- The Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the United States.
- The Toyota Tundra is the oldest full-size pickup on the market but touts Toyota reliability.
- A new F-150 is on the way for 2021 and a new Tundra is expected for 2022.
The 2020 Ford F-150 and the 2020 Toyota Tundra remain two viable options in the highly competitive full-size truck segment. That said, today, they are appealing for drastically different reasons. The F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the United States and has been for many years. It’s often the first of the full-size trucks to adopt the latest technology, and the current generation model is offered with six different engine options, including a light-duty diesel. It’s also available in high-performance Raptor trim, which is unrivaled by any other pickup on sale today when it comes to off-road performance.
The Tundra, on the other hand, has been around for a long time. It hasn’t been redesigned since 2007, and thus offers a simplified lineup using just one engine and few of the modern comforts offered on upper trims of the F-150. The Tundra still sells in relatively strong numbers though, due to one key area — reliability. Toyota trucks are known for traveling hundreds of thousands of miles before needing major mechanical attention and as a result, the Tundra maintains a loyal following despite its aging design. Below we’ll compare these two in a number of categories to help you understand the main differences between them in 2020.
The F-150 is offered in single, extended and crew cab configurations and with standard, short and long bed lengths. The Tundra, on the other hand, is available in just extended and crew cab models. Toyota did away with a regular cab design a few years ago but offers the same available bed lengths as the Tundra. See the 2020 Toyota Tundra models for sale near you
In terms of trim levels, the Ford offers far and above the most exciting truck on the market in the F-150 Raptor, which offers exceptional off-road performance, effectively setting the standard in this burgeoning segment. The Tundra’s top-spec offering is the TRD Pro model. While it offers aggressive styling, a front skid plate and a unique off-road suspension setup, the Tundra TRD Pro sits a level below the Raptor and is better aligned with alternatives like the Ram 1500 Rebel and Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss. This is worth noting, as the Tundra TRD Pro is considerably less expensive than the Raptor, and Ford doesn’t offer an off-road-oriented F-150 in the Tundra TRD Pro’s price range. See the 2020 Ford F-150 models for sale near you
Neither the F-150 nor the Tundra boasts a luxury car interior. That said, the F-150 can be optioned to be a lot more comfortable on the inside than the Tundra. Both have blocky, utilitarian dashboards and center consoles, but the F-150’s is a little more modern and comfortable as a whole.
For 2020, the Tundra gets a new standard 8-in touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which serves to rectify one of the vehicle’s biggest weak points from past model years. Most consumer-oriented trim levels of the F-150 come with an 8-in screen as well, and also offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The F-150 has available 4G LTE with Wi-Fi capability, a more sophisticated camera system and a unique trailer assist system. Altogether, its interior and technology feel years ahead of the Tundra’s, mainly because they are.
Both vehicles are offered in a number of trim levels, from work truck-grade to luxury models. That said, the F-150’s Limited trim level comes with high-end leather, massaging seats, a panoramic sunroof and more — none of which you can get in the Tundra. Altogether, if you’re looking for a truck with a lot of features, you’ll be much happier with the F-150 than you will be with the Tundra.
Mechanicals and Capability
Ford F-150 production takes place in both Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City, Missouri. Though it was last fully redesigned for 2015, the F-150 is expected to be all-new for the 2021 model year, making this the last model year of the current-generation model. Generally the first of the full-size trucks to adopt new technology, the current-generation Tundra comes with pretty much everything you could want in a modern vehicle, offering everything from an available panoramic sunroof and a premium audio system to high-end leather seats. One of the biggest changes with the current generation F-150 was the introduction of an all-aluminum body that reduced weight, and thus allowed for better overall efficiency. A controversial decision at the time, the aluminum F-150 has proven resilient, and other automakers have since followed suit and incorporated aluminum components into their own truck designs. The F-150 is offered in a number of configurations and with a number of different engines. The base engine comes with a 6-speed automatic — all other powertrains come paired with a 10-speed.
2020 Ford F-150 Engines:
- 3.3-liter V6; 290 horsepower, 265 lb-ft of torque; rear-wheel drive: 19 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined; 4-wheel drive: 18 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined
- 2.7-liter turbo V6; 325 hp, 400 lb-ft of torque; 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 of torque; 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 of torque; 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 of torque; 4WD: 15 mpg city/18 mpg hwy/16 mpg combined
- 3.0-liter turbodiesel; 250 hp, 440 lb-ft of torque; RWD: 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined; 4WD: 20 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined
The Tundra is built alongside the midsize Tacoma at Toyota’s plant in San Antonio, Texas. Last fully redesigned for 2007, the Tundra now enters its 14th model year on sale in its current body style — twice the lifespan of the average vehicle design. The Tundra has managed to stay competitive over the years thanks to a number of updates, including a major face-lift for 2014, but altogether, this vehicle is due for a redesign. For 2020, every Tundra comes with the same engine. While strong and reliable, it lags behind the competition when it comes to power and fuel consumption.
2020 Toyota Tundra Engine:
- 5.7-liter V8; 381 hp, 401 lb-ft of torque; RWD: 13 mpg city/18 mpg hwy/15 mpg combined; 4WD: 13 mpg city/17 mpg hwy/14 mpg combined
With its most capable engine, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, the non-Raptor F-150 offers a towing capacity of up to 13,200 pounds and has a maximum payload of 3,270 pounds. In its least capable configuration, which is equipped with the 3.3-liter V6, the F-150 has a towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds and a payload of up to 1,990 pounds. With its lone engine offering, the Tundra can tow up to 10,200 pounds and has a maximum payload capacity of 1,730 pounds.
Altogether, the F-150 is generally more capable than the Tundra, although the Tundra’s lower pricing means that it’ll still be the more economical choice for a number of applications. Additionally, the F-150 has greater Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel-economy ratings than the Tundra, although real-world figures don’t always align with the EPA’s ratings.
The F-150 starts out at just over $30,000 and tops out at around $75,000 for a fully-loaded Limited model. The F-150 Raptor has a starting price of right around $55,000, although most you find will be optioned around $70,000 or so.
The ancient Tundra is priced lower than the F-150. A base-level Tundra SR starts at about $35,000, but keep in mind this comes standard with the 5.7-liter V8. A fully-loaded TRD Pro, Platinum or Texas-themed 1974 Edition Tundra tops out at around $54,000.
In crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the F-150 earns a Top Safety Pick+ designation as it receives top marks in all categories. The aging Tundra, on the other hand, doesn’t fare as well, due in large part to its now 14-year-old design. Both vehicles come with a good array of active safety features, but the F-150 offers more of them.
The F-150 is clearly the more modern of these two trucks, and for most buyers, it’s going to be the more appealing option too. That said, if you’re looking for a full-size light-duty truck with a V8 engine, not a lot of luxury features and either an extended or crew cab body style, the Tundra is worth a look and will appeal primarily to buyers whose priorities are reliability and longevity above all else. That said, if you’re a loyal Ford buyer, the Tundra probably won’t sway you to abandon the blue oval. Find a Ford F-150 for sale or Find a Toyota Tundra for sale