2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone - A ride fit for the Royal Family (or yours)

Two thoughts right off about the 2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone - it is big, and who buys a pickup truck with white (even partially white) seats?

On the first thought big is relative, and every pickup is BIG now. I blame Dodge (now named Ram) with the second generation Dodge Ram introduced as a 1994 model in late 1993. It wasn't massive but its bold styling made it seem bigger than it was. Since then it seems that all pickups just got bigger and bigger.

As to who buys a pickup with white seats, well that would probably be someone who doesn't use a truck as a work vehicle. A friend said that with 4-doors and the plush interior the Tundra Capstone was more like a car than a truck. 

Neither of these are negatives, just observations.

Toyota switched from a V8 to a V6 last year. There are two versions of the I-Force V6, and both use twin-turbos. The standard I-Force is rated at 389 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque; the I-Force Max that was in the test Capstone ups that to 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque. The extra oomph is courtesy of an electric motor making the I-Force Max a hybrid. I don't know how Toyota does in but from behind the steering wheel the V6 sounds more like a V8. However you look at it you can't sneer at the power output.

Power goes out through a 10-speed automatic transmission. The test Tundra had what Toyota calls 4WDemand Part-time 4WD w/Electric Controlled Transfer Case and Auto Limited Slip Diff.

Amazingly the over 3-ton Tundra with the I-Force Max is capable of getting from zero to 60 mph in just under 6 seconds. Even more amazing is that this behemoth is rated at 22-mpg on the highway, and I saw just a bit over that. City mileage is rated at 19-mpg; I did not equal that.

The tailgate lowers automatically with a push of a button and the step (left) pops out to make it easier to climb up into the bed.

Like many pickups the ride when unladen is stiff. Throw in a full payload (about 1,500 lbs. for the Capstone) and I'm sure it would smooth out some. You can tow up to just over 11,000 lbs. 

There is a 120V/400W outlet in the the right sidewall of the box.

Seeing as there is just my wife and me, I never came close to a full load. Sometimes a week isn't enough to get used to a vehicle, that's the way it was with the Tundra. As I said it is big and the size takes time to get comfortable with; from the driver's seat it seemed like the Tundra was as wide as a big rig (it isn't, it is only 80.2" wide, a big rig adds almost two feet to that). Parking spots felt too short for the 233.6" length and I had to check to make sure I wasn't blocking an aisle. With time I bet I would have been wheeling the Tundra Capstone around like it was a compact.

As befits a model called Capstone (something on top) the interior was darn nice. There is seating for five, power everything, very nice amenities including a JBL 12-speaker sound system, heated and cooled front and rear seats, a 14" center screen, heads up display (something I like), all the "keep me safe" stuff (and none of it was intrusive).  The automatic fold-down running boards make getting up into the seats easier.

It's nice and roomy in the back seat.

And the rear seat passengers have their own seat heat/cool controls.

I could make do with just a decent sound system and A/C but the Tundra Capstone is like your home on wheels with the electronics.

If you ever were to take the Tundra Capstone off-road (unlikely) there is 8.5" of ground clearance. 

I don't see a Tundra in my future, I have no need for a truck this big. I do see so many big pickups and SUVs on the road, many driven by women, so I know there is a market for the Tundra. One young lady who saw the test Tundra said "Is that the new Tundra? I love it, it's so big!"

A base 2023 Tundra starts at $38,965, a Capstone in all its glory starts at $77,645. It is a nice truck, and it's a Toyota so go check it out.


Popular Posts