• Comparisons

Toyota Tacoma vs. Toyota Tundra

By Autolist Staff | January 17, 2019

2018 Toyota Tacoma

2018 Toyota Tundra

Automotive Website Analyzed


83%

Really Good

You should buy it

67%

Satisfactory

Maybe buy it

Our User's Take

What owners think


100%

Would Buy Again

5 Ratings

100%

Would Buy Again

5 Ratings


What’s better about the Tacoma?

It’s cheaper. The Tacoma is the smaller of the two, so naturally it’s cheaper. This midsize model starts at $26,595, compared to the Tundra’s starting price of $32,815 (both prices include destination). If you’re on a budget but have your heart set on a Toyota truck, the Tacoma is your best bet.

It’s newer. Toyota hasn’t given the Tundra a thorough makeover since 2007; the Tacoma, on the other hand, was redesigned for the 2016 model year. This means the Tacoma will be more modern in its amenities and build quality (though Toyota has done a decent job of keeping the Tundra fresh).

Better resale value. The Tacoma has long been considered the leader of the midsize truck pack, with bulletproof reliability and class-leading capabilities. So its resale value is excellent, no matter how old. The Tundra, on the other hand, is generally thought of as an also-ran compared to the full-size trucks from Ford, Chevy and Ram, which dominate the sales charts. So it commands less on the used market.


What’s better about the Tundra?

More capabilities. As you might expect given that the Tundra is a full-size V8 truck versus the Tacoma’s midsize designation, the Tundra can do more. Its payload is higher (1,730 vs 1,540 max) and its tow rating is higher (10,200 lbs vs the Tacoma’s 6,800 lbs max).

Space. This is an obvious one. The Tundra offers huge amounts of interior space and bed space, whereas the interior of the Tacoma can feel cramped and the bed size is smaller (but average for a midsize truck). This lends an upscale feel to the experience of driving the bigger, higher Tundra.

Bigger engines. The Tundra offers a choice of V8 engines: a base, 4.6-liter unit that makes 310 horsepower or an optional 5.7-liter engine that makes 381 horsepower. Most models of the Tacoma have a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 278 horsepower; the base model uses a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with 159 horsepower.


Autolist’s take:

This is a tough one because it all depends on what you need out of a truck. The Tundra is big, capable and comfy. But it’s getting old relative to both the smaller Tacoma and its fellow full-size rivals (Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Chevy Silverado), all of which are newer and significantly more competitive. The Tacoma on the other hand, remains at the top of the midsize truck class, and while it can’t do the things the Tundra can, it’s also smaller, cheaper, more fuel efficient and consistently in higher demand than the Tundra is. So for this reason, if it’s between these two models, we say Buy the Tacoma.

Cost of Ownership

2018 Toyota Tacoma

2018 Toyota Tundra

Annual Fuel Costs

$2,127
15k miles at $2.552/gal
$2,732
15k miles at $2.55/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

2018 Toyota Tacoma

2018 Toyota Tundra

NHTSA Crash Test Results

4 stars
Overall
4 stars
Overall
Safety Features

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

Interior

2018 Toyota Tacoma

2018 Toyota Tundra

Interior Features

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

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

Under the Hood

2018 Toyota Tacoma

2018 Toyota Tundra

Powertrain

6-Speed Shiftable Automatic
Transmission
6-Speed Shiftable Automatic
Transmission
4X4
Drivetrain
4X2
Drivetrain
Drivetrain

159+ HP @ 5200 RPM
Horsepower
310+ HP @ 5600 RPM
Horsepower
180+ lb-ft @ 3800 RPM
Torque
327+ lb-ft @ 3400 RPM
Torque
I4
Cylinders
V8
Cylinders