What is the Toyota Tundra?
The Toyota Tundra is a redesign of Toyota’s old Tundra pickup range that has been around since 2007. It’s designed as a performance vehicle with a new powertrain and some interesting new technology. The TRD Pro is at the top end of the range with awesome offroad capabilities.
Related to: 8 Pickup Trucks Similar to the Toyota Tundra
Toyota Tundra Model and Performance
The Tundra comes with a twin-turbo V6 in contrast to its older model that was powered by a V8. The V6 produces about 390 hp in most models, with the upgraded models producing 440 hp. The increase in power is a result of the addition of a hybrid system.
The engines produce around 480 pound-feet of torque. That’s more power than any of Toyota’s previous V8 engines fitted to the Tundra range.
Fuel economy is at the center of Toyota’s powertrain choice. The Tundra still has plenty of power despite its smaller engine. You can expect to get around 20 miles per gallon now.
For extra power, Toyota offers the iForce Max hybrid system that ups the power by around 60 hp.
Towing capacity is not class-leading but still comes in at around about 12,000 pounds.
Toyota Tundra Features
The Tundra TRD models come with various upgrades that improve performance, one of which is the addition of Fox shock absorbers. They also come standard with a beautiful set of BBS wheels.
It’s shod with all-terrain tires for better grip when going off-road.
At the front, the massive grill is very distinctive, making it hard to miss. Integrated into the grill is a factory standard LED light bar.
There’s a camo design on the bumpers and various other pieces of plastic trim to give the truck a distinctive look.
Getting into the load bed isn’t easy as there aren’t any cut-outs or steps to put your feet on. What we did like was the power outlet in the bed for power tools or any other electrical equipment you may have.
Crawl control is Toyota’s latest offroad function. It takes the inputs from various sensors and selects the right gear, the correct amount of power, and manages your speed to ensure that the Tundra makes it through whatever terrain you throw at it.
The dial in the center console allows you to switch between eco, normal, and sport modes on the fly.
However, if you go into 4-wheel drive, then you can go into Multi-Terrain-Select mode by pressing the MTS button below the dial. When you have the MTS mode engaged, the dial changes the type of terrain you’re on. You have the option to select auto, dirt, sand, mud, or deep snow.
Selecting 4-wheel drive is via a little lever on the center console which you push down to select high and low ranges.
Toyota Tundra Interior
The camo motif extends to the interior with the seats being upholstered in camo-print leather.
The build quality is top-notch with detail stitching in contrasting colors giving the cabin a purposeful look.
The 14-inch dashboard screen provides a clear view and incorporates touch-screen controls for the infotainment system. The fonts are large and easy to read.
One of the most impressive aspects of the screen is access to multi-angle cameras. There’s a view of just about every conceivable part of the truck.
Toyota has, at last, adopted a gauge-cluster screen but it’s not very configurable.
The seats are very roomy, with plenty of space both in the front and back. The storage isn’t very large, which was disappointing.
On the Road or Off-Road
The first glaring omission is the absence of recovery hooks. It’s been done to reduce fuel consumption, but anyone going off-road needs to be able to pull themselves out of sticky situations.
The truck is very responsive and has loads of low-end grunt. It also sounds great.
What is the GMC Sierra?
The GMC Sierra comes in a regular duty model and a heavy-duty model. The Denali is the top-of-the-range model with an upgraded trim and powertrain package. It has been through a few facelifts over the years and is now a fully-fledged luxury pickup.
The GMC comes with a drive mode dial that allows you to change from Tow/Haul to off-road to sport and tour modes.
4-wheel drive is engaged via 4 buttons on the dashboard giving you auto, 2 high, 4 high, and 4 low.
You get to choose from 4 different engines. A 2.7-liter four-cylinder turbo motor making 310 hp, a 6-cylinder turbodiesel, and two V8s. One is a 5.3 liter V8 producing 355 hp and the other a 6.2 liter V8 producing 420 hp.
GMC Sierra Features
One of the features I really like is the tailgate. The handle has two buttons. One button opens the tailgate as per usual and the second button drops the center portion of the tailgate, creating a step.
Brilliant! It makes getting into the load bed simple and even comes with a bar that flips out from the side to act as a safety railing.
The smaller tailgate step also works when the main tailgate is up and locked in place. The smaller tailgate step can flip open, giving you access to the load bed through a small space and then the step acts as a stopper to prevent loads from shooting out the back when you accelerate away.
This is probably the most impressive and innovative tailgate design on any truck currently on the market.
The bumpers also include cut-out steps making for easier access to the load bed.
There’s a huge heads-up display that provides tons of information directly into your line of sight. It has a great off-road setting that shows vehicle angle, whether you’re in 2- or 4-wheel drive, as well as vehicle speed.
The rear-view mirror doubles as a rearview camera screen which is very convenient and provides excellent visibility.
There’s plenty of storage throughout the cabin. Two glove boxes as well as a huge center console and storage in the rear seat area offer more places to put things than you’ll probably need.
The Sierre also comes standard with USB charging ports, a regular lighter plug, and a standard 3-prong home power plug.
The interior trim is good but excellent as there’s cheap plastic trim and it doesn’t quite gel with the high-end nature of a luxury model.
On the Road
The quality of ride is great, with an extremely comfortable seat.
The cross-traffic alert and huge side mirrors make driving a pleasure. You’re always aware of your surroundings and the high seat position builds confidence.
There’s even an alert seat that vibrates if you’re backing up and get too close to an obstacle.
Steering is light, which is as it should be in a large vehicle like this, and overall performance is superb.
The Toyota Tundra offers old-school reliability and not too many new features. It is a solid performer with a few shortcomings. The Sierra offers more comfort but the load bed accessibility swung the scales for me.
You buy a pickup for its ability as a workhorse. The Sierra just makes everything easier and provides a great balance between comfort and utility.