Compared: Toyota Tacoma vs Tundra, Midsize or Half-ton? Which Truck Is Best For You?

2018 toyota tundra tacoma truck best midsize fullsize
2018 Toyota Tundra or Tacoma?

Which truck is best for you? Is it a midsize truck (such as this 2018 Tacoma Limited) or a full-size half-ton (such as this 2018 Tundra Limited)? We drag race these two trucks, do a turning circle test, compare towing, and off-road capability, and more.

It depends on your needs, requirements, and budget. There are many cases when a well-optioned midsize truck costs the same as a slightly less optioned full-size truck. Making the decision purely based on price is not usually an option.

The Tacoma has been a segment leader for many years. It offers considerable choice. There two engine and transmission options. The truck you see here has the 3.5L V6 with a 6-speed automatic transmission. A four-cylinder engine and a manual transmission are also options for the Tacoma. Which truck is quicker at 0-60 MPH or in a drag race? Watch the video below to find out. The race is much closer than you might expect. The Tundra’s V8 has a lot more power, but the full-size truck weighs approximately 1,000 lbs more than the Tacoma.

The Tacoma is rated at a maximum towing rating of 6,800 lbs. The Tundra 5.7L V8 is rated up to 10,200 lbs of maximum towing. If you are towing a smaller camper or a boat that is under 20-feet in length and at or less 5,000 lbs – then the Tacoma would work fine. If you are towing a longer and heavier trailer, then the Tundra will get the job done with much more confidence. We tested both of these on the Ike Gauntletâ„¢ – World’s Toughest Towing test and the Tundra got a better score than the Tacoma.

The Tundra can be configured with two V8 engine options, but there is no manual transmission option in this truck.

The Tundra has much more interior space, but it is also a much bigger and taller truck. The Tundra (or any full-size truck) may not fit into your garage.

The Tacoma is generally a better choice for off-roading because it is smaller and more maneuverable. We did a turning radius test to find out exactly how these two trucks compare. (Spoiler: the Tundra’s turning radius was approximately four feet wider).

If you are looking for a more maneuverable truck that is easier to drive and park on a daily basis, and if you do not need to tow or haul a great amount – then the Tacoma is a good choice. On the other hand, if you have a bigger family, you need to carry several people on a regular basis, or you need to tow beyond 5,000 lbs – then the Tundra is the ticket.

Also, the Tacoma V6 4×4 is much more fuel efficient than a Tundra V8 4×4.

We just published a full video describing all of the Tacoma versus Tundra decision points. Check it out!