The 2022 Toyota Tundra is here, and it packs not only all-new styling, but also a fresh platform and powertrains. As chief engineer Mike Sewers told us, “Every nut and bolt is new.” That includes the infotainment system, which is a complete overhaul compared to what we’ve seen from Toyota in recent years. The new system was developed in-house by Toyota Connected Technologies and will expand to future Toyota and Lexus models. We’re not exaggerating when we say that it’s a million times better than the current system. Read on for our hands-on review:
One System, Two Sizes
The new Tundra comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, while a 14.0-inch touchscreen is available. The latter is the one you see in these photos. But regardless of display size, you still get the same infotainment experience. This is great news because that means there’s no sacrifice in features—wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are baked in from the start, for example, as well as Google Maps navigation and more. The system also works like a tablet, as you can touch, swipe, and pinch in or out for several functions.
We didn’t have a chance to see the 8.0-inch screen in action, but we had plenty of time to play with the larger screen. We came away impressed with how easy it is to navigate the menus and functions, as well as how quickly it responds to inputs. There are five large icons on the left side of the screen that serve as shortcuts for navigation, audio, phone, car info, and general settings. The icons are well spaced so it’s easy to use when the truck is moving, and a large search button located on the lower left side of the screen activates the voice command function. We’re told the screen works even when you have work gloves on, too.
Tailor Your Own Experience
While all the bells and whistles are advances over the outgoing system, Toyota is also adopting a subscription-based model for the infotainment system’s advanced features. There will be two different packages: One bundles Apple Music and Amazon Music with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and the other combines Google Maps navigation and voice commands. The former allows you to play Apple Music or Amazon Music directly from the infotainment system itself using data from the onboard Wi-Fi. If you use the latter, it will download and cache Google Maps navigation information, so you don’t lose guidance should you lose cellular service. Pricing is still being worked out, and we’ll update this story once it’s released.
Following a similar path to Mercedes-Benz and BMW, the new infotainment system activates a digital assistant when you say “Hey, Toyota.” You can either wait for the beep to say the command, or you can say the command right away (e.g., “Hey Toyota, take me to the closest steakhouse”). The system has been developed to understand natural conversations and besides offering navigation programming, it can also increase or decrease the temperature inside the cabin or adjust the fan speed, among other tasks.
Toyota installed two microphones for front occupants, which means either the driver or front passenger can use voice commands, and it can tell which one of them is speaking. You can also say “Hi/Hello/OK, Toyota” to wake up the virtual assistant.
Like many infotainment systems these days, the new Toyota system allows for over-the-air updates for mapping, points of interest, and bug fixes. Owners will get a notification on their phone or their screen when it’s time to update it and will be able to connect to their home Wi-Fi for faster downloads.
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