2022 Toyota Tundra: Should You Avoid It?
If you base your decision on what new full-size, light-duty pickup truck to buy on what you read and see online, you’d probably think more than twice about buying the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra. There’s plenty of negative press around about the redesigned 2022 Tundra, but is there something intrinsically wrong with this exciting new truck, or is it just a case of new model teething problems?
Many reports suggest quality issues with the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra, but none of these reports are a real cause for concern. The 2022 Toyota Tundra is an entirely new model from the ground up, and any new vehicle will have teething problems that are usually sorted out quickly under the terms of the manufacturer’s warranty.
What is the 2022 Toyota Tundra?
The 2022 Toyota Tundra is the first model year of the full-size pickup truck’s third generation. The 2022 Tundra is an entirely new model built on the company’s body-on-frame GA-F platform that will underpin future Toyota full-size and mid-size pickup trucks and SUVs.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra is a giant leap forward for this full-size, light-duty pickup with a hybrid powertrain, coil-spring rear suspension, and plenty of the latest technology on board. There are seven trim levels, three beds, two four-door cab sizes, and two powertrain options, which means buyers don’t have the almost unlimited configuration options offered by some rivals.
I think it’s a sensational-looking truck, but only as long as you like trucks that look like they’ve been designed to see you through the apocalypse or are a relative of some futuristic military vehicle. The 2022 Tundra looks as tough and rugged as the nameplate’s reputation for durability suggests it should be, but why isn’t it living up to that reputation?
What’s wrong with the 2022 Toyota Tundra?
If you were to write a comprehensive list of the problems and niggles buyers find with any wholly redesigned vehicle, it would undoubtedly be long and probably quite concerning for any prospective buyer.
This is just what happens with new vehicles. Manufacturers do millions of miles of testing with new models, but none of that is the same as putting thousands and thousands of the new models in the hands of the public.
Here are the main issues I’m hearing so far about the 2022 Toyota Tundra:
- Turbocharger wastegate – This component’s job is to route excess gases away from the turbocharger, and many fail. Owners are alerted to the issue when an error message on the dash informs them they need to reduce power and see the dealer. All that’s required to fix the problem is a replacement part, but access to the rear-engine mounted turbo does require either removing the cabin from the front or removing the entire front of the Tundra. Parts are in relatively short supply, which is partly a result of well-documented supply chain issues, but also because this is a brand new truck, and it wasn’t anticipated that so many of these parts would be required so soon.
- Wind noise – Another widespread issue appears to be a faint but annoying whistling noise in the cabin due to poorly fitted and finished weather stripping around the rear windows. This problem isn’t a big deal, and no doubt Toyota will already have addressed it on the production line, and affected trucks will have it corrected under warranty.
- Poorly fitted body parts – When you buy any brand-new vehicle from a brand as reputable as Toyota, you don’t expect to find significant gaps between body panels. That’s one of the more extreme and rare examples of poor build quality, but most of the time, the issue tends to be with rear bumper pieces that are supposed to pop on and off.
- Faulty fuel gauges – Tundra fuel gauges that read half empty when full or full when half-empty have also been reported, but this is another quick fix under warranty which is nothing more than Toyota getting supplied with faulty parts. The Tundra isn’t the first new vehicle to have this problem recently, and it probably won’t be the last.
- Infotainment system glitches – The infotainment system in the 2022 Toyota Tundra is also completely new and will feature in most new Toyota and Lexus models in the future. There have been many software issues reported that are annoying, but these will all get fixed by Toyota with system updates that should be no genuine inconvenience to owners.
Anyone who has experience working in a car dealership when an all-new model comes out will probably laugh at the idea of the above issues signaling that there’s something intrinsically wrong with the 2022 Toyota Tundra.
I’ve been in the trenches in Land Rover dealerships when new models launched before they perhaps should have been, and I can tell you that these issues with the new Tundra are nothing in comparison.
I accept that you don’t expect to have problems like these when you take delivery of a new vehicle, especially one as expensive as the new 2022 Toyota Tundra. Unfortunately, it’s unrealistic to expect a complex vehicle like this to have no teething problems. That’s why I always tell people to think twice about buying a new vehicle when it first launches and consider buying the last model year of the old one instead.
If you read this article that I wrote earlier about the 2023 Toyota 4Runner, which will also be built on the same platform as the all-new Tundra, you’ll see that I’m consistent with this message.
Should you buy a 2022 Toyota Tundra?
There are good reasons why you perhaps shouldn’t buy a 2022 Toyota Tundra, but the idea that it won’t be a reliable or durable truck isn’t among them. The full-size, light-duty truck segment is incredibly competitive, and it might be a stretch for most people to choose the new Tundra over an F-150, Silverado 1500, Sierra 1500, or Ram 1500.
However, we know from years of experience that Toyota builds quality vehicles that can last as long as you want them to as long as you look after them. Previous Tundra models have an enviable reputation for durability.
As I said earlier, I love the way the new Tundra looks, and I’m sure that by the time you take delivery of a model you order from now on, it will be as reliable and durable as you’d expect a new Toyota to be.
You may well give the 2022 Toyota Tundra a miss because you prefer another half-ton truck with a higher maximum towing capacity or more configuration options, but don’t ignore the Tundra because you think it won’t be reliable.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra might have come second last in Car and Driver’s list of the best pickup trucks for 2022, and Consumer Reports isn’t exactly singing its praises either. However, check back in a year or two, and I’ll bet the Tundra is up there with the best by then.