Toyota's full-size truck arrives with a choice of two potent V6s, coilsprings in the rear and a modern interior.
The third-generation 2022 Toyota Tundra bowed this evening during the Baltimore Ravens/Kansas City Cheifs NFL game. We don't want to paint with a broad brush here, but this is a good move considering truck buyers and football lovers cross over hard in the Venn diagram of life. The new Tundra is not an evolution, but a revolution. There's no V8 option in this full sizer, and taking a page from Ram's book, it now rides on coilsprings instead of leaf springs.
Let's start with the revelation, no eights for the third generation. But we think once you hear the specs, your fears will be muted. The base engine is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 making 389 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Both of those numbers are bigger than the previous V8's 381 hp and 401 lb-ft. A water-cooled intercooler keeps turbo temperatures down and new cylinder heads feature a two-layer water jacket for maximum coolant flow.
The second engine uses the same twin-turbo V6 architecture as the less powerful truck, but adds a motor generator with a clutch between the engine and ten-speed automatic (which both powertrains use). It delivers 437 hp and 583 lb-ft at just 2,400 rpm. Toyota says that during towing the hybrid setup will kick in extra torque, while in the city it will quiet the ride and save fuel. Speaking of, we're guessing this pair of engines will beat the competition handily in its EPA ratings.
A new Power Control Unit will keep the battery, which resides under the seats, in top shape. The new Tundra will feature drive modes for the first time with Sport and Sport + options. In those modes the electric motor will improve the throttle response. Tow/Haul mode will always keep both parts of the hybrid system going.
That bigger engine will be able to tow 12,000 pounds (17.6% more than the previous generation) when properly equipped. Payload is 1,940 pounds. But like the rest of the truck brands, Toyota is making everything easier through technology. First, there's a Tow/Haul + mode for towing larger trailers or RVs. That keeps the electric motor going and shuts off the stop/start system. It features several new cameras to watch what you're towing.
TRD Pro and TRD Off-Road models get a Multi-Terrain Monitor to see the immediate surroundings when creeping off road. Other views include rear truck bed to check on cargo, a rear split view to show what's nearby on each side of the trailer, and a hitch view to assist with trailer connecting. Trailer Back Guidance and Straight Path Assist will help novices get their boats in the water efficiently. Like the new Chevy Silverado, its blind-spot monitor covers the trailer.
Toyota ditched the leaf springs in the rear for coilsprings, which should improve on-road and off-road handling, as well as straight-line performance. The company says that the new structure and frame allowed the engineers to put the shocks outside the frame rails, which should also improve performance.
A new double-wishbone suspension sees duty in the front. Changes were again made to improve high-speed driving and straight-line stability. The base Tundra will feature twin-tube shocks with triple-oil seal and extended dust cover to improve durability. TRD Off-Road packages come with monotube Bilstein shocks and TRD Pros get 2.5-inch diameter FOX internal bypass shocks with a 1.1-inch front lift. A self-leveling air suspension can be optioned in the rear.
For the first time buyers will be able to spec Toyota adaptive suspension, which adjusts damping force based on road conditions. It has built-in actuators to make the adjustments, "to enhance handling, stability and comfort."
Moving to the inside, where we'll spend most of our time, the Tundra gets a new multimedia system with a new touchscreen and a new interface. Toyota says it's five times more powerful than the previous system and features a standard 8-inch screen or an upgraded 14-inch screen. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard while audio volume is still controlled by a knob.
The new system features a virtual assistant, "hey, Toyota," for voice-activated commands like searching for directions or changing the radio. A new cloud-based navigation system is updated over-the-air. The system works on or offline, and will realize when you're getting close to no service, and then save the surrounding maps so you won't get lost.
The system has Toyota Connected Services that can contact an agent 24/7 and a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot that can feed up to 10 devices. Two new gauge setups are offered, one being a 12.3-inch digital screen and the other a 4.1-inch screen surrounded by traditional gauges.
The 2022 Tundra will be offered in two four-door options, Double Cab and CrewMax. Double Cabs will be offered with either a 6.5-foot or 8.1-foot bed. CrewMax models get either a 5.5-footer or 6.5-foot bed. Trims will include SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum and 1794. The TRD Pro only gets the more powerful engine. It will be optional on the top three trims.
The TSS 2.5 is standard across the board with forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane tracing, road sign assist, and rear seat reminder. Rear cross traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring are standard outside the package and Parking Support Brake, which automatically brakes when parking, is optional.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra goes on sale later this year. We don't have pricing yet, but the current truck ranges from about $35K to $53K. We don't expect it to stray too far from that.