First Look: 2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone

Like other Tundras, the Capstone gets a unique grille treatment.

When Toyota introduced its fourth-generation Tundra late last year, there was a sense the company was not just serious about challenging the last bastion of Detroit’s dominance — full-size pickups — but that this time they might just succeed.

After all, they made a point of designing, engineering and assembling it in the States. And now, they’ve followed the Detroit full-size playbook by introducing a new, over-the-top trim level: the Tundra Capstone. 

Clunky name aside, this is the halo vehicle in the Tundra line-up, aimed at the hedonist for whom too much is never enough. It will be offered solely as a CrewMax with a 5.5-foot bed.

The newest Tundra leaves no luxury unturned

The Toyota Tundra Capstone wears the largest wheels ever offered on a Tundra: 22 inches.

The Capstone pulls no punches from the start, as it wears the largest standard wheels ever fitted to a Tundra: 22-inch chrome rims. Given that each Tundra trim level has a different grille, the Capstone has a color-keyed outer frame and inset chrome mesh texture. The side mirrors sport chrome end caps, while the tailgate is trimmed with chrome accents, including a glitzy “Tundra” name insert.

But that’s not all. Given its king of the hill status, it’s not surprising the Tundra has a standard power bed step for easier bed access, or standard automatic deploying running boards to make climbing into its plush cabin easier. Oh, and the cabin? This ain’t no work truck; it’s the one you take to your favorite honky tonk for a bit of boot scootin’.

You’ll know this is the extra fancy grade by the Capstone’s standard semi-aniline leather-trimmed perforated seats trimmed exclusively in black and white. Look around and you’ll spot open-pore American Walnut trim and a panoramic moonroof.

The Capstone’s cabin features semi-aniline leather and American Walnut trim.

To keep the cabin luxury-car quiet, the front doors employ acoustic glass. The driver is treated to a heated steering wheel and kept well-apprised of what’s happening thanks to the 12.3-inch digital multi-informational display and 10-inch color head-up display.

The tech story

Of course, the rest of the crew won’t be screen deprived thanks to the standard 14-inch multimedia touchscreen that employs Toyota’s new multimedia interface, that’s far easier to use than before.

It accommodates dual Bluetooth phone connectivity, and offers 4G Wi-Fi connectivity for up to five devices through an AT&T Hotspot. It can also can link the Capstone to your Apple Music and Amazon Music subscriptions for integrated streaming.

The Capstone’s 14-inch multimedia touchscreen features Toyota’s new used interface and a cloud-based navigation system.

The system also employs a cloud-based navigation system and can awakened by shouting, “Hey Toyota.” Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is standard.

Moving Tundra

Like its stablemates, the Tundra Capstone is constructed using a new fully-boxed, high-strength-steel ladder frame. The bed is made from sheet-molded compound reinforced aluminum cross members under the bed. Its tailgate can be opened with the truck’s key fob. reinforced aluminum cross members under the bed. Maximum payload for the Capstone is 1,485 pounds.

The Capstone’s cabin is far from your average work truck.

Powering this brute is the “I-Force Max,” a twin-turbocharged and intercooled double-overhead-cam V-6 with a 48-horsepower electric motor placed between the engine and transmission, and powered by a nickel-metal hydride battery pack located beneath the rear seats. (On non-hybrid models, the space is used for under-seat storage.)

A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard, and includes Eco, Normal and Sport driving modes. The Capstone’s maximum towing capacity is 10,340 pounds. An Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) and load-leveling rear height control air suspension is optional.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, Toyota’s active safety system, is standard.

The rest of the Tundra line-up

Offered in ascending SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 and TRD Pro models, the 2022 Tundra comes as a Double Cab, with a 6.5-foot or 8.1-foot bed, or as the CrewMax, with a 5.5-foot or 6.5-foot bed. 

Ambient lighting? Of course.

Moving the Tundra is the “I-Force,” a twin-turbocharged and intercooled double-overhead-cam V-6 rated at 389 hp and 479 pound-feet of torque, with peak torque kicking in at 2,400 rpm.

Toyota also offers the “I-Force Max” on other models aside from the Capstone. The same V-6 engine with a 48-hp electric motor placed between the engine and transmission, and powered by a nickel-metal hydride battery pack located beneath the rear seats. A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard with either driveline. Maximum payload is 1,940 pounds, while maximum towing is rated at 12,000 pounds.

The Capstone is slated to go on sale in the spring. Toyota hasn’t released pricing, but expect it to cost more than the 1794, which starts at $57,690 before options, taxes and destination charge.