Kurt Verlin
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Toyota Finally Unveils 2022 Tundra, with Hybrid Engine

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Oh baby would you look at that grille

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited crawling down rocks
Photo: Toyota

Oh yes. It’s here. Finally. Toyota wouldn’t stop teasing the next-gen Tundra, to the extent that — and it is with a heavy, guilty heart that I admit this — I kind of stopped caring. But then I got a look at it and started caring all over again. Just look the thing. There’s so much of it.

Toyota’s whole shtick is adopting automotive trends later than everyone to ensure that by the time it joins in, it does it better than everybody else. In the past, this has earned the automaker big points in the reliability sector. But what about the design sector?

Hot Tech: New Toyota multimedia system includes virtual assistant
2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro (grille)
Photo: Toyota

Well, the big-grille trend has been going on for a while, and though Toyota has not shied away from joining said trend, the automaker has surely unveiled its final form in the form of this 2022 Tundra. The whole front end of the new full-size truck might as well be a grille.

Mind you, this is not a small truck to begin with. The current 2021 model is 6 feet and 8 inches across at its widest point, which already makes driving in a quaint European village out of the question — and the new one seems to be even wider. It will also be offered with three bed lengths: 8.1 feet, 6.5 feet, and 5.5 feet.

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited tailgate side
Photo: Toyota

Traditionally, the Tundra has been outclassed by its American rivals when it comes to towing capability. But with a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 under the hood, the 2022 model has bridged the gap. It develops 437 horsepower and an impressive 583 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to tow up to 12,000 pounds — significantly more than the outgoing model.

More importantly, that’s the hybrid model. Electrified pickup trucks are gaining massive traction and in true Toyota form, the automaker is joining that trend a little late. Rivals like Ford, Tesla, and Rivian have already revealed all-electric trucks. But EVs are not really Toyota’s thing and for now, it’s going to stick to hybrids.

2022 Toyota Tundra Platinum (touch screen)
Photo: Toyota

Though a 12,000-pound towing capacity is a good figure for a hybrid truck, the whole point of an electrified powertrain is lower emissions and better mileage, and Toyota hasn’t said anything on that front yet. It is Toyota though, so we’re expecting the EPA estimates to be good whenever they come out. Don’t let us down, Akio.

In the meantime, we’ll just admire the truck’s enormous 14-inch touch screen and beautifully crisp digital instrument display. The Tundra also comes with standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a smart assistant that responds to natural speech and wake-up phrases like “Hey/Hi/Hello/OK Toyota,” real-time over-the-air updates, and a Wi-Fi hotspot that can support up to 10 devices.

  • 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro (cockpit)
  • 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro (center console)
  • 2022 Toyota Tundra Limited digital instrument display
  • 2022 Toyota Tundra Platinum (engine start stop button)
  • 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro (drive modes)
  • 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro (back seat)
  • 2022 Toyota Tundra Limited on grass trail
  • 2022 Toyota Tundra Limited climbing rocks
  • 2022 Toyota Tundra Platinum (front)
  • 2022 Toyota Tundra Platinum (rear)
  • 2022 Toyota Tundra Limited opening tailgate
  • 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro (skid plate)
  • 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro (suspension)

On second thought, it was unfair and inaccurate of me to say that Toyota was slow on the uptake. These are properly modern features and the 2022 Tundra even comes with standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5. Most cars on the road just don’t have that kind of tech.

Will the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra blow everyone away? If your ideal car design involves big grilles, then the Tundra is surely a must-buy for you. That aside, the fuel economy figures will let us know if this full-size pickup truck is something special.