First Drive: 2022 Toyota Tundra Powers Back in a Big Way

A slick powertrain, upgraded cabin, and standard active safety features make Toyota’s full-sized pickup competitive again

2022 Toyota Tundra driving at ATC Photo: John Powers/Consumer Reports

The 2022 Tundra marks the first thorough redesign of Toyota’s full-sized pickup in 15 years. During that time, the Tundra fell markedly behind the sales-leading domestic truck brands in terms of capability, technology, and innovations, as the “Big 3” (Ford, General Motors, and Ram) made ongoing improvements with several redesigns. Through it all, the Tundra’s chief competitive advantage was its outstanding Toyota-grade reliability. 

After renting a pre-production 2022 Tundra from Toyota, we think the all-new truck has catapulted the Texas-built Tundra back into the full-sized arena with bravado. The new truck has bold styling, big power (with even more to come from a hybrid powertrain set for spring 2022), a large towing capacity, a contemporary multimedia system, and a rich roster of active safety and driver assistance features. But the best news of all: It’s a fantastic truck to drive, with a wonderfully smooth powertrain and a compliant ride.

Pricing begins at $35,950 for the base, rear-wheel-drive SR with a double cab and a 6.5-foot bed. The mainstream SR5 4WD crew cab with a 5.5-foot bed begins at $45,805. And for those who want a top-of-the-line truck, the 1794 Edition (“1794” signifies the year that the cattle ranch that became the grounds for the Toyota truck factory in Texas was originally founded) 4WD crew cab with a 5.5-foot bed starts at $60,690, not including the $1,695 destination fee Toyota charges for all Tundra models. We rented a 1794 Edition 4WD CrewMax (Toyota’s term for a four-door crew cab) with a 5.5-foot bed from Toyota for this First Drive evaluation. 

MORE ON PICKUP TRUCKS

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, our initial expert assessment of the 2022 Toyota Tundra is available to you below. We’ll purchase a Tundra of our own for the CR auto test program as soon as the truck goes on sale. Then we’ll put it through more than 50 tests at the CR Auto Test Center, including those that evaluate acceleration, braking, fuel economy, handling, car-seat fit, and controls. CR members will get access to the full road-test results as soon as they’re available. 

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What we rented: 2022 Toyota Tundra 1794 4WD CrewMax 5.5-foot bed
Powertrain: 389-hp, 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine; 10-speed automatic transmission; four-wheel drive
MSRP: $60,690
Options: Advanced Package (load-leveling rear height control air suspension, Adaptive Variable Suspension), $1,645; Power Running Boards Package (power running boards and power bed step), $1,350.
Total options: $2,995
Destination fee: $1,695
Total cost: $65,380

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