Chevy Silverado vs Toyota Tundra: Which Truck Should I Buy?
I was on the market for a brand new, full-sized truck as I wanted something with a bit more power than the mid-sized trucks on the market. I've never really been a Ford fan, but I've always liked the look of a Chevy. Chevy Trucks have always had the same strong, basic look to them – with the vertical-rectangle headlights, clean grill, squared off front, with nothing crazy or rounded off.
So, I wanted to check out what the new Chevy Silverado could offer me. I also decided to check out the Toyota Tundra as Toyota gets some pretty nice recognition for building reliable trucks. I thought I'd see if they make reliable trucks that are also up for my performance needs
The price point for both the Toyota Tundra and the Chevy Silverado are about the same for the base and fully-loaded models, so I decided the specs would ultimately decide the vehicle for me.
Under the Hood and Performance
For me, it’s all about what I can find under the truck's hood. I want power. I want something that can put up serious performance numbers, tow my equipment and get the job done.
So, I checked out the loaded Tundra and Silverado to see what each could provide. Both came with V-8 options. The standard V8 on the Toyota Tundra is a 5.7-liter, while the Silverado used a slightly smaller 5.3-liter V8. However, if I wanted something bigger, the Chevy gave the option to upgrade to a 6.2-liter V8, whereas the Toyota maxed out at the 5.7.
I wanted the best of the best of each vehicle, so the Chevy Silverado won out in terms of overall engine size, but could it actually perform? After all, there are some pretty nice V6 options out there now and even a 4-cylinder on some vehicles today can give better torque and performance than the V8s of 20 years ago.
The 6.2-liter V8 on the Silverado gave me 420 horsepower and 460 pound feet of torque, against 381 horsepower and 401 pound feet of torque for the Tundra. Now, I pretty much expected this, because the top Silverado engine is larger. What I didn't expect is the fuel economy. While the Toyota Tundra gets an estimated 13 miles per gallon in the city and 17 miles per gallon on the highway, the larger Silverado engine provides a much better 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway! I did not expect that, and it really pushed the Silverado into the driver's seat – if you will – for my overall favorite truck to purchase.
Trucks are some of the safer vehicles on the road today. Now, I'm no engineer, but I'm pretty sure that is due to their overall size, shape, weight and height. Trucks are sturdy and weighed down so they are not going to roll over easily like some SUVs. They also have a higher frame, so if other vehicles hit them they are not going to sustain the same kind of damage.
Of course, there are always going to be some trucks that perform better than others, so I figured I'd check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Crash Test Ratings. Let's just say that the Chevy Silverado almost had a perfect score across the board. Of the 12 crash tests, it scored a perfect score on 11 of them, with four out of five stars in the overall rollover rating.
I figured the Tundra couldn't beat that, but I wanted to see how close it could come. The Toyota did fairly well, scoring a perfect score on seven of the 12 crash tests, yet it scored just a three out of five on the front driver's crash test. In terms of overall crash test safety ratings, the Silverado is the best truck on the market today.
Lastly, the warranty is important. The Tundra and Silverado have the same basic warranty, while the Silverado has a longer warranty and more miles for power train, corrosion and roadside assistance coverage.
The Silverado also came standard with in-vehicle assistance and stolen-vehicle tracking. The Tundra does not have these features at all.
Based on performance, fuel economy, safety and warranty, I decided to go with the Chevrolet Silverado as my new truck.