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2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone Long-Term Review, Part 1: Change is Good

2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone | Photo: M.Crépault
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Michel Crépault
We get to know the next-generation Tundra truck

Auto123 puts the 2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone to the test. This is the first chapter of our three-part long-term review.

See also: 2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone Long-Term Review, Part 2: Horse, Litres and Centimetres

Two years ago on Auto123, we introduced ourselves to the Toyota Tundra, or more accurately, it introduced itself to us. But that meet-cute involved the swan song of the second generation of a model introduced in 2007, which in its 15 years of existence remained unchanged save only a refresh in 2014.

That all changed last year when Toyota finally presented the third-generation Tundra.

Since the new Tundra has now been on the market for over a year, the Auto123 team thought it would be a good idea to take a closer look at the new full-size pickup. Toyota agreed to play along, handing us a 2023 Capstone model, the most luxurious version in the range.

Logo of 2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone
Logo of 2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone | Photo: M.Crépault

This being 2023, I knocked on the virtual door of ChatGPT, that flavour-of-the-month tool that uses artificial intelligence and is equal parts hero and villain these days. My question to it was: What questions are Canadian consumers asking about the new Toyota Tundra?

As it turns out, AI says you folks are asking several pertinent questions, namely:

1.    What are the features and specifications of the new Toyota Tundra?
2.    What engine options are available for the 2023 Toyota Tundra, and how powerful are they?
3.    What is the fuel consumption of the 2023 Toyota Tundra?
4.    What models and trim levels are available for the 2023 Tundra?
5.    What are the dimensions and load capacity of the 2023 Toyota Tundra?
6.    What technologies and safety features does the new Tundra offer?
7.    What connectivity and entertainment options does the 2023 Toyota Tundra 2023?
8.    What is the base price of the 2023 Tundra and what are the additional costs of options and packages?
9.    What financing or leasing options are available for the 2023 Toyota Tundra?
10.    What opinions do automotive experts have about the new Tundra?
11.    What is the availability of the 2023 Toyota Tundra at dealerships in Canada, and what are estimated delivery times?
12.    What warranty does Toyota offer for the Tundra and what after-sales services are available?

It struck me that if I take the time to look into and answer each of these questions, the 2023 Toyota Tundra will hold fewer secrets for you and me. Let's get started...

Touch screen of 2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone
Touch screen of 2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone | Photo: M.Crépault

What are the features and specifications of the new Toyota Tundra?

A vast question that touches on many elements. I'll try to answer it without spoiling the other chapters to come.

It goes without saying that by the dawn of the 2020s Toyota had no choice but to update its Tundra. The truck had stood still while Ford, GM and Dodge were constantly improving their F-150, Silverado/Sierra and RAM 1500 trucks respectively.

And updated, it certainly has been. The biggest changes, though, have been to the pickup’s looks, powertrain and technology features.

Buff and all business!
In terms of looks, it's simple: the new Tundra has never looked so strong. Already, during the refresh for the 2014 model-year, the grille had been widened, the fenders inflated and the hood raised. Now, the third-generation truck, which already didn't look like a wimp, now has the front end of a mechanical ram ready to take on anything in its path.

It's not the measurements that create this impression. The Tundra's length (5,934 mm), width (2,031 mm) and height (from 1,926 to 1,984 mm depending on suspension, tires and options) aren't all that different from those of the American trio of trucks it competes with.

It's the front grille that does it.

The new 2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone
The new 2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone | Photo: M.Crépault

While rivals’ schnozzes are a little self-conscious, the Tundra's nose is lined with honeycombs big enough to house several bird’s nests, stretching vertically as they do to form an impressive wall. The protruding wings project forward to encircle the grille and bumpers.

Come to think of it, this truck looks like it's been muzzled. Without it, it could bite without warning.

Incidentally, while the manufacturer's logo adorns the grille of most Tundra models, including the Capstone we tested, the grille of the TRD Pro version has the TOYOTA letters, old-school-style, and looking almost like the famed HOLLYWOOD letters. I half-believe this machine could actually brand surfaces, ranch-cattle-style, were it to put its mind to it. Well, nose.

Grey 2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone
Grey 2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone | Photo: M.Crépault

Improvements in spades
Without going into the details of the powertrain, because we’re going to that later, we can say right away that the new Tundra also differs greatly from the old one mainly in abandoning the V8 in favour of a twin-turbo V6.

There's even a “hybrid” version of this 3.5L V6. But also in a future chapter, we’ll discuss how electrifying a Tundra doesn't guarantee the same results as a Prius.

More power also means that the Tundra's towing capacity has been upgraded.

The new TNGA-F (Toyota New Global Architecture-Framework) platform, designed specifically for utility vehicles, results in a more robust chassis and improved roadholding, particularly in terms of suspension.

The all-new 2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone
The all-new 2023 Toyota Tundra Capstone | Photo: M.Crépault

Not to be outdone, the cabin has received a much-needed facelift after so many years of inactivity. The large infotainment screen in the centre of the dashboard alone, which likes nothing better than to chat with the driver, confirms that this is a redesigned Tundra.

Finally, a Toyota truck wouldn't be a Toyota truck if the new Tundra didn't come with a constellation of driving aids of all kinds, including some that make towing both easier and safer.

And with that, the table is set for the next chapter in our long-term review of the 2023 Tundra. Stay tuned...

Michel Crépault
Michel Crépault
Automotive expert
  • More than 45 years of experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 12 test drives last year
  • Attended more than 190 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists