Trucks & SUVs

Should I Buy a Toyota Tacoma or Tundra?

If you’re a Toyota fan and loyal to the brand, you have a few options when it comes to your next truck. The brand is known for its quality and consistency. Whether you want safety, a quality interior, high towing-capacity, or lots of tech features, Toyota has you covered. But which truck should you buy? The answer may lie in the most significant difference between the Toyota Tundra and Tacoma and which one meets your needs the best.

The Toyota Tacoma

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Making its way onto many lists for ‘best,’ ‘top,’ or ‘most,’ the Toyota Tacoma is a truck that takes on a lot. It’s built for hauling, going off-road, and is a great work truck. Aside from the worst year model, 2007, and possibly even the 2016 and 2017, the Tacoma has been a reliable truck overall.

It has a reputation for durability and reliability and its high residual value, too. They do well when it comes to resale, with used ones sometimes being almost as expensive as new ones.

Now in its third generation, the Toyota Tacoma has become more refined with each year. It’s not just a work truck any longer but has become a daily-use vehicle for all roads. The overall image of the truck is meant to be rugged, so the interior keeps with that trend, but other improvements that have come with the years include more safety features, added tech features, a more comfortable ride, and a quieter cabin.

But it still does an excellent job at what it has always been good at, with improvements to the truck’s tow rating that takes it from 5,000 lb towing capacity to 6,800 lbs. The engine performance has been upped with a 3.5-liter V6 that touts 278 hp and 265 lb-ft. It’s also got more room and better fuel efficiency now. The fact that it’s only getting better with the years sure makes it even more appealing. 

The Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra is another great truck, although it could use a redesign since it’s been a long 13 years since the last one. Despite that, it continues to please.

Perhaps that’s due to the ample safety features, ability to drive the trails, or the fact that it has roomy back seats. The V8 engine provides plenty of power under the hood, and 2020 brought 5.7-liters standard. They’ve added new tech features and even leather, proving their commitment to improvement.

But there’s talk that a redesign won’t happen until 2022, making fans of the truck have to wait even longer. This is causing sales to drop, so perhaps a refresh like the one in 2014 could help ease the wait. If you really like this truck, you’ll either have to get on now or wait a few more years for a new one.

Either way, it is still a powerful, capable option in the full-size truck category. In fact, it’s won Kelley Blue Book’s 5 Year Cost to Own Award due to its resale value and steady performance. It also delivers by towing up to 10,000 lbs. Both strong enough to do tough jobs and tech-savvy and comfortable enough to compete with everyday trucks, it meets just about every need. 

The biggest difference between the Tundra and Tacoma

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two comes down to capability and redesign. The Toyota Tundra is obviously a more powerful truck with its V8 engine and higher towing capacity. It’s made for the long-haul and heavy lifting.

The Toyota Tacoma doesn’t offer this same power but does seem to be a nicer everyday type truck that can also be used for work. It’s had a more recent redesign, with its latest in 2016. And its plush interior is suitable for everyday use.

Here’s what you should keep in mind

Perhaps the most important factor to determine which truck is for you is to determine why you need the truck, not just why you want it. They both have desirable traits, but one is more suitable for your work needs, and one is perhaps better for off-roading and a little weekend fun.

No matter which one you choose, though, you can be sure that the Toyota truck’s resale values will help you get the most out of your new truck