Of the 22 candidates for the 2022 Wards 10 Best Interiors and UX awards, just one is a fullsize pickup.
It’s the Toyota Tundra in luxurious Capstone trim, which makes the winners’ list by capably combining space, comfort and technology.
Wards judges tested the high-trim Capstone, priced around $75,000, and were impressed by the black-and-white interior design scheme – unusual for a pickup – soothing blue ambient lighting and semi-aniline leather upholstery with perforations forming a flag pattern.
The Tundra is a big truck, and it helps you climb aboard with running boards that deploy with a pull of the door handle.
The turbocharged V-6 powertrain is a hybrid, making it unsurprisingly quiet at startup, and Capstone is the only Tundra grade to feature acoustic glass on the front doors to enhance exterior sound deadening.
The center console and passenger-side dash are accented with Dark American Walnut with an open-pore finish that highlights the wood grain.
Second-row headroom and legroom is generous and the outboard seats are heated and ventilated – and, along with the middle seat – are every bit as comfortable as those in front. The panoramic moonroof is standard on the Capstone.
A 14.0-in. (36-cm) touchscreen highlights the all-new Toyota multimedia system that offers new sight, touch and voice activation. The big touchscreen’s large icons allow for easy operation.
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a JBL audio system, voice-activated audio and navigation controls and a 10.0-in. (25-cm) color head-up display are among the Tundra’s other technology standouts.
Driver-assistance technology includes well-performing full-range adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability. The Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 package includes virtually every driver-assistance feature out there. That includes Blind Spot Monitor which, when connected with Toyota’s integrated trailer brake controller, can recognize blindspots for not just the truck but the trailer as well.
Several cameras display multiple exterior angles that are viewable from the infotainment screen or the digital-display rearview mirror. A Panoramic View Monitor displays a top-down view of the truck. Views include the rear truck bed to check on cargo and a rear split view to show what’s nearby on each side.
To judge Christie Schweinsberg, the Tundra is distinguished by its menus which not only are much improved visually, with large fonts and understated colors, but also are pared down compared to some of its competitors – making it, quote, “less overwhelming to me as a user, something every automaker should be striving to achieve.”
The menus exemplify what Toyota has delivered with the Tundra: just about all of what you need, little of what you don’t.