I’ve probably said the word “truck” more while signing along to the Thong Song than I have in any other circumstance. I think I’ll sing it again. Seriously though, the pickup truck is basically the only type of four-wheel vehicle that I haven’t owned (mainstream at least). Still, I’ve driven a ton of new trucks via my job as a professional car driver-type journalist. Heck, I just drove the 2022 Toyota Tundra 1794 in June of this year. But, when Toyota offered to send me the top spec Capstone trim of the Tundra, I was like what, what, what. Actually, I just said “yes, please”. Let’s see if the extra $15,840 in MSRP over the 1794 is worth it, or if you should just buy a pre-owned ’86 and head to the track.
2022 Tundra Capstone Overview
Trucks are expensive, especially full-size trucks. While the base Tundra starts at just under $36,000, the top spec Capstone trim starts at over twice that amount. $74,230 sure is quite the “Starting MSRP” to say the least, but it gets you everything in the Platinum trim:
- Leather upholstery
- Heated and ventilated rear seats
- Panoramic sunroof
- Upgraded LED headlights
- Ambient interior lighting
- Power-adjustable and heated steering wheel
- Digital instrument panel
- Premium JBL audio system
- Wireless smartphone charger
- Rear door sunshades
- 360-degree camera system
- Trailer backup guide system
- Household (110v) power outlets (both cabin and bed)
Plus Capstone-specific bits:
- Sound-reducing front windows
- Head-up display
- 22-inch wheels
- Trim-exclusive exterior and interior trim
- Power-deploying running boards
All Capstone Tundras come with the CrewMax cab and 5.5′ bed and are powered by a a turbocharged 3.5L V6 engine paired to a battery-electric hybrid system. This will get you a total output of 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque. Colors like red, white, and blue will cost you another $425. Our tester had the Advanced Package ($1,045) which gets you load-leveling rear air suspension plus adaptive suspension dampers.
Ante up to the Accessories bar and add $65 for a ball-mount for towing, and a spray-on bed liner for $479 and you’re out the door at $77,339 including delivery, processing, colonoscopy, etc. Expensive to be sure, but the top spec F-150 Limited starts at $77,625. Let’s see how this Tundra stacks up against it’s cheaper, but still luxurious trim, the 1794 Edition.
2022 Tundra Capstone Inside & Out
As you can see from the visual comparison below, the Capstone isn’t dramatically different looking than the 1794. You’ll get larger 22″ wheels (vs. 20s on the 1794), chrome exhaust tips, a dark chrome-accented mesh grille, plus “Capstone”, “i-FORCE MAX”, and “4×4” badging. Just like the 1794, It’s still an improvement over the last second generation Tundra, and liked the sculpted sides and handsome front end. I even like the black vents on the hood, even if they aren’t functional.
The interior is really where you’ll notice some upgrades, though the 1794 isn’t exactly poorly equipped. There is a host of Capstone-specific trim across the interior. It’s all massively comfortable, even the grab handle has a nice extra bit of leather wrapped around it, feels like a nice high-end part. I would worry as a parent about that white interior wearing out quickly. Still, the ergonomics are fantastic, I noted how flat the top of the door sill is, my arm rested there comfortably on longer drives. Even the sunroof controls were intuitive and easy to use. It’s a small thing, but after driving so many new cars I’ve found that it’s not always the case.
From a tech perspective, things were basically identical to the 1794. Both have the 14-inch touchscreen with 12-inch JBL speakers, subwoofer, and amplifier, plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The bass hits hard, and the audio system sounds solid overall.
From a phone connectivity standpoint, I absolutely loved that it didn’t switch signals away from CarPlay every time I used my phone at a stoplight. Typically when I refresh Twitter most systems decide that’s what I’d rather hear than the music I was streaming. Heck it even left the radio on when I made voice notes about the driving experience, and I hardly ever see that. Even the wireless charging spot for the phone is in a great location, angled slightly up towards the driver. Waze uses a dual-screen approach for navigating and only shows the upcoming turns on your phone, so it’s nice to be able to glance down and take a look at what’s coming up.
Rear leg room comes in at 41.6 inches, which is more than adequate. If the dates had lined up, I considered taking all three kids to Hilton Head in this, it was that comfortable.
2022 Tundra Capstone On The Road
One of the largest differences between the Capstone is the engine and drivetrain. You get the larger i-FORCE MAX 3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 Hybrid with 437 hp at 5200 rpm and 583 lb.-ft. at 2400 rpm engine plus standard 4WD. That’s up from the 389 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft you get in the 1794, and you don’t get standard 4WD in the lower trim. Both have the same 10-speed automatic transmission and the safety systems are identical, but you don’t get the fancy suspension upgrades in the 1794 that you get in the Capstone.
Curb weight is substantially higher in the top trim (6,185 lbs. vs. 5,323 lbs.) but it actually gets slightly better gas mileage (19 city / 22 highway) because of the hybrid system. Out on the road, there wasn’t a discernable difference in day-to-day use, though it’s always shocking to hear the silence of the hybrid at low speed in such a big vehicle. Both the 1794 and the Capstone had plenty of power to get their tonnage moving and merging/passing power was ample. It sounds pretty good too, particularly in the middle of the power range. I like the big chunky steering wheel, it made highway cruising easy, and the buttons are laid out nicely.
Both the Sport and Sport Plus modes seem a little too urgent, almost like the truck is trying to lunge forward for some reason. As good as the twin-turbo V6 sounds in comfort mode, I’m not sure the point of the additional modes. Maybe I’m just getting old, I want something comfortable that makes fun noises. Though, for some reason, I own an EV.
I actually made a voice note that I was “curious if it’s actually any less comfortable than the 1794”. Even with the upgraded suspension, I’m not sure it was. That’s less of a ding on the Capstone, and more of a kudos to the engineers for making even the “lower” trim ride well.
In the end, trucks are a status symbol, and someone will always pay more to have the best. The Capstone is clearly the top dog in the Tundra lineup, at least for now. So, I’m sure quite a few people will pay the premium to have that in their driveway. Plus, those parking lot wars at Home Depot aren’t going to win themselves.