2022 Toyota Tundra – Domestic automakers have a monopoly on the full-size pickup truck segment, but the 2022 Toyota Tundra appeals to a slightly different audience, particularly those loyal to Toyota. Most half-ton pickups have a sturdy, albeit outdated, leaf spring rear suspension. The Tundra features coil-back springs that make the ride and drive much better than most. Additionally, it can still tow up to 12,000 pounds and comes standard with a suite of co-driver. Unlike its domestic competitors, the Tundra is not available with a V-8. Moments! The only engine option is a twin-turbo V-6, but it’s available with a hybrid system that’s good for 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque. With a cabin that’s much nicer than its predecessor and an infotainment system that offers a 14.0-inch touch screen, there are many reasons the 2022 Tundra has the goods to take on Americans.
2022 Toyota Tundra
Hearing that the TRD Pro model would not only continue with the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra but that it was moving into the slick flagship model and receiving a host of new features got us fired up at just thinking what this truck might be. And of course, you can imagine our excitement when it was finally time to jump behind the wheel of the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. And let us tell you one thing: it did not disappoint.
I-Force Maximum Strength and Performance
Because the Tundra we were driving was still prototype units, Toyota had only one TRD Pro available. Fortunately, we were among the few who were able to drive the truck both off-road and on the highway.
One of the most impressive features of the new 2022 Tundra TRD Pro is live under the hood and between the framerails. Powering the Tundra TRD Pro is Toyota’s new twin-turbo 3.4L i-Force Max V-6 Hybrid. This engine pumps out 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque and is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that has an electric motor located between the pinwheel and torque converter. The TRD Pro is the only trim that comes the i-Force Max standard. Strength produced by Max I-Force is the perfect blend of brute force and civility. Thanks to the electric motor, there is no perceived lag from turbochargers from a dead station or when trying to pass. And if you lie on the accelerator pedal the engine pulls like a freight train, which is a true testament to Toyota’s desire for a “diesel-like” flat torque curve.
We were expecting power and smooth shifting from the new 10-speed transmission, what was unexpected for us was how smooth the transitions between electric-only operation and back to the petrol engine were. While the I-Force Max is able to crawl along electric only at speeds under 18 mph, the engine also shuts down during coasting or cruising and doesn’t always fire up immediately when leaving a dead station. These transitions between the engine on and off were very smooth, and the only way to tell what mode the truck was in was by watching the accelerometer. It was really cool.
What we haven’t been able to test directly is the truck’s 0-60 mph time. Based on our experience, though, we estimate the 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro will make a run in less than 6 seconds. We also didn’t get a good read on fuel economy, because we used the same truck for off-road and on-road driving. Neither Toyota nor the EPA has released figures on the new i-Force Max powertrain, but from our experience with other i-Force Max equipped trucks, we were an adventurous educated guess of about 24 mpg combined. If the actual numbers come close to that, we’d be very happy.
Off-road is where the Tundra TRD Pro really shines the brightest. The test course set for us consisted of a mix of two-track rocky hill climbs, manufactured divots and poles, wood crawls, creek crossings, and some graded gravel for good measure. It wasn’t a high-speed desert loop, which turned out to be ideal only for the TRD Pro. While plenty of critics want to pair the TRD Pro with the likes of the Ford Raptor and RAM TRX, we found the truck to be much more at home for back-tracking than shredding the Baja.
We had the privilege of testing the TRD Pro back to back with the TRD Off-Road Package, and what we found made us fully believe in the power of the TRD Pro. The difference in shock-damping capacity between the basic Tundra dual-tube shocks, the single-tube Bilstein dampers found on the TRD Off-Road package, and the TRD Pro 2.5-inch Fox internal bypass units was incredible. The Fox shocks do very well when it comes to smoothing out bumps in the track, allowing for slightly higher speed travel with just the same amount of comfort. During our short off-road trip, we noticed a much lower headroom on the Fox shock-equipped TRD Pro than we did with the TRD Off-Road Package trucks. We also found that the new five-ring rear suspension reviewed better than we even imagined, keeping the rear tires in contact with the ground better than the last generation.
Also new for the 2022 Tundra TRD Pro is the addition of an electronic rear differential lock, multi-terrain select, and crawl control. These features were previously available on the Tacoma TRD Pro and were highly coveted by Tundra fans. We got to use all of these features and welcome the addition to TRD TRD Pro. We loved that the Tundra is the first to get the latest generation of crawl control, which now operates almost silently. Perhaps our biggest gripe, if you can call it one, is that the rear locking diff is only available when you’re in low range. This is somewhat of an industry standard, but we would like to see that it is available in a high range as well.
Dealing on the roads
One thing we noticed almost immediately was how well the new 2022 Tundra TRD Pro handled on the highway. The ride quality of a new five-link rear suspension, Fox dampers, and the addition of a TRD front anti-impact bar made piloting the TUNDRA TRD Pro on the highway a delight. Body roll is kept to a minimum, which we’ve found to be rare on trucks that feature race-inspired shocks like the Fox units. The potholes and road ripples did not match the truck’s supple suspension. It’s certainly not a Supra, but the Tundra TRD Pro fastens along winding country roads with confidence. We can say with a certain level of certainty, having pushed all the different 2022 Tundra suspensions, that the TRD Pro is the best highway rig around.
Interior comfort and technology
For 2022, the Tundra TRD Pro package is based on the limited-edition trim, the transition from the SR5 to the previous generation. This brings more available technology and comfortable SoftTex seating surfaces. We found the interior to be comfortable, enjoying a new 14-inch infotainment screen, and didn’t find the TRD Pro’s bold red accents to be overpowering. The interior is quiet on the highway, and everything we needed was within easy reach of the driver’s seat. If we had any complaints, there would be two complaints. First, fake engine noise. We heard it, and Toyota confirmed it: Limited trims and above feature “surge” engine noise pumped through the speakers. We drove the SR5 trim, as well, and would gladly “fake” engine noise off, as it wasn’t needed. Finally, this is one that will probably need to be experienced, and the new windshield shape makes it so when you first light a car it’s hard to see what’s above the truck. The windshield lowers in such a way that it is in the upper center that seeing the traffic lights becomes a challenge. Driving current generation 2020 Tundra confirmed that this is in fact the product of a new body style. This may be a personal preference, but we found it worth mentioning.
If off-road exploration is your hobby and a truck is your means of exploration, then the 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro might be the perfect truck for you. It’s comfortable and quiet while also being extremely powerful and packed with off-road capability. This truck has proven to be the true jack of all trades and we can’t wait to spend more time behind the wheel and explore all our favorite behind the country chases.
Safety and driver assistance features
Every Tundra is stocked with a full suite of driver assistance technology that includes automatic high-beams, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and more. For more information about Tundra crash test results, visit the websites of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Warranty and maintenance coverage
Toyota’s Limited Warranties and Powertrain are consistent with what is offered on every other full-size pickup truck. However, Toyota’s scheduled maintenance is free like no other.