Meet the new Tundra. The Toyota full-sized truck has been transformed following its first major redesign in 15 years.
The revamped Tundra has been completely restyled and improvements include both interior and exterior, plus the addition of a hybrid model.
The redesign was overdue and had the Tundra trailing key competitors like the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford F-150 and Ram 1500.
Toyota hopes to resurrect the Tundra, which had its lowest sales (81,959 in 2021) in 10 years. The previous nine years sales exceeded 100,000.
The Tundra is known as a no-frills, capable truck that meets the needs of many and comes at a reasonable price – $36,100 for this year’s base model.
Major improvements for the 2022 Tundra are a new rear suspension, new powertrains, overhauled frame, and a more modernized interior design. It comes with the choice of three bed lengths: 8-foot-1-inch, 6-6, and 5-6.
Toyota also made changes to the underpinnings, moves that will improve on-road performance. Gone are the leaf-spring rear suspensions that are found on most full-size trucks. They were replaced by modern coil springs in the back that will improve ride quality.
The move allows the Tundra to join the F-150 Raptor and Ram 1500 as the only trucks in the class to incorporate rear coils.
The Tundra offers a choice of two new turbocharged engines that both employ a 10-speed automatic transmission. The base model is a 3.5-liter, V6 that generates 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. It goes 0 to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds.
The optional Tundra is a hybrid V6, called i-Force Max. It uses a battery located under the rear seats to power an electric motor that provides more muscle than the standard V6. The i-Force Max produces 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque.
The maximum towing (12,000 pounds) and hauling capacities (1,940) aren’t class-leading, but they’re certainly good enough for many truck owners.
AT A GLANCE – 2020 TOYOTA TUNDRA
- Performance: 5.7-liter, V8, 381 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 18-22 mpg
- Price estimate: $36,100 to $73,600
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 2 years/unlimited; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited
For a big truck, the Tundra offers good handling and a smooth ride. On rough road surfaces, the suspension absorbs the road imperfections with no problem.
Standard safety features include rearview camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, forward automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, tracing, and traffic sign recognition.
Although nothing fancy, the Tundra interior is much improved. It’s loaded with standard features like 8-inch touchscreen, six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, voice recognition system, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.
The Tundra provides comfortable and spacious seating in both cab styles. The rear seats are comfy as well, offering plenty of head and leg room.
We found the climate control system easy to master and like the large dials and buttons. The touchscreen graphics are easy to read for the driver, allowing for more time to concentrate on the road ahead.
Equipped with many much-needed upgrades thanks to the redesign, the 2022 Toyota Tundra can now take on the competition with an improved overall appeal.
Weidel on Wheels is featured regularly on www.tahoeskiworld.com. Auto writer Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.