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Toyota Tacoma vs. Tundra: Everything You Need to Consider before Buying!

Toyota Tacoma vs. Tundra: Everything You Need to Consider before Buying!

The Toyota Tacoma vs. Toyota Tundra debate is always ongoing. So which one is superior? Before you choose one, you should know what to expect from each. 

Toyota has a well-deserved and long-standing reputation for superior elegance and efficiency.

Keeping this in mind, you may find it difficult to choose between the Toyota Tacoma and the Toyota Tundra, which are both renowned Toyota trucks with good features and prices.

When it comes to dependable power in the shape of a truck, both the Tacoma and the Tundra are big names. They have extensive off-road capabilities and can be used to transport equipment or numerous passengers. Their main differences come in their exteriors, interiors, and how powerful they are.

When it comes to deciding between the Tacoma vs. Tundra, understanding how you want to use it is essential.

The questions you should ask yourself in this regard are whether you will be hauling huge loads, venturing into unexplored regions, or whether you will be remaining in town. 

We have tested both Toyota Tacoma and Tundra to determine the similarities and differences between them.

Toyota Exterior


Even though the Tacoma is visibly smaller than the Tundra, there are various additional distinguishing features on the outside of both vehicles.

The SR version is by far the most basic variant for both the Tundra and the Tacoma. The front end, particularly the grilles, are the key distinguishing features.

Although both the Tacoma and the Tundra feature hexagonal grilles, they are not identical. 

The Tacoma’s grille is much more distinct and geometric than the Tundra’s, which is larger and blockier.

The Tacoma’s appearance is sleeker thanks to angled headlights and a non-obtrusive, blended bumper. 

The hood bulge located above the grille, which has a tiny rectangular hole, is one defining element of the Tundra’s grille.

The stocky image of this truck is enhanced by a huge projecting bumper and larger headlamps. The wheels of both the trucks are similar in shape. 

Both have an identical tailgate with engraved text in different places on the rear side.

A honeycomb grille and a bonnet scoop are further additions to the Tacoma TRD Sport that offer the truck a more menacing appearance.


The interiors of the Tundra and the Tacoma are nearly identical. Power windows, mirrors, and door locks come standard on both trucks’ base versions.

Each vehicle is also fitted with a factory-installed backup camera.

The Tacoma’s cabin is silent thanks to improved aerodynamics, which were specifically engineered to limit the noise of the wind. 

The infotainment unit in the Toyota Tacoma is the touchscreen, but it lacks Android Auto and Apple Car Play which is a significant disadvantage for smartphone owners.

The Tacoma has an incorporated GoPro mount located on the windshield, a fairly interesting addition for off-roading enthusiasts.

Moving towards the Tundra, it received some exceptional internal upgrades in 2018. 

A redesigned 4.2-inch driver monitor gauge cluster makes it simple to see critical vehicle data. Even if the Tundra isn’t as opulent as some other vehicles, the new version will come with an improved brown leather interior. 

Unlike the Tacoma, the Tundra offers memory driver’s seats and electric seats. In addition to warmed front seats, this truck also has cooled front seats.

The Tundra has identical infotainment settings as that of the Tacoma.

Because many people use trucks for business, they value efficiency over comfort when buying.

When you get into the driver’s seat after a hard day at work, the last thing you want is to feel confined in a cramped space. 

The Tundra has a bit more room within, as it can accommodate six people opposed to five.

The legroom at the front is almost half an inch less than the Tacoma’s. However, the Tacoma has more head space. 

Ultimately, the Toyota Tundra provides a more spacious ride for more passengers.

However, if you’re able to ignore the lack of space and focus purely on comfort, the Tacoma should be right up your alley.

The Tacoma has several fresh interior feature changes that help it stand out, but it is narrower than the Tundra.

If legroom and sitting capacity are priorities for you when determining whether to purchase a Tundra or a Tacoma, choose the larger vehicle.


Toyota’s midrange truck, the Tacoma, is available with two options for the engine: a four-cylinder 2.7 liter one and a bigger V6 engine with a 3.5-liter capacity. 

With the larger engine, you can choose between a six-speed manual gearbox and a six-speed automatic gearbox if you prefer more control. 

When it comes to the Tundra, it is a full-size truck designed to compete with renowned vehicles like the Chevy Silverado and Nissan Titan.

The Tundra, just like the Tacoma, comes with two engine choices: a V8 4.6 liter engine and a V8 5.7 liter one.

According to the figures, the 2017 Toyota Tacoma is between 212 and 216 inches in length based on the cab and bed arrangement.

The Tacoma has a width of 74 inches and a height of 71 inches.

The 2017 Toyota Tundra, on the other hand, is 229-248 inches in length, 80 inches in width, and 76-77 inches tall. It is thicker in general.

Even though some measurements may not seem important, they can make a significant difference with regard to internal comfort and the amount of luggage you can carry in the bed. 

Fuel Efficiency

The Tacoma has a fuel efficiency greater than  the Tundra because it is a smaller vehicle with a smaller engine.

The small four-cylinder 2.7-liter engine gets 20 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per gallon on the interstate.

Despite its bigger capacity, the V6 3.5-liter engine achieves slightly worse fuel economy, with 17 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the interstate.

The Tundra is not far behind, although its vast bulk makes it marginally lesser fuel-efficient.

The small V8 4.6-liter engine manages to get 15 miles per gallon in the city and 19 miles per gallon on the interstate. 

The V8 5.7-liter engine, on the other hand, delivers 13 mpg in the city with 17 mpg on the interstate. 

The Toyota Tundra is a warrior and powerhouse in a nutshell.


Hauling Power 

Even though the Tacoma is the smaller among the two vehicles, it still can pull up to 3,500 lbs., proving that it is capable of hauling heavy loads.

You can order the Tacoma with the bigger engine capacity, which can pull up to 6,800 lbs.  

On the other hand, the Tundra can haul up to 10,200 lbs, which means that if you need to haul off-road equipment or a boat, the Tundra will be the best option.

The Tacoma is the perfect truck for usage on the field or the worksite.

Both the Tacoma and the Tundra come with four-wheel and two-wheel drive options, but given how unpredictable the weather can be, the former is often the better option.

If you enjoy driving in the mud, the TRD Off-Road or TRD PRO versions of the Tacoma provide trail-ready capability and agility.

While the Tundra may sport the TRD PRO trim for certain trail capabilities, it lacks the Tacoma’s freestyle attitude.

Both Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Tundra are powerful vehicles. They are in a class of their own and have exceptional off-roading capabilities.

They are also equipped with strong engines that make it easier for them to haul heavy-duty equipment. The Tundra is larger and more powerful than Tacoma.

However, the Tacoma is still quite capable, and its standard 2.7L engine produces a generous amount of power. 

Summing Up the Toyota Tacoma vs. Tundra

Personal choice will determine which truck is best for you. If you’re a weekend warrior who requires a truck to transport your large toys, the Tacoma could be the vehicle for you.

However, if you require a truck to use on the construction site or farm, the Tundra is ideal. You can make an informed decision based on the above-mentioned capabilities.

Compare the specifications of each model to decide which will be best for you!

Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!