2022 Toyota Tundra Review Rundown: Big Improvements in Comfort and Control
The old Toyota Tundra had been out for a long, long time... the V8 may be lost but quite a bit of refinement was gained with this new version.
The outgoing Toyota Tundra came out when I was still a middle schooler. Now, I’m just about old enough to have a kid preparing for middle school myself, and Toyota’s finally gotten around to replacing the Tundra with a significantly updated design. Long overdue, but completely welcome, initial first drives are in, and it sounds like the Tundra is a pretty good truck.
Welcome to another Review Rundown, where we’ve gathered and contextualized a whole bunch of good reviews so you can get a range of perspectives in one place.
Here’s the Scoop
After 14 long years on the market, Toyota’s finally released a new Tundra. Underneath it rides on a new platform, with a totally new interior, exterior, powertrains, suspension. This time, the Tundra looks ready to go toe to toe with its Ford, Ram, and Chevy truck competitors.
On The Powertrain
The new Tundra has ditched V8 powertrains for a 3.4 liter (marketed as a 3.5 liter), twin-turbo V6 engine. This engine claims 389 horsepower (348 on the base SR trim), and 479 ft/lbs of torque (405 ft/lbs of torque on the base SR trim). For drivers who want even more grunt, Toyota offers a hybridized version with an electrician motor that boosts output to 437 horsepower, with 538 ft/lbs of torque. Both engines are mated to a ten-speed automatic.
David Tracy for Jalopnik: “The twin-turbo V6 sounds hollow compared to the old truck’s throaty V8, and honestly, the new boosted engine mated to the 10-speed didn’t really feel much faster, either. And it should, because even though the 389 horsepower output of the new motor is just eight ponies more than the outgoing truck’s V8, those four extra gears and the lower curb weight should combine to make a significant difference. Maybe the truck is quicker, but it’s hard to notice due to how well-isolated the cabin is.”
Caleb Jacobs for The Drive: “That 3.5-liter, twin-turbo, gas-only V6 is exceptional for a base engine, even if it doesn’t have as much punch as Ford’s comparable power plant. Since peak torque comes on at 2,400 rpm, it pulls away from stoplights in a hurry and can keep accelerating up lofty grades, even with a load. It really shines, though, when it’s paired with the Tundra’s hybrid system.”
Frank Markus for MotorTrend: “Both powertrains offer strong, smooth acceleration from nearly any speed. The Max hybrid’s 12 percent horsepower advantage didn’t blow our proverbial skirts up. The performance difference—at least unladen—feels vastly less compelling than, say, the 61 percent power jump from the second-gen Tundra’s original 4.0-liter V-6 to its 5.7-liter V-8. Hopefully the price premium will be similarly modest, then.”
Jeff Perez for Motor1: “That 3.5-liter, twin-turbo, gas-only V6 is exceptional for a base engine, even if it doesn’t have as much punch as Ford’s comparable power plant. Since peak torque comes on at 2,400 rpm, it pulls away from stoplights in a hurry and can keep accelerating up lofty grades, even with a load. It really shines, though, when it’s paired with the Tundra’s hybrid system.”
Ezra Dyer for Car and Driver: “Both powertrains are hushed, piping in some synthesized engine noises to provide a little drama when you dig deep on the throttle. So, whether in Eco mode or Sport+, there’s a prominent growl when you floor the accelerator. It’s not bad. And with the windows down, every now and then you catch the sound of the turbos spooling up.”
On Ride Quality and Road Manners
Notably, Toyota ditches the leaf spring rear axle in the old Tundra, for a more advanced coil-sprung setup. Also, the Tundra’s frame is now fully boxed. Previously, the old truck had “c-shaped” frame members, a common point of contention among truck fans.
Travis Langness for Edmunds: “You do tend to get some bounce in the cabin, that’s to be expected in the full-sized [truck] class, but the Tundra is certainly more in line with the crop of full-sizers today like the F-150 and the Silverado.”
Lyn Woodward for Kelley Blue Book: “You can tell instantly, just how much better it is. So much more stability, so much more control, so much more comfort.”
Caleb Jacobs, for The Drive: “Coming from someone who’s used to leaf spring suspensions, and quite honestly, rough-riding old trucks, the all-new Tundra is better because of its coil springs.”
Jeff Perez for Motor1: “It’s comfortable, capable, and exceptionally poised. There’s minimal body roll and few uncouth movements, while the steering is solid with a hefty yet responsive feel.”
Frank Markus for MotorTrend: “Dropping the rear leaf setup greatly improves ride quality, as amply demonstrated by a few second-gen Tundras on hand for comparison. Sadly, no Rams were provided to assess class competitiveness with the class leader on the same surfaces. Forced to recall previous time spent in Ram 1500s, many of the gathered journalists on hand felt Ram still holds the edge in ride quality.”
On Interior Practicality and Usefulness
The Tundra is completely new inside, with a Lexus-like infotainment system. An eight-inch touchscreen system is standard on lower trims, but upper-level trims get the option of a whopping 14-inch system.
David Tracy for Jalopnik: “I also got used to the “Toyota Audio Multimedia system” displayed on a 14-inch touchscreen in my truck, though an eight-incher is standard. This infotainment system, developed by Toyota in-house, was superb during the short time that I used it›.”
Ezra Dyer for Car and Driver: “One thing that’s missing from both systems is a tuner knob for the stereo. If you frequently listen to SiriusXM or terrestrial radio, that could be a major aggravation—the hard buttons on the steering wheel scroll through presets, but not from channel to channel.”
Travis Langness for Edmunds: “For starters, the screen doesn’t wash out in the sun. Even with the sunroof wide open, the screen is super easy to see. This is now one of my favorite screens in any truck.”
Frank Markus for MotorTrend: “The CrewMax rear seat is commodious, and its seat cushion seems deeper than most, providing extra thigh support. Legroom is borderline laughable in the Double Cab; shortening that bottom cushion would certainly add leg clearance.”
The Tundra’s new V6 engine and coil-sprung rear axle seems like it’d be a less-hardy setup than what its competitors run. Remarkably, Toyota insists the new coil-sprung rear axle makes the Tundra better to tow with.
Frank Markus for MotorTrend: “A lighter SR5 hooked to a 3,500-pound camper felt somewhat lethargic in Tow mode, but a Platinum edition with the same i-Force engine hooked to a giant tandem-axle generated wheelspin and felt lively in Tow+ mode.”
Caleb Jacobs for The Drive: “While I wasn’t able to tow with a Tundra hybrid at last week’s launch, I did pull a roughly 7,000-pound Airstream camper with the normal twin-turbo V6, which makes 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. It had plenty of get-up-and-go, so you can bet the electrified lump is a plenty capable performer with its 437 hp and 583 pound-feet.”
Travis Langness for Edmunds: “The ten-speed automatic has good shift logic, and with that air suspension in the back, it doesn’t bounce as much, doesn’t have that jittery ride.” (Comparison to the non Hybrid, non-air suspension 2022 Tundra)
Although still lacking some of the fancy tricks and toys that the Ford, Ram, and Chevy trucks have been luring people in with, the new Tundra seems like it’s improved a lot on its long-lived predecessor. If you’re looking for a half-ton truck, it’s well worth looking at this fully reworked Toyota.