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Pavement and dirt are two different beasts, so it's not a stretch to assume that trucks engineered for more extensive off-road use might make some sacrifices to on-road comfort. But the 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro does both with aplomb, shrinking the gap between this oft-overlooked Japanese pickup truck and its egregiously popular American counterparts.
From a distance, though, the Tundra TRD Pro doesn't exactly scream subtlety. In fact, it screams more like a teenager who's had one too many cans of birthday-cake-flavored Bang. My tester's $425 shade of Solar Octane paint ensures you can see this truck from across a dense parking lot, or perhaps even from space. Throw a billion chunky design elements into the mix, along with some slick digital camouflage trim and matte-black 18-inch alloy wheels, and the TRD Pro looks ready to start an argument if you look at it the wrong way. There's a lot of character here.
Two-c thicc design elements make their way inside, as well. The chunky-funky dashboard looks sufficiently truckish, and many of the controls have a nice, bulky tactility to them. Being the second most expensive trim, the TRD Pro does add leather in a few key spots, but by and large, it's mostly the same interior you'll get on other Tundras, as well as its platform-mate, the Sequoia SUV. It's nice, but it's hard to gel the TRD Pro's $67,000 starting price with the quantity of hard, scratchy plastic across many touch points, especially the center armrest's sliding components.
It should come as no surprise that something this large would carry a good amount of daily-driving practicality. Clutterbugs will love just how many places you can throw junk in the Tundra TRD Pro's cabin. The front doors have two tiers of pockets, which is good since the cup holders have trouble holding larger Nalgenes. Ahead of the cup holders, there's a stand for upright wireless device charging (a nice touch), along with a sizable cubby. The center armrest opens traditionally, but there's also a sliding tray in the middle for quicker access to the cubby below, which is large enough to hold a small animal. (Don't do that, though.) In the TRD Pro's sole CrewMax configuration, the back half of the cabin is spacious as all get-out, with ample space to splay out. Put a small mattress on the floor and bam, now it's an Airbnb.
The Tundra TRD Pro is only available with Toyota's top-shelf powertrain, comprising a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 and a single electric motor between the engine and its 10-speed automatic transmission. Its output of 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque makes this Tundra ever so spicier than the Ford F-150 Hybrid. The hybrid system isn't designed for efficiency so much as it is for creating a diesel-like torque curve, and it feels every bit as strong as you'd think when tooling around town. You can keep it in electric-only operation for small bits of time, but most throttle applications from a stop will get the gas engine to kick in pretty quickly. The fake sound piped through the speakers gives it a more V8-like attitude, even if it's mostly smoke and mirrors.
I had an easier time living with the Tundra TRD Pro than I did the Sequoia, arguably the more family-friendly of the two vehicles that share this frame and powertrain. The shudders from activating and deactivating the gas engine are far less pronounced in the Tundra, which is good. Fuel economy, on the other hand, takes a plunge in the TRD Pro. The EPA rates this four-wheel-drive truck at just 18 mpg city and 20 mpg highway, numbers I find a little difficult to achieve. Stick with a two-wheel-drive hybrid if you're really trying to stretch out those trips to the gas station. Thankfully, my tester's 32.2-gallon gas tank helps alleviate some range concerns.
The Tundra TRD Pro also gives me a much better ride quality than the Sequoia did. The TRD Pro rides 1.1 inches higher, and its 2.5-inch Fox internal-bypass coilover shocks with rear remote reservoirs do an impressive job of eating up bad roads and returning little perturbation to the cabin. The 285/65R18 Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires love dirt, but thankfully, they're also pretty chill on pavement, with a relatively low amount of tire noise and almost no lateral tracking. Those chunky sidewalls likely bolster the ride quality a bit, too.
The TRD Pro doesn't give up much, if any of its truck-stuff capability, either. This Tundra variant can tow 11,175 pounds, the most of any 4x4 CrewMax configuration, and it's bested only by 4x2 CrewMax models. Its 1,600-pound payload capacity is also near the top of the Tundra lineup, again only bested by two-wheel-drive trucks.
Toyota's infotainment tech used to be hot garbage until the US team wrestled control of the telematics away from the mothership. What started as Lexus Interface has now made its way to Toyota's vehicles, and the improvement is dramatic. A standard 14-inch touchscreen rises from the dashboard, and it's so much easier to use than before, with fresher graphics, better response times and Google-based navigation mapping. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included, and the also-standard 12-speaker JBL sound system provides some damned decent bumpage. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster keeps the relevant information at the forefront, even if I think the aesthetics are a little dated.
Given the giant Toyota badges everywhere, absolutely nobody should be surprised that the Tundra TRD Pro carries some solid safety systems. Every Tundra, not just this version, comes standard with a suite of active and passive driver aids, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, automatic high beams and traffic-sign recognition. These hands-on systems are nice and smooth in their operation.
Like every other full-size pickup truck in 2022, the Tundra TRD Pro is not cheap. Available in a single 4x4 CrewMax configuration with a 5.5-foot bed, this hybrid pickup rings in at $69,300, including $1,795 in destination charges. Throw in the paint job and that brings the total to $69,725. It's not the cheapest hybrid Tundra you can get -- that honor goes to the $62,885 Platinum 4x2, about the same as a Ford F-150 King Ranch hybrid -- but it occupies a unique spot as the only hybrid pickup truck billed as being off-road-friendly.
It's nice to see the 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro holding its own against the Americans. The truck's aesthetics and capability are up there, the pricing is relatively competitive and its on-road demeanor is just as good as its Stateside counterparts. Whether or not the hybrid is what brings you in the door, there's plenty to like that should keep you there.