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Roadshow: 2022 Toyota Tundra is better in every way

Emme Hall, Roadshow on

Published in Automotive News

With a hybrid powertrain, butch design, new rear suspension and tons of cabin tech, the 2022 Tundra is a massive improvement over its predecessor.

After more than a decade, a new Toyota Tundra is finally here. And after spending a day with Toyota's third-generation full-size truck in Texas, I can confirm it drives better, offers more utility and looks great, to boot.

Big and bold

The 2022 Toyota Tundra will be available in SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 and TRD Pro trims, with TRD Off-Road and Sport packages available on some trims. Double Cab models can be equipped with either a 6.5- or 8.1-foot bed. The Crew Max models have more interior space and come with a 5.5-foot bed, though you can also opt for a 6.5-foot bed for maximum functionality.

Each of the Tundra models has a unique grille, although the differences between trims can be slight. Think unique badging, chrome instead of paint, etc. Regardless, each of the Tundra's grilles are indeed chonky, with proportions more akin to what you'd expect to see on a heavy-duty truck.

Overall, the 2022 Tundra is a bit longer and not quite as tall as its predecessor, but front to back, this is a much more attractive truck. I love the high-mounted headlights surrounded on two sides by LED running lights and sequential turn signals. The taillights are similarly interesting with three distinct vertical elements.

 

Toyota declined to participate in the budding multifunctional tailgate graze, instead giving us a plain ol' drop-down rear. At least the tailgate is 20% lighter than before and can be opened by tapping a button on the driver's side taillight. This is great for when your hands are full and you can't reach the key fob.

A welcome tech upgrade

Inside, the Tundra's design is definitely function over form, but this is a truck, so I can't find fault with that. Ram may have gone all-in with luxury in its 1500 pickup, but the Toyota keeps it real. There is plenty of storage inside for smaller items and the center console is giant, with separate armrests for the driver and passenger. I love that the window sill is the perfect height to rest my elbow on while driving.

Although there is an available 12.3-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster, what really dominates the dash is the optional 14-inch central touchscreen infotainment system. I haven't had much time to play around with Toyota's new technology, but at first glance, it is much, much better than what was previously available. It can recognize natural speech commands, so all I need to say is, "Hey, Toyota, let's go home," and navigation pulls up my preprogrammed address. Further, the map quickly responds to pinch-to-zoom commands and overall the touchscreen is really responsive. Multiple phones can be connected via Bluetooth and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both here.

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