Toyota CrewMax Capstone takes on big luxury pickups

The Tundra Hybrid CrewMax Capstone is Toyota’s entry in the full-size luxury pickup segment
Toyota’s entry in the full-size luxury pickup segment
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Looking for luxury in a big hybrid pickup? The CrewMax Capstone truck should be on your shortlist

Dale JohnsonToyota’s biggest and most luxurious pickup truck is the CrewMax Capstone. Toyota has never been a volume seller in the full-size truck segment, with the Ford F-Series, Ram and Chev Silverado/GMC Sierra dominating the segment. But with the CrewMax Capstone, Toyota is ready to jump into the full-size high-end, luxury pickup truck segment.

It’s well named because the CrewMax is huge, sitting on a wheelbase of 3,701 mm (145.7 in), and it’s 5,932 mm (233.5 in) long. Capstone is defined as the high point or crowning achievement. And this is clearly a big, luxurious truck.

I recently test-drove the four-wheel-drive hybrid version. The base price is $84,150; my test version with options, freight and fees came in at $86,425.70. That’s well above the basic Tundra CrewMax with a 3.5-litre gas engine that starts at $57,295 in Canada. (Toyota’s basic, smaller mid-size Tacoma pickup starts at $44,844.)

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The Tundra Hybrid CrewMax Capstone is Toyota’s entry in the full-size luxury pickup segment
Toyota’s entry in the full-size luxury pickup segment

The interior is spacious and luxurious

The Tundra CrewMax provides a smooth ride

My four-wheel-drive tester had a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V-6 mated to a hybrid motor producing 437 horsepower and a 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s not as fast off the line as some competitors.

Fuel economy is rated at 12.7 litres/100 km (22 mpg) in the city and 10.5 litres/100 km (27 mpg) on the highway. Towing capacity is 4,690 kg (10,340 lbs).

As expected for a top-level model in this price range, the Capstone has all the latest luxury and technology touches, including semi-aniline leather trim, extra chrome trim, 22-inch aluminum wheels, parking assist, blind spot monitoring, brake assist, and smart stop technology.

It’s very spacious inside, although the seating position isn’t as comfortable as others in this segment. My test vehicle had black carpeting; the doors were black on the bottom two-thirds, and the top third was light cream, along with the armrests and centre console. The upper portions of the seat backs are light cream, and the rest of the seats are black. There are also chrome and wood accents on the dashboard and console to add to the look of elegance. The ride is as impressive as the interior and is smoother than other full-size trucks I’ve driven.

The dashboard in front of the driver has lots of gauges and lots of information, but the printing is small. Maybe the printing just seems small compared to everything else about this vehicle. On the plus side, there’s a huge navigation screen in the middle of the dash that’s very clear and easy to operate. And the cubbyholes and storage areas are plentiful and immense.

Is the visibility good or bad? Well, it depends. The oversized exterior mirrors and the large pillar between the windshield and doors sometimes block the view as you glance out. On the other hand, those huge mirrors are a huge help when you want to see what’s going on behind you, like when you’re pulling onto a highway. The mirrors have two levels; the top two-thirds give the big picture of what’s behind you, while the bottom third provides an enlarged, close-up view.

The exterior styling doesn’t have the elegance of the interior; it’s chunky and aggressive, and there’s nothing unique or distinctive.

The CrewMax Capstone comes with a basic three-year or 60,000 km warranty, but five years or 100,000 km on the powertrain – and for the hybrid components, it’s eight years or 160,000 km.

The Capstone is the highest-trimmed Tundra, so if you’re looking for as many luxury touches as possible in a big hybrid pickup, this truck should be on your shortlist.

Dale Johnson is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who has worked in TV, radio, print and online. While the manufacturer provided Dale with a vehicle to test drive, the content of this review was not reviewed or accepted by the manufacturer.

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By Dale Johnson

Dale Edward Johnson has extensive experience in both journalism and corporate communications. He is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who has worked in TV, radio, print and online, and has more than 1,300 articles and columns in Canada and the United States to his name. Dale has experience in news, sports, current affairs and feature writing. He has worked at the local and network level. He has been an anchor, disk jockey, editor, producer, reporter, researcher and writer. In his career in corporate communications, he has worked in the business, educational, financial and government sectors. As a university instructor and corporate trainer, Dale has guided and mentored board members, CEOs, politicians, university professors, senior executives and communications professionals. Dale earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Saskatchewan, and has taken classes in business, economics and education at the University of Regina. As well as his work as a journalist, communications consultant and instructor, Dale loves to restore classic cars, lead public walking tours of historical buildings and run half marathons.

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