Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: April 7, 2022
Next to the Ford F-150, RAM 1500, and Chevrolet Silverado, the Toyota Tundra has always been a small fish in the big pond, harbouring a loyal fanbase but one that pales in comparison to its domestic rivals. For 2022 though, the Tundra finally receives a long overdue refresh with an updated engine, a longer 6.5-foot bed, a reworked suspension, a revamped interior, and all the newest gadgets and gizmos.
The new exterior design follows a similar theme to the outgoing model, focusing on the large front grill which appears mature and unoffensive in the Limited trim. Those that opt for the TRD Pro model will receive an even more eye catching, sinister, blacked-out grill.
The largest overhaul is with the interior, where the Tundra finally feels like a modern 21st century offering. The 14-inch touchscreen steals the show, and compliments the two analog gauges flanking the new leather steering wheel. The screens are more vibrant and higher definition than before, with large font sizes and a clean design that ensures easy viewing angles for all passengers. We wouldn’t say the infotainment is any easier to use than before, but the arrangement of the menu buttons and their functionality are better designed to lower the learning curve.
Toyota stuck with analog gauges, an array of hard buttons and dials, and heavy duty and durable materials, so none of the high traffic functions are delegated to the touchscreen. Toyota knows this is a worker’s truck after all, and not everyone fancies the latest digital tech. After hopping out of the all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS, being able to feel and interact with the positive feedback of real buttons is a refreshing reminder of how things were done in the past.
The new engine is superb. It’s a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 that produces a healthy 389 hp and 479 lb-ft. The Tundra runs that output through a 10-speed automatic, and has a towing capacity of 12,000 pounds (5,440 kg). Unlike its competitors, the Tundra is actually the only truck that isn’t available with a V8 engine. There will be a new hybrid engine coming in the future, which pairs the same V6 with an electric battery for an output of 437 hp and 583 lb-ft.
Despite lacking those extra two-cylinders, the V6 is polished and offers strong acceleration. The pick up is smooth though not as punchy as the performance V6 in the Ford F-150 Raptor. It’s much more linear in the Tundra, and there’s a heap of low-end torque as well so you are never caught off guard when attempting a highway overtake. It makes a decent noise under wide open throttle as well.
The 10-speed automatic is a welcome companion, delivering gentle gear shifts free from vibrations or lugging during low-speed creeps. It operates mainly behind the scenes, exactly what you want from a transmission, though we did notice some rough patches and jitters when the start stop system kicks in and out. Matched with the V6, the new powertrain is quite efficient too - we averaged 15.6 L/100km with a mix of both city and highway driving, better than the rivaling trucks, and we expect that number to be even more impressive with the upcoming hybrid model.
The Tundra rides smoothly thanks to the double wishbone setup in the front, and coil springs in the rear, but it is a lot heavier than the Ford and RAM, so you feel more of the vertical oscillations as it negotiates potholes and broken pavement. It’s definitely more brittle feeling as a result, and doesn’t exhibit the same kind of planted or grounded behaviour as its rivals with air suspensions, most notably at higher speeds. Still, the Tundra is the easiest to drive and the most road-car like thanks to its light steering that offers easy manueverability, a great seating position that gives great outward visibility, and a low hood and thin pillars to keep sightlines clear from all sides.
The Tundra is still the go-to truck for that small minority loyal to Toyota, and it continues to be an appealing alternative to its domestic rivals from Ford, RAM, and Chevrolet. While its road stability, comfort, and modern amenities are greatly improved over its predecessor, and the TRD PRO model adds that extra layer of road presence, it still lacks the innovation and performance to confidently steal their thunder away.
Model: 2022 Toyota Tundra 4X4 Double Cab Limited
Paint Type: Blueprint
Base Price: $60,490
Price as Tested: $60,490
Length/Width/Height (mm): 5,932 / 2,031 / 1,982
Curb weight (kg): 2,440
Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6
Horsepower: 389 hp @ 5,200 rpm
Torque: 479 lb-ft @ 2,400 rpm
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, 4WD
Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km: 13.6 / 10.4 / 12.2
Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 15.6