- The 2022 Tundra is all-new from the wheels up
- It's the first all-new Tundra since 2007
- The Tundra might finally be able to best its domestic rivals after years of stagnation
In what is potentially the biggest new-car launch of 2021, Toyota has finally taken the wraps off of its all-new Tundra. And they really do mean all-new this time. According to Toyota, not a single part has been taken from the old truck and used in the new one. That's exactly the sort of rebirth the aging Tundra needed.
But how new is new? And what are some of this truck's best features? Let's dig in and find out.
While the massive front grille might not be for everyone, it certainly makes an impression. It also pairs nicely with the 2022 Tundra's more modern, squared-off design. Pretty much anything was going to be an improvement over the current Tundra, but the new sheetmetal has real presence and looks muscular without being garish.
Gone is the old 5.7-liter V8 that powered the Tundras of yore. Good riddance, we say. It was great in 2008, but here in 2021, its dismal fuel economy and lackluster performance left the Tundra at the back of the pack. In its place are two V6 engines. The first and less powerful of the two new options is a 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6 (Toyota says it's a 3.5-liter engine, but it technically displaces 3,445 cubic centimeters, so it's a 3.4-liter engine in all actuality). It makes 389 hp and 479 lb-ft — that's more ponies and more twisting force than the old V8.But if you want to go all out, you can opt for the new i-Force Max, a hybridized version of the twin-turbo V6. Thanks to the extra hybrid juice, power rises to 437 hp and torque jumps to 583 lb-ft. Notably, the transmission is a conventional 10-speed automatic either way, so if you were worried that the hybrid might have a funky CVT-style transmission like other Toyota hybrids, enjoy your sigh of relief.
2022 Toyota Tundra
Like Ram, Toyota has decided to ditch rear leaf springs with the new Tundra. The benefits of this move include a significantly improved unladen ride, a quieter cabin and tighter handling. The new rear suspension architecture features dual-rate coil springs and a five-link suspension to handle the axle. Optional are rear air springs that automatically level the rear based on payload.
The front suspension is spring-only — no optional air suspension here. Toyota says this was a conscious choice to help keep the MSRP down, a move buyers will likely appreciate.
Despite ditching leaf springs, towing and hauling numbers haven't been negatively affected. In fact, they're actually better than what you'd get on the old V8-powered Tundra. The 2022 truck can tow up to 12,000 pounds with the regular V6 and 11,500 pounds with the heavier hybrid powertrain. That's much better than the previous truck's 10,100-pound max tow rating. Hauling is up, too, from 1,730 pounds of maximum payload capacity to 1,940 pounds. These numbers aren't class-leading, but they're a solid step up from the old Tundra.
The new Tundra can be had in a ton of different configurations. There will be either a double cab (with forward swinging half-doors) or a crew cab with four full doors. The crew cabs can be had with either a 6.5- or 8.1-foot bed, while the CrewMax Tundras offer a 5.5- or 6.5-foot bed. But the choices don't end there. The new Tundra will also be offered in seven different trims. They are: SR, SR5, SR5 with the TRD Sport Package (a street-biased suspension setup), Limited, Platinum, the 1974 Edition and the TRD Pro. Whew.
2022 Toyota Tundra
One of our least favorite parts of the old Tundra was the interior space. It was drab, filled to the brim with cheap plastics, and a decidedly old-school place to be. The new Tundra has righted all of those wrongs, or so it seems at first glance. The interior quality is way up, there are storage compartments everywhere, and there is finally a real infotainment system. Toyota also smartly kept the physical controls for its HVAC system, and the design is thoroughly modern. We'll have to wait until we get our hands on a production model to judge it on quality, but we like what we've seen so far.
Aside from the obvious step forward in interior design, there is also a load of new tech for the interior space. Gone is the old 8-inch touchscreen that served as the old infotainment option, replaced by either a new 8-inch unit or a truly massive 14-inch unit. They both run a much more intuitive infotainment setup than the previous Tundra, and we're happy to see Toyota step up its game in this department.
Higher trims also get a fully digital instrument cluster and have a built-in hot spot for working on the go.
Toyota has moved away from a hydraulically assisted steering rack for the new Tundra. It might not seem like the biggest change, but the old hydraulic rack was too heavy at low speeds compared to the easy electric boost of its rivals. The electric rack should make maneuvering the new Tundra a much simpler affair.
Like the smaller Tacoma, the Tundra now has a composite bed. That means there's no longer a need for a bedliner — built-in protection against scratching and scuffing is already there. It's another small change that will make a big difference to truck owners. We're glad that Toyota built its newest flagship with work-truck users in mind.
Modifying your truck to suit your needs and lifestyle is par for the course these days, and Toyota is offering a catalog of 51 dealer-installed add-ons at launch. Some of the highlights include a 3-inch lift, TRD-branded running boards and in-bed cargo boxes.
It's been a long time coming, but the new Tundra is finally here. We're impressed by its new looks, new tech and fresh interior, but we'll have to wait until we test it to deliver a final verdict.