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  5. This is It: Official 2022 Toyota Tundra Pics and Specs

 
Big trucks are a big business, so it's quite surprising that the Toyota Tundra has gone 14 years without a major redesign. That is all about to change as Toyota prepares to launch the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra. 

The 2022 Toyota Tundra just made its big debut during the NFL's Sunday Night Football with a 60-second commercial that celebrates the history of Toyota's trucks and SUVs, and while the ad focuses on Toyota's past, the new Tundra looks to bring the Tundra into the modern-era of full-size pickup trucks where cabin technology, comfort, and convenience is as important as engine power and towing capacity.

The 2022 Toyota Tundra won't go on sale until later this year, but I recently got to attend a top-secret preview of the new truck near Toyota's North American headquarters in Plano, Texas for a first look at several pre-production prototypes. This event was aimed to be a deep dive into the third-generation Toyota Tundra ahead of the primetime television commercial, and while I didn't get to drive the new Tundra, here's what we know so far.


2022 Toyota Tundra Exterior

 
With its massive grille and chiseled body lines, the 2022 Toyota Tundra definitely has a bold, polarizing design. Just like the current model, the 2022 Tundra will be offered in six trim levels (SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition and TRD Pro) with each getting distinct styling elements such as a unique front grille and various wheel designs. Customers can choose between Double Cab and CrewMax body configurations with three bed options; new for 2022, the Tundra CrewMax can be equipped with a 6.5-foot bed as well as the 5.5-foot bed. Even the cargo bed is new with a composite inner bed similar to the Tacoma, and there's aluminum used on the outer shell of the bed as well as on the hood and front doors.

Some of the coolest design elements found on the new Tundra include the LED exterior lighting with sequential turn signals front and rear, and the stamped lettering on the tailgate ("Tundra" for all trim levels except TRD Pro, which is stamped "TRD Pro"). Speaking of the Tundra TRD Pro, this off-road trim level gets a new Fox suspension system giving an extra 1.1 inches of suspension lift, beefed up underbody skid plates and LED clearance lights in the grille, tailgate and fender flares, which are mandated on all vehicles wider than 80 inches. Stepping up into the luxurious Platinum trim level is a simple task for everyone thanks to power-retractable running boards. 

The 2022 Toyota Tundra will be offered in an interesting mix of color options including the Tundra's carryover color, Smoked Mesquite, as well as familiar colors from the Camry such as Supersonic (red) and Blueprint. For fans of Toyota's Lunar Rock, this color will now be available on non-TRD Pro trim levels, but don't worry, this off-road beast still stands out with a new exclusive color called Solar Octane.


2022 Toyota Tundra Interior

 
One area where the current Tundra really came up short against full-size trucks is the interior, as it lacked the technology, luxury, and overall refinement that its key rivals offered. But that changes with the 2022 Tundra. Like the different grilles and exterior motifs found on the exterior, each trim level has a distinct look and feel on the inside. All of the trucks were pre-production prototypes, but the cabin materials were still impressive with the best being the matte-finish wood and two-tone, stitched leather found inside the ranch-inspired 1794 Edition. The TRD Pro looked cool as well with a digital camouflage pattern on the leather seats, the "TRD Pro" logo embroidered into the seat backs and a unique perforated-leather TRD steering wheel.

When it comes to cabin technology, the new Tundra should be best in class when all is said and done. For the multimedia system, there's an eight-inch touchscreen that comes standard, but all the trim levels on display at this event had the larger 14-inch screen that dominates the center stack. Not only is the high-definition screen easy to read, it also has lightning-fast interaction and simple voice commands such as "Hey Toyota." For added connectivity, the Tundra can be equipped with Toyota's Wi-Fi Connect adding a 4G hotspot for up to 10 devices. The Platinum, 1794 Edition, and TRD Pro trim levels (as well as all Tundras with the iForce Max hybrid powertrain) add even more tech with a standard 12.3-inch full-digital gauge cluster.

Just sitting in the new Tundra shows how much attention to detail Toyota paid to comfort. These trucks were all CrewMax models, and all of them were extremely comfortable and roomy even for three adults to sit abreast in the rear seat. The CrewMax still has the unique rear window that rolls down and a massive panoramic sunroof is available. The only real downside about the Tundra's new interior is that the hybrid battery used for the iForce Max powertrain is mounted under the rear seat, so it takes up all the usable space there. That's going to be a disappointment for truck buyers who use their trucks for towing or off-roading, and need that space for gear like tow hitches or pull straps.


2022 Toyota Tundra Performance

 
Whether it's being used for work or play, the 2022 Toyota Tundra promises all the strength and durability that full-size truck buyers demand. Under the hood, the new Tundra replaces the current truck's V-8 and six-speed automatic with a pair of powertrain options featuring a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 and a ten-speed automatic transmission. 

In base form, the "iForce" powertrain produces 389 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, while the iForce Max adds a motor generator between the engine and transmission to allow this hybrid powertrain to produce 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, the 2021 Tundra uses a 5.7-liter V8 rated at 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. This motor uses a nickel metal hydride (Ni-Mh) battery mounted under the rear seat. Toyota opted for this type of battery because it costs less and is easier to recycle than a lithium-ion battery.

These new powertrain options have impressive power figures, but Toyota didn't stop there when it came to rethinking the next-gen Tundra. Along with the stronger engine, Toyota also developed a fully boxed frame to give the 2022 Tundra more chassis strength and rigidity. Complementing this toughness, the new Tundra ditches the rear leaf spring setup in favor of a multi-link coil spring rear suspension with available adjustable air suspension. While I wasn't able to drive this truck, it's clear this Tundra will ride and pull far better than the current model. And when it comes to hauling, Toyota promises a maximum towing capacity of up to 12,000 pounds, and a payload capacity of 1,940 pounds. 


2022 Toyota Tundra Safety

 
The 2022 Toyota Tundra will come loaded with all of the the latest in safety technologies including Toyota Safety Sense 2.5. This suite of advanced safety features includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane tracing assist and automatic high beams. The Tundra also comes with a rear seat reminder, blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert, and for added convenience, it offers the new Straight Path Assist feature, which lets drivers back up a trailer hands-free.


2022 Toyota Tundra Overall

 
GM, Ford and Ram all have big plans for their full-size pickup trucks going into the 2022 model year, and the redesigned 2022 Toyota Tundra should definitely be able to steal some of that thunder. 

No pricing or fuel economy information has been announced yet, but that will come closer to the truck's on-sale date later this year. Production is expected to start in Toyota's San Antonio assembly plant in November with the first trucks rolling into showrooms in December. 


Jeffrey N. Ross
| Sep 19th, 2021
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