The Toyota Tundra is a relative newcomer to the truck world, only having been around since the year 2000. The new millennium brought us Toyota’s replacement for the old T100 truck, the XK30/XK40 Tundra. An entire twenty two years later and we’re just now getting the third generation of Toyota’s full-size truck. That first generation lasted a respectable seven model years (2000–2006) while the second generation (XK50) lasted from 2007 allll the way to 2021. Fourteen years. I’ve driven the previous version quite a few times and so was pretty excited to see the (finally) updated Tundra. Check out Jeff’s video below, and then let’s kick things off by taking a deep dive through the 2022 Tundra lineup.
2022 Tundra Overview
The 2022 Tundra lineup is pretty similar to the 2021 lineup with regard to trim names. The basics remain, including the SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition and TRD Pro. Prices start at a very reasonable $35,950 for the base SR and steadily go up from there. New this year is a top spec Capstone trim which is over $74,000. I’m sure we’ll get a go at that one, but we had a 1794 Edition dropped off for a week so we’ll start there. Think of the 1794 as a Platinum for the cowboy crowd. I drove one back in 2017 and found that it was a decent, and cheaper, option than ranch-themed trucks like the F-150 King Ranch, Silverado High Country, and Ram Longhorn. Yee haw partners, now where did that name come from?
While it sounds like yet another Yellowstone spinoff, the Tundra 1794 is named after a ranch in Texas. As the story goes, in 1794 Spanish colonist Juan Ignacio de Casanova (which is coincidentally my nom de guerre) founded the oldest working cattle ranch in Texas. Well, now that land is the current location of Toyota’s truck manufacturing plant, this could be a series I’d watch. At $58,390 it’s only slightly more expensive than the Platinum version. I’ll get into what all that includes or you can just read the window sticker below. Huzzah hoons!
Building your Tundra 1794 involves first choosing a bed size (5.5 foot vs. 6.5 foot). Every trim level comes with the same turbocharged 3.5L V6 engine with 389 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. You’ll get a 10-speed automatic transmission and either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive (the latter with low-range gearing). Our tester was Magnetic Gray Metallic and only one of the seven available colors requires adding to the bottom line sticker price (that’d be Wind Chill Pearl for $425). The interior of the 1794 can be had with “Saddle Tan” or “Rich Cream” leather, our test truck had rich Corinthian stuff. Add in some options and you’re out the door at nearly $66,395.
Let’s see how this new gen Tundra stacks up at that price.
2022 Tundra 1794 Inside & Out
Some specific bits that you get on the outside of the 1794 (and technically the Platinum) include “premium” LED headlights, LED fog lights, and more. Exterior changes vs. the Platinum include different 20-inch machined-finish alloy wheels, a trim-specific chrome grille, and some badging and exterior accents.
It’s a pretty good looking truck, but like all new trucks it’s got a massive grille. It’s chrome, as is the way, and features a relatively busy montage of shapes and lines. Naturally it stays “TUNDRA” on it, gotta have your truck name up front. Thanks Ford. The new headlight arrangement looks good, and fits with the latest Toyota design language. The side looks nicely sculpted with two arches over the wheels and a chiseled look. Out back there aren’t any trick tailgate options like they have on other rival trucks. There is a pop-out step that only comes with the power running board option.
Inside, compared to the Platinum you’ll get 1794-specific leather interior upholstery with American walnut wood-grain trim. It’s really here where Toyota’s time investment really paid off. The old Tundra was massively dated on the inside. The new interior looks great and it’s very comfortable. The seats have a nice variety of adjustability settings, and I have to imagine that the Tundra would be a great road trip vehicle.
The controls, mercifully, feel more upscale, with better materials and solid ergonomics. It’s cool that it actually keeps the seat warmers on the same setting they were the last time you drove it. Plus, while the tailgate may not have quirks and features of the competition, the center console is fun and has several ways to use it.
From a tech perspective, the new touchscreen is massive. While the base screen is a respectable eight-inches, the upgraded version in our tester is fourteen-inches! Naturally it’s got all of the integration you’d expect. The Qi wireless charging heats up my phone, like in every vehicle I test lately. However, I like that I can see it when its charging (right of the shifter) instead it being squirreled away in a bin. I also like that you can switch audio modes without leaving CarPlay, something that can be challenging in some other systems. Once in CarPlay though, getting to the main Toyota menu to do other functions can be a challenge. It’s small, but I love that it does not turn off, or lower, the music when you are using voice commands.
The back is spacious, but oddly enough it’s technically smaller with regard to rear head room (by two inches), rear leg room (by .7 inches), and rear shoulder room (by 3.1 inches). Still, it’s got seating for five and all things considered it’s pretty comfortable.
Out on the road it feels, and looks…absolutely massive! You can see it above with some lifted bro-trucks, I rarely felt like I was in a smaller truck. You can also see above how small it looked next to my Maverick loaner. Which makes sense, it’s a full two inches taller and significantly longer than the 2021 Tundra 1794 trim level. Out on the road the little foibles of the Tundra come out, some good, and some bad.
As you can see in the center top pic above, the side mirrors are also massive. This makes it challenging to see oncoming traffic or pedestrians directly off to the side. However, it’s got some tech to assist you in not squashing cyclists. Specifically, the cameras are fantastic, you can even queue up the cool 3D camera to help see all around. It even lets you can even customize the color on the truck in the image.
The (optional) retractable running boards are quite cool and help get smaller adults and children up into the Tundra a bit easier. However, just remember that they’re coming or they’ll assail your shins with great prejudice.
In the end, the Toyota Tundra finally feels as expensive as it is. Sure, you can get one well-equipped under $40,000, but I’m sure Toyota is banking of selling quite a few middle and upper trim levels in the $50K to $60K plus range. Speaking of that, U.S. sales rarely top 120,000 per year, and maxed out in 2008 at 134,249 trucks sold. Ford has already sold 192,218 F-Series in 2022 as of this writing, and typically top 700,000 sold per year. Still, I’m sure Toyota makes money on the Tundra since the TNGA-F platform that underpins body-on-frame vehicles like the Sequoia and Lexus LX gets a lot of use.
The last 1794 I drove started around $50,000, and even last year’s version was close to that price point. However, in order to keep up with the American trucks, I’m not surprised that Toyota has built it bigger and more expensive for 2022. Still, the 2022 Tundra 1794 costs over $3,000 less than a 2022 Ford F-150 King Ranch SuperCrew 4WD with the 6.5 foot bed. So, there is a lot to like about the new Tundra and I very much enjoyed my week with the 1794. I would love to have one parked at my farm out in the country.
If I had one.