The Difference Between the 2019 Toyota Tacoma and The Tundra

As the Toyota dealer near Irvine explains to us, it all started in 1995 when the Tacoma replaced the predecessor pickup truck, simply called the Toyota Pickup. Toyota added a little flair to its vehicle names when it introduced the Tacoma. The Tacoma is classified as a midsize truck compared to Toyota’s larger pickup, the Tundra. 

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When Was The Toyota Tundra Released? 


According to car dealerships near Irvine, the Tundra debuted in 1999, which was a few years after the Tacoma was made available. It was the first full-size truck offered in North America from Toyota. 


The Toyota dealer near Irvine says that Toyota introduced the Tundra to go up against some of the bigger players in the game. A fun fact you should know is that the Tacoma and the Tundra are both assembled in the United States, in San Antonio, Texas to be exact. 


When deciding whether to purchase the Tacoma or the Tundra, you will start to realize that each truck is available in different trim levels, engines, and features. Keep on reading to find out how each truck performs, so you can choose the truck that suits you the best!

Exterior - Tacoma Versus Tundra


The first thing you will notice about the two trucks is their exterior aesthetics. First of all, the Tacoma is smaller in size than the Tundra, but there are also various other recognizable differences in their exteriors.


Both the Tacoma and Tundra have a basic model which is the SR edition. One of the most noticeable differences is in the front end, particularly the grilles. Although both the Tacoma and Tundra have hexagonal-shaped grilles, they are not identical. 


The Tacoma has a more distinguished and angular grille compared to the Tundra, which is larger and chunkier. The slanted headlights on the Tacoma give the trunk a sleeker front end, with a less-obtrusive, integrated bumper. 


A characteristic feature of the Tundra’s grille is the hood bulge that is located just above the grille, which has a thin rectangular opening. The Tundra’s sturdy appearance is enhanced by the large protruding bumper and bigger headlights. 


The Tundra and the Tacoma have the same shaped wheel wells and the rear of both trucks have a similar-looking tailgate with embossed lettering in different locations. When it comes to the Tacoma TRD Sport, the Toyota dealer near Irvine lets us know that there is a honeycomb grille and a hood scoop, extra features that give the truck a more aggressive edge. 


Interior - Tacoma Versus Tundra


The interior of the Tacoma and Tundra are very similar. The basic models of the Tacoma and the Tundra have power windows, door locks, and mirrors that come standard. Also, each truck comes equipped with a reverse camera. 


Although the Access Cab for the Tacoma can only seat four, the Double Cab can seat up to five passengers. In contrast, the Tundra can seat up to six people with the Double Cab and five or six with the CrewMax model, depending on whether you go for the standard bench seat or front bucket seats.


The Tacoma is designed to reduce wind noise with its enhanced aerodynamics and a cab-to-bed seal. The Tacoma does not have power-adjusted seats or pedals, but does feature a tilting and telescoping steering column. Leather, along with heated front seats, are additional options. A Qi-compatible wireless charger is available for specific devices. Voice command, Bluetooth, an auxiliary input, a USB port, and a 12-volt outlet are more technological features that are available in the Tacoma. One thrilling feature for off-roading enthusiasts is that the Tacoma does come with an integrated GoPro mount on the windshield.


The Tundra has even more interior features than its smaller counterpart. For instance, it has a 4.2-inch driver display gauge cluster that makes it easier to view important vehicle information. If you opt for the Tundra 1794 edition, the cabin is upgraded with leather seats in an exquisite brown color. Also, the Tundra has a memory driver’s seat and power seats, which the Tacoma does not have. Besides having heated front seats, the Tundra also has cooled front seats. The same infotainment options in the Tacoma are also available in the Tundra. 


Both the Tacoma and the Tundra come equipped with the Toyota Star Safety System, which consists of advanced safety features including traction control, ABS, brake assist, vehicle stability control, and smart stop technology. Along with the Star Safety System, the Tundra and Tacoma include the Toyota Safety Sense P that comes with a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with a sway warning system, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. Blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alerts are other safety features to keep you protected on the road and off the beaten path. 

Performance and Off-Road Capability - Tacoma Versus Tundra


The Tacoma and the Tundra are two good pickup trucks that are very capable of hauling and towing massive amounts. The basic engine option for the Tacoma is the 2.7 liter inline 4 cylinder that produces 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. If that does not excite you, there is a slightly more powerful 3.5 liter DOHC V6 engine that generates 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. 


Compared to the Tacoma, the Tundra can provide more power and better payload and towing capacities. If you opt for the standard engine option, the Tundra provides a 4.6 liter i-FORCE V8 that produces 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque, matched with a six-speed automatic transmission. There is also a 5.7L i-FORCE V8 engine for those seeking higher horsepower and torque numbers, which come in at 381 and 401 lb.-ft., respectively. 


Ultimately, you have to ask yourself what features are the most important to you to choose between these two excellent trucks. If you are searching for a smaller, more maneuverable truck, then the Tacoma is the way to go. If you want a heavy-duty, full size pickup truck, then you should have your eye on the Tundra. 

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