2020 GMC Sierra vs. 2019 Toyota Tundra

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Sierra are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Tundra doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 1 point, IIHS rates the Automatic Emergency Braking optional in the Sierra as “Basic.” The Tundra scores zero, and is rated by the IIHS as having no effective frontal crash prevention.

Full-time four-wheel drive is optional on the Sierra. Full-time four-wheel drive gives added traction for safety in all conditions, not just off-road, like the only system available on the Tundra.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Sierra’s optional Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Tundra doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Sierra AT4/Denali offers an optional Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Tundra only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Sierra offers optional OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Tundra doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Sierra and the Tundra have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the GMC Sierra Crew Cab is safer than the Tundra Double Cab:

Sierra

Tundra

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

97

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Lower Leg Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

POOR

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sierra the rating of “Top Pick” for 2016, a rating granted to only 164 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Tundra is not a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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The Sierra’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Tundra’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 38 percent more GMC dealers than there are Toyota dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Sierra’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Sierra has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Tundra doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

Engine

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The Sierra has more powerful engines than the Tundra:

Horsepower

Torque

Sierra 2.7 turbo 4 cyl.

310 HP

348 lbs.-ft.

Sierra 5.3 V8

355 HP

383 lbs.-ft.

Sierra SLT/AT4/Denali 6.2 V8

420 HP

460 lbs.-ft.

Tundra 4.6 DOHC V8

310 HP

327 lbs.-ft.

Tundra 5.7 DOHC V8

381 HP

401 lbs.-ft.

The Sierra’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 133 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 327) than the Tundra’s standard 4.6 DOHC V8. The Sierra’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 401) than the Tundra’s optional 5.7 DOHC V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Sierra SLT/AT4/Denali 6.2 V8 is faster than the Toyota Tundra 5.7 DOHC V8:

Sierra

Tundra

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.8 sec

6.7 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.4 sec

11.2 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.8 sec

3.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.9 MPH

92.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Sierra gets better fuel mileage than the Tundra:

Sierra

Tundra

4x2

5.3 V8/8-spd. Auto

17 city/24 hwy

15 city/19 hwy

4.6 V8/Auto

5.3 V8/8-spd. Auto

17 city/23 hwy

13 city/18 hwy

5.7 V8/Auto

5.3 V8/6-spd. Auto

15 city/20 hwy

n/a

4x4

5.3 V8/8-spd. Auto

15 city/21 hwy

14 city/18 hwy

4.6 V8/Auto

5.3 V8/8-spd. Auto

15 city/20 hwy

13 city/17 hwy

5.7 V8/Auto

6.2 V8/10-spd. Auto

15 city/20 hwy

n/a

5.3 V8/6-spd. Auto

15 city/19 hwy

n/a

6.2 V8/10-spd. Auto

15 city/19 hwy

n/a

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Sierra’s fuel efficiency. The Tundra doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Sierra SLE/Elevation/SLT/AT4/Denali’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Tundra doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Sierra has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Tundra doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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A ten-speed automatic is available on the GMC Sierra, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Tundra.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Sierra stops much shorter than the Tundra:

Sierra

Tundra

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

145 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The Sierra’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Tundra’s optional 55 series tires.

For better load carrying, ride, handling and brake cooling the Sierra offers optional 22-inch wheels. The Tundra’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

The GMC Sierra’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Toyota Tundra only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Sierra has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Tundra doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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The Sierra offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Tundra’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sierra’s wheelbase is longer than on the Tundra:

Sierra

Tundra

Extended Cab Standard Bed

147.4 inches

145.7 inches

Crew Cab Short Bed

147.4 inches

145.7 inches

Crew Cab Standard Bed

157 inches

n/a

The Sierra 1500 Short Bed Denali Crew Cab 4x4 handles at .77 G’s, while the Tundra Short Bed TRD Pro CrewMax 4x4 pulls only .66 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sierra 1500 Short Bed AT4 Crew Cab executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.9 seconds quicker than the Tundra Short Bed TRD Pro CrewMax 4x4 (27.7 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 30.6 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Sierra 1500 Short Bed Crew Cab Lifted has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Tundra (10.9 vs. 10.6 inches), allowing the Sierra to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The GMC Sierra may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 850 pounds less than the Toyota Tundra.

Passenger Space

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The Sierra Double Cab has 3.3 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom and .5 inches more rear legroom than the Tundra Double Cab.

The Sierra Crew Cab has 3.3 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom and 1.1 inches more rear legroom than the Tundra CrewMax.

Cargo Capacity

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The Sierra Double Cab has a much larger cargo box than the Tundra Double Cab shortbed (72.7 vs. 66.3 cubic feet).

The Sierra Crew Cab shortbed has a much larger cargo box than the Tundra CrewMax shortbed (63.9 vs. 56.1 cubic feet).

The Sierra’s cargo box is larger than the Tundra’s in every dimension:

Sierra Double Cab

Sierra Regular Cab

Tundra CrewMax

Tundra Double Cab

Length (short/long)

79.4”

98.2”

66.7”

78.7”/97.6”

Max Width

71.4”

71.4”

66.4”

66.4”

Min Width

50.63”

50.62”

50”

50”

Height

22.4”

22.4”

22.2”

22.2”

The GMC Sierra has a standard CornerStep, which allows for much easier access to the cargo area. The Toyota Tundra doesn’t offer a rear cargo step.

The Sierra has stake post holes, to allow the containment of tall, light loads. The Tundra doesn’t offer stake post holes.

The Sierra has an all welded cargo box to eliminate possible corrosion spots and to provide better chassis stiffness. The cargo box in the Tundra is bolted through the bed to the frame with large bolts. These bolts are a prime area for corrosion to start as the normal flexing of the truck’s chassis causes them to eat through the finish; they can also snag cargo as it slides in and out.

Payload and Towing

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The Sierra’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Tundra’s (7400 vs. 6400 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Toyota Tundra Standard Bed Double Cab is only 10200 pounds. The Sierra 1500 Standard Bed Double Cab 4x4 offers up to a 12100 lbs. towing capacity.

The Sierra has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Tundra:

Sierra

Tundra

Extended Cab 1500

2030 lbs.

1600 lbs.

Crew Cab 1500

2030 lbs.

1560 lbs.

Regular Cab 1500 4x4

2140 lbs.

n/a

Extended Cab 1500 4x4

2020 lbs.

1490 lbs.

Crew Cab 1500 4x4

2010 lbs.

1440 lbs.

The Sierra has much higher optional payload capacities than the Tundra:

Sierra

Tundra

Extended Cab 1500

2160 lbs.

1730 lbs.

Crew Cab 1500

2140 lbs.

1660 lbs.

Extended Cab 1500 4x4

2140 lbs.

1600 lbs.

Crew Cab 1500 4x4

2070 lbs.

1560 lbs.

Servicing Ease

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An Oil Life Monitor is standard on the Sierra to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, air filter replacement and brake pad replacement based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Toyota doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Tundra.

Ergonomics

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The Sierra SLT/AT4/Denali’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Tundra doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Sierra AT4/Denali offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Tundra doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Sierra’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Tundra’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows available on both the Sierra and the Tundra have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Sierra is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Tundra prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Sierra’s basic optional front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Tundra’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically. The Tundra’s optional windows’ rear windows don’t open automatically.

On a hot day the Sierra’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote (optional feature). The driver of the Tundra can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Keyless Open and Start optional on the Sierra (except Base) allows you to unlock the doors, tailgate and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading cargo, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Toyota Tundra doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Sierra’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Tundra’s power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Sierra’s variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Tundra SR’s standard wipers have no intermittent settings at all, so the driver will have to constantly turn them on and off.

The Sierra’s optional power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Tundra’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

Both the Sierra and the Tundra offer available heated front seats. The Sierra also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Tundra.

On extremely cold winter days, the Sierra’s optional (except Base) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Tundra doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Model Availability

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The GMC Sierra comes in regular cab, extended cab and crew cab bodystyles; the Toyota Tundra isn’t available as a regular cab.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Sierra owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Sierra will cost $780 less than the Tundra over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sierra is less expensive to operate than the Tundra because typical repairs cost much less on the Sierra than the Tundra, including $50 less for a water pump and $576 less for a starter.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

Four Wheeler performed a comparison test in its June 2019 issue and they ranked the GMC Sierra 1500 Short Bed AT4 Crew Cab higher than the Toyota Tundra Short Bed TRD Pro CrewMax 4x4.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sierra second among large light duty pickups in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Tundra isn’t in the top three.

The GMC Sierra outsold the Toyota Tundra by 86% during 2018.

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