Toyota Tundra vs. Ram 1500: You Decide
you’re in the market for a full-sized pickup truck, there are some
great options on the market right now. As welcome as this selection may
be, the sheer variety of available configurations can also be daunting
and frustrating to sift through. Make sure you think first about how you
will be using your truck, and then compare similar configurations to
see how they line up.
remarkable how much trucks have changed in just a few years. They have
evolved from basic work vehicles into comfortable family vehicles that
can work, tow, and haul. Here is some of the info you’ll need when
comparing the Toyota Tundra to the Ram 1500.
The Toyota Tundra
Tale of the Tape:
Payload: up to 1,620 pounds
Towing: up to 10,100 pounds
The Toyota Tundra has two engine choices:
- i-Force 4.6 Liter V8 – 310 hp, 327 ft-lb of torque
- i-Force 5.7 Liter V8 – 381 hp, 401 ft-lb of torque
The Tundra’s base 4.6 Liter engine is powerful and can handle everyday driving and use. If you plan to use your truck for frequent towing and hauling, you may want to consider the larger 5.7 Liter engine with more hp and torque.
The Ram 1500
Tale of the Tape:
Payload: up to 1,880 pounds
Towing: 4,200 to 10,150 pounds, depending on configuration
The Ram 1500 also has three engine options available:
- 3.6 Liter V6 24 Valve VVT – 305 hp, 269 ft-lb of torque
- 5.7 Liter V8 HEMI® MDS VVT – 395 hp, 410 ft-lb of torque
- 3.0 Liter EcoDiesel V6 – 240 hp, 420 ft-lb of torque
The Ram 1500 may have a larger payload than the Toyota Tundra, but is has a significantly lower limit for towing.
The engine and options you choose in your configurations will determine the towing capacity of your full-sized truck. The 2018 Tundra has a maximum towing capacity of 10,200 pounds. This capacity is more in line with a large SUV than a full-sized truck. Ram trucks can be configured with bigger towing capacities, reaching up to 10,150 pounds.
Keep in mind what you will be towing when identifying your needs. For example, the average camper weighs 5,200 pounds. A couple of jet skis and a trailer would average about 2,500 pounds.
The Ram 1500 payload is 1,880 pounds, while the Tundra weighs in at 1,620 pounds.
Payloads vary depending on your configuration (engine, axle ratio, and transmissions). If you’re going to do lots of towing and hauling, you will want to pay close attention to the maximum payload and towing. The more you need, however, the more you will pay. Don’t overpay for capacity you will not use.
The Toyota Tundra comes in 5’5”, 6’5”, and 8’ beds. The Ram 1500 comes in 5’7”, 6’4”, and 8’ beds.
The 4.6 Liter V8 standard on the Toyota Tundra gets 15 city/19 highway miles per gallon. The 5.7 Liter V8 gets an EPA estimated MPG of 13 city/18 highway.
The Ram 1500’s 3.6 Liter V6 is rated at 15 city/25 highway miles per gallon. The 5.7 Hemi® sports is rated at 15 city/22 highway, while the 3.0 Liter EcoDiesel V6 boasts an impressive 20 city/27 highway miles per gallon.
Tech, Safety, and Innovation
When it comes to crash test ratings, both vehicles received four out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with nearly identical scores in every category. Both full-sized trucks have an impressive assortment of safety features. In terms of cutting-edge safety tech, however, the Toyota Tundra is loaded while the Ram 1500 has only the basics.
The Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra both feature the following safety tech:
- Backup cameras
- Tire pressure monitoring
- Electronic stability control
- Brake assist
- Front and rear parking sensors (on some models)
The Ram 1500 also offers remote start capabilities.
The Toyota Tundra also features:
- Cross traffic alerts
- Forward collision mitigation
- Lane departure warnings
- Blind spot monitors
- Integrated brake controllers
The Toyota Tundra’s base model has more torque than the Ram 1500, which means it will feel more powerful. When it comes to handling, though, the Ram 1500 has a smaller turning radius that can help get in and out of smaller spaces.
Both trucks can seat up to six passengers (depending on configuration), but the Tundra won’t pack them in quite as tightly as the Ram.
Head to Head Pricing
The 2018 Toyota Tundra carries an MSRP of $31,120, not including destination freight, tax, title, license, and dealer fees. The 2018 Ram 1500’s MSRP starts at $27,295 before destination freight, tax, title, license, and dealer fees
When you start adding in some of the more popular trim levels and packages, the price can shoot up into the $40,000 and $50,000 range.
The Platinum Tundra is Toyota’s priciest truck with a price tag of $47,000. The Limited Edition Ram 1500 starts with an MSRP of $53,695 for 2018.
Changes for 2019
The 2019 Tundra will make few substantive changes to its base models and only some minor updates to its TRD Pro model, adding Fox off-road shocks, Rigid Industries LED fog lights, LED headlights, a hood scoop, and all-terrain options.
The 2019 Ram 1500 will be lighter and stronger, with added power. The 225-pound weight reduction is due to increased quantities of high-strength steel in the frame, as well as aluminum in the tailgate, engine mounts, and front axle sections. Ram’s new eTorque is a “mild hybrid” that exchanges a conventional starter/alternator combo for a 48-volt motor on the accessory drive. The motor starts the engine and gives an extra boost to torque when needed. It also allows for start/stop, which can boost your city MPG.
Ram is also adding some of the missing safety features other full-sized trucks have as standard, including forward collision mitigation, lane departure warnings, and adaptive cruise control (optional).
Toyota Tundra or Ram 1500?
You really can’t go wrong with either the Toyota Tundra or the Ram 1500. While this is not an exhaustive shopping guide, it should give you a basic idea of how the two trucks stack up. Happy shopping, and remember: if you’re in the market for truck backup cameras, we can help!