The Right Spec: 2022 Toyota Tundra

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Thanks to Toyota’s glacier-like design cycle, a new Tundra is something most of us will experience only a few times in our adult lives. How long was the last generation around? Well, George W. Bush still had nearly three more years in the White House when the XK50 Tundra was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2006. Yeah, it’s been a minute.

All that changed when the curtain dropped on the ’22 Tundra earlier this year. While the mighty and burly TRD Pro has gotten a lot of the press (and most of the promotional photos), there are actually about half a dozen trims on offer, some of which can be layered with options and packages.

We’ll settle on the SR5 for now, a decision made easy once one learns that’s the last stop for a Double Cab body configuration. Everything over and above this $40,755 pickup is available only with the enormous CrewMax cabin. This is fine for interior space but eats into bed space unless one pops for the optional 6.5-ft bed which stretches the Tundra’s total length to unfriendly dimensions. Besides, your author prefers the visual proportions of an extended cab and 6.5-ft bed, a combination that has decent space inside plus a cargo box that’s genuinely useful. Freakazoids can spec the Double Cab with an 8.1-ft box if they wish to have a truck that looks like a cartoon. Four-wheel drive is non-negotiable, by the way.

SR5 trim is equipped with the non-hybrid powertrain, comprised of a 3.5L twin-turbo V6 good for 389 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. This puts it in good company with both the 5.0L V8 and 3.5L EcoBoost at Ford (400/410 and 400/500, respectively) and beats the tar out of the 5.3L boat anchor at General Motors. An automatic limited-slip diff is part of the deal on this Toyota truck.

SR5 trim levels get a smaller infotainment screen than top models but it somehow manages to fit decently in the same space as the vast 14-inch display. Gauges are analog compared to more expensive reconfigurable digital readouts but are perfectly serviceable. This writer has spent time in a pre-production TRD Pro and found it a comfortable space laden with over-the-top chunky controls and details. That bank of switches under the infotainment, for example, has a rubberized coating. While this SR5 lacks the snazzy features of that TRD Pro, the basics are still present.

There is a quartet of option packages on the SR5. They range from a $1,560 Convenience Package which adds items like front/rear park assists and a 32-gallon fuel tank to a spendy TRD Off-Road Premium Package for $9,245. The latter adds off-road gear like all-terrain tires and Bilstein shock – plus jumbotron infotainment and a heated wheel – but is not the full-fat TRD Pro model we’ve all seen in marketing images for this thing. In other words, it doesn’t have the light bar grille or beefy undercarriage protection of the Pro.

In fact, if you’re planning to pop for the TRD Off-Road Package, you’re better off starting with a Limited trim rather than the SR5. While there is an approximately $6,000 difference between the two, that package is only (“only”) $5,510 yet it brings all the same off-road gear plus a JBL audio system and a power moonroof. With that level of equipment, we think it could even be considered on par with the SR5.

Outside that, there’s a case to be made for a four-wheel-drive Tundra SR5 with the big fuel tank. That truck will sticker at $45,315, leaving over 10 grand for aftermarket off-road goodies. Just make sure to get the Double Cab, okay?

Please note the prices listed here are in American dollars and currently accurate for base prices exclusive of any fees, taxes, or rebates. Your dealer may (and should) sell for less (obscene market conditions notwithstanding). Keep your foot down, bone up on available rebates, and bargain hard.

[Images: Toyota]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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2 of 44 comments
  • Funky D Funky D on Dec 02, 2021

    Since there is no V8 option, the Right Spec doesn't exist for this truck.

  • DenverMike DenverMike on Dec 03, 2021

    You heard them. It doesn't matter, white noise, the Toyota emblem is the only spec the blind faithful concerned themselves with.

  • Kars This article was about Ford not Tesla - you are clearly confused.
  • Ollicat Those are individual charging stations vs entire gas stations that have 8 - 16 pumps. And gas stations take 3 minutes to fill vs 30 min to hours for a charging station. And gas pumps are much more likely to be working vs charging statins. Nice try with more propaganda though.
  • Richard Poore Sure, as the article itself notes (hence my ire) California has mandated that all new vehicles sold in state be EV by 2035. They require EV or hybrid by 2026. Since the author admits to this mandate it seems that the article title is clickbait... was really hoping that there was some sort of changes in the CA position since the state is sorely behind on where they need to be with charging stations for this sort of requirement.
  • VoGhost When will Audi eliminate the fake, oversized grills that impede aerodynamics?