Would You Rather…Buy the 2021 Toyota Tundra or 2021 Ford F-250?

The 2021 Toyota Tundra and 2021 Ford F-250 are two popular pickup trucks. Yet the 2021 Toyota Tundra’s overall Consumer Reports rating is higher – ten points higher. That may not seem like a lot, but it’s a sizeable difference. So what’s different in the Tundra and F-250’s ratings, and how important are those differences?

A blue Ford F-250 against a white background.
2021 Ford F-250 | Ford

The 2021 Toyota Tundra’s transmission is better 

The 2021 Toyota Tundra and 2021 Ford F-250 have good transmission scores, but the Tundra’s road test rating is one point higher. Its transmission scores a 5/5. Routine handling receives a mediocre 3/5, while emergency handling only gets a 2/5. The Toyota Tundra’s max avoidance speed is 44 mph.

On the other hand, the F-250’s transmission scores a 4/5. Routine and emergency handling receive a 1/5. The Ford F-250’s max avoidance speed is 47 mph. These ratings are both good, and in fact they’re pretty similar. The biggest difference is the routine and emergency handling, which is certainly better in the Tundra. 

Braking could be better in both trucks

The brakes in both the 2021 Toyota Tundra and 2021 Ford F-250 could be better. Both pickup trucks get just a 1/5. This could be better. The Ford F-250 takes 155 feet to brake from 60 mph on dry pavement and 170 feet on wet pavement. In the Tundra, at a 1. The Tundra takes 153 feet to brake from 60 mph on dry pavement and 178 feet on wet pavement. Some people might be concerned about driving such a large, heavy vehicle with brakes that score a 1/5. If this is you, make sure you research brake ratings before purchasing your truck. 

The safety ratings in the F-250 are better

In addition to the brakes which are less-than-stellar, the crash-test ratings in the Tundra are mixed. The IIHS crash-tested the 2021 Toyota Tundra. The front moderate overlap, side crash, and rear crash test results are good. However, the roof crush score is only acceptable, and the front small overlap, driver side is marginal. The front small overlap, passenger-side rating is poor. 

The NHTSA has crash-tested the 2021 Toyota Tundra and gave it four stars for its overall crash, overall frontal-crash, and overall frontal-crash on the driver and passenger side. The overall side crash, side-crash driver and rear passenger side, and side pole-crash all get five stars. The rollover rating for the 4WD is four stars, but the 2WD score is only three stars.

The IIHS hasn’t tested the F-250, but the NHTSA has. The NHTSA gives the F-250 four stars for overall crash, and five stars for everything else, with two exceptions. The 2WD rollover rating is four stars, while the 4WD rollover rating is three stars. 

Although the brakes aren’t awesome in either truck and the crash-test ratings aren’t very good in the Tundra, there are still things to like about each truck. If safety is your priority though, you may not be able to get past these low ratings. Then the F-250 would be a better choice. Make sure you research the safety of any vehicle you’re considering purchasing. 

RELATED: The 2021 Toyota Tundra Is Way More Reliable Than the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500