Which 2022 Toyota Tundra Trim Should You Buy?

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New hybrid and range-topping Capstone trims make choosing the right Tundra harder than ever.

Late last year we had a chance to drive the 2022 Toyota Tundra with its new twin-turbo i-Force and hybrid i-Force Max drivetrains. Unfortunately, our time in the latter was brief and Toyota didn't provide any pricing or fuel economy figures. But Toyota has now revealed pricing and mpg information for the full Tundra lineup, including the hybrid models.

These new details give a much clearer idea of how the i-Force Max stacks up compared to the standard drivetrain. Last week, we got some seat time in the new Capstone model to see how it compares with already premium Tundra trims like the Platinum and 1794 Edition. Though the Capstone is the most luxurious Tundra model yet, it's not the trim level we recommend.

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Is The Hybrid Worth It?

The i-Force Max is the most potent Tundra powertrain, producing 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque (compared to 389 hp and 479 lb-ft with the standard twin-turbo V6). To get the hybrid, you will have to shell out $3,400 on top of a comparably-equipped i-FORCE model. Is it worth it though? Based on fuel economy, we would argue it is not.

The hybrid Tundra achieves 20/24/22 mpg city/highway/combined with 2WD or 19/22/21 mpg with 4WD. These are gains of only one to two mpg in each category, meaning it would take years to pay off the premium with fuel savings alone.

You might think the hybrid's additional torque and power would pay dividends for the towing capacity, but since it adds so much to the overall curb weight, the towing gains are minimal at best. The i-Force Max drivetrain felt incredibly smooth but we said the same about the standard i-FORCE powertrain when we drove it last year. We recommend saving the $3,400 by getting the standard non-hybrid Tundra.

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How Luxurious Is The Capstone Trim?

Sitting above the 1794 Edition, the Capstone trims is now the most luxurious Tundra model money can buy. The Capstone gets an exclusive exterior design, including a chrome grille, body-color fenders, 22-inch chrome wheels, automatic running boards, and other chrome accents. Inside, Toyota used its finest semi-aniline leather (the same stuff used in the Lexus LS 500) finished in a Capstone-exclusive black/white combination paired with open-pore Dark American Walnut trim. Everything you'd expect to come in a Tundra is found here: a 12.3-inch digital display, 14-inch touchscreen infotainment, heated/ventilated front and rear seats, full-color HUD, panoramic roof, and acoustic window glass.

This is clearly the nicest Tundra Toyota has ever built, but it's missing a few key features found in its rivals. The Ford F-150 Platinum and Limited trims have available massage seats and while the Capstone has available air suspension in the rear, the Ram 1500 Limited has four-corner air suspension that delivers a softer ride. Speaking of the Ram, its 19-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system far outmatches the Tundra's 12-speaker JBL unit.

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Should You Buy The Capstone?

Sitting at the top of the Tundra range, the Capstone model starts at $73,530 and comes in only one configuration (CrewMax with a 5.5-foot bed). This puts the Tundra above the most well-equipped American trucks like the Ford F-150 Limited ($73,105) and Ram 1500 Limited ($60,795) but when you factor in the Capstone's standard hybrid system and four-wheel-drive, it comes away as the better value.

But even after doing all the math, we still don't believe the Capstone is worth a $9,440 premium over a 1794 Edition with i-Force Max and 4WD ($64,090). In fact, if you were willing to forgo the hybrid and 4WD, the 1794 would save you $15,840 over the Capstone. That's a ludicrous amount to spend on a luxury truck that does't feel like enough of upgrade over the former top model.

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Is The TRD Pro Worth It?

Aside from the Capstone, the TRD Pro is the only other Tundra trim level that comes standard with a hybrid drivetrain. It costs $66,805 to start, which is a huge bump over last year's model ($53,400). Yes, that's more expensive than a Ford F-150 Raptor ($65,375) but the Tundra comes with more standard equipment. If you put the same options on a Raptor, it would be over $80,000. We didn't have a chance to sample the TRD Pro trim level but based on our experience with the outgoing version, this could be the best hybrid Tundra based on appearance alone.

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What Would We Buy?

TRD Pro model aside, we can't see a major reason to buy the Capstone trim level or the i-Force Max drivetrain. Our opinion hasn't changed since we first drove the Tundra; if it was our money, we'd get the luxurious 1794 Edition for $57,690. It offers a premium western-themed interior with most of the features you'd find in the Capstone at a far more reasonable price. Even if you add 4WD and the hybrid drivetrain, the 1794 will still save you over $9,000 compared to the Capstone.

For buyers seeking the best bang-for-the-buck, the Limited trim offers the ultimate balance starting at $48,900 for the 2WD CrewMax model with the 5.5-foot bed. The Limited gets the larger infotainment screen, heated/ventilated front seats, and a nine-speaker audio system. It's the best all-around Tundra trim.

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