2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone
While the Detroit Big-3 still dominate full-size pickup truck sales in North America, the Toyota Tundra has certainly earned itself a seat at the grown-ups table. And these days that means breaking out the fine china and expensive dinnerware more than brown-bagging it. So, let’s put on our Sunday best and check out this new Toyota Tundra Capstone.
The average transaction price of pickup trucks has been climbing at a rapid pace for years, as buyers are demanding more and more features. And, since packing in extras is always great for truck-maker’s bottom lines, they are more than happy to oblige, by continuously ramping up their high-end models. That brings us to this 2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone.
We’re guessing they’re referring to the “crowning achievement” definition of the word, certainly not a research project, as this Capstone is Toyota’s new top trim. Think Denali, Limited, High Country, or any of the many bougy names that are now part of the automotive lexicon.
What that gets you here in the Tundra is just about every optional feature available like power running boards, BedStep, and 10-inch color Head-Up Display; plus a few special ones like these 22-inch dark chrome wheels, the biggest ever on a Tundra. There’s also a distinct mesh grille, and naturally, lots of added chrome.
Inside there is leather seating with different color combinations, open-pore walnut wood trim, and upgraded acoustic glass to further shelter you from the outside working world. Other highlights include a 14-inch infotainment touchscreen, 12-Speaker JBL audio, 12-inch digital gauge cluster, heated and ventilated seats, and panoramic roof. About the only thing you can pay extra for is an adaptive variable suspension with load-leveling, which costs about a grand, so we’re not sure why they didn’t just throw that in as well.
The Capstone comes in CrewMax cab only with a 5½-foot bed. All major mechanicals remain the same as the rest of the 3rd-generation Tundra 4X4s which are fresh off a complete redesign earlier this year. And naturally the biggest motor available is also part of the package; and that is the Hybrid form of their i-FORCE V6. The electric-assisted MAX version of this 3.5-liter twin-turbo outputs 437-horsepower and 583 lb-ft. of torque. The 36-kW electric motor/generator is sandwiched between the engine and the 10-speed automatic transmission. But, ultimately, this hybrid is more about eliminating turbo-lag and delivering additional torque than fuel-sipping. 4-wheel-drive is standard, and the Capstone is rated to tow 10,340-lbs.
We were happy to see that i-FORCE MAX, as we haven’t actually had a chance to fully put it to the test yet. And at our test track, the Capstone didn’t pounce off the line with quite as much urgency as expected; but once rolling, it quickly started laying down some serious power, hitting 60 in 6.4-seconds. It’s no V8, but there is a great engine roar coming from under the hood, and you can feel electric assistance helping you to hurl this thing down the track. Shifts are smooth and quick, with no loss of power when they’re triggered. ¼-mile completed in a very competitive 14.9-seconds at 94 miles-per-hour.
Big softly-sprung pickup trucks tend to lumber through our handling course more than slice through with finesse, and that’s the case here. Steering was light and vague, and it was very difficult to maintain any semblance of speed. Sport mode did help tighten up body roll a little bit, but it was still slow and steady as she goes.
In panic braking runs, the brake pedal is a bit mushy and quickly heads towards the floor. You can really feel the size of this beast as the calipers are doing their best to bring it to a halt; which they do quite effectively, as stops averaged a good 115-feet from 60.
Sales numbers may still fall far shy of Ford’s F-150, but the Tundra has definitely proved to have staying power, since it took the place of the T100 back in 2000; and there’s more than enough demand to keep Toyota’s Texas assembly plant busy for some time to come.
As the crowning achievement of the Tundra lineup, the Capstone’s price of $77,040 is certainly high; but not unreasonable in today’s truck market where the sky seems to be the limit.
With the 2022 Tundra Capstone, Toyota has found another way to cap off their own lineup with their most feature-packed and luxurious pickup yet. And also proved they’re willing to do whatever it takes to keep chipping away at the American full-size truck leaders.
- Engine: 3.5L Twin Turbo V6
- Horsepower: 437
- Torque: 583 lb-ft
- 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
- 1/4 Mile: 14.9 seconds at 94 mph
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- EPA: 19 City / 22 Highway / 20 Combined