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Toyota Tundra vs. Toyota Tacoma: Everything You Need To Know

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Silver Toyota Tacoma

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When it comes to trucks and truck performance, Toyota is one of the better-known names. While there are diehard fans out there that swear by Toyota, Ford, Chevy, or another major manufacturer to the exclusion of all others, one thing is abundantly clear: Toyota is one of the best truck manufacturers out there. 

But, when it comes to the Toyota Tundra vs. Toyota Tacoma, there are a lot of important comparisons to make. Even though these two trucks are from the same manufacturer, one of them demands premium prices while the other is priced for consumer popularity. But do the differences merit the prices?

If you’re trying to decide which Toyota truck is right for you, you’re in the right place. We’re going to see how the Tundra and Tacoma hold up in a direct comparison, where each truck shines and which comes out the real winner. 

Let’s go!

Toyota Tundra vs. Toyota Tacoma: Comparing the Interiors Head-to-Head

Interior design is one of the most important features of any vehicle. It’s your comfort, the tools you have to help keep your vehicle in control and monitor its different parts, functions, and features, and even tells you what kind of entertainment features are included. 

So, let’s see how these two vehicles hold up—information from Kelly Blue Book

  • Base price: Toyota Tacoma
  • Front headroom: Tundra
  • Rear headroom: Tundra
  • Front legroom: Tacoma
  • Rear legroom: Tundra
  • EPA Cargo Volume: Tundra
  • Maximum seating capacity: Tie

When it comes to the interior, there are a few important things to point out. The Tacoma has a significant price advantage. It’s much more affordable, which is important for consumers on a budget. It also has the same maximum seating capacity and only slightly less cargo space. 

However, when it comes to the winner for this category, the Tundra is a clear leader. Bigger is almost every dimension, and with a larger cargo capacity and taller profile for better visibility, the only downside of the Tundra is its higher price. 


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Toyota Tundra vs. Toyota Tacoma: Comparing the Sizes Head-to-Head

When it comes to different vehicles, there are some options where size doesn’t matter much. Sedans, for instance, don’t need to be huge to be effective. 

But, when it comes to trucks, size always matters. It’s not just about the size of the cabin, but the possible bed lengths and how well the truck maneuvers and drives with its extra length. 

Let’s see which of these trucks is bigger, and then we’ll talk about how well each vehicle handles that size—information from Kelly Blue Book

  • Length: Toyota Tundra
  • Height: Tundra
  • Width: Tundra
  • Wheelbase: Tundra

It’s no surprise that the more premium model, the Tundra, is bigger in pretty much every respect. With the options for a larger cab and the longer possible beds, the Tundra is a good deal bigger. But, just as importantly, the Tundra is just as maneuverable and easy to drive as the Tacoma. And, since the Tacoma is one of the most popular trucks out there, the Tundra’s performance is truly impressive. 

Toyota Tundra vs. Toyota Tacoma: Comparing the Performance Head-to-Head

Performance is where the power in a truck really comes from. An engine that isn’t powerful enough ruins an otherwise great design, so it’s important to think about power, fuel type, and the cruising range when you’re considering which truck is right for you. 

And remember, most of the time, extra power means slightly lower fuel economy—information from Kelly Blue Book

  • Engine: Tundra
  • Engine type: Gas
  • Fuel economy: Tacoma
  • Cruising range: Tacoma

This category is a little more split, but that makes sense when you consider the relative size and power of these vehicles. The Tundra offers a lot more power in its larger engine, but the Tacoma has slightly better-combined fuel economy, which makes sense with both its smaller engine and smaller size. 

Toyota Tundra Breakdown

The Toyota Tundra is more of a premium truck and knows it. Its starting MSRP, $47,500, is reasonable for the kind of power and the size of the truck. It’s comparable with an F150, and the price shows it. 

This vehicle’s standard engine, a powerful V6 with a Turbo, not only offers the power you need to manage its impressive towing capacity but surprisingly good acceleration for a truck of its size. 

The comfortable cab is fairly plush and filled with a range of technology, infotainment, and safety features that make the Tundra a joy to drive. 

However, all of those advantages come with lowered fuel efficiency and a design that’s heavy enough to need a fair amount of gas, even on the highway. If you’re looking to save at the pump, the Tundra isn’t the new and improved eco-truck you might have been hoping for. 

That said, there is a hybrid engine available if you’re willing to pay for the upgrade. While not as efficient as other hybrid models, this design is still impressive and works well for keeping fuel consumption low. 


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Pros 

  • Comfortable
  • Large cabin
  • Large truck bed
  • Powerful engine
  • Good acceleration and maneuverability
  • Hybrid available

Cons

  • Low fuel efficiency
  • Relatively expensive

Toyota Tacoma Breakdown

The Toyota Tacoma enjoys a reputation as one of the most affordable, popular, and reliable trucks currently on the road. There’s a reason so many of them sell every year, and it’s not just the low starting MSRP, $27,615.

The Tacoma has a less powerful engine than the Tundra, but the 2.7-liter I7 still gets the job done, especially since it’s moving a much lighter vehicle. The design works, and the Tacoma still offers plenty of horsepower and torque to have a respectable towing capacity. 

The smaller design and shorter beds on the Tacoma do limit your cargo capacity slightly, but it still offers a big advantage over other vehicle designs. 

The 6-speed automatic transmission is a little less flexible than the Tundra’s 10-speed model but still gives you plenty of control and the options you need for hauling. That said, it’s still a little less flexible and doesn’t offer as many options on the road. 


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Pros 

  • Affordable design
  • Comfortable interior
  • Good cargo capacity for a truck of its size
  • Reliable design

Cons

  • Less powerful engine
  • The 6-speed transmission is less flexible than the Tundra

Is There a Winner Here?

In this matchup, there is a clear winner. The Tundra performs better in almost every metric, excepting only fuel efficiency. But, at almost twice the price of the Tacoma, it has to be that much better to justify the higher costs. 

Thankfully, the Tundra does earn its higher MSRP and has the performance you expect from a premium truck. 

The Tacoma is still a solid option, though. It’s just that it’s not designed to compete with the Tundra. It’s designed to be a reasonable, but much more affordable option, and it does that well.



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