2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Review - Not Quite A Prius

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
Fast Facts

2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Hybrid

Powertrain
3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with hybrid electric motor (437hp @ 5,200rpm, 583 lb-ft @ 2,400 rpm)
Transmission
Ten-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive
Fuel Economy, MPG
18 city / 20 highway / 19 combined (EPA Rating)
Fuel Economy, L/100km
12.9 city / 11.6 highway / 12.3 combined. (NRCan Rating)
Base Price
$68,500 US / $82,831 CAN
As Tested
$69,185 US / $82,894 CAN
Prices include $1,695 destination charge in the United States and $2,021 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.
2022 toyota tundra trd pro review not quite a prius

Making a massive brick-shaped object fuel efficient is a hell of an exercise in engineering, I’m certain. There are certain laws of physics that must be accommodated - mass, friction, and aerodynamics all factor in the equation of turning energy into propulsion. Reducing mass, improving aero, and limiting resistance losses from the tires are all ways one might make a truck use fuel more effectively.


Recovering some of that energy used in propulsion is another method - which is what birthed the hybrid vehicle. Toyota has been the leader in hybrids for decades now, which is why it’s rather surprising that it’s taken so long to bring some Prius magic to the full-size truck market. But here we are, with the 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro - an off-road focused, top-of-the-line package that can only be had as a hybrid. But does a simple battery make this three-ton brute a hypermiling champ?


One could blame Toyota’s ridiculously-long product cycles for some of the delay in making a hybrid Tundra. After all, this latest generation is only the third - the previous gen debuted during the Bush administration, an era when electrification of a truck was completely unheard of. That last Tundra wasn’t known for economy - I managed around 16 mpg a few years back in the old model. 

This TRD Pro edition, the off-road-focused model just barely wide enough to require clearance lights, is rated for a 19 mpg combined EPA economy figure - and that seems accurate based on my testing. It’s a roughly 20 percent improvement, so while it’s not stellar it’s still an improvement. Lesser trims without the trail features and the steamroller tires can see another 1-2 mpg.

That girth, sadly, makes the Tundra TRD Pro a bit ungainly when navigating the suburban jungle. When trying to negotiate parking lots, I found myself frequently backing up and starting over rather than risking putting a plainly obvious orange scrape on someone’s cherished crossover. This is compounded by a combo of low seating position and a high fender line that makes the corners a bit hard to see. Once up to speed everything seems to shrink around me, but at low speeds even I - at well over six feet and long of torso - felt short.

The ride quality - now improved from older models as the rear is suspended by coil springs - is quite good, especially considering the chunky tires. 437 horses and 583 lb-ft of torque make their presence known at every opportunity - while the Tundra TRD Pro weighs a bit over six thousand pounds, it will get moving with authority

The interior is well-finished and quite comfortable front and rear - it’s a pleasant place to spend a workday or to handle a family road trip. That the seats are quite wide and flat is just fine - you aren’t corner carving in this beast. The new infotainment system is much improved here - the screen is big and clear, and every control is snappy.

I think there’s a lost opportunity here, however - in making the hybrid advantage more accessible and useful. While the extra power from the battery and electric motor is nice, we’ve seen from Ford that even more efficiency is available. The F-150 Powerboost can easily manage 24 mpg - and beyond that, the hybrid system can work as a 7000W generator. The Tundra hybrid can’t - only 400 watts at 120v can be had from a plug. With the off-road focus here, I’d think the Tundra TRD Pro could be useful as a camping vehicle - but the access to the battery power isn’t as useful as it could be.

But that probably doesn’t matter too much to the typical Toyota buyer, who won’t even consider a Big Three truck. The 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is much improved over last year’s model, with better comfort, more power, better economy, and arguably cooler looks. It’s not a Prius, but it is a Toyota - and that’s all that matters to a segment of shoppers.

[Images © 2022 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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2 of 36 comments
  • Petey Petey on Dec 24, 2022

    This truck doesn't really make sense.

    I purchased my 2018 F150 with the 2.7 eco boost in lariat package.


    From the specs, my truck matches this Hybrid in fuel economy, betters it in payload, slightly worse tow ratings, BUT costs half the price!


  • Koko jasti Koko jasti on Jan 06, 2023

    Incredible truck! I`m on thoughts to buy one these year. Is it really can drive on el only? I found it can make up to 18 mph, but it will be probably for no more a mile

  • Jeff S The Cybertruck is one of the most hyped vehicles in decades.
  • Nrd515 This is all I could think of seeing this. I saw it in the theater with my dad about 59 years or so ago:https://www.popcorncinemashow.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Mr-Sardonicus-1961-01.jpg
  • Art Vandelay I have no illusions tha my Challenger was going to be a car I wanted to own 10 seconds out of warranty. Fun, sure. Fun in 8 years? Hard pass based on the 2 years I had it
  • ToolGuy Weren't some of the most powerful engines in the M4 Sherman air-cooled? (And supercharged.)
  • ToolGuy "I installed oil temp and cylinder head temp gauges on various vehicles I was driving, so I could monitor how the engine was doing. I switched from my normal 20W50 and dropped to 15W40 oil and put down thousands of miles. Within that time, I saw a noticeable decrease in oil temps and even cylinder head temps while driving in different situations."ToolGuy has great admiration for your use of the scientific method in conducting original research.
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