Meet the New 2022 Tundra – First Look & Complete Overview on the Brand New 3rd Gen Toyota Tundra
It’s been over a decade since Toyota released a new, completely redesigned, Tundra model. The debut Tundra was released in 1999 and it was the first full-size pick-up by a Japanese manufacturer produced in North America. The second generation was released in 2007 (fourteen years ago).
While Toyota’s Tacoma tops the mid-size truck segment, the same can’t be said about Tundra’s ranking in the full-size truck market. Over the years, the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, and the Ram 1500 have dominated.
However, that may soon change. After a long-anticipated wait, Toyota finally unveiled its newest Tundra in September of 2021. The 2022 Toyota Tundra is fully redesigned from the ground up; it’s built tough, more capable, and more durable than its predecessors. From preliminary indications, it looks like Toyota is ready to take on its competitors in the full-size truck segment. But how does it really measure up? Let’s take an in-depth look at the 2022 Toyota Tundra.
Toyota offers seven trim options for the Tundra, each offering specialized functionality, distinct aesthetics and unique character:
- SR – The base model with standard capabilities
- SR5 – A slight upgrade from the SR with additional functionality
- Limited – Mid-grade model and better equipped than SR5
- Platinum – Luxury model with more chrome
- 1794 – A western-themed luxury truck
- TRD Pro – Specially designed for off-roading
- Capstone – The ultimate in truck luxury
In addition to these trims, Toyota offers a TRD Off-Road package which is available on SR5, Limited and 1794 models. This takes performance and functionality on off-road terrains to the next level and includes:
- TRD off-road suspension
- TRD skid plates
- TRD leather shift knob
- TRD grille
- Mud guards
- 18-inch TRD wheels, with unique 20-inch wheels on Limited and 1794 trims
The latest Toyota Tundra was designed in both Michigan and California, with testing done in Michigan.
It is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio, Texas.
Featuring a sturdy, high-strength, fully-boxed, body-on-frame design, the 3rd gen Tundra is built tough. The fully boxed body-on-frame attribute gives the truck the rigidity needed to navigate the most demanding of terrains.
While ruggedness is key to the capability of any pick-up truck, strength must be balanced with optimal weight for best performance. That is why Toyota designed the frame to be as lightweight as possible without compromising on strength. Using laser-welded blanks allows for variable thicknesses which increases strength on the frame where necessary and minimizing weight where it’s not.
The rear frame is widened for enhanced stability and to maximize towing capacity. The 3rd Gen Tundra boasts a maximum towing capacity of 12,000 pounds and a maximum payload capacity of 1,940 pounds. While impressive, these are not class-leading figures.
The Tundra’s composite, corrosion-free truck bed is built strong, yet lightweight. It’s made from Sheet-Molded Compound (SMC) with aluminum cross members for reinforcement. Unlike steel decks, this bed is highly durable, dent, scratch and rust-resistant.
In terms of exterior styling, Toyota’s design team wanted the exterior design to reflect the truck’s capabilities; in other words, the new Tundra had to look like what it could do.
They adopted the motif of “technical muscle” for both the exterior and interior design, which reflects their goal of blending muscularity, modern sleekness and advanced functionality.
The new truck features a hard-to-miss integrated, hex front grille which extends down to the front bumper. High-mounted LED headlights are positioned on each side of the grille. Each trim features a distinct grille to reflect the trim’s character. The TRD Pro trim’s grille features an integrated light bar for added illumination on off-road trails. The Platinum grille is unique with its dark chrome accents, while the 1794 Edition’s bold grille features a bright chrome finish.
Bold lines and big, muscular fender flares give the truck an aesthetic of maximum toughness, while large bumper ends interlock with the front end of the vehicle for a premium look. All trims feature easy lower and lift tailgate with smart switch release, with a “TUNDRA” stamp (TRD Pro is stamped with “TRD PRO”).
Two Cab Options
The Toyota Tundra comes with two cab options: Double Cab and CrewMax, both sporting two bed configurations.
For the Double Cab, you can either opt for the 6.5-foot bed or an 8.1-foot bed, while the CrewMax offers 5.5-foot bed and a 6.5-foot bed options. The CrewMax features a full-power back window while the Double Cab has a power-sliding rear window.
Pictured – TRD Pro Interior
According to Toyota, the interior is also designed with a “technical muscle” motif in mind. It features a horizontal layout, instead of the vertical layout employed in most trucks.
Fabric and leather-trimmed seats are available, depending on the trim. Lower trims come standard with soft-cloth seats while leather is featured on premium trims. Also, each trim has a unique design pattern on seats to accommodate consumer preferences.
Pictured – 1794 Smoked Mesquite Interior
The interior is also loaded with cool features that optimize comfort, convenience and functionality. These include:
- Standard 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen system and an available 14-inch high-resolution touchscreen
- An all-new digital 12.3-inch instrument panel
- Panoramic moonroof
- Heated steering wheel
- Rear sun shade
- Heated and ventilated front seats
Pictured – All-New Advanced Multimedia System
The 2022 Toyota Tundra is the first to feature Toyota’s totally redesigned infotainment system. As we mentioned, two high-resolution touchscreens are available; an 8-inch touchscreen, standard on the base Tundra, and a massive 14-inch touchscreen, which is available for owners who want to go all out. They are positioned for the driver’s convenience, front and center on the dashboard. You can use your fingers to scroll, swipe, and pinch to zoom in and out, just like you would on a smartphone or tablet. Both offer incredible screen resolution – 720p for the 8-in and 1080p for the 14-in. With faster processing, five times that of the previous generation’s system, the infotainment system maximizes user experience with its intuitive and highly responsive user interface.
Featuring in-built wireless-compatible Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you have access to iPhone apps like Apple Music, Maps and Messages – as well as your favorite Android apps, respectively.
The infotainment system also offers support for multiple user profiles which means if more than one driver uses the vehicle, each can save their personalized settings on the system to use when they drive.
With Drive Connect (a paid subscription), you get access to Cloud Navigation, Intelligent Assistant and Destination Assistant. Cloud Navigation provides up-to-date map, traffic and POI information, and is integrated with Google’s POI data. So, you can be sure you are getting the most recent data available. Intelligent Assistant is a voice-activated command system, an upgrade from the Digital Assistant, providing a more intuitive user experience. It requires a wake-up phrase like “Hello, Toyota” or “Okay, Toyota” to activate. You can then request a task, like asking for directions or changing in-cabin temperature.
A three-month SiriusXM Platinum Plan trial subscription is available for owners to enjoy not just music, but comedy, sports and more on over 165 channels. You also have the option of a premium JBL Audio System with 12 speakers if you want to take things to the next level and up the entertainment in your Tundra.
12.3-inch Instrument Panel on Select Trims
An all-new fully digital 12.3-inch instrument panel, positioned directly in front of the driver, is available for certain Tundra grades. Essential driving information is displayed in clear, sharp quality for easy visibility. All gauges, like the tachometer and speedometer, are digital.
Standard on lower trims is a combination option – a 4.1-inch digital multi-information screen (MID) with analog readouts that surround the MID. Analog gauges include a tachometer, speedometer, fuel and oil gauges.
Other cool in-cabin features include power seats with heating, ventilation and memory functionality and standard automatic climate control.
Power & Performance
So, what’s under the hood of the new Tundra? Toyota has gotten abandoned the V8 from the previous model.
Now, it offers two all-new powertrains – a standard i-FORCE 3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 and an upgraded i-FORCE MAX Hybrid. Both powertrains are mated with a 10-speed Electronically Controlled Automatic Transmission with intelligence (ECTi), which comes with uphill/downhill shift logic, a sequential shift mode and TOW/HAUL driving modes.
i-Force Twin Turbo V6
The standard i-FORCE 3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 generates up to 389 hp of power and 479 lb.-ft of torque, with peak torque coming in at a low 2,400 rpm.
While some might be skeptical about replacing the V8 with a V6 on a full-size truck, the new engine is actually more efficient and powerful than the V8, thanks to its turbocharged design. Through a process of forced induction, adding a compressor fan expands the engine’s capacity to take in more air than it normally would, making it “bigger” than it really is. This means power output is similar to that of the V8 when needed, while efficiency is enhanced when it is not.
For optimal performance, there is a water-cooled intercooler system on top of the engine with dual front radiators that cool airflow and enhance turbocharger performance. Also, an electronically controlled fan coupler and a water-cooled exhaust manifold integrated in cylinder heads help keep engine temperature under control.
For enhanced power and performance, the 2022 Tundra also comes with the i-FORCE MAX powertrain – a Tundra hybrid – which delivers 437 hp and 583 lb.-ft of torque, also at low rpm. According to Toyota, this powerful engine uses the same twin-turbo V6 platform but differs from the standard i-FORCE engine with the addition of a motor generator positioned within the bell housing, between the engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. Essentially, this motor generator delivers extra power which is transferred via the transmission, while through the parallel hybrid components, engine start-up, electric assist, EV driving and energy regeneration is executed.
This advanced, hybrid powertrain expands the towing capacity of the truck thanks to its enhanced power and torque. It is also great for off-roading as peak torque is achieved at low rpm.
Expect an improved ride with the suspension upgrades in the 2022 Tundra. The new multi-link rear suspension has dual stage coil springs replacing the more traditional leaf springs. This allows the spring rate to change depending on the load condition, which in turn improves ride and handling whether the truck is loaded or empty. This new suspension improves overall handling and enhances straight-line stability as you navigate uneven terrains.
Another improvement to the truck’s suspension is the new double wishbone front suspension which boosts driving performance and ride comfort. Also, load-leveling rear air springs are available on SR5 and Limited trims.
To prevent body roll, Toyota pushed the shock absorbers out, mounting them outside the frame rails and placed torsional arms across them. This redesign enhances roll damping and improves efficiency.
Also available are advanced suspension systems like the Adaptive Variable System (AVS) which adjusts damping continuously to maximize stability and ride comfort on a range of terrains.
Towning Made Easy
Whether you are moving furniture cross-country or transporting your boat for a weekend away, the 3rd Gen Tundra has features that simplify the towing process. They are available through the Advanced Towing Package and are designed to work with Toyota’s integrated Trailer Brake Controller.
A new advanced towing feature is the Trailer Garage system which allows you to preset and save a range of trailers, e.g. camper, boat, snowmobile etc., on to the Multi-Information Display (MID) and load the particular trailer you are towing when necessary. Different types of trailers have different towing requirements, so this feature ensures that you are using the right settings for the attached trailer.
Also, a Trailer Backup Guide is available which assists drivers in safely and conveniently maneuvering the truck while a trailer is attached. It offers two modes: Guidance Mode and Straight Path Assist Mode. In Guidance Mode, arrows depicting which way the trailer is turning will be shown on the overview camera view, allowing the driver to make any necessary corrections, which is especially handy when backing up.
This is critical, particularly if you are inexperienced with steering with a trailer as the navigation process is a bit counter-intuitive. The Straight Path Assist Mode makes the steering process a whole lot easier as you only have to focus on steering the truck as you normally would while the system handles the rest, making any necessary adjustments to keep the trailer facing the correct direction.
Another cool feature that makes towing easier is the new Blind Spot Monitor which comes with added functionality for towing trailers.
While a trailer is attached, the monitor is able to detect nearby vehicles within a certain, extended area range that is based on an estimation of the trailer’s length, which the system is able to determine on its own without any input from the driver.
The Tundra is designed to traverse the most demanding terrains. While the TRD Pro is specifically designed for off-road travel, all trims are built with off-road capability.
They are offered with available part-time four-wheel drive, and, like we mentioned earlier, some trims come with the TRD Off-Road Package.
For the first time, Toyota features like Multi-terrain Select is now offered on the 2022 Tundra. This gives drivers different traction options to choose from and match the right traction system with the terrain they are navigating. Crawl Control is also available, which automatically modulates the brakes and throttle on five low-speed settings to allow the driver to focus on steering.
Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 Technology
Standard on every trim is Toyota Safety Sense 2.5. This system includes advanced safety features, like the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD) which is able to detect vehicles in front of the truck as well as pedestrians in various situations (bicycling, at night, at intersections etc.). It will notify the driver accordingly with audio/visual alerts and in some instances, activate automatic braking.
Other safety enhancements offered with this system include Lane Departure Alert, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams, Road Sign Assist and much more.
2022 Toyota Tundra Color Options
In September 2021, the world was offered a first glimpse of the 2022 Toyota Tundra. There’s no doubt that it will be a monster of a truck, with its bold exterior and rigid box-on-frame design. With two powertrains available, this truck is designed to be a powerhouse for both on-road and off-road travel.
Toyota also revealed the color options available for its newest Tundra, and we were impressed with the offering – a whopping 11 standout colors! Whether you are looking for a vibrant, bold color or a softer palette, Toyota has got you covered. While most colors are available for all trims, keep in mind that a few colors are only offered on select trims.
Here are the colors available:
- Army Green
- Celestial Silver Metallic
- Lunar Rock
- Magnetic Grey Metallic
- Midnight Black Metallic
- Smoke Mesquite (Limited & 1794)
- Solar Octane (TRD Pro Exclusive)
- Super White
- Supersonic Red (Limited)
- Wind Chill Pearl
The 3rd Gen Tundra is ready to take on the full-size truck market. The newest Tundra completely blows away its previous models in every way. We are impressed with the completely revamped infotainment system as well as the new exterior and interior styling (especially on higher trims). With the new platform, redesigned frame, advanced suspension and towing enhancements, you can expect the overall driving experience and towing capabilities to be better than that of its predecessors. It remains to see how the market will respond if customers will choose the new Tundra over incumbent favorites like the Ram 1500.
Amidst the chip shortage going on at the time of this post, the 2022 Tundra finally became available in December 2021. Slowly but surely, you’ll begin to see more and more 3rd Toyota Tundra’s hitting the road. For those equipped with the hybrid powertrain, expect those to be available later, in the first half of 2022.
Stay tuned for more news and coverage on the 3rd Gen Toyota Tundra.