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Experience Joy with the Toyota Tundra 2022

Image Source: Jack Skeens / Shutterstock

The 2022 Toyota Tundra is making significant strides with its introduction of a hybrid powertrain, coil-spring rear suspension, and cutting-edge technology. This full-size pickup truck offers a new hybrid option, three bed choices, and two four-door cab sizes. Although it may not have the same variety of configurations and electric options as the Ford F-150, it does adopt a coil spring rear suspension similar to the Ram 1500.

The revamped Tundra has finally caught up with the times, providing a smoother ride, more efficient powertrain selections, and top-notch off-road and towing technology that rivals its best-selling competitors. The updated infotainment interface showcases Toyota’s dedication to modernizing key features of the third-generation Tundra, propelling it to the top of its class.

The 2022 Toyota Tundra has taken a significant leap forward. While still large and robust, it seems to have attained a more agile appearance compared to its previous cumbersome iteration. Available in crew cab and extended cab variants with four doors, the new Tundra’s omega-shaped grille announces its commanding presence. The redesigned truck is slightly wider, about two inches taller, and 4.7 inches longer with the short or standard beds, or 2.2 inches longer with the long bed and extended cab.

Seven grille options, encompassing honeycomb or slat designs, differentiate between the trim levels, with the top TRD Pro model featuring a light bar beneath the Toyota nameplate. TRD Pro models boast a broader track and protruding fenders, resulting in a width of 81.6 inches, which is 1.4 inches wider than the other models. According to federal law, three amber lights at the front and center are mandatory, similar to Heavy Duty trucks, the Ford F-150 Raptor, and Ram 1500 TRX.

The standard LED headlights and DRLs seamlessly blend into the substantial fenders, accentuating the truck’s bold presence. The prominent fenders and squared-off wheel cutouts are linked by a recessed character line along the lower portion of the doors, with a choice of eight new 18-inch or 20-inch wheel designs completing the vehicle’s profile. A power liftgate can be easily accessed via a bump switch near the driver-side taillight or through the fob.

The 2022 Toyota Tundra offers twin-turbo V-6 engine options that enhance its efficiency. The base 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 generates 389 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, delivering enough power to squeal the tires on the standard 18-inch wheels. The peak torque is available at 2,400 rpm, and the twin-turbo setup eliminates any turbo lag. Despite its substantial size, it accelerates more swiftly than expected. The inclusion of aluminum body panels offsets some of the weight increase from the additional equipment, resulting in a minor weight gain ranging from 5,400 to 5,700 lb on crew cab models.

The 10-speed automatic transmission effortlessly shifts through gears, offering a smooth driving experience. However, during passing maneuvers at cruising speeds, the transmission may hesitate momentarily as it downshifts into seventh gear or lower to provide the necessary power.

The highlight of the 2022 Tundra is the optional 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 hybrid engine, generating 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque at 2,400 rpm. A motor generator situated between the engine and transmission provides additional engine power during driving, while the hybrid system facilitates engine stop/start, regenerative braking, electric assistance, and EV operation at speeds under 18 mph. The hybrid operation is quiet at lower speeds and off-road settings, outperforming the base V-6 in terms of speed and agility. The new Capstone trim and TRD Pro exclusively feature the hybrid powertrain, while it is offered on Limited, Platinum, and 1794 models. The Tundra Hybrid houses a 1.87-kwh nickel-metal hydride battery pack beneath the rear seats, resulting in a slight reduction in interior space with the absence of rear underseat storage.

While rear-wheel drive comes standard on the 2022 Tundra, most buyers opt for the four-wheel-drive configuration, which is standard on the TRD Pro model. All models feature an electronic limited-slip rear differential and a two-speed transfer case that necessitates shifting into neutral to engage 4H or 4L.

The Tundra is equipped with a new, lightweight double wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension with coil springs replacing the old leaf springs. This setup offers a smooth and quiet on-road experience, reducing any bouncing commonly associated with an empty truck bed, as well as minimizing body lean during turns. However, between 65 and 70 mph, some vibration may be felt within the cabin, especially with the available 20-inch wheels.

Among the five suspension choices, the rear air suspension may seem the most advanced, although it is limited to three heights designed for specific purposes: the Low setting, which transitions to Normal above 8 mph, primarily for bed loading and unloading; and the High setting, transitioning to Normal above 18 mph, intended for low-speed off-roading. A manual switch on the center stack enables toggling between the three settings within the speed limits, while the automatic setting provides a more simplified experience.

Models equipped with adaptive dampers, akin to those used on Lexus performance vehicles, effectively absorb road imperfections for a more comfortable ride. These models must be paired with the air suspension and offer Sport+ and Comfort modes that impact damper stiffness and steering feedback.

Available on SR5, Limited, and 1794 models, the TRD Off-Road packages replace standard twin-tube shocks with monotube Bilsteins, feature 18-inch or 20-inch TRD wheels, a specialized grille, skid plates, mud guards, and an electronic rear differential lock on 4WD models. TRD Pro variants are equipped with 2.5-inch Fox internal bypass shocks with a 1.1-inch front lift, a TRD-specific front stabilizer bar, an aluminum front skid plate, and all-terrain Falken tires.

The 2022 Tundra navigates off-road terrains with ease, although the wide build of the TRD Pro model may pose challenges when maneuvering tight turns surrounded by trees. However, this model offers a smoother, quieter, and technologically advanced experience compared to its predecessor. The hill descent control button, standard on TRD Pro models, enables pedal-free descents on rugged slopes, allowing drivers to focus on obstacles ahead. Through the console dial, the descent speed can be adjusted from 3-18 mph, or overridden entirely by pressing the throttle. This system operates seamlessly without the abrupt changes experienced with more basic setups.

The same button activates a Crawl mode, providing low-speed cruise control for ascending inclines. With a ground clearance of up to 10.9 inches on the TRD Pro (11.2 inches with the SR5 crew cab), engaging the High setting on the air suspension offers additional protection for the differential against impacts. Side mirror cameras enhance visibility by projecting blind spots between the wheels, and when combined with the front camera, they provide a comprehensive view for navigating narrow rocky paths without external assistance. The new side mirrors also feature LED trailer lights that illuminate the trailer’s side during nighttime parking.

All models, except the base model, come with two tow haul modes that enhance towing performance, with Tow+ mode adjusting shift responsiveness and throttle mapping to optimize towing loads exceeding 5,000 lb. The steering offers increased resistance, and the air suspension helps stabilize the load, particularly during towing. The twin-turbo engine may experience slight lag due to the weight behind the truck; however, the hybrid model accelerates smoothly and effortlessly, even on inclines. The towing capacity peaks at 12,000 lb with the SR5 extended cab equipped with the standard engine.

Moreover, the brake gain setting allows for incremental adjustments up to 10, aiding in controlling trailer sway and applying additional braking force when towing heavier loads or descending long, steep grades. The system can store up to 10 trailer profiles, allowing for manual input of trailer length that can also be detected using the various cameras. Toyota’s reverse trailering assistant, known as “Straight Path Assist,” relies on the driver’s perception of straight alignment when positioning the trailer.The 2022 Tundra boasts a surround-view camera system that displays different angles on the infotainment screen, aiding in parking and hitching.

Compared to the previous V-8 engine, the new twin-turbo V-6 in the 2022 Tundra is more fuel-efficient, with estimated mpg figures of 20 city, 24 highway, and 22 combined in rear-wheel drive, and 19/22/21 in 4WD. The Tundra’s standard safety features enhance occupant and vehicle safety through features like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.

The interior of the 2022 Tundra has been significantly upgraded, featuring large touchscreens and premium materials like leather and walnut trim, though the design of the dash vents has room for improvement. The truck offers rear-wheel and four-wheel drive options, each slightly affecting fuel efficiency.

Toyota has expanded the Tundra’s cab and bed options, providing more versatility for users. The crew cab now offers a choice of a short or standard bed. The truck bed includes innovative features like a power release tailgate and a durable resin composite shell that protects against damage.

On the technology front, the 2022 Tundra impresses with its large touchscreens, advanced infotainment system with wireless connectivity, and available 14-inch touchscreen with enhanced functionality. The truck also offers features like a power rear window, heated seats, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The 2022 Tundra lineup includes trim levels like SR, Limited, Platinum, 1794, TRD Pro, and Capstone, each offering unique features and finishes. Prices start at $37,645 for the base model and go up to $75,225 for the range-topping Capstone hybrid. The truck is backed by a warranty and roadside assistance program.

Overall, the 2022 Toyota Tundra represents a significant leap forward in terms of efficiency, technology, and versatility. With its robust capabilities and advanced features, it stands out as a top contender in the full-size truck segment.

Image Source: Jack Skeens / Shutterstock

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