Toyota has done something a bit unusual – remaking a truck and giving it a Lexus-type feel on the road.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone is a top-of-the-line pickup that rides smoothly, assuming it’s not hauling a trailer or has a full load in its 5.5-foot bed. We compare the Tundra Capstone to the new Lexus LX 600, a luxury SUV that has the same underpinnings as the Tundra. Gone are the leaf-spring rear suspensions that are found on most full-size trucks. They were replaced by modern coil springs in the back that improve ride quality.
A full-size truck, the Tundra has received its first major redesign in 15 years. The revamped Tundra has been completely restyled and improvements include both interior and exterior, plus the addition of the upscale Capstone trim model that employs an energetic turbocharged hybrid engine.
The Tundra redesign was overdue. The venerable truck had begun slipping behind its competitors like the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford F-150 and Ram 1500. Toyota hopes to resurrect the Tundra, which had its lowest sales (81,959 in 2021) in 10 years. The previous nine years sales exceeded 100,000. Tundra sales through August 2022 were up 15 percent.
Major improvements for every 2022 Tundra are a new rear suspension and powertrains, overhauled frame, and a more modernized interior design. There are three bed lengths: 8-foot-1-inch, 6-6, and 5-5. It has five available driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Sport+, Custom).
The Capstone model that was driven here for a week came with numerous standard features, plus a few exclusive items. It has 22-inch wheels, two-tone leather trim, wood accents, a unique grille design, powered running boards, and a Panoramic moonroof. Its only configuration is a CrewMax.
The Capstone engine is a hybrid, called the i-Force Max. It uses a battery located under the rear seats to power a 36-kW electric motor. The motor combines with a twin-turbocharged hybrid 3.5-liter, V-6 to produce 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque. The standard four-wheel drive Capstone has a 10-speed automatic transmission and can travel 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds. Fuel economy is 19-22 mpg.
The maximum towing (12,000 pounds) and payload capacities (1,485 pounds) aren’t class-leading, but they’re certainly good enough for many truck owners. The Capstone Curb weighs 6,185 pounds.
For a big truck, the Tundra offers good handling and a smooth ride. On rough road surfaces, the suspension absorbs the road imperfections with no problem.
Standard driving safety features include rearview camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, forward automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, and traffic sign recognition.
AT A GLANCE – 2022 TOYOTA TUNDRA CAPSTONE
- Performance: twin-turbocharged hybrid 3.5-liter, V-6, 437 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 19-22 mpg
- Price estimate: $73,600
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 2 years/unlimited; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited
Although nothing super fancy, the Tundra interior is much improved. The Capstone model comes standard with a 14-inch infotainment screen, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 10-inch color display, and the Towing Technology Package. There’s voice activation and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.
We found the climate control system easy to master and liked the large dials and buttons. The touchscreen graphics are easy to read for the driver, allowing for more time to concentrate on the road ahead.
The Tundra Capstone provides comfortable and spacious seating. There are 10-way power-adjustable front seats and the rear seats are comfy as well, offering considerable head and leg room.
There are plenty of aspects to admire with the 2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone, a full-size truck with a luxury quality. It has a powerful engine, drives better than most pickups, and comes with lots of enticing extras. The downside is the $73,600 starting price.
Weidel on Wheels is featured regularly on www.tahoeskiworld.com. Auto writer Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.