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First Drive: 2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone Review

All-New Toyota Hybrid Luxury Truck

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone hybrid review
(photo/Bryon Dorr)

I finally got behind the wheel of the 2022 Toyota Tundra. Even better is that I got to drive two of the new hybrid variants, the super luxurious Tundra Capstone and the off-road-ready Tundra TRD Pro.

Both of these models of the all-new Tundra are available with one powertrain, the i-Force Max hybrid, and one base configuration, 4×4 CrewMax short-bed (5.5-feet). All 2022 Tundra 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 4X2 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.

(For a deeper dive into the 2022 Tundra TRD Pro click HERE for my review on our sister site GearJunkie.)

i-Force Max Hybrid Powertrain

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone hybrid review
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 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/driving experience of a diesel truck without all the black smoke, vibrations, loud exhaust, and/or DEF fluid.

The 2022 Tundra i-Force Max powertrain puts out 437 hp and 583 lb.-ft. of torque. Those are truly impressive figures for a 1/2 ton full-size truck.

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 and 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

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone hybrid review
(photo/Bryon Dorr)

The 2022 Tundra Capstone is the pinnacle of Totota 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.

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone hybrid review
(photo/Bryon Dorr)

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

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 near 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 4-wheel disk brakes are firm, linear, and inspire confidence.

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.

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.

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone hybrid review
(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.

Cabin Life

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone hybrid review
(photo/Bryon Dorr)

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 touch-point 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.

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone hybrid review
(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.

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 verticle wireless charging pad that securely holds a variety of smartphones in a very convenient location.

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone hybrid review
(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

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone hybrid review
(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 everyone knows exactly what you’re driving. Massive 22-inch intricate 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.

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone hybrid review
(photo/Bryon Dorr)

Accessing the truck bed has never been easier either, as 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 the competition.

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone hybrid review
(photo/Bryon Dorr)

Toyota expects only about 5-percent of all-new Tundra sales to be the luxury Capstone model.

For all things Toyota Tundra, check out Toyota.com/Tundra.









Bryon Dorr
About Bryon Dorr

AutoWise Editor-in-Chief Bryon Dorr has been a lifelong automotive enthusiast. From the supercar posters on his childhood walls to the massive Hot Wheels/Matchbox collection, Bryon has been dreaming about automotive adventures his entire life. For the past decade+ Bryon has pursued a career in automotive photography and journalism. He's worked for a wide range of the top outlets in the overland, off-road, adventure motorcycle, and general automotive media. His current household automotive quiver includes a custom overland 2013 GX460, a 2020 Ioniq Electric, and a 2006 KTM 950 Adv. He recently sold his 996TT, and is on the hunt for a new performance car.