The 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro has a leg up on the Raptor in almost every single right. While we are losing the old V8 Tundra, for the first time in Toyota’s history of chopping cars down two cylinders at a time… we are happy about it! Unlike when they axed the V6 RAV4, the V8 Tacoma, or even the V8 SR5 4Runner, we can be okay with this because in all other rights it’s very, very impressive.
Some contend that the grill is too large and looks less athletic with an implied worse entry angle, but the 3D look of it in person or on video makes it seem aggressive. The whole new look gives you the urge to get behind the wheel and give it a drive. Toyota has seemed to be leaving its boring and reliable history behind by joining with BMW on the new Supra, and unleashing a string of “GR” cars… the GR Yaris, GR 86, and soon…a GR Corolla! On paper and in person The Tundra TRD Pro is already drowning out the Raptor’s fame, and we’re here to put a label on why exactly that is.
9 Better Fox Shocks
Every single year the off-road models of a truck or SUV get’s a better set of whatever Fox has cooked up in the lab. The TRD must’ve gone to the secret lab because the shocks they got are internal-bypass remote-reservoir models with 2.5-inch-diameter monotubes. Unlike the old Tundra with nothing but leaf springs and a scary live rear axel, we now get four independent Fox Shocks.
That means an SUV-smooth ride as well as more space for a deeper truck bed while still increasing entry, break-over, and departure angles by 5°! The TRD Pro shocks give it a 2.6″ lift over the regular Tundra and also raise the front by an additional 1.1″ (3.7″) to make it level from the showroom floor, but as we will mention, not a single one has touched a showroom floor yet, and probably never will, before being snatched up. Compared to the Raptor; even in 2022 the Ford has a live rear axle and doesn’t get an independent rear suspension. The shocks are what many consider a step below, with adaptive electronic valving, a fairly different and not necessarily better suspension experience.
8 Even Better For Off-Roading
Toyota is giving us some hard numbers, everything to beat the Raptor’s case on paper! A new anti-sway bar is a big talking point, it’s even painted red so you can see it. The bar and the all-new chassis with a new ladder design made for more clearance add a reported 20% stiffness to the whole truck. Is it noticeable? According to reviews… yes, it is! A stiffer frame and smoother shocks make for a high-performance machine that will respond with exactness in loose and rough terrain.
Like the Ram Rebel and Raptor, the TRD Pro will have unnecessary clearance lights on its tall front-end to give it a muscley-trucky-look. Under that is a built-in light bar that blends in casually with the grille. To make contact with the trail, the TRD has 33″ Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires on 18″ rims, beating the Raptor’s 17″ rims and barely 29″ tires. With the wheel well space, 36″ tires aren’t out of the question.
7 Much More Affordable
The Tundra, brand-new has already been bought up quickly but you can absolutely still buy or pre-order one. The MSRP was $49,000 but is expected to rise based on demand and dealer’s premiums to $51,000-$53,000. For such a capable truck, we would gladly pay this price! It leaves room for accessories and beats out most mid-level pickups while still offering so much more, one of the things we love about Toyota… and that’s before we even mention how well they hold their value!
The Raptor is expected to have an MSRP of $64,500, and that’s not even considering the possible Raptor R; a V8 raptor rumored to come in 2022. That will cost upwards of $70,000 according to market experts. For $12,000-$15,000 more, what do you really get? Possibly a few interior features, bells, and whistles, but nothing we think we would miss in the TRD Pro Tundra.
6 Toyota Reliability
As you may know, Toyota holds the title of the most value-retaining and reliable truck with the Tacomas. Minus a small issue with rusting frames, that reliability has been unchallenged and the Tundra has followed close behind as its age approaches that of the Tacoma, with a great possibility it will surpass it. A demon many don’t consider before diving into a fun off-road truck is that warranties are slimmed down for the extra abuse, and leases are more costly.
We believe that a factory warranty says a lot about how well a car will do, however in this case both the Tundra and Raptor offer a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. What we can go off, however, is Toyota’s history. The only issue that could threaten the TRD Pro would be if Toyota struggles with the new 10-speed transmission.
5 Baja 1000 Success
Ford made headlines when they took a stock Raptor to a podium win at the Baja 1000 in 2016, and again in 2020. The trucks both finished, which is more than 40% of other stock-class competitors can even say! What you may not know is that people have privately been racing Tundras in the stock class since the year after they were released, and patterns were emerging of Ford’s not finishing and Toyota 4Runners, Tacomas, and Tundras completing the races over and over.
In fact, in 2014 Andy Bell finished just 9 minutes behind the overall leader (remarkably close in a 1,000+ mile race) behind the overall race leader. He did it, of course, in a Tundra. While not covered, we looked at over 50 results from different classes and could not ignore the pattern: Second only to GM vehicles, Toyota was the most common finisher while Ford had issues often described as technical problems. We’re just relaying what we found on Baja’s own Score International past winnings records.
4 Massive Consumer Demand
The TRD Pro is just barely officially released as of writing this and you would not believe how long the waitlist is. Of the 3,500 promised us per year… more than 5,250 are sold already. If you did the math you know that this means that there is now a waitlist to get your TRD Pro that is more than a year and a half long! This is without any risk of chip shortages as they were careful to avoid being reliant on the materials used in the new but unavailable chips.
But because of the chip shortage, we know that cars have jumped up in value, some being worth more after you drive it off the lot for the first time in the history of cars. If you look up a new or used 2021 Tundra of any trim you will find that they cost $7,000 to $10,000 more than what you can expect to pay for the TRD Pro (according to results on TrueCar.com), simply because of the wild economy were in.
3 Nice Factory Exhaust and Performance Points
Some may say that the guys at Toyota are copying Ford, but in reality, they are doing what’s smart for the Tundra’s goals: making a car with great horsepower and not too much weight. Sure, we’d love the sound of a well-tuned NA V8, a great option historically for Toyota, but we changed our mind when we heard the dual exhaust (turbo sound included). The sound is musical! An absurd switch up for Toyota. Besides just a cool sound, Toyota actually performs well.
The tundra is not necessarily light but it is lighter than before. Since a V-6 has TwinTurbo’s the horsepower is not lessened, and people who have generally gone at full blast are impressed with the launch and power. Needless to say, it’s pretty obvious that the Tundra TRD Pro is going to hold it on against the Raptor when it comes to racing flat-out. While the Ford raptors technology is not set in stone for 2022, we do know that the Tundra TRD Pro uses is hybrid power to make up for the lag in power from the turbo, which means between every shift the hybrid motor kicks in and no power lag is noticeable.
2 Notably Better MPG (18/24 to 15/18)
The Raptor and the Tundra both use the same engine set up: a 3.5 L twin-turbo V6. The torque is even going to be similar, with the TRD pro getting 583-pound feet and the Raptor making 510. Assuming you didn’t read the heading of this paragraph, which one would you assume gets better gas mileage?
Without the help of a hybrid engine, the Ford Raptor is only able to get 15 miles per gallon in the city and 18 on the highway. The Tundra with its 10-speed gearbox and the hybrid assist motor will easily get 18 in the city and 24 on the highway! Frankly, we don’t know how this is possible, all we know is that we are impressed. Even though the horsepower is about 20 less, to be able to create more torque, cost less, and get better miles per gallon… This is starting to be a no-brainer!
1 Super-Cool Accessories
Toyota has stepped up their game for their new flagship off-road vehicle, and the accessories available to the whole Tundra lineup are very impressive! Just to name a few… We have bed storage units that swing out (pictured below, you can actually buy right now), at least six different kinds of running boards/steps, a locking center consul safe, and skid plates which are already included in the TRD Pro but available to other tundras as well.
Now to count the aftermarket… Even though the tundra has not officially hit the road yet, there’s already a big lineup of aftermarket bumpers, roof and truck bed racks, and Tundra-specific off-road lights. Historically if we learned anything from the TRD Pro Tacoma and for runners, it’s that there will be an almost unlimited amount of cool gadgets to beef up your ride and enhance your overall experience, such gadgets as we have not seen for the raptor.
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About The Author
Wyatt Peterson (91 Articles Published)
Wyatt is from Utah and likes to bike, ski, and drive too fast. He’s written articles on motorcycles and cars for years, and especially likes Japanese cars and off-road vehicles. He has been featured in DriveTribe more than once and some of his content has had over 6.5 million views. He loves Formula 1, Formula Drift, the Baja 1000, and World Rally Cross!