While the term “there is no replacement for displacement” was once true, forced-induction completely changed the face of performance. Vehicles can now deliver the same performance (and more) with less than half the displacement when using turbochargers (everything else being equal). The Toyota Tundra has been outselling most trucks with the help of the large-displacement 5.7-liter V8 engine, but things are about to take a turn. Introducing the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro powered by the 3.5-liter V6 twin-turbo hybrid engine. Thanks to Toyota, we were able to get our hands on a pre-production Tundra TRD Pro for a week. Here, we will give you the complete rundown on what we love about this 2022 full-size pickup truck, what we hate about it, how it drives compared to its predecessor, and how it performs off the road.

2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

9.50 / 10
Key Features
  • Twin-Turbo + Electric Motor
  • Fox Shocks with 1.1-inch Front Lift
  • Electronically-Controlled Rear Locking Differential
  • Coil Spring Multi-Link Rear Suspension
  • Independent Double Wishbone Front Suspension
Specifications
  • Engine: 3.5-Liter Twin-Turbo Hybrid
  • Transmission: 10-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain: RWD + 4WD Mode
  • Horsepower: 437 @ 5200 RPM
  • Torque: 583 lb-ft @2,400 RPM
Pros
  • Instant Torque from Twin-Turbos and Electric Motor
  • Futuristic Cabin with Extra Large Screen
  • Multi Camera System
  • Throaty Exhaust Note
  • Rugged, Aggressive Design
  • Smooth and Capable 10-Speed Transmission
  • Well-Rounded Suspension System
Cons
  • Some Glitches + Fit and Finish Issues (Prototype)
  • Flashy Color and Childish Accents

I’ve reviewed tons of prototype vehicles over the years. Most of the time, the manufacture fixes some of the fit and finish issues, software glitches, and usually cleans up the ECU tuning by the time the production version is out. It’s worth noting that Toyota will most likely address some of the problems we found in the prototype 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro before production, but we will tell you about them anyway.

Toyota’s 5.7L V8 Vs 3.5L V6 Twin-Turbo Hybrid

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck exterior shot
Photo by Kareem Girgis

If you’ve read our recent review of the 2022 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro, then you know how much we love the 5.7-liter V8 engine. With Toyota putting an end to it and opening up a whole new era of forced-induction, we have to ask: is this the right move? Well, after driving the Tundra’s i-Force Max engine, we’re wrapping up the V8 farewell party early to get to the twin-turbo welcome rave.

While the V8 delivered 381 horsepower at 5,600 RPM and 401 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 RPM, the 3.5-liter V6 hybrid produces 437 horsepower at 5,200 RPM and 583 lb-ft of torque at just 2,400 RPM, according to Toyota. This means the Tundra grew almost 15-percent in power, and 45-percent of torque in one year, all while delivering its power and torque sooner in the RPM range. The twin-turbochargers weren’t the only upgrade responsible for the performance bump. There was a lot of engineering to get this engine to completely dominate its predecessor.

2022 Tundra TRD Pro i-Force Max Engine Specs

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck engine compartment
Photo by Bassem Girgis

The i-Force Max engine starts with an aluminum block. It’s 3,445cc in displacement with an 85.5 mm bore and 100 mm stroke. It features dual-overhead cams with 24-valves, with dual VVTi systems. To avoid any heat-soaking from the two turbocharges, Toyota uses a water-cooled intercooler.

The true engineering, however, went into the cylinder heads. It’s all about cooling with these heads, thanks to the two-layer water jacket construction, as well as the cross-channels machined into the heads.The valve seats feature low-profile, laser-applied powder metal intake valves. This helps with cooling and efficiency. The exhaust manifold and cylinder head designs use the same water jacket to cool the exhaust gas temps before going into the turbochargers. This acts as another cooling line of defense to help the intercooler.

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck rear high angle shot
Photo by Kareem Girgis

Combine this marvel of engineering with Toyota’s hybrid system, and you’ve got one of the most capable trucks in this segment today. The hybrid system assists the internal combustion engine in a few ways. During towing, the system gives the engine additional power and torque. When driving in the city, the hybrid system often takes over at lower speeds, giving you a quiet, efficient ride. The hybrid system continues supporting the engine on the highway for a quicker response, and allows for very low RPM torque delivery during off-roading. Impressive engineering by Toyota/Lexus, and rest assured, the 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro will continue to impress throughout its design and capabilities. It's worth noting that Toyota offers another non-hybrid engine option that is identical to this one, only without the electric motor.

2022 Tundra TRD Pro Chassis And Suspension

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck extreme off roading
Photo by Kareem Girgis

The engineering doesn’t stop in the engine compartment. This year, the Tundra is moving to a fully-boxed frame to enhance the chassis rigidity. The rear features a wider frame member designed to improve stability, especially during towing. With rigidity being the main focus, Toyota engineers incorporated high-strength steel throughout the chassis, while using aluminum in areas that don’t need strengthening. This allows them to significantly improve chassis rigidity while keeping the weight down.

With a new chassis comes a new suspension system. The Tundra will now have coil springs instead of the old leaf springs. The TRD Pro trim will come with Fox shocks to improve dampening on various surfaces, as well as give the front a 1.1-inch lift. This trim level will also get a front stabilizer bar, red-painted suspension parts (yes, you can easily see them), TRD aluminum skid plate, as well as more underbody protection for off-roading. On paper, this truck doesn't lack features or capabilities.

2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Exterior Re-Design

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck front shot
Photo by Kareem Girgis

It’s no secret the Toyota Tundra hasn’t changed much since 2008. Despite being one of the most-loved trucks in America, there comes a time when change is necessary. This is exactly what Toyota did. For this complete re-design, the theme was ruggedness.

Starting with the front, the massive grille creates a monstrous appearance, with sharper, more aggressive headlights along its sides. The sharper curves continue throughout the truck, with much less curviness, and much more rough edges to play into the rugged theme.

The TRD Pro comes with the 5.5-foot short bed, which visually looks like the perfect size for the image. A push of a button will automatically open the tailgate, an exciting feature for construction workers around the world.

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck rear
Photo by Kareem Girgis

We hope the 2022 Tundra TRD Pro is missing its sidesteps for pre-production reasons, because getting in and out of this truck is a massive hassle without. We believe side steps that match the wheels would also enhance its looks in addition to its functionality.

The bright orange paint color makes a huge statement, especially with the camouflage accents around the bumpers and trim pieces. Heading into a fast-food’s drive-thru, teenagers lined-up along the restaurant’s window taking photos of the truck (true story). This presents a problem, however. Why is Toyota trying to appeal to teenagers with their most expensive truck? The paint color got as much love as it did hate, so it will come down to your personal preference. Either way, you will grab all the attention. All in all, the exterior is aggressive, wild, and a huge improvement over the previous generation.

2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Interior And Technology

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck dashboard shot
Photo by Bassem Girgis

The cabin of the 2022 Tundra TRD Pro is a complete redesign. The red accents on the shifter, steering wheel, seats, and even the red start button gives the TRD Pro a truly exclusive look. Once inside, you can’t unsee the extra-large, extra-impressive 14-inch touchscreen. It feels just like your iPad with seamless, smooth responses, wireless Apple CarPlay, and access to cameras that display every corner of the truck.

You will never feel intimidated parking this massive truck, thanks to the forward-facing camera, rear camera, top-view camera, and a camera that show the front and rear wheels for that perfectly-aligned parking job. When in park, pressing the “View” button will display a rotating camera around the truck; a perfect way to check your surroundings before taking off.

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck infotainment system screen
Photo by Bassem Girgis

The rugged theme continues throughout the interior of the truck with the buttons and gauges. We found most of the shortcomings and glitches inside the cabin, however, especially in the infotainment system. The system changes brightness randomly without a change in natural lighting. The glitches continue with freezing, voice lagging during calls, and a clear display of a “prototype product.” The same applies to fit and finish, like the passenger door. Often times, you need to slam the door to get it to close properly. Again, we won’t hold Toyota to these issues, as they clearly communicated that this is a prototype vehicle, and the production version will have fit and finish improvement.

2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro First Drive

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck interior shot
Photo by Bassem Girgis

If you thought driving the previous generation Tundra was fun, wait until you hear these two turbochargers spool. Upon starting the Tundra, you will hear the throaty, aggressive notes of the TRD exhaust. The exhaust makes this car sound incredible at all times. Some may find it annoying, especially how amplified the exhaust sounds through the speakers, but true automotive enthusiasts will rock to these notes all day long, even knowing most of is fake.

At slow speeds, you’ll find it fascinating driving a Tundra that sounds full-electric, until the engine comes on. Sports mode makes use of the electric motor, which creates an immediate torque delivery. The Tundra TRD Pro is quick for such a large truck, getting to 60 mph from a stop in a little over seven seconds.

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro logo on steering wheel
Photo by Bassem Girgis

The 3.5-liter V6 twin-turbo engine works collaboratively with a very smooth 10-speed transmission. The transmission rolls through the gears with ease, without any laziness of any kind. You can sense the transition from full-electric to gasoline, but it’s not a major inconvenience. The immediate torque response and the extremely smooth power curve are noticeable and appreciated each time you get on the throttle. Overall, the entire driving experience is aggressive thanks to the driving position overseeing the two vents on the hood from the small tank-like windshield.

The suspension system and the new chassis excel on the open road. They make for an extremely smooth ride. We were able to get up to 15 mpg in fuel economy driving on a combination of city and highway, but not a fraction over. All in all, we were extremely pleased with how smooth the Tundra feels on the road, and we couldn’t be happier with Toyota’s choice in powertrain. It was time to take the party off the road and see if the new Tundra had any tricks up its sleeves.

Off-Roading The New Tundra TRD Pro

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck off roading rough terrain
Photo by Kareem Girgis

It didn’t take long to learn that the Tundra TRD Pro lives for terrains like this. We tackled every terrain possible, from gravel to hill climbs, and the Tundra shined through it all. The combination of the five-link suspension and the Fox shocks make for quite the unique ride off the road. Together, they are able to absorb bumps, rocks, and road-changes while maintaining the wheels on the ground at all times.

Although we love the exterior looks of the Tundra, the bumper extends too low, defeating the purpose of the durable skid plate. The bumper will certainly scrape before we’re able to put the skid plate to good use. The all-terrain Falken tires did a fantastic job in terms of traction, especially with the help of the locking differential.

All in all, the 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is able to tackle the toughest of terrains smoothly, allowing you to off-road for hours in comfort. The electric motor is able to kick in exactly when you need it, and you never have to wait for the torque to kick in. This is an off-road machine with tons of features dedicated to this task.

The Bottom Line

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck off roading
Photo by Kareem Girgis

Toyota always made their customers wait, but the result is almost always worth the wait. While we’re sad to say goodbye to the V8 era, we are extremely excited to welcome the twin-turbo V6. Whether you’re after looks, driving experience, or capabilities, the Tundra will deliver. We’re hoping Toyota is able to address some of the glitches, and if they do, this truck will be a direct competitor to the Ford Raptor, especially with Toyota's reliability reputation that historically is capable of going a million miles.

The automaker also needs to address the flashy color and the camouflage accents. They play into the whole picture, but it’s a swing and a miss in terms of targeting their proper market audience. While we’re not fans of the color, we love the tribute to the classic “TOYOTA” on the grille and the dashboard. Thanks to some capable and committed engineers, the Tundra is leaps and bounds better than its predecessors, and more capable than ever before. For a starting MSRP of $66,805, the Tundra is quite the deal. Normally, we would always recommend not buying the first year of a major re-design, but with the lengthy waiting list, it seems you don’t have a choice but to wait.

About The Author