Toyota fans have waited 14 years for the third generation of the Tundra. Now, the technologically-advanced 2022 Toyota Tundra is finally here. Toyota’s nimble and fuel-efficient full-size truck is appealing to midsize truck buyers. What’s more, the cutting-edge Tundra highlights just how outdated the current Tacoma has become.
|2022 Toyota Tacoma||2022 Toyota Tundra|
|Engine||2.7-liter I4 or 3.5-liter V6||3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6|
|V6 Output||278 horsepower|
265 lb-ft of torque @4,600 RPM
479 lb-ft of torque
|MPG||2WD: 21 combined (19 city/24 highway)|
4WD: 20 combined (18 city/22 highway)
|2WD: 20 combined (18 city/24 highway)|
4WD: 19 combined (17 city/22 highway)
|Tow Rating||6,800 pounds maximum||12,000 pounds maximum|
|Suspension||Rear leaf springs.||Rear coils. Available auto-leveling air.|
The 2022 Tacoma offers V6 and I4 engine options
The 2022 Toyota Tundra makes the current Tacoma engine offerings look obsolete. Toyota has always offered the Tacoma with a fuel efficient 4-cylinder engine, and the 2022 model year is no different. The base engine of the 2022 Tacoma is a 2.7 liter inline 4 from Toyota’s TR engine family. It only makes 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. In the 2WD Tacoma it is rated for 20 city/23 highway mpg (21 combined). The 4WD truck’s rating falls off by one mpg in every category: 19 city/22 highway mpg (20 combined).
The top-trim engine offered in the 2022 Toyota Tacoma is a 3.5 liter V6 from Toyota’s GR engine family. This V6 makes 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. At highways speeds, the larger motor gets better mpg than the I4. This is likely because the 4,000+ pound truck can cruise along at lower rpms when equipped with the V6. Around town, the smaller engine earns a one mpg better fuel efficiency rating.
The V6’s fuel mileage in a 2WD is 19 city/24 highway mpg (21 combined). In a 4WD it falls to 18 city/22 highway mpg (20 combined).
The 2022 Toyota Tundra’s 3.5 liter V6 makes 100+ more horsepower than the Tacoma’s
The 3.5-liter V6 in the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra puts both Tacoma powerplants to shame. This twin-turbocharged V6 is from Toyota’s cutting-edge Dynamic Force engine family. This engine family consolidates Toyota’s considerable engine technology into a dozen next-gen powerplants.
Toyota has been using this turbocharged 3.5 in the Lexus LX since 2017. In this sports car, the engine is tuned for 416 horsepower. But for its full-size truck, Toyota dialed the engine in for low-end torque. In the 2022 Tundra, the V6 makes 389 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. The 3.5 can make this much torque anywhere between 2,000 and 3,600 rpm.
With all this power, the new Tundra’s towing capacity maxes out at 12,000 pounds. It can also reach 60 mph in just 5.7 second—according to Car and Driver. The 2WD Tundra earned a fuel economy rating of 18 city/24 highway mpg (20 combined). The 4WD version falls to 17 city/22 highway mpg (19 combined). On the highway, it is just as fuel efficient as the V6 Tacoma.
The 2022 Toyota Tacoma looks outdated next to the new Tundra
The Tacoma is one of the world’s most popular midsize trucks; Toyota sold over a quarter-million Tacomas in 2021 alone. Midsize trucks offer the utility of a truck bed and are historically nimbler off road, easier to park, and more fuel efficient than full-size trucks. But with the 2022 Tundra, Toyota is aiming to bridge the gap between midsize truck drivers and full-size truck drivers.
With front and rear cameras and an available 14-inch screen, the Tundra offers better visibility than a Tacoma. With its new fully-boxed frame, rear coil suspension, and TRD Off-Road package, the Tundra aims to be nimbler than most trucks while off-road. The new Tundra even features driver aids to back up your trailer for you. Finally, the new Tundra offers fuel efficiency rivaling the Tacoma while keeping hundreds more horsepower on tap.
But while Toyota built the 2022 Tundra to court Tacoma fans, the company may have gone too far. The 2022 Tacoma, with rear leaf springs and a (relatively) weak naturally-aspirated V6, looks years outdated next to the 2022 Tundra.