Toyota has some interesting new developments for the Tundra line of trucks. The newest generation comes with a new powertrain line-up, new trims, and some exciting new features that appeal to a broad range of truck shoppers. However, what really makes the 2023 Toyota Tundra stand out from the competition is how it’s not pigeonholed into just one market segment. This is evident with the varied and distinct levels of trim options that appeal to all different kinds of truckers.
Two models of the Toyota Tundra in particular that have plenty of enthusiasts buzzing are the Trailhunter and Capstone. These two models are on opposite ends of the spectrum from one another when it comes to features and driving intent, but they also highlight how diverse Toyota wants the appeal to be for the Tundra within the full-size truck segment. And given how successful the company has been with the Tacoma, it’s only going to be a matter of time before they find the right niche to pocket the Tundra into in order to start moving up the sales charts in the full-size segment.
A New Capstone for the Tundra
Now before the new generation, the top-of-the-line Tundra was the Platinum. For the new generation starting with the 2022 model year, Toyota made the new Capstone trim the top-of-the-line pick. This new model has also carried over to the 2023 model year Tundra, giving the truck a lot more variety than the previous model year offerings.
So what makes the Capstone so special? Well, it’s decked out in a number of snazzy new features, such as an eye-catching white body color, multiple interior cargo storage compartments, wireless phone charging, a large HD touchscreen, composite bedliner, chrome door handles, 22-inch chrome wheels, and lots more. We’re talking power-deployable assist steps when opening the door of the vehicle, leather accent trimming, two-tone leather heated and ventilated ten-way power front driver and passenger seats, and special Capstone badging. The list of features is fairly deep, and it should be, given the MSRP will require a budget of just over $75,000 to start.
Toyota is serious about the Capstone being a cornerstone of luxury for its full-size pickup segment. One look at the truck, and it’s evident that it’s not a typical Toyota Tundra. The exterior, interior, and overall look certainly put it on par with the other upper-end trims offered by Ram, Chevy, GMC, and Ford. It’s also a significant upgrade over the previous generation’s Platinum trim, which sat at the top of the heap of the Tundra’s trim offerings for years.
A Trailhunter for the Adventurers
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is the Toyota Tundra Trailhunter. This was revealed at the 2022 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Tundra Trailhunter is not a unique trim badge for the Tundra, however. Trailhunter will be a model designation for multiple Toyota vehicles similar to the way the Denali is to GMC vehicles, the Tremor is to Ford, the Z71 is to Chevy, or the Rubicon is to Jeep. So what exactly is the Trailhunter, and what does it offer for the Tundra?
Well, the Trailhunter designation will be used to provide utility and functionality for overlanding. As mentioned, it’s not just going to be for the Tundra but for many of Toyota’s off-road-ready vehicles. Don’t expect the Trailhunter to dethrone or even challenge Jeep’s Rubicon or Saraha models, though. The purpose isn’t for extreme rock-crawling or uphill climbs throughout treacherous terrain.
Toyota’s unveiling of the Tundra Trailhunter reveals a more adventure-ready truck. It features its own special livery with Trailhunter badging. A unique roof rack, off-road suspension, skid plates, and a rooftop tent are all included as well. Remote reservoir shocks, MT tires, and a prominent factory lift make the Tundra Trailhunter ripe and ready for all manner of challenges. However, it’s still being touted as a concept rather than a set-in-stone model with a release date and MSRP. Toyota is already committed to the concept and wants something modular and competitive within the full-size space that’s aimed at adventurers and those who need a utilitarian truck for traveling and exploring off the beaten path.
Luxury vs Off-Road Expeditions
The current 2023 Toyota Tundra has seven different trims. That’s a lot of variety. It starts with the SR and works its way all the way up to the Capstone. As mentioned, the Tundra Trailhunter isn’t out yet, but for all intents and purposes, it is gearing up to be production ready as soon as possible. But even without the Trailhunter, there is still the TRD Pro for those who want solid off-road capabilities.
This is where we begin to see quite the separation in the market appeal for the Tundra. If you feel the TRD Pro is good but not good enough or not modular or bespoke enough for your particular brand of off-road adventures, the Trailhunter is there to fill in the gap. It’s designed in some ways to be the ultimate journeyman truck, excellent for packing up what you need and just spending countless amounts of time overlanding throughout the great wilderness. The ability to make use of a portable refrigerator, camping gear in the tent storage, and the rails for any other outdoor tools and utilities make the Trailhunter an extremely attractive option for outdoor adventurers and enthusiasts.
What’s also amazing is how well the Capstone comes across with its luxury features. It’s the sort of cabin design and exterior styling one might expect from the GMC Sierra Denali. The chrome, the badging, the interior seating options, and the stylish comfort and convenience all make it a highly appealing full-size truck for those who want to ride around in luxury. Is it a daily driver, though? Maybe…maybe not. But for special occasions or just for cruising around town in style, you absolutely can’t deny that the Capstone is a sleek personification of pickup truck opulence.
2023 Toyota Tundra: A Tale of Possibilities and Versatility
It’s rather apparent that both the models are on complete opposite ends of one another but likely within similar pricing ranges. What’s unique about it, though, is that Toyota seems well aware that enthusiast trucking isn’t just one or the other when it comes to rugged trucking or luxury appeal but a spectrum of these features, concepts, and possibilities. It’s about giving truck shoppers options and letting them decide what model best suits their driving preference, whether it be on the road, towing, hauling, off-roading, or outdoor adventuring.
The spectrum of the Toyota Tundra’s 2023 model year line-up is really what’s most impressive. Sure, the Trailhunter isn’t out right now, but Toyota has already put in motion how far they want to go with pursuing an overlanding-themed model. The Trailhunter is basically to the TRD Pro what the Capstone is to the Platinum: a complete level-up from its nearest predecessor.
The best part about it is that Toyota is also keeping each of these trims around. Some people might think it’s overkill having so many different trims––and that’s not to mention all of the special packages available to further customize the Tundra the way you see fit––but in reality, it’s a great way to see what sticks in the market. Toyota can further refine the Tundra’s offerings as they gain an uptick in market share and get a better idea of what trims and features to keep. The fact that Toyota is committed to a lot of bold and interesting offerings for the 2023 Toyota Tundra is quite refreshing. It definitely spells good tidings for the future of the full-size truck, as Toyota is obviously looking to mirror the success of the Tacoma in its full-size segment.