The first week-long loan extended to me by an automaker was a 2019 Toyota Tundra. This little website was taking off, and Toyota believed in what we were doing enough to offer up a loan for Hyperfest in May of that year. I put about 600 miles on that pearl white Tundra, and three years later, I did it again in a dramatically different truck. The 2022 Toyota Tundra is a complete redesign of Toyota’s half-ton, and I once again put about 600 miles on the odometer heading to Hyperfest 2022.
What Is It?
This is a 2022 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition. Despite the Tundra being on sale for 22 years, this 2022 model only marks the truck’s third generation. Toyota ran the second-gen Tundra for a long while – 14 years – and while it remained a durable, functional option, it was sorely behind in many ways. So then, there’s a lot riding on this new generation, including my trailer on its hitch (ugh, bad joke).
Toyota redesigned the Tundra entirely for 2022, from the frame up. If you liked the old Tundra for its old-school-ness, this will all be a lot to take in. The old truck’s 5.7 liter V8 is gone, and your only drivetrain option is a 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged V6 – or the same thing with a hybrid setup added. Gone is the six-speed, in its place ten gears. The bed is aluminum-reinforced composite. Leaf springs? No ma’am, independent suspension all the way around.
My test truck was not a hybrid and as such, produced 389 horsepower and 479 lb-ft from the boosted V6. Being a basically-loaded 1794 Edition, I also got adaptive dampers and rear load leveling air springs.
Looking inside, it is again all-new. Toyota’s latest infotainment is front and center, on a 14-inch (yikes) touchscreen, supported by a fully digital gauge cluster. Despite the screens, buttons remain for many key functions – thank you, Toyota. There are cameras everywhere, heated and cooled seats in both rows, and a gigantic panoramic roof above your head.
MSRP of my 2022 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition came in at $66,395.
2022 Toyota Tundra Towing an Enclosed Trailer
Maximum tow ratings vary, as with any truck, based on trim level and engine and so on. My 2022 Tundra 1794 Edition in “CrewMax” crew cab and 6.5′ bed guise was rated for 10,890 pounds of towing and 1,320 pounds of payload (as opposed to 1,575 pounds stated by Toyota online). My 20′ enclosed trailer should, in theory, be of minimal hassle to this new Tundra.
Hooking up was easy, with the massive center screen’s camera feed approaching life size. Immediately upon connecting my seven-pin wiring, the Tundra’s dashboard asked if I’d like to set up a new trailer. Why yes, I would. After configuring the number of axles and type of brakes, the Tundra calculated the trailer’s overall length – correctly, at 27 feet – and all that was left was poking “Tow/Haul” next to the drive mode dial. Well, so I thought.
Turns out there are two “towing” drive modes on the Tundra, and to access “Tow+” you must push the Tow/Haul button and then twist the mode dial. In theory, this helps with heavier trailers. In practice, it made zero difference.
The 2022 Tundra was very competent on the move with my trailer in tow. Toyota’s tow mirrors are power-extending and offer excellent rearward visibility. Stability was predictably excellent, given the truck’s massive 157.7-inch wheelbase. I also found the ride quality to be fantastic with the trailer attached. Body control over bumps and undulations was very good, no doubt helped by the suspension updates and fancy shocks on my model.
Where I found the Tundra a touch lacking was in its throttle response and shift behavior. The twin-turbo V6 makes plenty of power and torque, but even in Tow+ mode, the throttle isn’t quite responsive enough and the transmission is just a touch slow on the downshifts when power is requested. Conversely, I couldn’t get the Tundra to downshift and give me any engine braking on its own when I applied the brakes. Other manufacturers have this very well dialed-in and it is helpful. Could I slide the shifter into its manual gate and downshift myself? Sure, but I’d rather keep two hands on the wheel and let the truck do it.
Overall, though, the 2022 Toyota Tundra towed my trailer very well. It was a pleasing partner for the five hour tow to Hyperfest, and a comfortable ride home after three days in the hot sun.
Street Driving in the 2022 Tundra
I live in a high-rise in Washington, D.C. – it goes without saying that navigating and parking a truck with a 13-foot wheelbase and nearly 21 feet of overall length is perhaps a bit challenging and, in parking garages, precarious. I did have a few days of drive time out of the city and sans trailer to see how the Tundra would behave unloaded, though.
Some commenters asked about ride quality, saying they’d heard it was rough. I turned the drive mode dial to its most relaxed Comfort setting, and found the ride to be just fine. In Normal, it was indeed a bit more truck-like, though I still wouldn’t call it “rough.”
The cabin, as during my trip to Virginia International Raceway, was a pleasant place to spend time. All of Toyota’s tech was easy to use and learn, though I experienced an Apple CarPlay bug when ending a Microsoft Teams call – the truck thought I was still on a phone call. Dialing an actual phone number (I called my bank from my contact list and immediately hung up) released its grasp and I could have music again.
Speaking of music, Toyota finally has a good sound system in the Tundra. One of my most stand-out memories of the 2019 Tundra – still – was how JBL managed to pack the entire sound stage inside the dashboard of that truck. Here, thankfully, it has been unpacked and sounds far, far better.
Speaking of the dashboard, it sits oddly high given how low the seats and door sills are. Visibility on the highway was fine, but the seating position wasn’t entirely to my taste. At least I fit well as a six-footer, though – another huge improvement over the outgoing truck – and the seats were very comfortable over 600+ miles.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra is a huge leap ahead of what Toyota had on sale just months ago. They made some bold moves with engine, suspension, and technology – and it’s paid off. Some slight tweaks to engine or transmission tune would be appreciated, though it’s not like I had a bad time towing as it is now.
Toyota introduced that old Tundra when I was graduating high school. Everyone has to grow up sometime – I’ve sure changed since 2007 – and I’m glad the 2022 Toyota Tundra has finally matured. Truck people often have strong preferences, but Toyota has rejoined the ranks of “this is good and modern and competitive, consider it if you cross shop and don’t just buy blindly on brand.”
Now to give that Tundra Hybrid a spin…