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2021 Toyota Tundra vs. 2021 Ford F-150: Which Is Better?

One features excellent reliability and resale value but is the oldest new vehicle on sale in the United States while the other offers innovative work solutions to help make the job faster and easier. The 2021 Toyota Tundra and 2021 Ford F-150 are two rivals of the light-duty truck wars. Which is better?

Quick Facts

  • The 2021 Toyota Tundra has brawny styling, excellent reliability and a spacious cab. It has been updated, but not as much as others in the segment.
  • The 2021 Ford F-150 offers a wide range of cab sizes, bed lengths, powertrains and trim levels. It includes a load of technology to improve work and living experiences in a truck.

2021 Toyota Tundra

2021 Toyota Tundra Front Right Side in Flat Light Green

Base Price:  $35,270/ Read our 2021 Toyota Tundra Review

What we like: Toyota’s excellent ride quality; exceptional backseat space; Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration; accident avoidance technology is standard in every trim level

What we would change: Tundra is in need of an intense updating both inside and out; less than adequate fuel economy; outdated six-speed transmission; interior is not ergonomically friendly

Overview: The 2021 Toyota Tundra is the full-size pickup truck from a brand known for reliability and innovation. The trouble is that lately they haven’t been innovating in this segment. A 5.7-liter V8 engine generating with 6-speed automatic transmission is the only powertrain available with either rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or four-wheel-drive (4WD) with an electronic transfer case ($3,050).

What’s new for 2021: For 2021, two limited-edition packages are available. The Trail Special Edition starts with features from the SR5 CrewMax truck and goes further with an SR5 Upgrade package. Add in 18-inch wheels, a spray-in bedliner with lockable bed storage, including an insulated driver’s side storage locker that can double as a cooler. New Nightshade Edition is introduced which builds on the features of the Limited trim model. Both can be outfitted with optional 4WD.

Features and Technology: The 2021 Toyota Tundra powertrain is unchanged and powered by a singular engine: Toyota’s award-winning 5.7-liter V8 that makes 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. Connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission, it can be had standard, with a rear-drive configuration or at extra cost as a 4WD pickup.

Other important features include an integrated trailer brake controller, trailer sway warning, and safety assists like forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and emergency braking. Adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic high beams and more are also in the mix. The Limited model includes leather seating surfaces and a center console that reduces seating from six to five but opens up valuable workspace inside.

Finally, a TRD Off-Road package is available on the SR5, Limited and 1794 models, adding all-terrain tires on 18-in wheels, trail-tuned Bilstein shocks, skid plates, tow hooks, LED headlights/fog lights, off-road mats, and special styling elements. It’s the perfect way to dress up your Tundra just a little bit further.

What does the future hold? Rumors are abuzz about a complete redesign of the Toyota Tundra. Keep tuned into Autotrader for breaking Tundra news as it occurs. See the 2021 Toyota Tundra models for sale near you

2021 Ford F-150

2021 Ford F-150 Profile in Black

Base Price:  $28,940 / Read our 2021 Ford F-150 Review

What we like: It’s the Big Magilla when it comes to towing, payload and power; the interior could best be described as functional luxury; hybrid powertrain now available; innovative on-board generator

What we would change: Updated looks and new styling are good but evolutionary; largest models can be tough to park and maneuver; top trim levels reach deep into your wallet

Overview: All-new for 2021, the Ford F-150 is the segment leader. Still, the Blue Oval has updated its styling, redesigned the interior and improved the infotainment system. They wrap it all up with a claim of “best-in-class towing and payload.”

What’s new for 2021: For 2021, the Ford F-150 is almost all-new, with newly revised powertrains including an all-new hybrid system, and 11 (!) new grille arrangements. New tailgate work surfaces and even a new Raptor will soon be available.

Features and Technology: Six engines are available including a 3.3-liter V6, a 5.0-liter V8 with 400 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque, a 3.0-liter PowerStroke Diesel, a 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 with 400 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque and the new PowerBoost Hybrid powertrain. At 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque, it’s the most torque of any F-150, with maximum towing capacity of 12,700 pounds. One of our favorite features is the Pro Power On-board power inverter which is standard and allows you to run electrical tools with the F-150 as a power source.

Of course, what the Ford really offers is choice. With a variety of cabs, beds, powertrains and capacities, there are literally hundreds of ways to configure your F-150.

What does the future hold: Since the Ford F-150 is a new, if evolutionary vehicle for 2021, we expect to see some minor changes over the next two to three years.  See the 2021 Ford F-150 models for sale near you.

Tundra vs. F-150: Strengths Comparison

Toyota Tundra benefits: Top shelf build quality, reliability and resale value continue to help this somewhat older package. Spacious Crew Max interior offers plenty of legroom.

Ford F-150 benefits: There are many ways to configure this ½-ton pickup. Pick from six engines, a variety of cabs, beds, and drive configurations and the new Pro Power onboard power generator. Oh, and 14,000 pounds of towing capability.

2021 Toyota Tundra vs. 2021 Ford F-150: Which is better?

Both the Toyota Tundra and Ford F-150 pickups are massively impressive pickup trucks. The Tundra offers quality and reliability but the F-150 has more capability and can clearly haul more. When you add in the Pro Power onboard power generator, we think the Ford F-150 is better! Find a 2021 Toyota Tundra for sale or Find a 2021 Ford F-150 for sale

2021 Toyota Tundra 2021 Ford F-150
Popular Powertrains
Engine 5.7-liter V8 3.3-liter V6
Horsepower 381 @ 5,600 290 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque 401 lb-ft @ 3,600 265 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic 10-speed automatic
Fuel Economy 15 mpg (13 city/17 hwy) 21 mpg (20 city/24 hwy)
Also Available 4WD; Cab sizes; Bed Sizes; TRD Pro Model Turbo 2.7-, turbo 3.5-liter V6; 5.0-liter V8; 3.0-liter turbo diesel V6; hybrid; AWD; Cabs and Beds;
Warranty 3years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating 4 star 4 star
Max Seating Capacity 6 6
Wheelbase 145.7 inches 145 inches
Overall Length 228.9 inches 231.7 inches
Width 79.9 inches 79.9 inches
Height 76 inches 75.6 inches
Turning Diameter 44 feet 47.8 feet
Headroom, Front 39.7 inches 40.8 inches
Headroom, Rear 38.9 inches 40.4 inches
Legroom, Front 42.5 inches 43.9 inches
Legroom, Rear 42.3 inches 43.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 65.7 inches 66.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 65.7 inches 66 inches
EPA Passenger Volume N/A N/A
Max Payload 1,340-1,520 pounds 1,745 to 2,238 pounds



Mark Elias
Mark Elias
Mark Elias is a writer and photographer specializing in automotive topics ranging from new and used cars to classics and motorsports. His first car was a Matchbox Jaguar D-Type. From there, things have only become larger. During his professional career, he has been a staff photographer for the Associated Press, a contract photographer for Bloomberg News, and a contributor to automotive outlets... Read More about Mark Elias

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