Pride of the Fleet: Toyota Tundra Capstone is Loaded With Luxury & Ready to Work Staff
by Staff

There’s a significant amount of weight to the argument that snazzy full-size pickup trucks have long supplanted the luxury sedan as this country’s preferred indulgent whip. Consider the similarities: ample power, acres of plush leather, and plenty of space in which to stretch one’s legs. Luxury-oriented trucks pile on a couple of extra advantages as well, with most of them able to haul thousands of pounds or use their four-wheel drive systems to scamper over rough terrain.

Toyota has long been producing quality trucks, and is upping its game in 2022 with the new Toyota Tundra Capstone. This is a range-topping trim which builds on the recent launch of the all-new-for-’22 pickup, muscling its way to the front of the segment’s upper echelon. Taking its place at the head of the table, Capstone will serve as the new halo grade in the Tundra range.

It all starts up front with a unique grille that features a color-keyed outer frame and chrome inner mesh pattern. If your neighbors don’t clue in that this is somethin’ special from the Toyota fleet, feel free to refer them to a good optometrist. Around the side, automatic power running boards stick out like a spoiled child’s bottom lip when one of the CrewMax doors are opened, while a smattering of chrome-style accents – including a bold ‘TUNDRA’ tailgate insert – announce to the world you’re driving the toniest of Toyotas. And if they do miss all those details, those exclusive 22-inch wheels (the largest ever fitted to a factory-built Tundra) are sure to do the trick.

Climbing aboard reveals the semi-aniline leather upholstery, trimming the seats in a Capstone-exclusive black-and-white color combo. Soft-touch surfaces abound, and special dashboard stitching looks straight out of an expensive tailor shop. There’s more walnut than in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, as the center console and passenger-side dash area is accented with authentic dark American walnut which has an open-pore finish to highlight the wood grain. And, yes – that Capstone logo illuminates when the doors are open to provide a dandy bit of theater.

If leather and wood are the traditional materials of a luxury vehicle, then cutting-edge technology is this century’s addition to the mix. Tundra Capstone boasts a 14-inch multimedia infotainment touchscreen, packed with smartphone integration and cloud-based native navigation system. The latter is more than just a marketing gizmo – by relying on the cloud and over-the-air updates, the system is perpetually kept up-to-date and designed to provide the world’s most accurate drive routes. It’s even capable of providing points of interest such as that new tack shop and hardware store.

A so-called Intelligent Assistant awaits your commands and is awaked by uttering “Hey Toyota.” Too bad this approach doesn’t work on sullen teenage kids who need to get a move on for school. The revamped system permits the simultaneous Bluetooth connection of two phones, so there’s no more fighting about playlists. As a bonus, maintaining a Wi-Fi subscription offers 4G connectivity and turns the Tundra Capstone into a mobile AT&T Hotspot for up to five devices. Find your favorite lookout point, park the truck, and enjoy a movie while taking in the starlight through Capstone’s standard panoramic moonroof. On the way home, the driver is sure to appreciate the 10-inch color heads-up display and impressive all-digital gauge cluster which can be configured in multiple different ways. Wireless device chargers are conveniently placed just ahead of the console-mounted shift lever.

But customers also need a truck which can get the job done when called upon to haul a horse trailer or place a couple of dirt bikes in its Sheet-Molded Compound bed. Tundra Capstone will be powered by the brand’s new i-FORCE MAX hybrid powertrain which produces a towering 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque. This stump-pulling thrust is the result of a twin-turbo V6 engine and unique motor generator working as a tag team to deliver ample response when the driver calls down to the engine room for more power. A 10-speed automatic is also part of the team and is a great dance partner with the i-FORCE MAX hybrid engine.

Built on a new fully-boxed and high-strength steel frame, Tundra Capstone has a maximum towing capacity of 10,340 pounds. Top payload, which is the amount of weight a truck can safely carry including people and cargo plus trailer tongue weight, checks in at 1,485 pounds. Managing the load is an available air suspension featuring load-leveling rear height control and adaptive variable settings. In other words, you won’t accidentally Carolina Squat your new Capstone by hooking up a 10,000lb trailer to its hitching system.

Speaking of towing, a Towing Technology Package comes standard on this top trim, a bundle which includes Trailer Back Guidance that helps with overall maneuvering of trailers. Straight Path Assist does exactly what it says on the package (designed to ensure your truck and trailer back up in a straight line), while the available 360-degree cameras make the most of that 14-inch touchscreen and aid with visibility or peering into tough-to-see areas while towing. When connected with Toyota’s integrated trailer brake controller, situated near the driver’s right hand, the Blind Spot Monitor can recognize blind spots for the trailer as well.

Toyota has been making a lot of noise about its Safety Sense suite of active driving aids, and rightfully so. It’s a continually evolving set of tools which protect those inside the vehicle and those around them. Capstone includes Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, which features a pre-collision system that’s freshly tuned to sense not only the vehicle ahead but also a pedestrian in low light, a cyclist in daytime, an oncoming vehicle, or a pedestrian at intersections when making a turn. An emergency steering assist helps stabilize emergency maneuvers and also shepherd the truck into its lane when lane-keeping assist is activated. Dynamic radar cruise control rounds out the package by keeping Capstone at a safe distance from the vehicle in front of it at highway speeds.

The 2022 Tundra Capstone grade will be offered in one body style: CrewMax with a 5.5-foot bed which is one of the truck’s most popular configurations. Available colors include Magnetic Gray Metallic, Celestial Silver Metallic, the excellently-named Wind Chill Pearl, Midnight Black Metallic, Blueprint, and Supersonic Red.

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