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2019 Ford F-150 vs. 2019 Toyota Tundra: Which Is Better?

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author photo by Chris O'Neill December 2018
  • The Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in America.

  • The Toyota Tundra is the oldest new pickup on the market, but touts Toyota reliability.

  • 2019 sees the return of the off-road Tundra TRD Pro trim.

The 2019 Ford F-150 and the Toyota Tundra are both viable options for anyone looking for a new full-size pickup truck. The best-selling F-150 often gets the first look of anyone in the market for a full-size truck, and for good reason, as it offers just about all of the cutting edge features one could want from a modern vehicle. The Toyota Tundra offers compelling reliability and resale value, but its aging platform puts it at a disadvantage. Below we'll take a closer look at these two competitors to determine which is truly the better buy in 2019.

2019 Ford F-150 vs. 2019 Toyota Tundra basic specs

Basic Specs

F-150

The F-150 is built in both Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City, Missouri and is the best-selling vehicle in America. The vehicle's last full redesign took place for the 2015 model year. The biggest change with the F-150's redesign was the move to an all-aluminum body that allowed for a 700-lb weight reduction and better overall efficiency. While the decision was not without controversy, after a few years on the market, the aluminum F-150 has proven its resiliency, and the aluminum construction probably isn't worth factoring into your purchase decision. A variety of engines are offered in the F-150:

2019 Ford F-150 engines:

3.3-liter V6: 290 horsepower; 265 lb-ft

MPG -- rear-wheel drive: 19 miles per gallon in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in combined driving; 4-wheel drive: 18 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined

2.7-liter Turbo V6: 325 hp; 400 lb-ft

MPG -- RWD: 20 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined; 4WD: 19 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined

5.0-liter V8: 395 hp; 400 lb-ft

MPG -- RWD: 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined; 4WD: 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined

3.5-liter Turbo V6: 375 hp; 470 lb-ft

MPG -- RWD: 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined; 4WD: 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined

3.5-liter High-Output Turbo V6: 450 hp; 510 lb-ft

MPG - 4WD: 15 mpg city/18 mpg hwy/16 mpg combined

3.0-liter Turbodiesel: 250 hp; 440 lb-ft

MPG -- RWD: 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined; 4WD: 20 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined

Tundra

Tundra assembly takes place in San Antonio, Texas. Last all-new for 2007, the Tundra is one of the oldest vehicles on the market, and is now in its 12th model year since its last redesign. Updates over the years have helped keep it competitive, but the Tundra is well overdue for a full redesign. Two basic V8 engines are offered. Both make power on par with the competition, but neither is what you'd call modern or efficient.

2019 Toyota Tundra Engines

4.6-liter V8: 310 hp; 327 lb-ft

MPG -- RWD: 15 mpg city/19 mpg hwy/16 mpg combined; 4WD: 14 mpg city/18 mpg hwy/16 mpg combined

5.7-liter V8: 381 hp 401 lb-ft

MPG -- RWD: 13 mpg city/18 mpg hwy/15 mpg combined; 4WD: 13 mpg city/17 mpg hwy/14 mpg combined

2019 Ford F-150 vs. 2019 Toyota Tundra configurations

Configurations

While the F-150 can be had in single, extended and crew cab configurations, Toyota did away with the Tundra's single cab model a few years back, leaving only extended and crew cab options available to buy new today. Both the F-150 and Tundra can be had with 5'5-foot, 6'5-foot and 8-foot bed lengths.

The F-150 offers the high-performance Raptor variant, which effectively sets the standard for factory off-road performance, thanks to long-travel suspension, a 450-hp turbocharged V6 engine, a restyled body and a bevy of off-road features. Toyota's off-road Tundra offering, the TRD Pro, should be seen as a step down from the Raptor, as it is mechanically identical to other Tundra models, save for unique shock absorbers, black wheels, a skid plate and a few other simple styling elements. If it's off-road fun you're looking for, a Tundra TRD Pro will suffice, but it's really no substitute for the one-of-a-kind Raptor.

2019 Ford F-150 vs. 2019 Toyota Tundra capability

Capability

In its most capable form, that is, equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, but in non-Raptor guise, the F-150 has a towing capacity of 13,200 pounds and offers a max payload of 3,270 pounds. In its least capable configuration, which is equipped with the 3.3-liter V6, the F-150 can tow up to 7,700 pounds and haul up to 1,990 pounds.

Equipped with the more powerful 5.7-liter V8, the Tundra can tow up to 10,200 pounds and offers a max payload capacity of 1,730 pounds. Equipped with its base-level 4.6-liter V8, the least-capable Tundra's towing and payload capacities are 6,800 pounds and 1,600 pounds, respectively.

Overall, the F-150 can tow and haul more than the Tundra in all comparable configurations, while also offering greater fuel efficiency.

2019 Ford F-150 vs. 2019 Toyota Tundra reliability

Reliability

Reliability should be sound with either of these vehicles, and both rank at or near the top of most dependability studies. Given its reputation for reliability, the Tundra historically has seen great resale value, but the F-150 is a strong performer in this regard as well. Both vehicles come with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

2019 Ford F-150 vs. 2019 Toyota Tundra interior

Interior Design & Quality

In just about every comparable trim level or configuration, the F-150 offers buyers more than the Tundra.

The base F-150 is the work truck grade "XL" model. From there, a variety of options and trim levels become available, including the luxurious King Ranch, the off-road-ready Raptor and the high-end Platinum and Limited models, the latter of which gains the Raptor's high-output twin-turbo V6 for 2019. Additional features of the Limited include a panoramic sunroof, a B&O sound system, real wood trim, 10-way adjustable driver and passenger seats, as well as high-end leather upholstery.

The Tundra line starts with the entry-level SR model, which, like the F-150 XL, serves work truck duty. From these, the SR5 model introduces amenities like fog lights, a power retracting rear window, LED headlights and an upgraded infotainment system. Limited models add leather heated seats. The TRD Off-Road package adds an off-road suspension and other bits. At the top of the lineup are the TRD Pro and Platinum models. While the TRD Pro comes with unique styling elements, off-road tires and a Fox-developed off-road suspension, the Platinum, and its western-themed, 1974 Edition counterpart, introduce high-end leather with ventilated front seats, 20" wheels and a number of other luxury touches.

New to the Limited for 2019 is the same high-output version of the Raptor's 3.5-liter twin turbo V6, making 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque, just like it does in the Raptor.

When it comes down to it, given that the design of the F-150 is a full eight years newer than that of the Tundra, the F-150 is going to feel considerably newer inside. The F-150's available Limited trim level and the addition of the high-performance EcoBoost V6 for 2019 sets it apart from the conservative Tundra even further.

When cross-shopping these two vehicles, it's worth noting that yes -- both offer "Platinum" and "Limited" trim levels, but their positions in their respective hierarchies are swapped. In the Tundra, the Platinum sits at the top of the range, while the Limited is king when it comes to the F-150.

2019 Ford F-150 vs. 2019 Toyota Tundra space

Space

With just under 41 inches of front seat headroom and 44 inches of front seat legroom, the Tundra offers slightly more space for front seat passengers than the Tundra, which offers 40 inches of headroom and 43 inches of legroom up front.

The F-150's back seat is larger, as well, with 40 inches of headroom and a whopping 44 inches of legroom, compared to the Tundra's 39 inches and 42 inches, respectively.

The Tundra does offer slightly more bed space than the F-150. With its shortest bed offering, the Tundra has 55 cu ft. of space to the F-150's 53 cu ft. Opt for a long bed, and the Tundra offers 81 cu ft. to the F-150's 77 cu ft.

Also worth noting is that while any full-size pickup is going to offer ample storage space around the cabin, the F-150 is said to offer more room in more places than the Tundra.

Infotainment & Tech

The F-150 can be had with an 8-in touchscreen running Ford's Sync 3.0 infotainment system, which is generally regarded as being simple and easy to use, despite featuring an aesthetically dated interface. Also available in the F-150 are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with 4G LTE and in-vehicle Wi-Fi. The F-150 also offers a unique trailer assist system that aids the driver with backing up and maneuvering with a trailer attached.

As has been the theme here with the Tundra, the vehicle's infotainment systems is extremely dated, bordering on obsolete. Most examples come with a 7-in touchscreen. Toyota has thus far resisted offering Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, so Tundra buyers are saddled with Toyota's dated Entune infotainment system, which is badly in need of a redesign. Wi-Fi connectivity is absent, as is any kind of trailering assistance system outside of a traditional trailer brake.

Safety

The F-150 carries a Top Safety Pick designation in crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), earning scores of Good in all categories. The Tundra, on the other hand, doesn't fare as well, likely due to its now 12-year-old design. The Tundra scores a Marginal in the small front overlap test, one up from Poor, and is also docked for its roof strength.

Both vehicles offer a comprehensive array of driver-assistance safety features. The F-150 can be had with blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and parking assist. The Tundra's full suite of available driver-assistance features comes standard. This consists of forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, automatic high beams, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control. Note that while it offers lane-departure warning, the Tundra does not offer lane-keeping assist.

While the Tundra earns points for offering its array of driver safety features as standard across the model range, the F-150 is far and above the safer vehicle.

Autotrader's Advice

This one is pretty much a no-brainer -- the F-150 is eons ahead of the Tundra in terms of technology, safety and engineering. The F-150 offers more power and efficiency, greater towing and payload capacity, along with a whole slew of convenient cabin technology that are not offered on the aging Tundra, making it the superior vehicle and earning it the nod in this comparison. That said, if you can find a great deal on a Tundra, it makes for a fine truck as well.

Find a Ford F-150 for sale

Find a Toyota Tundra for sale

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2019 Ford F-150 vs. 2019 Toyota Tundra: Which Is Better? - Autotrader