By Cars.com EditorsAugust 28, 2018
About the video
Pickuptruck.com's Mark Williams compares the 2018 Toyota Tundra and the 2018 Toyota Tacoma.
You don't have to spend much time in the Pacific Northwest to know that Toyota vehicles are very popular specifically Toyota pickup trucks. Brian, what do we have here in Seattle? So here we have two, 2018 pickup trucks from Toyota.
One the mid-size Tacoma and the other one, the full-size Tundra. Now, the Tundra is a little bit older than the Tacoma. It hasn't been redesigned as recently, but they're actually not as far apart in price, as you would think. So the Tacoma that we have is a TRD Off-Road and that's 41,000. While the Tundra that we have is an SR5 and that's only 44,000. So it's not that much price difference for getting a much larger truck. <v Mark>That's amazing. We have a half-ton pickup truck against a midsize and they're close in price. <v Brian>Yeah. They're close in price and they're also close in bedside. So a Tundra has a five and half foot bed and Tacoma has a five foot bed. And we're looking at about a 16.6 inch difference in the overall length between the two vehicles. And where you find that matters the most is in the backseat. So here in the back of the Tundra is where you really see the benefits of that added length. It actually has 10 inches more rear leg room, than the Tacoma does. And sitting back here, I definitely believe it. No, this is fantastic. This is the CrewMax cab, the biggest volume cab of any crew cab in the segment. And you feel it all in the leg room and in the size back here. It's fantastic. And it also has these huge back doors and they seem like the biggest ones is the segment and they open really wide, almost 90 degrees. So for people who need to store something back here, like a large piece of cargo that you don't want to throw on the bed and keep it secure in the cab, it allows you to do things like that as well. <v Mark>Two things I really liked, the seat bottoms actually fold up flat to give you a huge amount of area to store big box cargo here. And this rear window is actually the only one in the segment that drops all the way down giving kinda free flow air flow, here for the cab. <v Brian>Yeah. But and there's always about what the Tundra given how old it is, the backseat is definitely the highlight of this interior. When you move forward, you can definitely see how old it is and how much this truck is in need of a redesign. <v Mark>There is a lot of very dated details in that front, that whole center console looks like a transformer breastplate to me when I look at it. <v Brian>Yeah, it's big and chunky and kind of not in a way that you want in a truck. It doesn't necessarily look rugged, it looks more old. And the other problem with those large knobs and dials is they make the screen look small. So measurably the screen isn't that small, but in that dash, it looks undersize and it makes the truck feel even older. <v Mark>There's no question that truck guys, if they're wearing gloves or if they're on the job, they want big knobs, big buttons to control their truck. But with the other vehicles in the segment, making complete redesigns in the timeframe that we've only seen one generation here in the Tundra, that's where they're struggling. Yeah. And the other way that it shows it ages its in technology offerings. So like we said at the screen kind of small, but it also comes with Toyota entertainment system, which we don't really like the navigation maps look dated. Everything feels like a generation behind. And it also doesn't offer apple CarPlay or Android auto. So there are no alternatives, you have to use that system. And one final way in which it really seems old, you get four, 12 volt charging ports, but only one USB. So if you've got kids in the back, they're gonna have to fight over one device. By contrast here in the Tacoma definitely feels a lot tighter back here but more modern. Yeah. The one of the benefits of the smaller truck, bigger prices is that you're gonna get more equipment. So this is a TRD Off-Road trim, whereas that one's an SR5. So in this truck, you'll find things like leather upholstery, heated front seats, a wireless charging pad for your phone and a moonroof. And none of those things you'll find in the Tundra that we have. <v Mark>Doesn't have a drop rear window, but it does have a center section that can slide back and forth. And then there are some weird areas though, which I feel like the Tacoma does cut costs. And one of them would be the front seats, which are manual adjust seats on a $41,000 truck. <v Mark>Yeah, that sounds crazy. But technology here too, I know we mentioned in the Tundra, one USB port and a whole bunch of 12 volts. <v Brian>And here, your charging options are even less surprisingly. So there's still only one USB port and only two 12 volt ports. And you also get some cheapness in the backseat as well on the back of the center console here, there is no charging options. So if you do wanna plug something in back here, you're gonna have to reach all the way to the front. The other problem that I have with the Tacoma's backseat is that if you get car sick, like I do, there is two things that you're really not gonna like. One of them is, there's no adjustable air vents. So there's only those two small air vents down at the bottom of the center console here, which blow at your feet, so they don't help you out. And visibility here is much worse. It is like you said, it's smaller cabin, but I feel like the windows keep down a little bit far and you don't get the same level of visibility. Another area consumers care about is what's under the hood. Let's go take a look and see how they compare. Tacoma, 3.5 liter V6 278 horsepower, 265 foot pounds of torque. I'm always a little leery of engines that have higher horsepower ratings than torque numbers, trucks should be about torque. <v Brian>Yeah. And this is an engine that's familiar to us. It's one that Toyota uses up and down this lineup. And I didn't like any other applications and frankly, I don't really like it here. <v Mark>What applications is it? Highlander and Sienna. <v Brian>Yeah, Highlander and Sienna. <v Mark>That's not a truck engine. <v Brian>No, <v Mark>That's a minivan and a SUV engine. Yeah. And it shows here because it doesn't really feel like it has any punch in the bid ring. You get decent off-the-line acceleration when you get it up into the Rez, it really sings. But in the middle of there, when you want power for like passing or especially when you're doing things like towing or carrying a large load, you really want the engine to perform between like three and 5,000 RPM. I'm sure this engine does very well in fuel economy, but it's not very energetic. If you wanna push and drive this thing, you've gotta work the transmission like crazy. Yeah. Much like the rest of the Tacoma. This engine is kind of newer, but actually prefer the old school approach in the Tundra. Here in the Tundra, We've got the 5.7 liter V8. They do offer two V8, but we've got the big one here, 381 horsepower, 401 foot pounds torque. This engine is made for towing and hauling. <v Brian>Yeah. And this formula definitely seems to work better than the one that you were talking about in the Tacoma. This one has more torque than horsepower and it also has more even power up and down the rev range. So when you're passing, when you're doing activities like towing, hauling, as you mentioned, it just has even power and even delivery all the way through. Capability is 9,800 pounds I think max towing for the Tundra, but even with something close to that range of a max tow rating feels very confident when you've got that much weight behind this vehicle. Not so much with the Tacoma. One thing I did really like, I noticed that the air filters on both the V6 and the V8, the same large size, they're both moving a lot of air through these engines. Over here at the back end of these vehicles, Tacoma side-by-side with the Tundra. This is where these vehicles are defined. It is a pickup truck after all, right. So talk to me about the differences here. What are the obvious things we're seeing? Obviously the differences are slightly different lengths. So five foot bed in the Tacoma, five and a half foot bed in the Tundra, which is actually closer than I thought the two would be. And since this is a CrewMax version of the Tundra, you can only get it with a five and a half foot bed. Feature wise similar, but there are some key differences. You get a household plug back here with the Tacoma that you don't get in the Tundra. And you also have this drop-in plastic kind of bedliner versus the spray in one in the Tundra. Yeah. That's gonna save a lot of weight. It's probably gonna wear and tear a lot better too. If you don't need a huge bed, if you're not gonna carry a lot of furniture, maybe this would be perfect for somebody. But let's move over to the Tundra. So you say five and a half foot bed on this one. Yeah. And what things are sticking out here? You have an extra rail of front there, so you can outfit the bed a little bit more than you could the Tacoma. This one actually had a cover on it before which we removed, so you get a little bit more flexibility that way. One thing that I do like about the Tundra, the bed is deeper. So the two trucks actually have very similar loading heights of maybe, I don't know, under an inch of difference between the two of them, but the top of the Tacoma and so much shorter, you're able to fit more in the Tundra's bed and keep it below the rim. Spray-in bed liner it's a much rougher surface, so probably things are gonna move around less. <v Brian>And even though, as we said before, the beds are similar in length, five foot versus five and a half. You still have a pretty big gap in the overall length of the two vehicles. But where length translates in a completely different way is out here on a tight off-road course. Brian, we've had a chance to go back and forth with the coma and Tundra, what are your initial thoughts? <v Brian>Yeah. I think that both of them actually got through what we put them through today rather easily. But the size difference makes it 10 times easier to do it in the comma rather than the Tundra. So there's a tight section of there where we had to get through some trees to get to the lower part of the trail, in the Tacoma you make that turn easily every time. In the Tundra, you gotta kinda set it up. It just takes up more mental space. And it's harder to get the Tundra down through the same trail that we did that Tacoma. <v Mark>It's one of the things that a consumer has to keep in mind. What are you going to do with this vehicle? Or what do you want to do, or maybe what do you desire to do sometime in the future? And if you're doing anything off road, the nimble Tacoma, especially with a TRD off-road package is pretty amazing. Yeah. The power, the ratio, the gearing, the big wheels and tires. It does pretty well. <v Brian>Yeah. For an SR5, the Tundra is admirable, but it's out of place here a little bit. This one is at home on a trail it has got crawl control. You have multiple terrain settings. And I also noticed that the problems that we had with the engine, they kind of dissipate when you're on a trail, when you're in four high or four low, it actually feels like the engine gets into the power more quickly, it's easy to crawl over things. Whereas we're in too high on the street and we get kind of a flat disc from the engine and makes us not like it out there. <v Mark>And again, a fully loaded Tacoma with the crawl control that does some amazing things, no matter what kind of surface you're on versus an SR5 just has the four wheel drive, fairly flexible suspension, but nothing compared to the technology that we have in a $41,000 Tacoma. <v Brian>Definitely. Pickup buyers, obviously buy vehicles for very different reasons. We've had a chance to go deep into these two vehicles. Toyota offers a mid-sized pickup truck in the Tacoma and a half ton full-size in the Tundra. We've had a chance to debate a little bit here. Brian, lemme put you on the spot. Which, if you had to pick, which one would you take? Well, if I had to pick one of them, I'm taking home the Tundra. I don't actually see that much of a difference technology and equipment wise between the Tundra and Tacoma. It would be different at the Tacoma, had more charging options, a better multimedia system, but has the same entering the system. And these two actually come with identical standard safety features as of 2018. So I'm going for the Tundra. You get more room. That cab is huge. You could fit people or cargo in the back. And I think that the powertrain for me, even though you get worse fuel economy, because it is a big V8, at least you're happy when you're driving it. I love how much you can do with this Tundra. But there's so much that I like about the TRD package. All of them, the off-road in particular, amazing capability. It's a, it's a very well done mid-size pickup truck that's out there. And maybe that's why it's the number one selling mid-size pickup truck by almost two to one against everything. And a Tacoma holds insane value, though anyone who's tried to buy a used Tacoma, knows the pain because they just hold their value so well. So I think that there are very distinct advantages that each truck has. I just I'll take bigger over smaller every time. And it sounds like you'll take newer and better off road than the big V8 here. Yeah. There's a lot of great details in these two trucks, a lot of things to like about both of them. I'm okay with the split decision. Me too. For more information and data so you can make your own best decision, go to pickuptrucks.com. (upbeat music)