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Toyota Caps Truck Lineup with New Range-Topping Model

The Capstone is a new top trim for the Tundra.

Toyota

Toyota has stepped up its truck game. After recently releasing the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra that was redesigned and reconfigured from the ground up with distinct six models, Toyota has now added a new range-topping version. The 2022 Toyota Capstone will give full-sized truck buyers another choice in the Toyota stable; Capstone, priced above the high-end 1794 and Limited trims, starts at $75,225, including destination and delivery. Toyota’s new flagship truck joins the increasingly-popular segment of upper-echelon pickups that includes the Ford F-150 Platinum, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country and Ram 1500 Limited, among others in the full-sized market.

Capstone is set apart from its stablemates with unique trim elements outside and within the premium cabin; the special edition model brings Toyota’s an all-new iForce MAX hybrid engine that is shifted through a 10-speed transmission-- also new to the lineup with the Tundra’s third-generation remake. Standard configuration is a 4WDemand part-time four-wheel drive system;new technology features that bundle towing aids and off-road enhancements; and a crew-cab with a 5.5-foot bed, along with air springs, 22-inch wheels shod with P265.50R22 tires; a 14.0-inch touchscreen and a 12-speaker JBL Audio system, as part of the notable collection of lux-level appointments.

2022 Toyota Tundra CapstoneThe entire Tundra line is all-new for 2022. Toyota

The outside of the newest Tundra was crafted to evoke the ethic of muscled toughness and attract buyers interested in recreation and an outdoor lifestyle. The Capstone version adds an overlay of eye-appealing trim elements that elevate its allure, whether at posh digs like the country club or lakeside unhitching a boat or water-sports toys. Chrome is the jewelry of choice: the grille is beset by a color-keyed outer frame with a chrome mesh pattern insert and there arechrome mirror caps, door handles, chrome “TUNDRA” tailgate inserts plus chrome wheels that are the largest that Toyota has ever added to a truck. Power-retracting running boards and a power Bedstep are standard. Capstone comes in a palette of lush colors that includes Wind Chill Pearl, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Celestial Silver Metallic, Midnight Black Metallic, Supersonic Red and Blueprint.

The halo-truck’s interior adds driver and passenger comforts and updated technologies with the “technical muscle theme” carried over inside; the horizontal layout is newly styled and a standard panoramic moonroof brightens the ambiance. Slipping in, you’ll find standard semi-aniline leather-trimmed heated and ventilated seats in a Capstone-only black-and-white color combination and a center console and passenger-side dash that are accented with authentic Dark American Walnut enunciated by an open-pore finish; on the dash, the Walnut inlay surrounds a Capstone logo that illuminates when the doors are opened. Bowing to driver comfort and convenience is a leather-trimmed heated steering wheel; a 12.3-inch digital Multi-Informational Display and standard 10-inch color Head-Up Display. A massive 14.0-inch touchscreen supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integrated into the new Toyota Audio Multimedia system that allows for simultaneous dual Bluetooth phone connectivity. A Wi-Fi Connect subscription offers 4G connectivity for up to five devices by turning Tundra into an AT&T Hotspot and also provides the ability to link your separate Apple Music and Amazon Music subscriptions to the vehicle with Integrated Streaming.

2022 Toyota Tundra CapstoneThe Capstone comes with an ultra-plush interior and great tech.Toyota

We drove the new Capstone model during a ride and drive program in Carmel Valley, California, that was designed to highlight different aspects of the truck’s capabilities. We motored along the Pacific Coast Highway’s serpentine track, as well as on two-lane in-town roadways and along a few busier stretches that required pushing the throttle to pass and ascend uphill grades, especially when we were towing. Of note, Capstones can tow up to 10,340 pounds and have a max payload rating of 1485 pounds (other Tundra grades can haul more).

Among our takeaways: the truck is especially quiet with standard acoustic glass in the front cabin, however pushing the the twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V-6 iForce MAX hybrid engine, which produces 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque, brings two features of delight—instant torque and a throaty growl that has been dialed in to enhance the senses of enthusiasts. The hybrid system has a motor generator between the engine and the transmission to boost power, in addition to parallel hybrid components that provide start-up, EV motoring, electric assist and energy regeneration. Integration of the gas and electric system is seamless and the 10-speed auto provides a smooth transition between gears. Engineered to enhance towing, the hybrid system provides additional power and torque, whereas when motoring in the city it focuses on a quiet ride with improved fuel efficiency; tuning for highway driving allows a lively linear power delivery and for off-highway forays bring peak torque performance early in the RPM range.

Drive Mode Select allowed us to select a driving mode depending upon preference and need, with settings for Eco, Normal and Sport. With available Load-Leveling Rear Height Control Air Suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension, modes expand to Comfort, Sport S, Sport S+ (SPORT or SPORT+ settings that are engineered to make the electric motor’s response instantaneous).

The all-new chassis with its fully-boxed, high-strength steel frame brings a comfortable-although-slightly-stiff ride. We found excellent handling for carving corners with the new multi-link rear suspension and competent braking with a good pedal feel. Standard are adaptive dampers, while Tundra's new optional rear air springs’ system can raise or lower the bed.

2022 Toyota Tundra CapstoneThe Capstone gets an exclusive interior color scheme and plush leather upholstery. Toyota

Capstone’s standard Towing Technology Package brings Trailer Back Guidance, which is a great help in overall maneuvering of trailers, plus Straight Path Assist that is designed to ensure your truck and trailer will back up in a straight line---360-degree cameras aid with visibility and tough-to-see areas around the truck and trailer. When connected with Toyota’s integrated trailer brake controller, the Blind Spot Monitor can recognize blind spots for not just the truck but the trailer as well.

Onboard cameras display multiple exterior angles that can be viewed from the touchscreen and/or the standard Digital Display Rearview Mirror; Panoramic View Monitor displays a top-down view of the truck. Other views include the rear truck bed to check on cargo, and a helpful aide for towing is the rear split view to show what’s nearby on each side of the trailer and the hitch view to assist with trailer connecting.

Capstone, like all Tundra grades, comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, Toyota’s active safety system that bundles an impressive array of safety features.

**The 2022 Toyota Tundra is available in 2WD and 4WD; 4-door Double cab and Crew max body styles; and the option of 5.5-foot, 6.5-foot or 8.1-foot bed lengths. Seven grade levels include SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794, TRD Pro and Capstone. Two engines are available: In addition to the hybrid, is a twin-turbo V-6 that produces 389 hp./ 479 lb.-ft. torque. Both engines are shifted through Toyota’s 10-speed transmission. Maximum towing capacity is 12,000 pounds/max payload 1,940 lbs., depending on model.

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VW purchased the rights to the iconic Scout name and plans to make new EVs under the brand.

Volkswagen

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.

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New minivan

Honda announces new Odyssey Sport

Sport is a new trim for the Odyssey minivan.

Honda

The Honda Odyssey may not be the most exciting vehicle in the world, but it's getting a new Sport model that at least makes it look the part. Honda will release the model for the 2023 model year, and the Odyssey line overall will be offered with a new Honda Service Pass, which includes two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance.

The Odyssey Sport slots into the Honda catalog between the EX-L and Touring trims. It comes with gloss-black exterior trim and black 19-inch wheels outside, and black leather with red stitching inside. The cabin comes with red accent lighting on the dash and in the footwells, and the roof pillars and headliner are both black. Under the hood, the Odyssey Sport gets the same 3.5-liter V6 from years past. It makes 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, and comes paired with a ten=speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.

2023 Honda Odyssey SportThe Sport comes with dark exterior trim and unique leather upholstery with red stitching inside. Honda

All Odyssey models come with Honda Sensing safety equipment, which includes adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection. The 2023 van hasn't been crash-tested yet, but the 2022 model earned a Top Safety Pick + award, so it's likely the new model will be rated similarly.

Honda Service Pass is a new program for 2023+ Honda vehicles. It covers routine scheduled maintenance for up to two years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Under the program, buyers get free oil changes, tire rotations, and multi-point inspections.

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