The full-size pickup truck segment is perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring niches of the automotive world. Competition is fierce, and each truck brings to the table a worthy combination of technology, power, safety, and capability. This year, the battle between the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2022 Toyota Tundra is shaping up to be a particularly fierce one as both trucks compete for the premium segment.
The Sierra features a fully revamped interior and exterior for 2022 and some new trims, while the Tundra is all-new. In fact, Mike Sweers, senior vice president, Product Development Office, and F1 Platform chief engineer with Toyota, noted, “We took a fresh, transformational approach to our truck development and had to rethink many things we’d previously done.” But which one should you bring home, and which one is a pass? Clearly, there are many factors involved in choosing your ideal vehicle, but here’s a look at how the newest versions of some of the most beloved classics stand up next to each other.
Power and Performance: 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2022 Toyota Tundra
One of the key features of a full-size pickup truck is its capability. These trucks need to be able to tow, stow, and go; that is, they need to be equally able to haul big trailers, carry heavy payloads, and still be able to keep up with the flow of traffic. To do that, powerful engines are a necessity, not a luxury.
The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 offers four different engine options. Each engine correlates with a specific trim level, though savvy drivers who need a little of this and a little of that can swap out most of the engines across the trim levels. The first engine is the standard go-to for the Elevation, SLE, and Pro trims. A classic with a powerful update, the 2.7L Turbo inline-4 engine now provides 310 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. With enough gumption to pull a 9,400-pound trailer, this engine is a go-to for a good reason.
But for those who choose the Denali or SLT trims, or who need a little more power, the 5.3L V8 engine might make more sense. This engine provides 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to tow up to 11,200 pounds. Still not enough power? Consider the 3.0L Duramax Turbo Diesel offering. When paired with rear-wheel drive, users will be able to pull 13,200 pounds. Thanks to its 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, this engine features its own active thermal management system to keep it cool while it works harder than hard.
The final option is plenty of fun, which is why it’s standard on the new Denali Ultimate and AT4X trims. General Motors’ 6.2L V8 is a legend, both for its 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque and for its sensational drivability. And if that’s not reason enough to check it out, it can also tow up to 13,000 pounds and comes standard with four-wheel drive.
So what’s the Toyota Tundra packing? As mentioned earlier, the Tundra is all-new for ’22, which means even the engines are on the cutting edge of innovation. The standard engine across the lineup is called the i-Force 3.5L. As the name implies, it’s a 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 that gives drivers 389 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque.
Also offered is the i-Force Max. This hybrid system includes the standard 3.5L V6 but adds an electric motor-generator with a nickel-metal hydride battery. It may be somewhat surprising to some drivers–especially diesel enthusiasts–but this hybrid setup offers the most power yet, with 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque. However, despite all that power, the new Tundra maxes out at only 12,000 pounds of towing, putting it in line with the Sierra’s 5.3L V8.
The Trims: 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2022 Toyota Tundra
Much like engine options, the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 offers a myriad of trim options, while the 2022 Toyota Tundra offers six well-considered versions of “technical muscle.” In fact, GMC has introduced two new trims to the lineup for 2022. Joining the Pro, SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4, and Denali are the AT4X and Denali Ultimate, each of which takes its namesake to the next level.
Dubbed as “The New Peak of Premium Off-Roading,” the AT4X comes with an off-road chassis and specially tuned suspension, along with front and rear electronic locking differentials. Meanwhile, drivers can enjoy heated, ventilated, and massaging seats while they climb and ford. The Denali Ultimate earns its title by taking the top-shelf Denali to an entirely new level. That means full-grain leather and authentic Paldao wood in the cabin, along with a chrome and black aluminum exterior with a CarbonPro carbon-fiber composite bed.
The Tundra, on the other hand, is offered in SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition, and TRD Pro trims. The SR trim starts things out on the right foot with a standard Smart Key system with push-button start, an 8-inch touchscreen Audio Multimedia system, and an aluminum-reinforced composite bed. The SR5 is trailering-oriented, with an Integrated Trailer Brake Controller and selectable Tow/Haul modes. The Limited trim adds some very important soft touches, such as an upgraded 14-inch touchscreen Multimedia system and power-adjustable front seats.
The Platinum trim brings corner-office swagger to a well-equipped truck, including a panoramic sunroof and leather seating. The 1794 Edition celebrates the San Antonio cattle ranch that originally occupied the site where the Tundra is produced today, offering an exclusive leather, suede, and wood interior, as well as a full suite of creature comforts. At the top of the line is the TRD Pro. While the off-road capable TRD package is available on many trims, the TRD Pro trim includes off-road suspension, FOX shocks, and an extra 1.1-inch lift.
The Cool Stuff: 2022 GMC Sierra 150 vs 2022 Toyota Tundra
At the end of the day, everyone wants a pickup truck with “cool stuff.” In most cases, that means technology, features, or design elements that make drivers and passengers alike say, “why didn’t I think of that?”
For 2022, GMC’s “cool stuff” lies heavily in the technology department. Google Built-in means having Google Assistant, Google Maps, and other Google apps all at your fingertips via the new 13.4-inch infotainment system even when you don’t have your phone on you. Also available is a suite of trailer views with up to 14 different pictures, courtesy of a slew of exterior cameras, including HD Surround Vision, Rear Camera Mirror, and a Bed View. In addition to the heating, ventilating, and massaging seat options, drivers can also bask in the sound from the 12-speaker Bose premium audio system with Centerpoint surround sound and AudioPilot Noise Compensation technology, turning your truck into a concert hall instantly.
The Tundra isn’t without charm, however. As an all-new vehicle, it’s been given plenty of creature comforts, too. Heated and ventilated seats can be had in the front and rear seats, and the 14-inch Multimedia screen pairs nicely with a voice-command Intelligent Assistant, which is operated with microphones on both the driver and passenger sides. Also available is a 12.3-inch digital driver information panel. Drivers can also enjoy features such as a panoramic roof with power sunshade, CRAWL control off-road cruise control, and Panoramic View Monitor, which provides a wider, more comprehensive suite of views of the truck and trailer in motion.
But Which Truck is Better?
So how does one even begin to decide which truck deserves a spot in the garage? In many cases, pickup truck drivers are brand loyalists who follow their heart and their manufacturer for life. However, there are times when even the staunchest brand supporter might want to check out what the competition is doing. Both the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 and 2022 Toyota Tundra are strong competitors in the full-size pickup truck segment. Each truck has been around for decades, earning legions of fans who swear by their trucks. However, we can’t help but feel that the refreshed Sierra still has an edge over the all-new Tundra.
It’s clear that both trucks have all the charm and capability to win over new fans across the country. But whether you’re looking for an off-road-ready beast or a powerful truck with features you’ve never even dreamed of, GMC has pulled out all the stops–you can even have both at once with the new AT4X trim. From cutting-edge technology to incredible work-ready performance, the 2022 GMC Sierra continues to offer more than the 2022 Toyota Tundra.