Toyota Tundra Capstone — The Lexus of Toyota pickups

By Jim Prueter

(August 1, 2022) In the world of super luxury pickup trucks Ford boasts the F-150 Limited, Chevrolet the Silverado High Country, RAM with its Limited and all-new for 2022 the Toyota Tundra Capstone driven here. Big expensive luxury trucks are a cultural awe in America, the very embodiment of an erotic fixation having magical potency with owners willfully throwing down $75 big and more eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect or devotion.

What Toyota has done with the introduction of the Tundra Capstone is to take all the luxury trappings from the brand’s upmarket Lexus and in a bespoke manner custom made a Lexus pickup sans Lexus branding and badging. Pricing starts at $75,225 including shipping and handling fees making it several thousands of dollars more than the starting price of those competitors listed above. All start at under $70,000.

Powering the Capstone is Toyota’s new 437-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-6 engine that combines with a battery-fed electric hybrid motor into a ten-speed automatic transmission to finally reaching a dual-range all-wheel drive transfer case with 583 lb.-ft. of peak torque to the four 22-inch wheels with lots of chrome. The engine is virtually the same application used by Lexus in its flagship LS 600 sedan with the exception the Capstone application is tweaked to deliver more low-end torque.

Toyota says the Capstone has a maximum payload rating of 1485 pounds and can tow up to 10,340 pounds. It’s only available in a crew-cab configuration with a 5.5-foot aluminum-reinforced composite cargo bed.

While shoppers can choose from a choice of six exterior colors, a black and white semi aniline perforated leather interior upholstery with genuine American burled walnut trim is standard in all Capstones. The entire interior screams Lexus with full stitched leather trim on the upper dash, doors, center console armrest and the lower dash.

Oddly, we expected the heated seats to have a massaging feature but for some reason Toyota has decided not to include them which would have been a nice addition. There’s also an illuminated Capstone logo integrated into the dashboard.

The cabin is fully loaded with all the Tundra tech features including the new 14.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a 10-0-inch color head-up display, JBL Premium Audio including subwoofer and amplifier, SiriusXM, and of course Toyota Safety Sense 2.5. Further, all the infotainment system operations respond to voice commands.

Our test Capstone came with the optional load-leveling rear air suspension that includes adaptive variable suspension. Perfect for towing a trailer, boat, or camper with ease.

On the road we couldn’t help but notice the power from the twin-turbocharged V-6 hybrid with its 437-horsepower that responded to even the slightest amount of acceleration returning a pleasing rumbling roar from the mellifluous exhaust notes. Aided by the use of acoustic glass, the luxury truck proved surprisingly quiet and smooth. It’s true it didn’t have the pillowy ride of a Lexus sedan, however for a truck in handled rough pavement, potholes and twisty roads with aplomb. Our major disappointment was our real-world combined city-highway fuel economy of just 13.2 MPG in a week of driving which was far below the EPA rating of 20 MPG.

Overall, Toyota’s excellent effort with the near-Lexus Capstone a crowning achievement and a range-topping winner for Toyota.

Vital Stats
2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone
Base Price: $75,225
Price as Tested: $77,339
Engine/Transmission: 437-hp twin0turbocharged 3.5-liter V-8 with a battery fed electric hybrid motor and a ten-speed automatic transmission and standard 4-wheel drive.
EPA Fuel Economy: 19/22/20 MPG – City/Highway/Combined
Seating: 5

Crash Test Safety Ratings: The 2022 Toyota Tundra has not been crash tested for ratings by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as of this writing.

Where Built: San Antonio, Texas

Competes With:
Chevrolet Silverado High Country
Ford F-150 Limited
Ram 1500 Limited

New Capstone trim is the Lexus of pickup trucks
Bold styling, beautiful, luxury interior
Smooth, quiet, comfortable, roomy

Disappointing gas mileage
Where are the massaging seats?
It’s expensive