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The 2022 Toyota Tundra is (finally) here! 5 most important things to know

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Toyota finally takes the wraps off the 2022 Tundra, and we have to admit, it’s almost anticlimactic. We waited. We speculated. We posted Toyota’s teasers. We posted spy shots. We had leaked photos. And now that we have all the real photos and details, well, hmmm.

This isn’t quite what we expected or hoped for, but we’ll reserve judgement until we actually drive it.

Until then, here’s some of the most interesting things you’ll find on this all-new full-size pickup truck.

There isn’t going to be a diesel or V-8

One of the big speculations we had was whether the 2022 Tundra would get a diesel engine. We saw patent filings that seemed to suggest something in this arena, but cue the sad trombone: It ain’t happening. Tundra won’t even get a V-8.

Say, what? Oh. You heard me. Instead, the Tundra will get a pair of twin-turbo V-6 engines.

The good news is, the base engine, which replaces the old 5.7-liter V-8, will deliver more power and torque than the previous generation. So, we’re looking at 389 horsepower (+8 over the old V-8) and 479 pound-feet of torque (+78).

The second powertrain will be a hybrid with a fancy new name: the i-Force Max. We saw a teaser for this engine back in June, but we failed to make the connection between the blue outline on the “MAX” and Toyota’s blue accents on all its current hybrids. The basis for this powertrain is the twin-turbo V-6, with a motor generator that is built in-line between the engine and the transmission to provide the additional power. On the other hand, the engine start up, EV driving, electric assist and energy regeneration are done with parallel hybrid components.

Combined power output for the up-level i-Force Max will be 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque. While there isn’t a diesel, the hybrid powertrain might be the next best thing, as Toyota execs stated during the backgrounder that the i-Force Max was specifically tuned so it performs like a diesel with max torque at low RPMs.

Before everyone gets their noses bent, keep in mind, this power output bests the non-supercharged V-8s on full-size trucks from Ford (400 hp/410 lb-ft), Chevy (420 hp/460 lb-ft) and Ram (395 hp/410 lb-ft).

Both engines will be mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

2022 Toyota Tundra Platinum

Towing, payload increase

In addition to more power, Tundra gets an all-new chassis and a suspension. Tundra switches over to a new multi-link rear suspension with coil springs, instead of the previous leaf springs. This is huge pivot for a full-size truck, and the only other one that currently uses coil springs is the Ram 1500. We dug into that comparison previously when we saw the original teasers of the new suspension setup.

One of the big benefits of this new setup: ride comfort.

The other benefit: improved towing capability. The max towing capacity increases to 12,000 pounds, and the maximum payload increases 1,940 pounds. Those numbers are up 1,900 pounds and 280 pounds, respectively. This puts it in the ballpark with the Detroit Three trucks.

New infotainment debuts with 2022 Tundra

Another huge stride Toyota makes with the Tundra is in the technology arena. We’ve previously dinged this full-size truck for a too-small screen and outdated tech. But that changes with the 2022 Tundra as pretty much everything you’re seeing on luxury cars and SUVs will be now be available. Think standard wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, available 14-inch infotainment touch screen and available 12.3-inch gauge display.

What we’re most excited about, however, is Toyota’s new Audio Multimedia system. This will be similar to the system we got to play around with in the 2022 Lexus NX, and it’s pretty darn cool with better graphics, intuitive-and-natural voice commands, better processing power, pinch-and-zoom functionality and a cloud-based native navigation system.

The really cool thing: A user profile will be linked to a Bluetooth device (like your phone) that will recognize you when you enter the vehicle and then revert to your preferred vehicle, audio and climate settings. What’s more, if you’re driving a different Toyota vehicle that has user profiles, your profile travels with you because it’s stored in the cloud.

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited

Safety is still standard

Toyota has placed an emphasis on standard safety in all its vehicles from the base Corolla all the way up to the Tundra. That doesn’t change, and the 2022 Tundra will get the upgraded Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 system standard on every trim. Improved over the previous generation, this safety suite now includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection in low light.

Other safety features included in the TSS 2.5 suite include automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and automatic high beams.

New standard safety features on Tundra will include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert. Automatic reverse braking is a new available safety feature.

There will be 6 trims on the 2022 Tundra

If you are familiar with the current trim lineup, the 2022 Tundra trims won’t look any different. The six trims will be SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 and TRD Pro. It will also still be available as a Double Cab or CrewMax as well has have 5.5-, 6.5- and 8.1-foot configurations. The biggest, coolest, newest thing to note here, however, is for the first time, the CrewMax will be available with the 6.5-foot bed.

A few additional trim features worth noting:

  • The TRD Pro will only be available with the i-Force Max (aka hybrid) powertrain, and it will be an option on Limited, Platinum and 1794 trims.
  • The TRD Off-Road Package will be available on SR5, Limited and 1794 trims. It includes TRD wheels (18-inch on SR5 and 20-inch on Limited, 1974), TRD grille, TRD off-road suspension, skid plates, mud guards and TRD leather shift knob.
  • 4X4 models with the TRD Off-Road Package will get an electronic rear differential lock for the first time as well as the Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control.
  • The TRD Sport Package will be available on 4X2 or 4X4 SR5 models in both the CrewMax and Double Cab. It adds 20-inch TRD wheels, TRD grille, TRD lowered sport suspension and a TRD leather shift knob.

The big question is going to be pricing. Toyota hasn’t released any information on this yet, but with such massive changes, there will be an increase. Base price is currently $34,025, and the Tundra tops out at $53,400 for the TRD Pro. We’d guess there will be a $1k bump, but Toyota is going to have to be careful because the Chevy Silverado and Ford F-150 start at less than $30k, and the Ram 1500 currently sits at $33k.

The 2022 Tundra is due to start production in November with a December release date, so we’ll probably see pricing late October, early November.

2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

The bottom line on the 2022 Tundra

While we can’t say we’re a fan of how the 2022 Toyota Tundra looks, we do like its guts. It’s got flashy tech available (though you can still get analog gauges and an 8-inch infotainment screen if you want them), more power, more safety and more capability. Which is impressive on paper.

We’re withholding final judgement until we drive it, and we’re hoping the polarizing looks will start to grow on us. Someday.

Want more photos of the 2022 Tundra? Be sure to check out our preview of the trims by grille.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is a syndicated automotive writer. Jill also manages the “Drive, She Said” blog for ChicagoNow and posts reviews to DriveChicago. She is the president emeritus of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. She also serves as a judge for the Automotive Heritage Foundation Journalism Awards. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Chicago Sun-Times News Group and Pioneer Press Newspapers.

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