Toyota Tundra Capstone Review
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Pinnacle Pickup Opulence: 2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone Review

Toyota has finally launched a proper luxury pickup. It comes in the form of the full-size 2022 Tundra Capstone, which is also powered by a new hybrid powertrain.

I got behind the wheel of a few of the 2022 Toyota Tundras early this year. I already reviewed the new Tundra TRD Pro, and now it’s time to have a look at the other hybrid model in the Toyota pickup lineup, the super-luxurious Tundra Capstone.

Both of these models of the all-new Tundra are available with one powertrain, the i-Force Max hybrid, and one base configuration, the 4×4 CrewMax short-bed (5.5 feet). All 2022 Tundras with the i-Force Max hybrid powertrain have CrewMax cabs because the space under the rear seats is needed for the battery pack. But, some models come in 4×2 and also offer a longer bed option, at 6.5 feet.

Here, we’ll dive into what this new hybrid powertrain and the luxury 2022 Tundra Capstone are all about, both on paper and from behind the steering wheel.

Toyota i-Force Max Hybrid Powertrain

Toyota Tundra Capstone Powertrain
2022 Tundra i-Force Max hybrid powertrain and chassis; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

All new for the 2022 Tundra and 2023 Sequoia is the i-Force Max hybrid powertrain. The system is a one-motor/parallel hybrid system, with an electric motor/generator located between the 3.5L V6 twin-turbo engine, derived from the Lexus LS sedan, and a 10-speed automatic transmission. The system also utilizes a 288V, 1.87 kWh, nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack that lives under the back seat.

The driving force behind this system is to give smooth, consistent power from the moment you press the skinny pedal. Optimized low-end torque in particular is super useful to truck users, whether towing, hauling a heavy load, or tackling an off-road obstacle. The idea was to offer the benefits and driving experience of a diesel truck without all the black smoke, vibrations, loud exhaust, and DEF fluid.

The 2022 Tundra i-Force Max powertrain puts out 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque. Those are truly impressive figures for a half-ton full-size truck.

Much Improved Fuel Economy

While fuel economy is on everyone’s minds, it isn’t the driving force behind this hybrid system. With this system, you don’t get an all-EV driving mode.

Toyota estimates that you’ll get 19 mpg city and 22 highway (official EPA numbers aren’t in yet).  With that said, it is a considerable improvement over the dismal 13/17 that the 2021 5.7L V8 Tundra got.

2022 Tundra Capstone Review

Toyota Tundra Capstone
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

The 2022 Tundra Capstone is the pinnacle of Toyota truck opulence. It comes with nearly everything on offer as standard, with only exterior paint color to choose and the option of Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) with Load-Leveling Rear Height Control Air Suspension.

The Capstone is about luxury, capability, and comfort. You get things like a 14-inch touchscreen, two-tone semi-aniline leather-trimmed 10-way power-adjustable seating, power-retractable running boards, power bed step, lots of interior accent lighting, acoustic front side windows, a 10-inch color heads-up display, 22-inch wheels, lots of chrome, and a whole lot more.

Pricing for the 2022 Tundra Capstone starts at $73,530.

Toyota Tundra Capstone 2022
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Tundra Capstone Driving Impressions

Smash the skinny pedal on the new Tundra Capstone, and the truck roars off the line with authority and gathers speed quickly. There is a bit of a power lag early, but near-instant torque. This is because the engine needs to turn on and spool up the turbos, while the electric motor kicks in right away.

Besides that little lag upon hard acceleration from a stop, you can rarely tell if the engine is on or off, as the start/stop feature is nearly seamless and the most unobtrusive I’ve experienced. I also found it super impressive how smooth and consistent the power band is, as the EV system fills in the deficiencies in the gas motor’s power delivery.

There is also very little throttle input delay, especially in Sport and Sport+ driving modes. The Capstone offers six different driving modes to choose from; Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Sport+, and Custom. I very much appreciate that when I told the truck to go, it didn’t think about it and just did as it was told.

Similar can be said for the brakes. The f-wheel disk brakes are firm, linear, and confidence-inspiring.

The electronic power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system was a bit numb but very precise for a big truck. The turning radius was noticeably poor and is rated at 24.3 feet in the Capstone, in 3.4 turns lock-to-lock. This makes it feel like an even bigger truck than it really is.

Tundra Capstone Suspension

I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of the adaptive dampers and rear airbags that the Capstone I drove had under it. I found the ride to be a bit harsh for such a luxury truck. The standard monotube shocks might provide a better ride, and I know the Fox shocks on the TRD Pro for sure did.

The overall suspension geometry is impressive though, with independent double-wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension with outboard-mounted coil springs. This is the same setup you’ll find underpinning the new Land Cruiser — which we won’t get in the U.S. — and 2023 Sequoia, as all are based on the same boxed steel chassis.

Bring the Toys Along

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

The Tundra Capstone is also set up well to tow. It has all kinds of towing systems baked right in, like a Trailer Backup Guide system with Straight Path Assist, tons of camera views, and an integrated trailer brake controller.

I towed a 4,500-pound Airstream trailer with the Capstone and found that you knew the load was back there, but the powertrain, brakes, suspension, and trailering systems were all up to the job of handling it with ease. The 2022 Tundra Capstone is rated to tow up to 11,170 pounds.

While I didn’t get a chance to see how the hybrid truck handled carrying a heavy load, the 2022 Tundra Capstone offers a 1,485-pound payload capacity.

Luxury Cabin Life

Behind the wheel of the Tundra Capstone is a really comfortable and nice place to be. I was impressed with all the touchpoints in the truck, from the open-pore walnut trim to the leather-wrapped everything. The one touchpoint I wasn’t a fan of was the heated steering wheel, with its perforated-leather material. While it offered good grip, it felt more industrial and less luxurious than I’d expect in this truck.

Toyota Tundra Capstone Interior
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

The super-adjustable, heated and cooled, perforated two-tone leather seats are firm but comfortable, and offer great lumbar support. The seat bolsters are also more aggressive than found on other full-size American pickups, which my skinny body appreciated. I tend to slide around in a big truck like this, but didn’t as badly in the new Tundra.

Inside the cabin, you hear the engine’s turbos more than you might want to. But otherwise, it’s a pretty quiet place to be. That is, unless you’re under hard acceleration. Then, the impressive JBL audio system helps pipe in exhaust/engine noise into the cabin — pretty seamlessly, I might add. All the noise isn’t synthetic, however, as the exhaust sounds good both inside and outside of the truck.

Capstone Cabin Controls

I was a big fan of the massive 14-inch touchscreen on the dash, as it was super easy to read even with polarized sunglasses and had a quick response time to inputs. I wasn’t, however, a big fan of the driver’s gauge cluster.

While it displayed a ton of great info, and in good resolution, I found it to be overly busy and a bit distracting from the road when trying to find information on it. I’d guess that you’d get accustomed to the layout of info and over time, it would become less of an issue.

I did like that there are hard buttons for things like the climate controls. Sadly, the climate control buttons are a bit hard to read unless in direct sunlight, as they are dimly backlit and on a very shiny surface.

Below the climate controls is a vertical wireless charging pad that securely holds a variety of smartphones in a very convenient location.

Rear Seat Life

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone Interior
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

The Capstone is just as nice for passengers as it is for the driver. The rear seats offer tons of legroom and are heated and cooled. Rear seat passengers also get built-in sunshades in the rear side windows. USB and 110V plugs are also on offer on the back of the center console for easy access by rear seat passengers.

Street Looks, Real Work Capabilities

TheTundra Capstone
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

The front end of the Tundra Capstone features a massive chrome grille with a color-matched surround and a blue-accented Toyota logo. Distinctive LED headlights and integrated fog lamps help define the front-end look.

Big Capstone badges on the front doors ensure that everyone knows exactly what you’re driving. Intricate, massive 22-inch chrome wheels let you know this truck is designed for the street.

While the bed on the Capstone is only 5.5 feet long, it is still set up to do work. The composite liner is ready to take whatever you can throw at it. The bed even offers adjustable tie-down points, lighting, and 110V power.

The Tundra Capstone 2022
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Accessing the truck bed has never been easier either. The Capstone has a tailgate release bump switch located in the driver’s side taillight. On top of that, as the tailgate drops, a powered bed step extends from under the corner of the truck.

As with most Tundras, the back of the cab has a single-piece power sliding rear window. This is a great feature you don’t see in most of the competition.

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Toyota expects only about 5% of all new Tundra sales to be the luxury Capstone model. However, having this pinnacle luxury pickup in the lineup helps buyers aspire to own a Tundra. We’ll have to see how this model helps elevate sales across all Tundra models. For all things Toyota Tundra, check out Toyota’s website.

Bryon Dorr
By

Bryon Dorr caught the outdoor adventure addiction through whitewater kayaking, and worldwide adventures to remote places ensued. He crafted his own professional path as a photographer, journalist, and marketing consultant in the automotive and outdoor industries, while full-time overland traveling for nearly 8 years. You’ll usually find him out exploring by 4x4, adventure motorcycle, or sports car while seeking out opportunities to ski, mountain bike, and kayak. Bryon now has a home base in Portland, OR with his wife and young daughter.