2022 Toyota Tundra First Drive: Direct Hit?


2022 Toyota Tundra First Drive: Direct Hit?

We recently visited Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio, where the Tundra and Tacoma pickups are built, and were surprised by how many full-size Detroit-bred pickups filled the employee parking lots. Ram 1500s seemed to outnumber Chevy Silverados and Ford F-150s slightly in our unofficial tally, but the sight of all these newish competitors illustrates the extent to which Toyota’s own full-sizer, the 15-year-old second-gen Tundra, has become uncompetitive. The completely new TNGA GA-F platform-based 2022 Toyota Tundra aims to win back buyers—with or without an employee discount. Does it have what it takes to dent the market penetration of America’s perennial best-selling vehicle from Ford or Ram’s multiple Truck of the Year winner?

It’s worth reiterating that Toyota has never sought to counter every powertrain, cab/box combination, or price point the Detroit automakers offer, choosing instead to target the heart of the retail market. For 2022, however, the Tundra is adding a second powertrain option and a third wheelbase that allows both its shorty Double Cab and its CrewMax to be had with a choice of pickup boxes—6.5- or 8.0-foot on the former, 5.5- and now 6.5-foot on the latter.

Here Toyota takes direct aim at Ford’s twin-turbo V-6 EcoBoost engines. Toyota’s 3,445cc i-Force V-6 bests Ford’s entry 2.7-liter EcoBoost by 23 horsepower and 5 lb-ft in the entry-level Tundra SR, which produces 348 hp and 405 lb-ft. All other trim grades come standard with the higher-output i-Force, rated at 389 horses and 479 lb-ft (11 fewer hp but 69 more lb-ft than Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost).

The new powertrain option scootches the 10-speed automatic 9 inches rearward in the chassis to make room for a beefy 48-hp/184-lb-ft permanent-magnet electric motor that earns the moniker i-Force Max. This setup’s combined output of 437 hp and 583 lb-ft trumps Ford’s PowerBoost hybrid by 7 hp and 13 lb-ft. (Toyota cedes the power-outlet war to Ford, offering only 400 watts of 110-volt juice in the bed, versus the 2 kW available in the Ford.)

For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.

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