Skip to main content

While pickups aren’t made to last forever, some pickups do last longer than others. When it comes to Toyota pickups, it’s the Toyota Tundra that may outlast the Toyota Tacoma. But does that mean you should buy one? Let’s find out.

Toyota Tundra vs. Toyota Tacoma: What’s the difference?

The main difference between the Toyota Tundra and the Toyota Tacoma is that while the Tundra is a full-size pickup truck, the Tacoma is a compact pickup truck. As you might imagine, that difference gives the Toyota Tundra the edge when it comes to things like interior space and cargo capacity.

Another critical difference between these two Toyota pickups? Towing power. With a 5.7-liter V8 under the hood, this year’s Tundra can tow up to 10,200-pounds when properly equipped. The Toyota Tacoma, on the other hand, comes driven by a 3.5-liter V6 and is only rated to tow up to 6,800-pounds. For some pickup shoppers, that difference in towing capacity could be a dealbreaker.

A white Toyota Tundra pickup truck is seen at a car dealership in San Jose, California.
A Toyota Tundra pickup truck is seen at a car dealership in San Jose, California. | Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto

How many miles will the Toyota Tacoma last?

According to iSee Cars, if you’re shopping for a vehicle that will last, you really can’t go wrong with a Toyota. That sentiment holds true when it comes to pickups too. In fact, after analyzing more than 11.8 million cars sold in 2020, iSee Cars determined which models have the highest percentage of cars reaching 200,000-miles.

Among those on iSee Cars list of the longest-lasting vehicles? The Toyota Tacoma. Based on iSee Cars’ data, 2.8% of models sold in 2020 surpassed that 200,000-mile mark. Compare that to a 1.0% overall average for all vehicles and a 1.9% average for light-duty pickups, and that’s pretty impressive. But what’s even more impressive is the Toyota Tundra can last even longer

The Toyota Tundra can last for even longer

While 2.8% of Toyota Tacoma pickups sold in 2020 reached that 200,000-mile mark, an impressive 3.7% of Toyota Tundra models were able to do the very same. Compared to other pickups included in iSee Cars’ study, that makes the Toyota Tundra the longest-lasting pickup on the market today. 

Of course, while 2.8% of Tundra models surpassed 200,000-miles, doing so is no easy feat. According to Consumer Reports, the key to making any vehicle last for 200,000-miles is regularly scheduled maintenance. As Consumer Reports explains, “Even missing one oil change can contribute to premature engine wear, or cause damage and reduce the chances of your car remaining reliable for long.”

Meet the 1 million mile Tundra

Now, 200,000-miles is impressive. What’s even more impressive? A Toyota Tundra that’s able to last for 1 million miles. Yes, you read that right. One million miles. According to Toyota, Tundra owner Victor Sheppard was so satisfied with his Toyota pickup that even after it had surpassed 1 million miles, he continued driving it.

Sheppard’s million-mile Tundra was a 2007 model and was assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in San Antonio, TX. Before trading the truck in for a newer model, Sheppard was the sole owner of the pickup and drove it an average of 125,000-miles per year. 

But how did Sheppard’s Toyota pickup manage to reach 1 million miles? Regularly scheduled maintenance. All in all, Toyota says Sheppard logged 117 dealership service visits over nine years. According to Toyota, those service visits included timing belt replacements, oil changes, and regularly scheduled check-ups. 

Victor Sheppard  pictured with his Toyota Tundra pickup in front of a Toyota dealership.
Victor Sheppard became an unwitting Facebook marvel as friends of Greg LeBlanc Toyota followed his 2007 Tundra’s trek to hitting 1 million miles. | Toyota

Should you buy a new Tundra?

Now, there’s no denying that the Toyota Tundra can last a very long time, especially if you plan to take good care of it. But does that mean you should buy one instead of the Toyota Tacoma? Not necessarily. To decide between these pickups, we recommend considering your driving needs and how much you’re willing to spend on your next pickup. Don’t forget to take both pickups for a test drive too.