New for 2022 is the XK70 series of Toyota Tundra trucks, replacing the XK50 Tundra generation, which debuted all the way back in 2007. The XK70 generation Tundra is only the third all-new generation of the Tundra since its debut twenty-two years ago in 2000. When Toyota does update the Tundra, though, it’s a special occasion. They don’t update often, but they make it count when they do. The new 2022 Toyota Tundra brings all-new looks, more power, better fuel efficiency, and all-new technology to the market. While the update is a big one, the Tundra has managed to retain its unique personality and does so with a competent all-around package.
The new Toyota Tundra features a modern, chiseled design which admittedly looks better in the flesh than it does in photos. The hood is shorter, the windshield is more steeply raked than the previous generation, and the greenhouse gets a unique look thanks to the blacked-out A and B pillars. Black wheel arches top the 20-inch black wheels, and a TRD bed graphic tells on-lookers that this Tundra is ready for the dirt. Unfortunately, the Supersonic Red is hard to photograph in the direct sun simply because it pops beautifully. Nevertheless, this is a stunning metallic red that manages to stand out without looking gaudy.
The Tundra CrewMax configuration is the largest cabin space with the smallest available bed at 5’6″. A six-foot bed is available. Unlike some of the Tundra’s domestic competition, there are no tailgate party tricks on this truck. An optional bed step makes ingress easier. LED lights, an electrical outlet, movable cleats, and a bed liner round out the utility inside the composite bed. That’s about as simple as it gets in the truck world, but it works.
While the new Tundra is available with a hybrid powertrain, this Tundra Limited was equipped with the standard twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine, which makes 389 horsepower and 479 lb. ft. of torque, delivered to the wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain is exceptionally smooth and refined, as one would expect out of a Toyota.
I never once missed having a V8 engine with this peppy twin-turbo six, even if I did feel the 10-speed automatic hunting gears in city driving. This is more a complaint about 10-speed transmissions, in general, than about this specific transmission.
The Tundra has a slightly lower overall towing rating than its competition, with a maximum payload rating of 1,820 pounds and a maximum tow rating of 11,120 pounds in this CrewMax configuration. The Tundra’s Towing Technology Package adds a suite of towing tools like the Trailer Backup Guide with Straight Path Assist and Trailer-Sway Control with Brake Control. In addition, a Trailer Merge Warning and plenty of cameras help drivers have complete visibility of their rig during all kinds of driving maneuvers.
In the off-road department, the TRD Off-Road package includes Bilstein shocks, underbody skid plates that protect vital drivetrain bits, an electronic locking rear differential, and excellent Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain 4×4 drive modes. A forward-facing high-definition camera also helps pick out obstacles on the trail. The Bilstein shocks give the Tundra a refined ride without being overly bumpy but is not as comfortable as the Ram 1500’s air suspension.
The 14-inch touchscreen takes center stage on the interior of the 2022 Tundra, and I like how Toyota has integrated the infotainment into the cabin. It’s high-resolution, fast, responsive, and intuitive. Many modern infotainment systems get some of these right, but not all. The Tundra nails all of them. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included, and a 12-speaker JBL sound system showers occupants with high-fidelity audio.
Below the screen and HVAC controls are a traditional shift lever with a vertical wireless charge pad and USB ports. Unfortunately, my iPhone 13 Pro Max with the case will not fit properly on the wireless charger, which meant plugging it in to charge anyway. The center console has deep storage with dividers and a sliding tray on top.
Toyota made good use of materials and textures on the Tundra’s interior, as seen on the seating fabric. I’m a big fan of these synthetic materials and prefer them to leather. In addition, the driver’s seat has memory controls included in the Limited trim as standard.
Overall, the Tundra cabin is a great place to be. It’s a more refined interior than the rugged Ford F-150, but not as posh as some of the upper trim level Ram 1500 pickups. This is a perfectly happy medium, and Toyota has done a great job with it.
The 2022 Tundra starts at $35,950 + $1695 destination in the most basic SR trim and goes all the way up to $74,230 + destination in the range-topping Capstone trim. Tundra Limited starts at $47,550, but a 4×4 model like this one starts at $53,595. Add a few options and the price, as tested, came out right at $60k. Yes, that’s a lot of money, but the new third-generation Tundra is a lot of truck for that money.
This is worth a very serious look when shopping for full-size trucks. I suspect the new Tundra will have a lot of conquest sales from previously loyal Big-3 domestic truck buyers. Toyota did a fantastic job, and we can’t wait to see what they do with the rest of the new products in the pipeline.