The full-size truck segment is hotter than ever, with more buyers turning away from cars in recent years and more opting for SUVs and trucks. Boasting functionality, capability, and practicality, full-size trucks can do it all. But some trucks are more practical than others. Which new truck will do the job best? The 2020 Toyota Tundra or 2020 GMC Sierra?
The 2020 Toyota Tundra: pros and cons
The 2020 Toyota Tundra is rated number-two among all full-sized pickup trucks, according to Consumer Reports. It comes with a decent overall score of 62/100, and good predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings of four (out of five).
Although the Tundra comes with one of the highest starting prices of new pickups, at around $33,000, that price offers value. Like the majority of Toyota vehicles, the Tundra has been around for years and has earned a solid reliability rating. In addition, Toyota vehicles are often accompanied by low ownership/maintenance costs, as well as hold high resale value.
Calling its sole engine “the Tundra’s best attribute,” the 2020 Toyota Tundra comes with only one available engine: a 5.7-liter eight-cylinder making 381 hp. It may not offer buyers variety, but the Tundra’s engine is one of the most powerful in its class.
Producing effortless power, the Tundra’s engine is paired to a smooth, six-speed automatic transmission. Although rear-wheel drive comes standard, four-wheel drive is optional.
Over the years, the Tundra has earned a “workhorse” title, most often focusing on capability and power more-so than modern amenities and comfort. Known especially for its off-roading TRD version, the Tundra is one tough truck.
Its maximum towing capacity of more than 10,000 lbs is still competitive within the segment, and unlike other full-size trucks, the Tundra’s towing package comes standard. While owners might not find an endless array of configurations with the Tundra, working hard is one thing the Tundra knows how to do.
The newest Tundra is larger than ever before and more modern than ever before, but its modern updates are still lagging behind competitors. Even though Toyota continues to update its truck line to compete with today’s modern pickups, the Tundra’s technology and convenience features still fall behind. But with hard work to do, the Tundra has little-else to focus on.
The 2020 GMC Sierra: pros and cons
As General Motors’ more upscale version of Chevrolet, GMC offers what the truck market considers more of a luxury-like style pickup. According to U.S. News, the 2020 GMC Sierra features modern, easy-to-use technology, spacious and comfortable seating, and a variety of configurations and options for buyers. It comes with a fairly low starting price of around $30,000, but can near $60,000 with certain models.
Owners of the 2020 GMC Sierra have a choice between five engines: the standard six-cylinder, a turbocharged four-cylinder, a turbodiesel, and two eight-cylinders. And although “it’s powerful, composed, and comfortable,” “it doesn’t lead the class in any areas.” This includes towing capacity, which is impressive at up to more than 12,000 lbs, but hindered by the Sierra’s poor reliability score.
It is this low-reliability score that helped the 2020 GMC Sierra sink down into the number-seven spot on Consumer Reports’ full-sized truck ratings. Even with a good road test score of 78/100, the Sierra’s extremely low predicted reliability score of one (out of five), hinders all of its best attributes. While the Sierra certainly “looks good,” “there are rivals that match or exceed it in most areas.”
Toyota Tundra vs. GMC Sierra: a clear winner for practical truck shoppers
Both the Toyota Tundra and GMC Sierra receive good reviews from experts. But the biggest differences between the Tundra and Sierra are also the biggest factors behind making your next purchase.
While the GMC Sierra certainly offers more for owners in the way of technological amenities and creature comforts, how much modernization does your truck really need? Considered an upscale truck, the GMC is less of a worker and more of a show-stopper.
And while the Toyota Tundra may have a lackluster interior, it’s designed to do one thing well: be a truck. Not only does the Tundra tow, haul, and traverse well, but it’s also considered a tremendous value all around.
As one of the most reliable trucks on the market for years, the Toyota Tundra can get the job done for many years to come and may just be the most practical truck you could find.