2020 Toyota Tacoma vs 2020 Toyota Tundra
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2020 Toyota Tacoma vs 2020 Toyota Tundra

By Autolist Staff | September 11 2020

2020 Toyota Tacoma

2020 Toyota Tundra

Our User's Take

What owners think


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2020 Toyota Tacoma score: 7/10

Highlights:
  • A generous list of standard driver assistance features.
  • Bold styling for off-road-oriented models.
  • Fuel economy is unremarkable for the class.

2020 Toyota Tundra score: 6.9/10

Highlights:

-Spacious back seats.

  • Tons of cutting-edge technological amenities.
  • Impressive reliability and resale value.
  • Powerful V8 engine

How they stack up:

Safety Features:

Toyota Tacoma: 8/10

  • Unlike most compact pickups, the Tacoma comes standard with a number of driver assistance features intended to prevent crashes altogether. All models get adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, and automatic high beams, while features such as blind-spot monitoring and rear parking sensors can be added. Some rivals don’t offer any of these features, so the Toyota stands out here.

  • It also holds up well in crash tests. The Tacoma received four out of five stars from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave it a Top Safety Pick, which is a high score for its class.

Toyota Tundra: 7/10

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2020 Toyota Tundra a safety rating of four out of five. Meanwhile, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave this truck Poor to Good crash test ratings.

  • All trim levels of this new pickup truck feature the Safety Sense P driver assistance suite of passive and active safety systems, including adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, radar cruise control, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, and automatic emergency braking.

  • Each Tundra also comes with anti-lock brakes, eight airbags, a backup camera, stability control, and trailer sway control.

  • The safety features that come with this truck work well. Unfortunately, the vehicle's adaptive cruise control isn't helpful in stop-and-go traffic, since it isn't full-speed.

Value:

Toyota Tacoma: 5/10

  • Base Tacomas start at relatively reasonable prices but can rise quickly when more creature comforts are added. For 2020, all models get items such as a sliding rear window, four doors, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But the base model comes with a four-cylinder engine and lacks things like alloy wheels and keyless entry. A 4x4, leather-lined version easily surpasses $40,000.

  • And the off-road-oriented TRD models don’t come cheap, either. It starts to push the Tacoma past other compact pickups and deep into the price range of full-size trucks or more accomplished SUVs that could be easier to live with every day.

Toyota Tundra: 7/10

  • Compared to its rivals in the full-size pickup market, the 2020 Toyota Tundra has an impressive array of features but an outdated design with mediocre handling.

  • Given all its standard features and its solid resale value, the Tundra's starting price of $35,000 is reasonable for this market.

  • Toyota Tundras tend to stay reliable for a long time, so drivers don't need to worry much about premature maintenance costs.

Efficiency:

Toyota Tacoma: 7/10

The Tacoma’s standard four-cylinder engine and two-wheel-drive only get 23 mpg highway, according to the EPA. That’s slightly worse than some rivals do with much more powerful engines and four-wheel-drive. The V6 4x4 models only achieve 22 mpg highway, far below some competitors with similar configurations.

Part of the Tacoma’s problem is that it still uses a six-speed transmission when competitors have mostly adopted eight, nine, or 10-speed transmissions. Some also offer diesel engines that get far better fuel economy. Even full-size pickups generally get better fuel economy than the Tacoma.

Toyota Tundra: 7/10

  • Full-size trucks rarely have strong fuel economy, and the 2020 Tundra is no exception. According to the EPA, the rear-wheel-drive version of this truck gets 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on highways for a combined 15 mpg, whereas the full-wheel-drive version gets 13 and 17 mpg on city roads and highways, respectively, for a combined 14 mpg. Just remember that offroading and cargo hauling can tax your fuel economy dramatically.

  • The base truck's fuel tank can hold 26.4 gallons, while the TRD Pro trim level can hold 38 gallons. Many competitors have mild-hybrid or diesel variants, but the Tundra just has one engine, and, in terms of fuel efficiency, this engine falls short of the V8s available for the Dodge Ram 1500, Ford F-150, and Chevrolet Silverado 1500.

Driving Experience:

Toyota Tacoma: 6/10

  • The Tacoma never lets passengers forget it’s a truck, but that’s par for the course. The on-road ride is generally choppy and is only made worse when selecting one of the TRD models and their off-road tires and suspensions. Some rivals may be softer-riding, but the Tacoma holds its own for the most part.

  • However, it could use more power. Even with the V6, the Tacoma can struggle for power when others with more horsepower or turbocharged engines get up to highway speeds with less hassle. Four-cylinder models are even more gutless and are likely best avoided. And depending on the combination of cab size and bed length, the Tacoma can be just as ungainly to maneuver in town as a full-size truck, which can further put its price tag into question.

Toyota Tundra: 7/10

  • Just one engine sits in the 2020 Toyota Tundra, a competitive 5.7-liter i-FORCE V8 capable of 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission carries over from previous models and shows its age with slow gearshifts.

  • Acceleration isn't bad, though, as the Tundra can reach 60 mph in about seven seconds. The brake pedal feels clunky, but the Tundra can brake down from 70 mph in just 190 feet. Visibility in the new Tundra is impressive.

  • The new Tundra lacks the smooth ride of the Dodge Ram 1500 or Ford F-150, especially when the bed lacks cargo or when the vehicle's riding over a bumpy road. In addition, the truck's large size makes navigating narrow spaces difficult, and parking can be especially tricky.

Tech Features:

Toyota Tacoma: 7/10

  • For the 2020 model year, Toyota has kept the Tacoma relatively up-to-date in terms of infotainment systems, with all vehicles receiving a 7-inch touchscreen, two USB ports, and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s upgradable on some versions to an 8-inch unit, too.

  • Other tech includes built-in navigation, rear parking sensors, a JBL audio system, and a multi-view monitor that can assist in off-road maneuvers. The Tacoma doesn’t really have any surprises when it comes to the latest automotive technology, but none of its rivals do, either.

Toyota Tundra: 8/10

  • The 2020 Tundra come standard with a wealth of technological amenities, including a Wi-Fi hotspot, Amazon Alexa, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, heated and power-adjustable mirrors, satellite radio, Bluetooth, voice recognition, and a seven-inch Entune touchscreen infotainment system.

  • The Entune touchscreen infotainment system has a smooth, responsive interface but small buttons that some drivers may find unintuitive. Fortunately, menu shortcut buttons flank the display, and you can preset your favorite radio station on Entune for convenience.

  • Three USB ports are available, and all trim levels of this new car are smartphone-compatible. The base trim Tundra features a six-speaker stereo, but the Double Cab Tundra SR5 comes with a seven-speaker stereo, while the CrewMax SR5 stereo has nine speakers.

Style & Design:

Toyota Tacoma: 7/10

  • The Tacoma has many costumes, depending on the trim. Base models are fairly pedestrian, while Limited models are noticeably more posh and aggressive from the outside, with lots of color-keyed accents and chrome. SR5 4x4 models add a little sportiness, as well. But it’s the TRD models that embrace their persona, with large block “TOYOTA” script in front and black wheels. It’s bold and distinctive for the class.

  • The interior is built to a price, however. It screams durability more than anything, even on the models costing in excess of $40,000. While newer technologies have been decently integrated, newer designs in the segment have a more cohesive layout that’s also more user-friendly. They also make the Toyota seem dated, even though it recently received a round of updates.

Toyota Tundra: 6/10

  • Like earlier versions of Toyota's pickup line, the 2020 Tundra's body style may not please everyone. A large grille dominates the front, and bulky, old-fashioned lines characterize the styling. The truck boasts chrome bumpers and a tailgate bearing the word "Tundra."

  • The Tundra comes standard with a 145.7-inch wheelbase, but the long-bed extended cab version of the truck has a wheelbase of 164.6 inches. The Tundra ranges in length from 228.9 to 247.8 inches, depending on the trim. Most 2020 Tundras are 79.9 inches wide and 76 to 76.4 inches tall, with the TRD Pro trim level being 77.2 inches tall. The base model comes with 18-inch steel wheels, but 20-inch alloy wheels are on offer as well.

  • Function precedes form with the 2020 Toyota Tundra. Compared to most rivals in 2020, the vehicle's cabin materials are lackluster, though many people may find the soft surfaces and seat stitching of the leather upholstery comfortable.

  • The truck's interior is roomy. Occupants in the front seats enjoy 42.5 inches of legroom. The back seats offer 34.7 and 42.3 inches of legroom for the Double Cab and CrewMax models, respectively.

  • A six-way power-adjustable passenger seat is available for extra comfort, as is a 10- or 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat.

  • One unique trick the Tundra has up its sleeve is an optional rear window that rolls down completely, giving far more access and ventilation than most trucks' small sliding window section.

Practicality:

Toyota Tacoma: 7/10

  • There are two cab sizes and two bed lengths, depending on the trim level. That’s more choice than some offer in this class, but it lets customers better tailor their Tacoma to certain needs. Payload tops out at 1,600 pounds, while a Tacoma can tow up to 6,700 pounds when properly equipped.

  • Other than that, the Tacoma is a typical compact pickup. While the dimensions aren’t as ungainly as a full-size truck’s, there are a few compromises. Even the largest cab design is tight for four adults, and a family will struggle to find room for odds and ends because there isn’t an abundance of covered storage.

Toyota Tundra: 6/10

  • The base Tundra has a towing capacity of 8,800 pounds, though a maximum towing capacity of 10,200 pounds is available for higher trims. The vehicle's payload capacity is 1,520 to 1,730 pounds, depending on the trim level.

  • This full-size truck has ample cargo space, with three bed lengths on offer: 5.5 feet, 6.5 feet, and 8.1 feet. Each bed is 22.2 inches deep and 50 inches wide. With each bed comes optional amenities, such as lights, power outlets, tie-downs, and a storage compartment.

  • The Double Cab comes with an extra storage compartment under the back seats. None of the Tundra's seats fold flat, though the rear seats can fold up.

  • Compared to other full-size trucks, the Tundra is about average in terms of practicality and lacks special perks. In addition, the vehicle's towing capacity is below average.

Cost of Ownership

2020 Toyota Tacoma

2020 Toyota Tundra

Annual Fuel Costs

$1,807
15k miles at $2.168/gal
$2,323
15k miles at $2.168/gal
Fuel Economy

17 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
13 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
20 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway
17 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway

Safety

2020 Toyota Tacoma

2020 Toyota Tundra

NHTSA Crash Test Results

Overall
Overall
Safety Features

Standard
Autonomous Braking
Standard
Autonomous Braking
Standard
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Lane-Keep Assist
Standard
Lane-Keep Assist
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert

Interior

2020 Toyota Tacoma

2020 Toyota Tundra

Interior Features

Standard
Leather
Standard
Leather
Standard
Moonroof
Standard
Moonroof
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Climate Control
Standard
Climate Control
Technology

Standard
Apple Carplay
Standard
Apple Carplay
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Navigation System
Standard
Navigation System

Under the Hood

2020 Toyota Tacoma

2020 Toyota Tundra

Powertrain

Transmission
Transmission
4X4
Drivetrain
4X2
Drivetrain
Drivetrain

N/A
Horsepower
N/A
Horsepower
N/A
Torque
N/A
Torque
N/A
Cylinders
N/A
Cylinders