The 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is the latest refresh of the Tundra line, and it might be the first real challenger of the Ford Raptor. Priced lower, with an aggressive engine and a bold new frame, it checks all the boxes that serious truckers are looking for in a long-term replacement.

If Toyota’s phenomenal track record is anything to go by, it might just be a better long-term investment than the Ram TRX and the Ford Raptor.

What makes the 2022 Toyota Tundra so impressive?

Its bold new engine

For starters, the new Tundra runs on an eco-friendly, fuel-efficient twin-turbo V6 that spits out 390 hp and 440 pounds torque of force. While it’s a functional downgrade from the V8 that graced old Tundras, the performance numbers tell a different story. In comparison, the Ford F150 Raptor comes with a third-generation 3.5 liter EcoBoost V-6 engine that pumps out 350 hp of power and 510 lb-ft of torque. In towing capacity, it also lags, only being able to haul 8,200 pounds.

The Tundra beats out the Raptor on the base model, and, on higher configurations, the difference only grows. On the premium powertrain, I Force Max (Toyota’s hybrid engine upgrade), the performance numbers leap dramatically. The engine spits out 440hp and 580-pound torque and can haul 12,000 pounds easily. On the road, it also reclaims that old V8 sound and kicks old Tundra users fell in love with. The engine is more responsive than any old twin-turbo.

 

The Fuel Economy

The global energy crisis has seen automobile companies jumping through hoops to make their cars run cleaner and faster in recent years, and Toyota has made major strides with their hybrid engine, most notably the I Force Max on the TRD. It has beefed fuel efficiency up from 15-17 mpg to over 20. On the day to day, that’s huge. A 20% increase in fuel efficiency, especially on a beefy truck like the Tundra can save you thousands over a few years of consistent use.

The New Crawl Control

The New Crawl Control is the Tundra’s version of the hill descent or wilderness control, and it’s really good. The computer feels alive, knowing when to slow down, drive more power, and ease you around difficult situations. Tag on the new multi-terrain select modes, and you have yourself a powerful off-road contender that’ll make your trip into the Wilderness a breeze.

The Interiors

Toyota has gone on the offensive with its rugged new interiors. Every square inch is covered in tough rubber and metal, and the seats on the Tundra TRD Pro are an interesting shade of Camo Leather. The glove box is larger than it’s ever been with an in-built partitioner.

The new technology

Toyota has been slow to integrate new technology that Ram and Ford have been providing on their trucks for years, but the Tundra saw Toyota finally get serious.

The infotainment system is 18-inches across, and it’s bright, adaptive, has a bold default font, and has a great user interface. Android Audio and Apple play are one click away, and they finally swapped out the old gauge cluster for a display. Unfortunately, it’s not as customizable as the Ford Raptor’s, but it lets you keep an eye on the most important numbers– i.e your driving mode, music, engine, oil, etc.

Unfortunately, the entire display is not fully customizable, but you can get the essentials highlighted and easily accessible.

 

The Truck design

Toyota pulls no punches with the new design of the Tundra TRD and flaunts the company name and logo across the new angular frame of the car. There’s a bold new headlight on the center grille, new turn lights, an interesting new colorway called Orange Octane, and a grille that occupies the majority of the vehicle’s front. Love or hate it, the new design makes a bold statement.

Truck Bed and Storage

If the Tundra’s new engine didn’t rouse your interest, then the storage capacity will. Toyota promises that the Tundra has a payload of 1,940 pounds, which is 570 pounds more than a fully-specced Raptor has. For daily errands and work-related chores, the Tundra is clearly the better option.

When you add the side-mounted bed button to the tail lights on the driver’s side, the Tundra seems like the more functional choice. Inside the bed, you’ll also find a home outlet, where you can plug a phone, laptop, etc.

Is the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro perfect

No, but no car is. Most notably, the tires the Toyota Tundra comes with are not the best on the market. Its 33-inch factory tires remove from its impressive size. By comparison, the Ford Raptor comes with more appropriate 35 and 37-inch options. However, the Tundra has the better starting price and design, but ultimately, the choice is yours. The Toyota Tundra offers flexibility and power with its great new engine and larger storage, while the Raptor is a modern classic. Either choice will make excellent new or replacement Jump Trucks.

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Pavlo Prannyk
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