2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone: The Nicest Toyota Pickup You Can Buy

toyota-tundra-capstone-2022-01-exterior-front-angle-truck-white 2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone | photo by Aaron Bragman

No full-size pickup truck lineup would be complete without a luxury model topping the range. There are simply some buyers who aren’t interested in burly off-road stance, chunky (and loud) muddin’ tires or bright red tow hooks to drag your rig out of a ravine after you got a little ambitious with your rock crawling. For a big percentage of truck buyers, their truck is a status symbol, a luxury vehicle — I mean, if you’re a construction boss or a Texas oil magnate, are you going to show up to the jobsite in a BMW 7 Series? I don’t think so.

Related: 2022 Toyota Tundra Review: Better Where It Counts

That’s why truck makers offer expensive luxury trims on what used to be utilitarian pickups, and the newest one comes from Toyota. Despite its dominance in the mid-size pickup class with the Tacoma, the brand has always struggled to find a following among the full-size pickup set. The 2022 Tundra has been redone from the ground up to update Toyota’s entry in a highly competitive field still dominated by the quasi-domestic automakers from GM, Ford and Stellantis, and the redesign introduces a new range-topping luxury trim called the Capstone.

Meant to compete with trucks like the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country, Ford F-150 Limited and Ram 1500 Limited, it slots in above all other Tundra trims, including the Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition, and promises a full-on luxury experience. Does it?

It Has the Goods

As expected, the 2022 Tundra Capstone comes pretty much loaded, starting with the powertrain: The twin-turbocharged V-6 i-Force Max hybrid system making 437 horsepower and 583 pounds-feet of torque that’s optional on other trims is standard on the Capstone. But you also have unique features, such as the first 22-inch rims ever fitted to a Tundra, standard power running boards and a power bed step. Along with its additional exterior chrome-and-black trim, it certainly looks the part of a proper luxury truck, with its chunky, modern styling that’s an excellent update from the old Tundra’s look, fully modernizing Toyota’s truck styling for a new generation of buyers. If the next Tacoma looks this good, Toyota will have done well.

The new top Tundra drives as good as it looks with its torquey hybrid powertrain providing seamless power when called upon, yet accompanied by an unusually sonorous snarl from the twin-turbo V-6 that simply must be artificially generated given that it sounds far more like a Subaru boxer engine than any Toyota V-6 I’ve ever heard. And since the Capstone also has acoustic glass on the front doors, it’s going to be quieter than other Tundras, making the idea that the engine noises are artificial even more likely. Regardless of their genuineness, the powertrain sounds and feels good, with a seamless transition between electric and gasoline power.

But Is It Luxe Enough?

The Capstone has the goods to be considered a luxe truck, but how luxurious does it feel? To be blunt, about as nice as a mid-trim Ram 1500, which is about as luxurious as a Toyota-brand vehicle gets. The top Ram 1500 Limited is still the benchmark luxury truck in our opinion, featuring an interior that’s nothing short of opulent, with high-quality leather, wood and metal.

The materials here, in contrast, are nice but not particularly amazing. The Tundra Capstone definitely shows off its upgrades, one of which is a unique black-and-white leather interior, and it does feature more surfaces covered in higher-quality materials like the shift knob and steering wheel. The panoramic moonroof is also a nice touch, unless you’re sitting in the backseat — its mechanism severely robs backseat headroom. This is the only full-size pickup I’ve ever sat in where my head is hard up against the headliner in the backseat thanks to that panorama of glass.

The big new touchscreen, a massive 14-inch horizontal unit that’s mounted to the dash with an almost straight-up-and-down position, is a huge improvement over Toyota’s older systems. Its new multimedia system is similarly a big step into the modern world of competitive systems for its functionality, ease of use, features and exceptional clarity. But its vertical orientation also makes it seriously reflective — if you’re driving into the sun, the reflection of the white leather seats is all you see in the screen until you change directions. As nice as the white leather interior is, I’d likely opt for darker hides to minimize the reflection issue.

The experience of the Tundra Capstone is one of a premium pickup, but not necessarily a true luxury model. It’s quieter, but the ride on those big 22-inch wheels is noticeably stiffer even with the standard adaptive suspension and rear air springs. Features like the head-up display, heated and ventilated seats front and rear, rear door sunshades and heated steering wheel add welcome content, but nothing in the Capstone sets it uniquely apart from premium offerings from its rivals. There’s no clever bed technology, such as Ford’s Pro Power Onboard power delivery outlets, Ram’s split tailgate or bedside lockers, or GMC’s carbon-fiber truck bed, for instance.

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Definitely the Nicest Toyota Tundra You Can Buy

It seems clear to me after driving the new 2022 Tundra that Toyota has settled into its niche and is increasingly happy with simply pursuing buyers who are already in the Toyota showroom intending to buy a Tundra. There’s little about the new Tundra, Capstone or otherwise, that will make conquests from Chevy, Ford or Ram any more likely with this redesigned model, and Toyota’s cool with that. Will it wow a Ram 1500 Limited owner? No. Does it need to? Also no. Toyota has its niche, its own loyal customers, and trying to pry intensely loyal domestic-brand pickup owners out of their favored models is a lost cause.

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But there are legions of loyal Tacoma owners who might want to upgrade to something bigger, and returning Tundra owners with deep pockets that simply want to get the absolute nicest version of the newest model will be pleased with what Toyota is offering in the Capstone. They’ll have to have deep pockets, however, as the base price of a Tundra Capstone is $75,225 (including a whopping $1,695 delivery fee). With the optional Advanced Package (adaptive suspension, rear load-leveling air suspension and 10-inch color head-up display), my test vehicle came to $76,270. That’s a hefty price for any pickup, but certainly in line with what other luxe trucks cost these days. And for Toyota Tundra intenders, it caps off a dramatically improved lineup of trucks that should keep them coming back for more.

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