2020 Toyota Tundra vs. 2019 Ram 1500

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Tundra are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Ram 1500 has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The Tundra’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Ram 1500 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Tundra and the Ram 1500 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available four-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Tundra for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ram doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 1500.

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the Tundra has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Ram 1500.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Tundra’s reliability 46 points higher than the Ram 1500.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tundra third among large light duty pickups in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Ram 1500 isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Ram vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ram is ranked 21st, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ram vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 63 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ram is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ram vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Ram is ranked 26th.

Engine

The Tundra’s 5.7 DOHC V8 produces 76 more horsepower (381 vs. 305) and 132 lbs.-ft. more torque (401 vs. 269) than the Ram 1500’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Tundra is faster than the Ram 1500:

Tundra

1500 V6

1500 V8

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.9 sec

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

8.5 sec

6.4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

10.5 sec

14.6 sec

10.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

16.5 sec

14.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.6 MPH

84.5 MPH

93.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Tundra uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Ram 1500 with the 5.7 V8 engine requires mid-grade for maximum efficiency, which can cost 5 to 40 cents more per gallon.

The Tundra’s standard fuel tank has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Ram 1500’s standard fuel tank (26.4 vs. 23 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Tundra’s optional fuel tank has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Ram 1500’s optional fuel tank (38 vs. 33 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

The Tundra stops shorter than the Ram 1500:

Tundra

Ram 1500

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Tundra’s wheelbase is longer than on the Ram 1500:

Tundra

Ram 1500

Extended Cab Standard Bed

145.7 inches

140.5 inches

Extended Cab Long Bed

164.6 inches

n/a

Crew Cab Short Bed

145.7 inches

144.6 inches

The Tundra’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56.5% to 43.5%) than the Ram 1500’s (58.1% to 41.9%). This gives the Tundra more stable handling and braking.

The Tundra Short Bed Limited CrewMax 4x4 handles at .72 G’s, while the Ram 1500 short bed Big Horn Crew Cab Pickup 4x4 pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Tundra Standard Bed Limited Double Cab 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Ram 1500 short bed Big Horn Crew Cab Pickup 4x4 (28.7 seconds @ .57 average G’s vs. 29.7 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Tundra’s turning circle is tighter than the Ram 1500’s:

Tundra

Ram 1500

Extended Cab Standard Bed

44 feet

46.2 feet

Extended Cab Long Bed

49 feet

n/a

Crew Cab Short Bed

44 feet

46.2 feet

Extended Cab Standard Bed 4x4

44 feet

46.2 feet

Extended Cab Long Bed 4x4

49 feet

n/a

Crew Cab Short Bed 4x4

44 feet

46.2 feet

For greater off-road capability the Tundra Short Bed CrewMax has a 1.8 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Ram 1500 standard bed Crew Cab Pickup (10.4 vs. 8.6 inches), allowing the Tundra to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Cargo Capacity

The Tundra Double Cab Long Bed has a much larger cargo box than the Ram 1500 Quad Cab (82.5 vs. 61.5 cubic feet). The Tundra Double Cab Standard Bed has a much larger cargo box than the Ram 1500 Quad Cab (66.3 vs. 61.5 cubic feet).

The Tundra CrewMax has a much larger cargo box than the Ram 1500 Crew Cab Pickup Short Bed (56.1 vs. 53.9 cubic feet).

The Tundra Double Cab’s cargo box is larger than the Ram 1500 Quad Cab’s in almost every dimension:

Tundra Double Cab

Ram 1500 Quad Cab

Length (short/long)

78.7”/97.6”

76.3”

Max Width

66.4”

66.4”

Min Width

50”

51”

Height

22.2”

21.5”

The Toyota Tundra has a standard Easy Lower and Lift Tailgate, which prevents the heavy tailgate from falling with a crash and causing injury. It allows adults and children to easily open and close the tailgate with one hand to better facilitate loading and unloading. Tailgate assist costs extra on the Ram 1500.

Towing

The Tundra’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Ram 1500’s (9800 vs. 6280 pounds).

Ergonomics

Consumer Reports rated the Tundra’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Ram 1500’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

When the Tundra Platinum/1794 is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Ram 1500’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Tundra is less expensive to operate than the Ram 1500 because typical repairs cost less on the Tundra than the Ram 1500, including $56 less for front struts and $45 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Tundra, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ram 1500 isn't recommended.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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