The 2022 Toyota Tundra is improved for its third generation to help it compete with other full-size pickups.
When it goes on sale later this year, the Tundra will go against trucks like the Chevy Silverado, Ford F-150, Nissan Titan, and Ram 1500.
It has a new hybrid powertrain much like the new Ford F-150 PowerBoost and coil springs in the rear, which the Ram 1500 also has.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra is charging back into the skirmish that is the half-ton truck market as the only other non-American pickup besides the Nissan Titan. Unlike the aged Titan, the Tundra has received a host of improvements that should help elevate its chances of legitimately competing with industry mainstays such as the 10Best-winning Ram 1500, the Ford F-150, and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Instead of using the i-Force Max hybrid model as our sample, we’ll focus on the four-wheel-drive nonhybrid variant in a crew-cab configuration with a standard bed and wheelbase and compare it to the most similarly equipped competitors.
For 2022, gone is the 5.7-liter V-8 that powered this truck’s predecessor. In its place is a twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V-6 that produces 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, beating the power and torque figures of the old engine. That makes it one of the torquiest powertrains in the segment. A similarly equipped F-150 with the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 makes slightly more power, coming in at 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. The Ram 1500, Silverado 1500, and Nissan Titan all still make do with naturally aspirated V-8s. The Ram uses a 5.7-liter that produces 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, the Silverado 1500 utilizes a 6.2-liter that churns out 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet, and the Titan uses a 5.6-liter making 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet. Both the F-150 and Tundra can be configured with a hybrid powertrain with the help of an electric motor between the engine and transmission. The F-150 PowerBoost makes 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque combined. The Tundra i-Force Max makes even better numbers than the PowerBoost at 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet.
All trucks in this group feature conventional torque-converter automatics as their only transmission option. The Tundra, F-150, and Silverado are equipped with 10-speed automatics, with the Tundra’s transmission being all-new for this generation and featuring a sequential shift mode. The Titan has a nine-speed gearbox and the Ram 1500 has an eight-speed gearbox.
One of the most significant updates for the new Tundra is the adoption of a coil-spring multilink setup in the rear, ditching the old-school leaf springs in search of more comfort and refinement. We’re eager to learn how it feels in comparison to the Ram—the only other truck in the segment that can be similarly equipped. Air springs on the rear axle are available on the Tundra. Another first for the Tundra is available electronically controlled adaptive dampers. The only other truck with that offering is the Silverado. The Titan, Silverado, and F-150 all still use leaf springs, but we wouldn’t be surprised if more manufacturers continue to abandon the leaf spring in the near future to modernize and keep up with the growing competition.
Towing and Hauling
Where towing and payload are concerned, the Tundra falls behind its American contenders by a considerable margin, but it’s not as uncompetitive as the Nissan Titan. A max towing capacity of 12,000 pounds and max payload of 1,940 pounds places it well above the Nissan Titan (9310/1650), but just below the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (13,300/2280), Ford F-150 (14,000/2980), and Ram 1500 (12,750/2320). Realistically, though, anything above 10,000 pounds should be more than enough for the average truck buyer.
The Tundra’s interior will feature a smattering of technological updates over the previous generation, including an optional 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a standard 14.0-inch infotainment system that will come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The Ford and the Ram both have available 12.0-inch screens, with the Silverado recently gaining a 13.4-inch unit. Some available options include a panoramic sunroof, ventilated and heated seats, and a heated steering wheel. All are welcome additions considering the increasing expectations for luxury as more and more people buy trucks as daily drivers.
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