2022 Toyota Tundra Review

2022 Toyota Tundra - Crewmax TRD all new for 2022


Price (with options and destination): $60,188

Pros—All new. Dynamic look. Roomy. Fast. Compliant ride. Good handling. AWD. Off-road prowess. Safety items. Hybrid model.

Cons—High step up. Minimum  steering feel. Windshield pillars and side mirrors sometimes block vision. Steering needs more feel.     

Bottom Line—First thoroughly redesigned Tundra in 15 years can compete with top-selling pickups.

The Toyota Tundra full-size pickup had a bleak history. Toyota flung open the door to the party with an all-new 2007 Tundra from a new $2.2 billion San Antonio plant—but found an empty party room. Where was everybody?

For one thing, the economy had tanked, causing a major pickup sales drop. For another, most pickup buyers flocked again to mostly Ford and Chevrolet pickups, although the Tundra had comparable power and capabilities. Some were good for at least 200,000 miles.

Still no dice. For instance, Ford sold 241,672 F-Series pickups during the first five months this year. Toyota sold 37,218 Tundras.

So Toyota did what it has always done—it picked itself up and introduced a redesigned 2014 Tundra. Still, its rivals also had improved and continued to far outsell the Tundra, which remained an American-built truck.

Never giving up, Toyota has given the 2002 Tundra new styling inside and out, new powertrains, a coil spring rear suspension instead of the old solid leaf spring setup for a more comfortable ride (especially with an empty pickup bed). It’s refined, comfortable and luxurious, besides being more fuel efficient.  

The new Tundra looks dynamic, with _such things as an imposing grille, sculptured fenders, low belt line, upright green house and blacked out A and B roof pillars. It’s got new powertrains, including a twin-turbocharged V-6 in place the old V-8, a new 10-speed automatic transmission, the coil-spring rear suspension and part-time four-wheel drive, activated if necessary by the driver.

I tested the Tundra 4x4 Limited Crewmax 5.5, which was fully loaded with options. They included an impressive TRD Off-Road package and Limited, Premium and Technology Packages, which shot its base price from $51,900 to $60,188, including a $1,619 delivery charge, according to the truck’s Monroney window sticker. (The Toyota media web site puts the base price at $52,600.)

The all-new interior has high quality materials with soft touch surfaces, although there’s some cheap-looking plastic, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and an easily used, nicely placed 14-inch touch screen along with strategic manual dashboard controls for such things as, for example, climate controls..

The Tundra is 78 inches tall, so climbing in and stepping out calls for extra effort. My test Tundra had no running boards, but windshield pillars had grab handles to assist entry. Occupants sit high, but a driver will find that thick windshield pillars and extra-large outside mirror side mirrors occasionally block visibility.

There is plenty of room up front in heated, ventilated power seats, despite a giant center console. Controls can be easily reached, and there’s a 12-volt auxiliary power outlet, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, a push-button start and dual-zone automatic climate control.

The fold-up rear seats offer plenty of room although the center areas is too stiff for more than shot trips and is best left to a fold-down armrest with twin cupholders. There’s a power vertical rear window, which I never got around to using.

The composite molded cargo bed is dent and corrosion resistant, and the cabin has a decent amount of storage areas.  

Motivation comes from a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 with 389 horsepower and 479 pound/feet of torque, with torque peaking at only 2,400 r.p.m. A hybrid version with 437 horsepower and 583 pound/feet of torque, which I didn’t test, also is offered. The 389 horsepower V-6 propels the Tundra from 0-60 m.p.h. in 6.2 seconds.

 A driver can select via a console dial these driving modes: Eco, Normal and Sport. Sport mode assists acceleration response by controlling the transmission, engine and steering on, for instance, mountain roads. Normal mode provides an optimal balance of quietness, economy and dynamic performance, while Eco mode provides “eco-friendly” acceleration to help fuel economy, although it makes the Tundra feel a little lazy.

Sport mode emits a V-8 style sound for gas-engine car buffs, but detracts from my test Tundra’s $565 JBL 12-speaker premium auto system sound.

The steering is accurate but could use more road feel. Handing and maneuverability are surprisingly good for such a tall, heavy vehicle in all modes, although my test Tundra’s surround-view camera system helped helped me maneuver in tight spots.

Some road imperfections and bumps can be felt, but, after all, this is a tightly built heavy duty pickup truck with a fully boxed high-strength steel frame. But the the ride is mostly supple, especially in Normal and Eco modes. Not that Sport mode will shake you up.

The new 10-speed automatic shifts smoothly, although I found it “hunts” a bit trying to find the right gear when I was constantly taking my foot on and off the throttle in heavy, slow rush-hour traffic. The brake pedal has a firm, progressive feel.  

Towing capacity is 11,100 pounds.

Fuel economy isn’t a strong point with a Big Boy pickup, but the Tundra gets an estimated 17 miles per gallon in the city and 22 on highways.  The Tundra engine automatically turns off if you give the gas pedal an extra-firm push such as if waiting at a long stop light or for a lengthy train to pass.The good news is that just 87-octane fuel is needed.

I tested the Tundra 4x4 Limited Crewmax 5.5 with the rugged TRD Off-Road package and Limited, Premium and Technology packages, which shot its base price from $51,900 to $60,188, including a $1,619 delivery charge. Base Tundra prices, as of this writing at least, start at $35,950, with such items as air springs going for $650.

The $3,085 TRD package contains a bunch of stuff that makes the Tundra a really tough customer, especially off road, where Tundras have a good reputation. The package includes 20-inch TRD alloy wheels with chunky all-terrain tires, TRD grille, TRD suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers, skid plates, mud guard and a red TRD engine start button, along with a leather shift knob, aluminum sport pedals, electronically controlled locking rear differential, Multi-Terrain Select, Crawl and Downhill Assist controls. There are TRD badges all over this vehicle, inside and out.

Safety features include a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist, automatic high beams, road sign assist and trailer brake and traction sway controls. There’s also a blind-spot monitor.

Tundras have been known to top 200,000 miles, although I wonder how many people keep a vehicle for more than 100,000 miles. Still, the new Tundra’s captivating features may convince folks to keep on trucking with it past the 100,000-mile mark.

Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

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