Toyota Hopes You Trade Your Tacoma In for a Tundra

The new 2022 Toyota Tundra is an anomaly in the pickup truck market: it offers no V8 engine option, rides on coils springs, features a technology-centered cockpit, and even a lightweight composite bed. If Toyota were trying to poach Chevy or Ford drivers, this truck would have missed the mark. That’s why I believe Toyota is targeting Tacoma drivers with its new third-generation Tundra.

The 2022 Toyota Tundra has no V8 engine

Promo photo of a new Toyota Tundra towing a trailer down the highway.
2022 Toyota Tundra Platinum towing | Toyota

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Toyota shocked the pickup truck community when it announced it would toss the V8 option for its 2022 Tundra pickup truck. Every third-generation Tundra comes with a 3.44-liter twin-turbocharged V6.

Tundra buyers can get this new i-FORCE V6 with one of three power levels, depending on their trim level. The i-FORCE MAX hybrid powertrain far exceeds the outgoing V8 in both power and fuel mileage.

While the new hybrid V6 drivetrain may be a logical choice for a pickup, few buyers purchase a truck for logical reasons. Most drivers get a truck for emotional reasons, including the desire to listen to the rumble of a V8. But Toyota Tacoma drivers have been swearing by their V6s for years.

The new Toyota Tundra is easy to drive

Red leather interior of top-trim Toyota Tundra TRD Pro pickup truck.
2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro interior | Toyota

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There can be a steep learning curve while adapting to a full-size pickup truck. But not so much with the new 2022 Toyota Tundra.

One full-size truck headache is the size of the vehicle’s blind spots. Toyota addressed this problem with standard automatic emergency braking and cameras both front and rear. Drivers can see what’s on the trail in front of them through the Tundra’s available 14-inch screen.

The automaker also tossed the outgoing Tundra’s rear leaf springs. The 2022 Toyota Tundra shares a chassis, and rear coil springs, with the latest Land Cruiser. Buyers can opt for air suspension to further smooth out the ride of their full-size Toyota.

Toyota tackled the full-size truck’s biggest problems with its new Tundra

Advertising photo of the 2022 Toyota Tundra pickup truck.
2022 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

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You cannot buy a 2022 Toyota Tundra with a two-door regular cab, a V8 engine, or a heavy-duty truck’s GVW. The automaker is not doing much to court drivers of more traditional American trucks. That’s probably because Toyota plans to increase Tundra sales by poaching another market segment: midsize truck buyers.

For decades, Toyota has been the name in the midsize pickup truck segment. Older Toyota Tacomas hold their value better than some Jeep Wranglers. Many drivers dreaming of a Tacoma must pay nearly new truck prices for a used example. Toyota is giving them another option with the 2022 Tundra.

In addition, many Toyota Tacoma lovers find their family or their needs eventually outgrow their midsize truck. The automaker’s new Tundra makes a perfect gateway to full-size pickup truck life. If you are thinking of trading in your old Tacoma, Toyota would love to sell you a different pickup instead.

See why one engineer is trading his Tacoma in for a new Tundra in the video below:

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