounds and a payload capacity of up to 1,940 pounds. Toyota says the stronger chassis, new double wishbone front suspension and independent rear suspension and improved hydraulic cab mounts (on Limited and above models) will significantly improve ride quality on the 2022 Tundra.
Toyota told us that the exterior uses “an interlocking design language” to reflect strength and capability. The front is supposed to look like a punch in the air, with slim, raised headlights for a high-tech accent. Interlocking body panel lines and chiseled shapes above the wheels continue the “interlock” theme, as do the integrated rear bumper corners. This is a first for full-size trucks, placing more emphasis on the taillights and the two-piece tailgate with its rear spoiler. Designing a full-size truck is a risky business, involving enough aggression to look tough and strong, but not as aggressive as it seems artificial and elaborate. In our eyes, Toyota has hit the nail on the head with the exterior look of the 2022 Tundra.
The interior design is meant to be more horizontal than a typical truck cab, with a clearly defined beam on the dashboard and the lock theme continuing into the way the door panels, air registers and screen central come together. An optional 14-inch display was a high priority in expressing the technological aspect of the new truck, but it had to emphasize durability rather than looking too thin or glued together. Graphics from the optional 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster are also intended to lend a robust theme, with a starter graphic that shows branded scenes from five national parks.
The unique interface features of the new Tundra include microphones and dual speakers to detect whether the driver or passenger is using the enhanced voice command system, with responses based on who is making the request. Likewise, the Tundra’s latest Bluetooth system can connect two phones simultaneously and accept calls for either one based on a priority setting. Toyota’s branded dual-information display layout, which could simultaneously display, for example, audio and navigation in separate boxes, was dropped in favor of a screen entirely dedicated to each function combined with Persistent icons on the left side to quickly switch between functions. Tech fans will appreciate standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wireless, as well as a Toyota app that stores and resets user profiles via phone or tablet.
Functionality was the other main focus of the new Tundra’s interior design, with an all-new center console offering dedicated side rails that the driver or passenger can use as armrests, even when the storage lid is open to access the interior compartment. . Premium options include a panoramic roof, heated and ventilated seats, rear sun visor, and multiple cameras, including a top-to-bottom view of the bed to check cargo or help hitch the trailer. TRD models feature a blacked-out cabin theme and the 1794 luxury trim features premium materials. Every Tundra also comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, offering forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, emergency steering assistance, radar cruise control, lane change assistance and automatic high beams. .
Probably the biggest novelty of the 2022 Toyota Tundra is what it doesn’t offer: a V8 engine. Toyota has fully committed to smaller, more powerful transmissions, offering just two versions of its 3.5-liter V6 in the new truck. The base engine is a twin-turbo version of the V6, delivering 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, both figures higher than the outgoing V8. If that’s not enough horsepower and torque, a hybrid version of the 3.5-liter V6 adds an engine-generator and a sealed 288V nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery under the rear seat, passing the peak horsepower at 437 and peak torque at 583. Both engines are mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission with programming for up-hill and down-hill shift logic and tow / haul drive modes.
Toyota expects 75 percent of new Tundra sales to be the standard V6, 25 percent to be hybrid. The company was quick to note that the new Tundra’s chassis is designed to accept multiple transmissions, including whatever the future may bring. Considering the rapid rollout of full-size, all-electric trucks that the market will see over the next 2 years, it’s hard to imagine that Toyota doesn’t have a Tundra EV layout in development and ready to roll out, but the automaker would not confirm or deny anything. .
While the engine choices are reduced to two, the new Toyota Tundra 2022 is available in a variety of body styles and trim levels. Two four-door models, the smaller Double Cab and the larger CrewMax, can be fitted with different body lengths. A 6.5 and 8.1 foot bed is offered on the double cabin, while the Crew Max comes with a 5.5 bed or, for the first time, a longer 6.5 foot bed. Trim levels include SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum and 1794, as well as the TRD Pro and TRD Sport all-terrain packages. The new TRD Pro package will be built from the Limited trim, which means heated and ventilated seats and a larger 14-inch screen, as well as Fox shocks, 1-inch lift, 18-inch wheels, aluminum skid plates, a ramp control and a locking differential. The TRD Sport package includes 20-inch wheels and a lowered suspension.
Toyota has yet to announce pricing or fuel economy numbers for the 2022 Tundra, but the new truck will go on sale before the end of the year, and those numbers, along with full driving impressions, will be on sale. available before the truck arrives on dealer lots. Will this latest version of Toyota’s Tundra take more of the full-size truck market away from these dominant domestics? We’ll see soon enough, but it’s clear Toyota isn’t straying from this incredibly important segment.