Pickup trucks account for roughly one in five of the vehicles sold in the U.S. — a sizable slice of the new vehicle market in the U.S. — and full-size pickups dominate the list of the best selling vehicles in the U.S.
In fact, in many neighborhoods across the United States, an expensive, top-of-the line pickup trucks has become the ultimate status symbol, displacing the luxury sedan.
So it’s no big surprise Toyota, which is the most popular automotive brand in the U.S, decided to give its full-size Tundra pickup trucks a complete makeover to compete more effectively with the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado.
Toyota also followed the lead of its domestic competitors by adding more variations, such as the 2022 Tundra TRD 4×4 I had an opportunity to drive.
The 2022 Tundra TRD 4×4 is an impressive vehicle, loaded with power, technology and the kind of comfort and features American truck buyers have come to expect in the vehicles. It’s also supported by Toyota’s long-established reputation for quality and reliability other brands have found difficult to match.
Pickup trucks have their own unique silhouette with a long hood, upright cab with a cargo box capable of carrying something like a bale of hay. Since the 1990s, cabs for pickups have been crew cabs with two or four doors with a second row of seats for extra passengers, which have made the trucks more like family vehicles.
The elements of the exterior design of the Toyota Tundra include a tall front end with carefully designed grill and recessed headlight fixtures and neat rear-facing lights on the cab and at the rear around the lift gate. The sheet metal around the truck also has been refined so it looks smart and beefed up so the truck can travel off-road without suffering damage to its 20-inch alloy wheels.
Domestic carmakers have long admitted copying the elements of Asian rivals. Toyota has returned the compliment by using the domestic pickup trucks as the template for the cab in the 2022 Tundra. When you climb behind the wheel of the Tundra for a second you have the feeling you are inside a Ram or an F-150.
There is a big screen in the center stack with knobs and buttons for key controls, for starters. But the integration of driver assistance features, the face of instrument cluster and the design of the center storage unit are unique to Toyota.
Since this version of the Tundra is expected to travel off-road, the materials used throughout the cabin are easy to clean, and the interior is wide and comfortable. The visibility from the driver’s seat, one of the most popular elements in a pickup truck, is excellent in the Tundra, which also comes with grab handles and a large, deep glove box.
The 2022 Tundra TRD 4×4 is equipped with Toyota’s I-Force twin turbo V-6 engine with double overhead cams and 24 valves and a 10-speed, sequential shift automatic transmission that produces 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque.
The truck is also equipped with transfer case with automatic slip differential and electric four-wheel drive. It also has a drive-mode selector and a stop-start function to save fuel. The drive modes include a tow-haul function. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported the Tundra has a combined fuel economy rating of 19 miles per gallon, including 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.
Safety and Technology
The 2022 Tundra is equipped with multiple airbags for protection in frontal and side-impact crashes. It is equipped with Toyota’s 2.0 Safety Sense system, with pre-collision pedestrian detection, and dynamic, radar-based cruise control.
The truck is also outfitted with driver assistance features such as bind-spot detection and lane-keeping assistance as well as rear cross-traffic alert with a braking function to aid driver’s backing out of a parking slip. It also comes with a rear-back up camera with a surround view camera. The Tundra I drove featured with an optional 17-speaker JBL sound system as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and Road Sign Detection.
One of the best features on the Tundra is the performance of the V-6 engine and 10-speed transmission, which deliver more than enough power when the truck is on the move. The shifts cover so smoothly and so effortlessly they are barely detectable. The smooth performance of the powertrain is matched by solid steering and braking and the overall ride quality.
I did not have a chance to take the Tundra TRD 4×4 off road. But I did drive it on varied surfaces, including dirt and gravel, and I thought it did well. It also handled well on curves and around corners. All in all, for such a big vehicle it was a pleasure to drive. The one drawback in driving the Tundra is the truck’s considerable bulk.
2022 Toyota Tundra TRD 4×4 Specifications
|Dimension||L: 233.6 inches/W: 81.6 inches/H: 78 inches/Wheelbase: 145.7 inches|
|Powertrain||3.5-liter twin turbo V-6; 10-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive|
|Fuel Economy||17 mpg city/22 mpg highway/19 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||As tested: $60,188 including $1,695 destination charge.|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
If you are shopping for a full-size pickup truck, the 2022 Tundra is definitely worth considering since it its completely up-to-date and does not have the big V-8 engine favored by traditional truck buyers, as the V-6 turbo delivers plenty of power and helps with fuel economy.
In addition, the up-to-date safety and driver assistance features are nicely integrated into the truck and on the model I drove the off-road package added another dimension to the vehicle I think many buyers will appreciate. But price of trucks has climbed steadily in recent years and the price tag on this one was more than $60,000.
2022 Toyota Tundra TRD 4×4 — Frequently Asked Questions
Are pickup trucks becoming more popular than cars?
Pickup trucks now account for 20.1% of the new car market, up from 18.3% in 2019, according to sales data from Motor Intelligence.
Does the 2022 Toyota Tundra have a V-8?
Today, the Toyota Tundra offers excellent specs, performance, payload capacity, towing, styling and materials. The only thing that raises interest is the engine under the hood. Unlike other full-size pickup trucks on the overloaded market, the 2022 Toyota Tundra doesn’t offer a big, mighty V-8 to prospective customers.
What does the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro have to offer?
Certain design elements are specific to the Tundra TRD Pro, like the TRD grille that’s massive, optional 20-inch TRD wheels, TRD lowered sport suspension, and a TRD leather-wrapped gear knob. There are skid plates, mudguards, and this 4×4 model features an electronic rear differential lock, Crawl Control, and Multi-Terrain Select.