Sibling Rivalry Video: How Do Toyota's Pickups Stack Up?

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It's hard to find information about choosing between a full-size or mid-size pickup truck. That's why we wrote Sibling Rivalry: 2018 Toyota Tundra Vs. 2018 Toyota Tacoma, which put the trucks through many of the basic scenarios you're likely to encounter when living with them.

Of course, knowing what you need and want is always the best way to start a big decision like this, but we hope we've helped a little as well. This video looks at the two trucks a little differently but gets to the crux of the matter: the strengths and weaknesses of the two Toyota players. Check out what Editor Mark Williams and Los Angeles Bureau Chief Brian Wong discovered about the two pickups as they put them through daily-driver paces and more.

Let us know what you think of this format in the comments section below — and anything else you you'd like to see us cover. Enjoy. photos by Christian Lantry




Hello Mark,
Please let Toyota know that if they want to continue to be King of the midsizer's that they need to push the cab forward 6 inches and then add 5 inches into the crew legroom, and 5 inches into the bed length. All so that overall utility of the Tacoma will increase and still fit into a 235" garage. If they don't then be prepared to be dethroned when Tesla or VW enter the market.

prepared to be dethroned when Tesla or VW enter the market.


You've referenced TWO companies that have each suffered serious wounds recently as a result of their executives failing to follow the rules.

Couldn't you think of anybody else?

For a halfton truck, that Tundra has one beefy hitch. The F150 hitch I looked looks like the one on the Tacoma. I honestly think the Tundra is over built for a halfton. I took a ride in F150 and then in the Tundra and you can tell the Tundra was built for work while the F150 was built for mall. No matter if the Tundra still rides on an old platform, it is one robust one so I don't think the F150 can take repeated work uses like the Tundra.

The Tacoma needs to update it's seating position, it's just too low to the floor, that kind of design is reserved for cars. IMO, the tacoma is still riding on the same cab since '05 that's why they didn't change the seating positions. Also, Crewcabs, regardless of make, should have a minimum of 36" of rear leg room.

@Papajim. No. But I couldn't care less.

Tesla has managed to single handedly get the whole industry to change course. Granted with huge fits and starts. I'm still peddling past the T plant, and the construction of ~3000 apartments is in full swing!

My Google, elite running buddy of 55 just picked up his Model 3 and we compared his Frunk to that of a Model S dual motor Frunk. The Model 3's was a little bigger, but to my surprise one can't fit a set of golf clubs in the Frunk. So far he's really happy with his 3 and mentioned that the biggest thing is that he never has to go to a gas station again.

I think that's how we'll get more cab forward, ie, into the Frunk.

We've covered this ground before Angelo.

It might be a bit hyperbolic to suggest that electric vehicles represent a threat to the likes of the Tacoma and the Tundra, all because you are convinced that alternative power sources present the chance to shorten vehicles.

Lengthening garages makes more sense.

I own two Tacoma's, both with the 2.7 liter, one with 5-speed manual and the other with the 6-speed auto, they are both solid and run well.

Where the manual gives the power when I demand it, the 6-speed I have to press the ECT button and trust me gives me enough power to pass multiple vehicles on 2-lane roads!

The 2010 is mainly an off-road monster with 33's...

The 2016 is my daily driver that I use on my land hauling my 65-gallon water tank, my tractor mower that fits in the bed with tailgate closed and other equipment.

My Tacoma's fit the bill. I do not need a full-size!

My 2010 is an SR5 accesscab…

What is funny or sad is my 2016 is an SR 4x4, the cheapest 4x4 you can get with Toyota and I park next to a much more expensive and trimmed Colorado, yet I can run larger 265/75's without any mods. And with my magnetic gray metallic color and satin wheels, those 265/75 KO2's make my truck stand out and look much better than those Colorado's.

I get comments all of the time of how sweet my setup is, which is mostly stock! The Colorado cannot do this stock, you will have to spend thousands to get a simple tire like that on!

Yes we've covered this ground many times. So you think lengthening garages makes sense. Tell that to the new homeowners of the 3000 apartments that are going up near Tesla. If they even have a garage option, I highly doubt they'll be able to lengthen their garage. It might just be a big parking structure underneath. This is silicon valley. Going wider or longer in any new structure is too expensive. So they build up. Nothing new. I can't lengthen my garage without going into my bathroom or kitchen.

Being from South Texas, we’re surrounded by either ag or oil. There’s a cattle auction about five minutes away from me and every Saturday morning those trailers are being pulled by a Ford, ram or GM product. Most of the roughnecks like Chevy or Ram but Ford still gets plenty of attention. All that said, the Tundra sells like hot cakes. And the only complaints I ever hear about the tundra are all about fuel mileage. Nevertheless, ask any of those guys if they’re willing to trade their Tundra and they’re gonna laugh in your face. If I were a decision maker for Toyota, I’d say put a reliable ten speed on it and call it a day. It’s the epitome of a truck.

This is silicon valley. Going wider or longer in any new structure is too expensive.


You are discussing an engineering & production paradigm that requires uprooting a multi-trillion dollar energy infrastructure to accommodate the parking needs of people in Santa Clara.

Too expensive???

Tesla offers an interesting potential for a way to move a vehicle. But as they stand, they are no threat to real work trucks. The distance traveled while towing or hauling would drain the batteries.

@ Papajim
But I believe this what we are currently living through: A transportation paradigm shift. Gas to Battery and Autonomous Driving at that. LIDAR was the them of the Photonics West show at Moscone Center last January.

theme not them.

my point. Forgive me if I'm confused but your earlier comments have been so focused on the overall length of trucks. To which I responded, why not just make the garage longer.

Very Informative, and Please do More Comparison testing. And because of this information I am picking the Tundra over the Tacoma.

The only truck that ever posed a real threat to toy in NA was the ranger... (outselling it in 4X2/total sales) and globally is the global Ranger. Tesla is too many promises and not enough deliveries. VW in NA takes almost as many steps backward as it does forward. Toy is pretty firmly entrenched. Even with others offering comparable to sometimes slightly better options. Toy will continue to own this market in NA for at least the near future.


Toyota needs to do a clean-sheet re design of the Tacoma. The current product has not changed (in any good ways) in more than ten years. For a truck that is so damned uncomfortable, it sure gets lousy mileage.

Every reviewer that's ever driven one complains about the cramped interior. If these things were getting 28 FE on the highway it might make sense. But as it is they need a whole new approach.

Almost forgot: Ditch the drum brakes!

The drum brakes on the Tacoma are a crime and honestly i was stunned at how far behind the Tundra was to the Frontier when i was selling them in 2013. The Frontier V6 had 20 more HP, the Frontier had a fully boxed frame and rear disc brakes and the Taco had neither of these was literally KILLING the Frontier in sales and it was its ONLY competitor.

For 10% more $$ and 2 MPG less you can have a TON more truck, room, power, payload capacity, towing capacity, bed space, you know... pickup truck stuff... if you don't need pickuptruck stuff go get a car or SUV.

Not only are the drum brakes terrible in this day and age, Tacoma fans continue to defend them until they're blue in the face. If the current Colorado or the new Ranger had drum brakes and the Tacoma had rear discs, they wouldn't shut up about how the other truck has drums.

I can't stand drum brakes.

To the children on here questioning drum brakes: IS THAT ALL YOU HAVE?

I have owned Toyota trucks since the early 1990's, and never once had an issue with my drum brakes! So why on earth would you want to change them to disc brakes that add cost and complexity when they work just fine?

Drum brakes are simple to maintain and more reliable, period!

It is people like you guys that drive up the costs and weight of trucks today with your lust for gadgets and stuff! Drum brakes work just fine, leave em alone!

My first Chevy with disc brakes was a 1972.

German aircraft in the 1940s had discs. What is Toyota's problem?

Find me a modern car or truck (besides the Tacoma) that has drums! How long has it been since they built a Lexus with drums (ever?).

I won't deny drum brakes are cheap and simple, however Tacomas are getting more expensive every year, so that's definitely not an excuse.
Also, what's reliable about drum brakes? they fade easier than a disc break because they don't offer enough heat disipation after repetitive braking. Also keep in mind the current Tacomas are heavier and more capable than older Tacomas, threfore a better set of brakes wouldn't hurt at all.
Drum brakes on any high-profit contemporary vehicle is just pure greediness.

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