The all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra finally arrives with all-new styling inside and out, a new chassis and suspension, and new powertrains for the modern turbocharged era. With a complete top to bottom rethink of its form, we tested a well equipped 1794 Edition to see what it’s all about.
Starting with with an all-new global modular chassis that’s shared with the Land Cruiser, Sequoia and Lexus SUV, the new Tundra has a five-link rear axle for better handling, a lot of light weighting here and there, and new engines and a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Our 1794 CrewMax tester with a 6.5-foot bed had the non-hybrid 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6 with 389 horsepower and 497 pound feet of torque. Yes Toyota calls it a 3.5-liter engine but the truth is, it just isn’t. Marketing.
Power was more than adequate and it sounds pretty good. The transmission works well to shift and deliver its power in a snap. It has a deep growl you can hear from under the hood that definitely says “I’m a truck”. It’s well engineered to the ears in that way. It almost sounds like a V8, but not quite. Better than some V6 turbos to be sure.
In our week of testing we did find the engine to be a bit rough and unrefined around town such as idling at a stop light. Under power and rowing through the gears it feels a bit grainy and less than the smooth we have come from the competitor’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.
Efficiency too disappointed. It’s rated at 17 mpg city, 22 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. In our week with it we barely hit 14 mpg. This is about where previous Tundras with a V8 landed. With all of this, why not just give us the V8?
Handling was also an area. We have always held the last generation Tundra to be one of the best handling, solid feeling and refined trucks on the market when it came to road manners and how it feels out on the back roads when things get rough.
The new Tundra felt less adept, less sorted in its suspension tuning and had a chassis a bit more flexible . It’s adaptive damper shocks even when set on sport failed to manage minor body control functions over undulations and dips, speed bumps and the like.
On the gravel washboard road, the truck just felt sloppy and had a less than solid structural feel like before.
At least behind the wheel the interior is tops. Our 1794 had a white leather with woodgrain trim theme with a load of features and creature comforts too long to list. It was a high point with good quality and comfort, plenty of storage and versatility. We wonder however how smart a white interior is in a truck.
The infotainment system is the centerpiece of the dash with its large 14-inch touchscreen. Fully functioned it had cloud based features like navigation, Google services and more. JBL audio with 25 speakers sounds great. All of the menus and graphics impressed well.
The bummer for $66,395 is that most of these infotainment features require the customer to maintain a subscription to enjoy. Not cool.