While the outgoing Toyota Tundra certainly had a reputation for reliability, it didn’t have a reputation for being competitive. After all, its bones dated back to the George W. Bush administration while blue-chip pricing and poor fuel economy hindered sales. Thankfully, Toyota’s been hard at work and while the new 2022 Toyota Tundra may be visually-intense, it certainly seems to have the right stuff to back up its macho looks.
While the old Tundra often seemed a little bit drab, the styling of the new model is absolutely polarizing. The massive front grille flows into the front bumper to create a gaping maw that would make the Chevrolet Silverado blush. In case that wasn’t enough, two more vents below the headlights ensure the front of the new Tundra is basically all grille. The chunky styling continues with chunky square wheel arches, upright blacked-out a-pillars and a rectangular recess acrossathe doors intended to reduce visual mass. Out back, the tail lamps are a stark, vertical design while TRD Pro models incorporate camo-esque etching into the tailgate cap as well as the wheel arch trims and front bumper.
On the inside, the new Tundra takes a massive leap forward with updated technology and materials. The top-spec infotainment screen is now a colossal 14-inch touchscreen affair with voice-wake capability, cloud-based over-the-air updates and subscription-based telematics. Also available is a fully-digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster for a fully modern tech experience. Elsewhere in the interior, soft-touch materials have been used with aplomb, on armrests, door cards and the dashboard.
When it comes to capability, the new Tundra offers an admirable amount of choice and innovation. Two cab sizes are on offer, a double cab and a crew cab called CrewMax. The double cab is available with 6.5-foot and 8.1-foot beds while the CrewMax retains the roll-down rear window and is available with 5.5-foot and 6.5-foot beds. Regardless of configuration, Toyota have decided to make the bed out of aluminum-reinforced sheet-moulded composite for the sake of weight savings, dent-resistance and corrosion-resistance. Maximum towing capacity totals out to an impressive 12,000 lbs. while maximum payload tops out at 1,940 lbs.
In a move to keep up with the segment leader, the new Tundra kills the V8 in favour of two different flavours of 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6. The basic model makes 389 horsepower and 478 lb.-ft. of torque while a hybrid variant dubbed i-FORCE MAX cranks the knobs off at a stout 437 horsepower and a ludicrous 583 lb.-ft. of torque. Regardless of engine choice, power gets routed to the wheels through a ten-speed automatic gearbox.
Of course, power is nothing without control and Toyota has made significant upgrades to chassis hardware. Gone are the rear leaf springs, replaced with a multi-link rear suspension featuring standard coil springs and available rear air ride. Add in available adaptive dampers or available FOX shocks on TRD Pro models, and the Tundra should have what it takes to stack up to segment leaders.
In terms of safety, the Tundra includes all the usual Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 Level 2 driver assists and adds new truck-specific functions. The blind-spot monitoring system can cover the trailer as well as the truck, special camera modes cover the bed and the sides of the trailer and something called Trailer Back Guidance is on hand to assist in safely reversing trailers.
With radically new styling, an updated feature set and impressive on-paper capability, the 2022 Toyota Tundra looks set for a competitive spot in Canada’s half-ton pickup truck marketplace. While pricing has not yet been announced, expect it to become available closer to the Tundra’s on-sale date late this year.
Photos courtesy of Toyota Canada