6 Factors When Choosing - Should I buy a Tacoma or Tundra? (2023)

6 Factors When Choosing - Should I buy a Tacoma or Tundra? (1)

Tacoma was introduced for the first time in 1995, and it quickly became the prefered pickup to the Toyota Pickup it replaced. It's perhaps for the best that Toyota abandoned its previous naming conventions in favour of the more memorable Tacoma. In opposed to Toyota's other pickup, the Tundra, the Tacoma is a more modestly sized option.

The Tundra was the first complete truck available in North America out of a Japanese automaker, and it was released in 1999, some few years just after Tacoma. Toyota released the Tundra to fight with industry heavyweights like the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado and the best-selling Ford F-150. Production of both the Tacoma & Tundra takes place in San Antonio, Texas, in the south of the United States. Different trim options, engines, and options are available for each truck in the Tacoma vs. Tundra debate. Here, we'll compare the capabilities of several trucks to help you pick the best one.

Toyota's longstanding and deserved reputation for aesthetic and functional superiority speaks for itself. It makes reasonably priced cars that are reliable and last a long time without showing their age. Both the Tacoma and Tundra are great options if you're in the market for a pickup truck, with the Tacoma being slightly more popular due to its higher level of standard equipment.

If you're in the looking for a great Toyota pickup, you could be debating between the Tacoma and the Tundra. We're well-versed in the superior construction of every Toyota model, so picking the right one comes down to assessing the benefits and drawbacks of each and seeing which best fits your needs. Before making a final choice, read on for some insightful comparisons between both the Toyota Tacoma as well as the Toyota Tundra.

You, as a dedicated Toyota customer, can choose from several different pickups. Quality and reliability have been hallmarks of the label. Toyota provides what you're looking for, whether it's a high level of security, a quiet cabin, a large towing capacity, or an abundance of technological advancements. You need a vehicle, but which one? Whether a Toyota Tundra or Tacoma is a better fit for your needs may depend on which model's most salient distinction you focus on.

Toyota is now in an enviable position of strength. Whether you're talking about full-size or medium trucks, they've got you covered. The Tundra takes on the Tacoma. Identical in nearly every way except for significant detail differences. Tamahto means tomato. Tundra tacos, or Pa-Tacos. They have a solid reputation for durability and dependability throughout time. Each truck has the highest resale value of any vehicle on the market in 2019.

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Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma is a pickup truck manufactured by Toyota and sold in the United States since 1995. To accommodate modern automobiles, it has become even bigger over time. The second generation, bigger version of this vehicle was introduced by Toyota in 2005, and it was an instant hit. Great for camping, pulling toys, and getting from and to the mountains in Colorado's unpredictable weather. When compared side by side, the only other pickup truck that can hold its own is the Chevy Canyon.

The Tacoma is a hardworking pickup that has earned its way onto numerous "best," "top," and "most" lists. It's a terrific work truck that can tow, go off-road, and haul. The 2007 model was the least reliable, although the 2017 and 2016 models are also promising.

It's well-known for being long-lasting and dependable, and it retains a lot of its initial purchase price. Their resale value is high, with some previously owned examples fetching prices comparable to brand new models.

The Toyota Tacoma, now in its 3rd generation, has steadily improved over the years. It has graduated from the realm of the work truck to the everyday transportation of all drivers everywhere. Since the truck's intended image is one of ruggedness, the interior maintains this theme, however it has been updated over the years to include things like more safety features, new technologies, a quieter cabin, and improved comfort.

The truck's tow rating has been increased from 5,000 pounds to 6,800 lb thanks to these upgrades, and it continues to perform admirably in its traditional role. A 3.5-liter V6 with 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque has been added to improve engine performance. It's more comfortable today, and it uses less gas. And the fact that this really improves over time just adds to its allure.

Toyota Tundra

Because the Toyota T100 was not well received by truck buyers, it was replaced with the Toyota Tundra. Also, Ford sued Toyota because the T150's moniker was too similar to their F-series trucks. So Toyota released the Tundra, which turned heads. In modern times, the Tundra has been a popular choice among American buyers for full-size pickups.

The Tundra is another excellent pickup truck, however it has been 13 years since its previous facelift. Still, it manages to surprise and delight despite everything.

Maybe that's because of its wide back seats, advanced safety features, or off-road capability. Under the hood, the V8 engine delivers plenty of power, and in 2020, a whopping 5.7 litres of it became the norm. They've shown their dedication to development by including modern technological enhancements and even leather.

Fans of the truck may have to remain patient even longer, as rumours suggest a revamp won't happen until 2022. This is resulting in falling sales, although a revamp like that undertaken in 2014 might help alleviate customers' impatience while they wait. In other words, if you're interested in this truck, you should either get on it now or be prepared to wait a some few years for a brand-new one.

No matter the case, it remains a potent and versatile choice among full-size trucks. Because of its high resale value and reliability, it was awarded Kelley Blue Book's 5-Year Cost to Own title. And it can pull up to 10,000 pounds, so it can help you get your packages where they need to go. It's rugged enough to take on any duty, yet modern and comfy enough to hold its own against regular pickups.



Let's talk about the looks of each pickup before we dive into how they perform. Although the Tacoma will naturally be smaller in size compared to the bigger Tundra, there are some other distinct outward variations between the two. The SR model is the entry-level trim both for the Tacoma and the Tundra. The grilles and other frontal aesthetic details will be among the first points of differentiation to catch the eye. However both the Tacoma as well as the Tundra have hexagonal grilles, they aren't an exact match. The Tacoma, while smaller and less blocky than the Tundra, features a more defined & angular grille. The Tacoma's integrated bumper is less noticeable and its slanted headlights give it a more refined appearance up front.

The Tundra is easily recognisable by its grille, which protrudes from the hood in the form of a thin, rectangular hole. The Tundra's bulky looks are accentuated by the vehicle's larger headlamps and bumper. The wheel wells on the Tundra & Tacoma are roughly the same shape, neither being as circular as the F-150's nor as rectangular as the Silverado's. Both the Tundra and the Tacoma feature a tailgate, but theirs are styled similarly, albeit with distinct embossed writing. Both the honeycomb grille and the hood scoop found on the Tacoma TRD Sport contribute to the truck's more menacing appearance.

When comparing the Tundra and the Tacoma side by side, the Tundra is clearly the more robust vehicle. After extensive training, the Tundra almost resembles the Tacoma. You can see that this trucked has put on muscle by the distinct bulges all over its body.

The length of a 2017 Toyota Tacoma can range from 212.0 to 226.0 inches, dependent on the cab & bed options you go with. The Tacoma has a width of 74-75 inches and a height of 71-72 inches. The 2017 Toyota Tundra, on the other hand, measures in at a voluminous 229 to 248 inches in length, 80 inches in width, and 76 to 77 inches in height. To put it simply, it's bigger in every manner. It may not appear to be much, but having those extra few inches can make a huge difference in how much you can carry or how comfortable the interior is.

Everyone is familiar with the adage "size does not matter." Of course, this applies when looking for a new truck. Next time you go to the car lot, don't forget to bring your measuring tape along. Never take a chance with the size of your garage; measure it out first. Let's try it on first to make sure it fits properly.

The length of a 2019 Tacoma varies from 212.3 inches to 225.5 inches, depending on the model. Either 17 or about 19 feet in length. Their width can be between 74.4 and 75.2, and their height can be between 70.6 and 71.6 inches.

A great thing about the Tacoma is that its owner will never have trouble finding parking for it. Unless, of course, you needed to do some serious spring cleaning.

However, Tundra, being the full-sized monster that it is, has external dimensions that would be considered "plus large" by some. Who's in the market for a supersized department store?

A standard 2019 Tundra is 19 feet in length (228.9 inches), while a Long Bed version is 20.6 feet in length (247.8 inches). Once more, quickly get out the measuring tape.

Each Tundra measures in at a width of 79.9 inches, making it nearly an entire foot wider than the Toyota Tacoma. Tundra stands somewhere in the normal range of 74.8" to 77.2" in height.

However, the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro has a classic grille that shows the "Toyota" writing rather than the logo, and a hood scoop with a distinct graphic. The Tacoma is available in a wide variety of trim options, each of which offers a somewhat different take on the truck's overall design. The Tundra, like the Tacoma, comes in a variety of trim levels. The Limited or 1794 have a chromium grille with horizontal lines, making the truck look more refined than the rest. Both Toyota pickups come with a variety of wheel sizes and symbol placements to choose from. The Tacoma and the Tundra are both handsome pickups, and it's hard to choose between them.

6 Factors When Choosing - Should I buy a Tacoma or Tundra? (2)


Both the Tacoma and the Tundra are very similar on the inside. Power windows, locks, & mirrors are standard on even the base trims of the 2018 Toyota Tacoma and Tundra. Each truck also comes standard with a rear-view camera. The Tacoma's Access Cab only seats four people, while the Double-Cab can fit five. However, depending on whether you have the regular bench seat or the front bucket seats, the Tundra can accommodate as many as six passengers in its largest configuration (the Double Cab) or five (the CrewMax).

The improved aerodynamics and cab-to-bed seal in the Tacoma make the inside remarkably quiet, even in high winds. Tacomas only provide a tilt and telescoping steering column, not power-adjustable seats or pedals. It's also possible to have leather upholstery and heated front seats. The info-tainment system is touchscreen, however it lacks smartphone integration features like as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For select devices, wireless Qi charging is an option. Additionally, the Tacoma is equipped with modern conveniences such as voice control, Bluetooth, an auxiliary in, a USB port, as well as a 12-volt outlet. The fact that the Tacoma has a GoPro mount built into the windshield is very cool for those who like to film their adventures off-road.

Interiorly, the Tundra saw more changes for 2018 than its subcompact sibling. The new 4.2-inch driver display gauge cluster puts all relevant vehicle data within easy view. The Tundra may not be as plush as some other pickups, but the 1794 model will get improved leather in a beautiful brown. Unlike the Tacoma, the Tundra offers a driver's seat with memory and electric seats. Tundra drivers can choose between heated and cooled front seats. The Tundra and the Tacoma share a lot of similarities when it comes to their infotainment systems.

Since many individuals rely on pickup trucks to get them to and from work, they shop with utility and durability in mind rather than comfort. After a long day at the office, the last thing you want to do is step into the driver's seat of an uncomfortable truck.

The Tundra's cabin is roomier than the one found in the Arctic Cat and can accommodate six people rather than five. There is a half-inch less space for passengers in the front than in the Tacoma, however more space for your head and shoulders. The Toyota Tundra is the better choice if you regularly transport a large group of people. Nonetheless, Tacoma will provide all the conveniences you require. Depending on how important the inside is to you, it could not be the deciding factor.

Make sure you enjoy your time here because you will be spending a lot of it there. While the Tacoma's new interior features are notable improvements, the truck's interior space is smaller than that of the Tundra. If space and comfort within the truck are high priorities for you, then the Tundra is the better choice between the Tacoma and the Tundra.

You can choose between two cab sizes for each truck. Every one of the four cabs is generous with space for the front passengers, but there is a wide range of options for the rear passengers.

The Toyota Tundra's Double Cab and Crewmax cab configurations make it possible to transport a sizable group. Both provide comfortable accommodation for people in all rows, although the Crewmax provides even more legroom than the standard model. Most folks will find the Double Cab's 34.7 inches of legroom to be sufficient for trips. Traveling with the family or transporting a work group to a remote job site, the Crewmax's second-row passengers will appreciate the 42.3 ′′ of legroom. Every passenger in both cabs will have at least 65.5 inches of head and armroom.

The Toyota Tacoma downsized in several respects so that it could more easily fit into garages of varying sizes. The front seats are as spacious as those in a Tundra in terms of head and legroom, although they lack the latter by five inches in the hips and seven in the shoulders. With 24.6 inch of legroom & 34.9 inches of headroom, the back seats of a Tacoma Access Cab are best used for cargo or small children. Pick the Double Cab and even full-grown adults can travel in comfort for short distances, though with only 32. 6 ′′ of legroom, you probably shouldn't plan on spending over than a hour or more in the rear. It's not ideal, but it's good enough for a small home or for making quick journeys. Similarly high-end infotainment systems, materials, and conveniences may be found in both trucks. It really comes down to putting everything in the package you want.

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Efficacy and Capability in Extreme Conditions

Put aesthetics aside for a moment and let's compare the Tacoma and the Tundra in terms of their actual capabilities. The Tacoma and the Tundra are both capable pickup trucks that can carry and tow a lot of weight, but how do they stack up against one another? Instead of introducing new engine options for such 2018 Tacoma, Toyota upgraded the manual transmission from five speeds to six speeds. The Tacoma's base engine is a 2.7-liter inline 4-cylinder that generates 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. If those specs aren't enough power for you, you can always upgrade to the 3.5L DOHC V6 engine, which generates 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque.

The Tacoma is a very durable pickup because it is built with high-strength steel. The Tacoma TRD Off-Road comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. The Tacoma TRD Off-Road has excellent trail capability thanks to its Bilstein shocks and electronic locking rear differential.A combination of Crawl Control, Hill-Start Assist-Control, and the Multi-Terrain Select systems, which offers the driver a choice of five modes to tailor stability control and engines throttle to the current road and weather conditions, makes navigating rough terrain a snap. A skid plate is included with the TRD-Pro variant to shield the vehicle from jagged rocks and other trail hazards. The Pro trim adds a unique cat-back exhaust that improves the Tacoma's performance and sound. Tacoma TRD Pro boasts specially adjusted FOX Internal Bypass absorbers that provide higher ground clearance, better travel, and more adjustability than the TRD Off-Bilstein Road's shocks. With in fall of 2018, you may purchase the all-new Tundra TRD Pro.

It's true that not everybody in the Harrisburg–Philadelphia area has easy access to a garage or driveway at their house. Garage sizes have been shrinking in recent building trends, and not everybody has access to off-street parking. To make do with the available garage space, you may need to improvise the placement of your truck.


Toyota's Tundra pickup truck is among the most capable in the industry. Regardless on the cab size, you can choose between three different bed lengths: 5.5 feet for the Short Bed, 6.5 feet for the Standard Bed, and 8 feet for the Long Bed. Even while they are quite useful, the shortest Tundra model available is 229 inches long. so there is a size tradeoff for the more power. They have a width of at least 80 inches and a height of at least 76 inches. That's not practical for Harrisburg residents who have linked garages or smaller parking structures at their homes.

The Toyota Tacoma has a 5 ft Standard Bed as well as a 6 ft Long Bed, putting it in the same league as the Tundra when it comes to towing capacity. But it's considerably easier to handle, maxing out at 75 in wide and 72 inches tall. The Tacoma, with its 6-foot bed, measures in at a total length of 225.5 inches, making it shorter that even the smallest Tundra. When you opt for the Standard Bed, your vehicle's overall length is 212.3 inches, making it narrow enough to fit into some tighter places without dangling over the kerb. The Tacoma is the superior choice if you are limited by parking space or vehicle length.


The Toyota Tundra, being a full-size pickup, has slightly larger towing capacity. The 4.6-liter V8 engine is standard, and it produces 310 hp and 327 pound-feet of torque. You can haul up to 6,800 lbs with its standard bed and it's excellent for taking a modest camper trailer and all your gear to the campsites. If you need even more muscle, the optional 5.7-liter V8 delivers 381 hp and 401 lb-ft torque. The Tundra's towing capacity increases dramatically with this engine, reaching up to 10,200 lbs depending on whether you opt for four- or two-wheel drive and the size of the box you choose.

Toyota Tacoma may not be able to match those numbers for towing and carrying, but it makes up for it with its diminutive size and nimble handling. A 2.7-liter inline four-cylinder produces 159 hp and 180 lb-ft torque as the standard engine. Even though it has a modest horsepower rating, it gets the job done; it can tow up to 3,500 pounds, making it ideal for pulling lighter watercraft and off-road vehicles. The Tacoma's optional 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 278 hp and 265 lb-ft torque, making it a reliable choice for towing and carrying due to its excellent power-to-weight ratio. Equal to the entry-level Tundra, its maximum towing capability is 6,800 pounds.

The Tundra & Tacoma are both offered with four- or two-wheel drive, however the latter is recommended due to the region's extreme weather and the poor quality of the roads (or the complete absence of roads, if you're feeling very daring). The Tacoma's TRD Off-Road & TRD PRO trims are equipped to handle the rigours of the trail and provide a level of manoeuvrability ideal for mud enthusiasts. While the Tundra's TRD PRO package improves its off-road performance, it lacks the Tacoma's adventurous spirit.

The Toyota Tundra is better suited for those who need to haul heavier loads. It can tow between 6,400 and 10,500 pounds, depending on how it’s configured. The payload is between 1,440 and 2,080. In comparison, the Toyota Tacoma can tow between 3,500 and 6,400 pounds, and it has a payload between 1,120 and 1,620 pounds. You must be realistic in your estimation of how you will use your truck when you are deciding between these two models. You don’t want to underestimate and then find yourself in a tough situation because your truck can’t handle what you need.

This is arguably the most important characteristic that distinguishes a pickup truck from other types of vehicles. How well they can tow, how they are able to tow, and the amount of weight they can carry are all dependent on the drive train. A lack of horsepower in the engine makes the vehicle a sluggish performer on the ascent, and a lack of transmission capacity means that the engine will soon overheat from trying to cope with the demands.

The Toyota Tundra offers both a V6 and a V8, making it an easy vehicle to use for towing. Typically, a V6-powered Tundra will serve as your entry-level work truck, capable of carrying the occasional load but not much more. The good news is that you can add a factory supercharger to significantly increase your power and torque.

Toyota offers the Tacoma with either a four-cylinder (in older vehicles) or a six-cylinder (newer variants) engine (newer models). Because of its increased size, the Tacoma has become the prefered work truck, necessitating a more robust engine and increasing the V6's tow capability to 6,500 pounds.

If you plan to use your truck mostly for commuting, you might want to go with the less powerful Tacoma because its V6 engine will save you money on gas compared to the Tundra's V8.

6 Factors When Choosing - Should I buy a Tacoma or Tundra? (3)


Because of its lower size, the Tacoma is more affordable to begin with than the Tundra. When compared to the latter, the Tacoma is clearly more fuel-efficient, providing 23 mpg on the interstate. If you intend to regularly haul, though, the Tundra is the better choice because to its greater towing capacity. Those in search of a larger truck bed will be pleased to learn that the Tundra can accommodate their needs. Both pickups can be had with a four-wheel drive system and an automated transmission that has six gears.

At this point, your wants and needs in a pickup truck purchase must be taken into account. Do you frequently engage in activities that call for the use of a large recreational vehicle, trailer, or additional vehicle? The Tacoma is adequate for towing weights up to 4,500 pounds; however, the Tundra is the superior choice for heavier loads. The Tacoma is more flexible in tight spaces and economical on gas; customise it to your needs.

The MSRP is only the beginning of your auto expenses. Registration, maintenance, and fuel expenditures all mount up over time.

Additionally, the Toyota Tacoma's smaller engines help you save money every month on gas. In spite of its larger engine, even the V6 with manual gearbox and four-wheel drive achieves respectable mileage of 17 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the interstate. Choose the 4-cylinder engine & two-wheel drive for 20/23 mpg in the city/highway, respectively.

You might think that the Tundra's large V8 engines' increased power would lead to worse fuel economy, but surprisingly, it doesn't. You can still achieve 15 mpg in the city & 19 mpg on the interstate with the 4.6-liter, two-wheel-drive combo. Also with full-size, four-wheel-drive Tundra equipped with the potent 5.7-liter V8, you'll be lucky to get 13 MPG in the city and 17 MPG on the interstate. In exchange for all of the towing capacity, that's not a bad deal.


Pricing Differences

The 2017 Tundra is more expensive because it is a larger vehicle with a more potent performance. The least expensive Tundra offered by Toyota costs A$60,420. More expensive options and higher trim levels mean a higher final price tag.

Whereas, the base price of a 2017 Toyota Tacoma is only A$38,000. Similarly, if you upgrade the trim and put on various amenities, the price will rise.

You should consider more than just the bottom line when evaluating prices. You should evaluate the pricing in light of the characteristics you receive. Do you think the Tundra's higher price tag is justified by its superior engine and larger cabin? If that's the case, you might be interested in purchasing the truck.

Because costs can range widely depending on a number of factors, haggling is a necessary skill if you want to pay what you think is a fair price. The starting price for a Tacoma is cheaper than that of a Tundra, but both trucks can easily surpass the A$80,000 mark once you factor in all the optional equipment and customizations. The pricing isn't the most important factor to consider when picking between the Tacoma and the Tundra, especially with the wide range of available features.

A Key Distinction Between the Tundra & Tacoma

Differences in capability and layout are likely the most notable distinctions between the two. The Toyota Tundra's V8 engine and greater towing capacity make it the superior pickup. Long-term use and big loads are no problem for it.

The Toyota Tacoma isn't as powerful, but it seems to be a decent everyday truck that is also suitable for business. Recent redesigns include one in 2016 that was released to the public. And the soft upholstery is fine for regular use.

Which One Suits You Best?

Buying a Toyota pickup is a safe bet. However, you should visit a Toyota showroom and test drive both the Tacoma as well as the Tundra to be sure you're getting the truck that's best for you. You may test the vehicles' handling and get a sense for the power of the engines. Have confidence in your driving abilities. Test out all the options to make sure the trucks meet all your requirements.

You'll know instantly which truck is more comfortable and which one is the best fit for your needs once you've driven each one. Then, you can discuss available financing options with the expert to choose a truck that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

You, and you alone, must determine which truck best suits your needs. The Tacoma is an excellent pick if you need something compact and easy to operate. If you're looking for a full-size pickup with more power and durability, the Tundra might be a better option than the Tacoma. The Tundra will include an expanded cabin and a longer cargo area. The Tundra is a better option if you need a truck to transport your family, however the Tacoma still has plenty of space for passengers. If you can't make up your mind between the Tacoma and the Tundra, you should go to a Toyota dealership and do a test drive of each to determine which one you like more.

Another consideration is how much money you have available. If price is your primary concern, go with the Tacoma instead of the Tundra. See what you can afford by using our Toyota loan calculator. You'll drive away satisfied either way!

For both Toyota Tacoma & Tundra have proven to be sturdy, dependable cars that are well-suited to our needs in terms of both price and quality. The question is not about whether or not these are the proper vehicle for the job; rather, it is which truck is the perfect truck for both you and your needs. Drivers have made the Toyota Tacoma and Tundra two of the most popular vehicles on the road today due to their high levels of reliability and resale value.

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