The new 2022 Toyota Tundra has been on Canadian roads for a little while. Now, with some of the early-bird suburban fashionista deliveries out of the way, it’s time to get to work. 

First up on the tow schedule, in Driving staff tradition, is a broken car. Meet Tibor, my newly adopted 63-year-old French son. The sedan to have for a middle-class Euro sophisticate of the era, this Citroën ID 19 once floated around on quirky oleo-pneumatic suspension, with a nice little 69-horsepower four-pot pulling from the front wheels. It was a car ahead of its time — admittedly, more than can perhaps be said of the conservatively contemporary Tundra. 

pic.twitter.com/tZS94mW3GS

— porp nine-elleven 🏳️‍⚧️ (@analogmotoring) June 30, 2022

Driving has been quite positive on the new Tundra. More power with more efficiency, and a significantly upgraded cabin experience have brought the Tundra back up into contention with any of the big three’s latest half-ton trucks. 

In trusty Toyota fashion, the 2022 Tundra doesn’t head off into any wild, untrodden territory. Conservatively modernized, the pickup now runs a contemporary multi-link coil-sprung rear, modern lighting, surprisingly strong infotainment for Toyota, and the expected turbocharged power. Styling apes the tall-mouthed Detroit trends of the moment, with TRD models even getting Raptor-style (but technically cosmetic) centre marker lights. 

Most notable for the model is Toyota’s rejection of V8 convention. The new 2022 Toyota Tundra comes only as a V6, with twin turbochargers, a ten-speed auto, and optional hybridization pulling drivers along with unprecedented torque and efficiency — but no V8 rumble. Excepting some artificial augmentative sound pumped into the cabin, the Tundra Limited is thus a quietly confident performer, rolling a competitive 387 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque in ICE iForce guise, or a quicker 437 hp and 583 lb-ft with the hybrid iForce Max. Optioned for towing, Toyota says that these powertrains will haul up to 12,000 pounds — 1,800 more than the old NA V8. 

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

1959 Citroen ID Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

1959 Citroen ID behind the 2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

1959 Citroen ID behind the 2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

1959 Citroen ID behind the 2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

1959 Citroen ID behind the 2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

Citroen ID 19 performing its best impression of the new Tundra’s grimacing maw. Day- and nighttime camera quality holds to Toyota’s standard for basic visual adequacy, but offers little more. Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

Running errands around town, the new suspension setup yields a far more compliant and usable ride experience than the leaf-sprung live axles gone by. It still rides like a truck, feeling a little bouncy over expansion joints and street undulations unladen, but the overall experience is one of respectable composure for a vehicle of this size and capacity. Acceleration around on-ramps is now carefree, and while this isn’t a vehicle that a conscientious driver should commute, it’s certainly one that someone comfortably could. 

Load it down, of course, and the Tundra — a working truck, remember — starts to show its real strengths. Even without a payload in the bed, some weight on the tongue goes a long way to reduce rear end skips and hops. This rig — a 2,200-lb twin-axle surge-braked car trailer — felt quite natural behind the Tundra. Pulled between locations, the bare load imparted little appreciable impact upon the driving experience, the Tundra still feeling as ready to pull as when unladen. 

The exception to this, of course, is revealed at the pump. In my testing, I recorded unladen fuel economy ratings of ~11.9 L/100 km (vs 10.6 NRCAN), compared to 14.7 L/100 km with the empty weight trailer in tow. Picking up my payload, the gross weight resulted in an economy reading of 17.7 L/100 km.

Fortunately for me, this payload was an exciting one. Generously offered to me for adoption, this fellow has a long way to go, but remains complete — meaning a weight of approximately 2,500 lbs, or a modest 4,700-pound gross load.

Hauling cars is seldom a straightforward process, particularly with trailers as heavy as those rented by U-Haul. Yet along my route, this felt one of the least disruptive experiences I have had in a half-ton. Even with the gross 4,700-lb load, the non-hybrid twin-turbo V6 showed impressive readiness to pull off the line and merge with highway traffic. Though still not fast per se, overall power availability and response should leave average recreational towers wanting for nothing. 

Between legs, the Tundra offers a modest selection of tow tricks and gimmicks, albeit not nearly so many as are available from Ford or GM. Two towing drive modes are accessible from a centre-located button, catering to light or heavy loads. Optional power extending mirrors aid on-road visibility, and unlike the seemingly permanent bull horns typical of hitchless liften Ram 1500s, can also fold back when not needed. Behind the wheel, shoppers can option a trailer brake controller, and at the rear a Class IV hitch with four- and seven-pin connections. 

The remainder of the Tundra’s repertoire is camera-based, with available 360º and trailer views, and a pair of new assists: Trailer Back Guidance and Straight Path Assist. Trailer Back Guidance should prove redundant to anyone who’s ever used a mirror, but the Straight Path Assist is a handy function that will automatically steer the truck to reverse a trailer straight along whichever axis it was activated along. In essence, if you can bend the trailer into the entrance of a straight driveway or boat launch and pull ahead to straighten, this assist will cover you right until final positioning. 

tow review: 2022 toyota tundra

1959 Citroen ID behind the 2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Photo by Elle Alder

The new Tundra also pleases when driving at night. Unable to pick Tibor up early in the day, our journey began in the evening, with me only arriving in Parry Sound near midnight. This nighttime towing experience with the Tundra stands out for the clarity of view along my route up Highway 400, and for courtesy to oncoming traffic. 

First, the Tundra’s new LED forward lighting provides strong forward coverage, a clean cut off, and consistent brightness and spread. Of further note to towers, the Tundra includes a manual headlamp height adjustment knob, or an automatic levelling function on Premium LED option-equipped vehicles. Operated by a rolling switch to the lower left of the steering wheel, the lights can be adjusted up and down to compensate for weight on the tongue or in the bed. This keeps your sun-bright low beams effectively directed down the road, into ditches, and out of other drivers’ mirrors. More than this, it is a satisfying visual to play with when parked in the dark.

Notes from the Tundra: as on my Niva, the headlamp height adjustment knob is an excellent answer to tongue weight body pitch pic.twitter.com/yOtz9gu42I

— porp nine-elleven 🏳️‍⚧️ (@analogmotoring) July 14, 2022

This wasn’t a particularly trying haul, but it is reasonably representative of the sort of casual tow load that an everyday Tundra buyer might find themselves hitching up to. V8 loyalists will continue to chest-beat for some time longer, but the new Tundra brings Toyota apace with industry trends to position the new Tundra for another lengthy run. 

Time will tell how haulers’ turbo aspersions pan out (reminder: turbodiesels also exist), but it seems safe to assume that Toyota — a brand which sells overwhelmingly on its reputation for reliability — would not be rushing an engine to market without engineers’ faith in longevity. 

Details about pricing can be found here, and prospective shoppers can learn more about the 2022 Toyota Tundra in the Driving.ca Buyer’s Guide.

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