Behind the Wheel

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone — Toyota’s $75,000 Flagship Pickup

2022 Toyota TundraModel tested: 2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone CrewMax

Engine: 3.5-liter twin turbo i-FORCE MAX V6 hybrid

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Horsepower: 437

Torque: 583 lb.-ft.

EPA ratings: 19/city, 22/highway, 20/combined

Base price: $75,225

As tested: $77,339

Overview: No manufacturer’s full-size pickup line would be complete without a showcase luxury model at the top. For many truck buyers, their truck is a status symbol and they demand a luxury vehicle that rivals any Mercedes, BMW or Lexus. These are people not interested in off-road capability, big tires or bright red tow hooks. They want luxury creature comforts and the latest technology. This is exactly who the new Tundra Capstone has in its crosshairs — aiming to compete in a field dominated by the Ford F-150 Limited, Chevrolet Silverado High Country and Ram 1500 Limited by delivering a full-on luxury experience.

Walkaround: The Tundra has been redone from the ground up and showcases contemporary styling that’s an excellent update from the old Tundra. It fully revolutionizes Toyota’s truck styling and makes one wonder what the updated Tacoma will look like. The Capstone also boasts standard power running boards and a power bed step, with tasteful exterior chrome-and-black trim, plus the first 22-inch rims ever offered on a Tundra. The outside of the grille is color-matched to the body with chrome inserts, while the Tundra badge on the tailgate gets chrome treatment too.

2022 Toyota TundraInterior: The Tundra Capstone displays upgrades — including a unique black-and-white leather interior, with walnut trim and an illuminated Capstone logo in the instrumentation. Most surfaces are covered in high-quality materials. The new, large touchscreen — a 14-inch horizontal unit mounted in an almost straight-up-and-down configuration — features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a 10-inch color head-up display and JBL audio. Acoustic glass on the front doors is exclusive to the Capstone and a panoramic sunroof is standard. The technology is a huge upgrade from Toyota’s previous offerings, with new multimedia capabilities, and a big step forward for its ease of use, functionality, features and exceptional clarity. However, its vertical orientation can be problematic driving into the sun. You only see the reflection of the white leather seats until you change direction.

Behind the wheel: The Capstone comes standard with the 437-horse, twin-turbo V-6 iFORCE MAX hybrid, providing 583 pounds-feet of torque. The powerplant delivers seamless power when needed and has an unusually deep snarl that seems artificially generated — much like the Lexus LC500 hybrid. But the powertrain feels strong, with a seamless transition between electric and gas power. With acoustic glass on the front doors, it’s also quiet. One negative that stood out for us was the wide turning radius, forcing us at one point into making a three-point turn into a parking garage.

Bottom line: The redesigned Tundra Capstone has the goods and drives as good as it looks. It’s definitely the most luxurious Tundra ever offered, but nothing sets it uniquely apart from premium offerings by its Big-3 domestic rivals — plus it’s more expensive than the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500’s top trim levels — all of which start under $70,000.