2020 Toyota Tundra vs. 2020 GMC Sierra

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 GMC Sierra doesn’t offer 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 Sierra doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Tundra and the Sierra 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 four-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Tundra’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Sierra’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

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. GMC only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Sierra.

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 Sierra.

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 47 points higher than the Sierra.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tundra third among large light duty pickups in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Sierra 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 GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 12th, 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 GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 53 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. GMC is ranked 25th.

Engine

The Tundra’s 5.7 DOHC V8 produces 96 more horsepower (381 vs. 285) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (401 vs. 305) than the Sierra’s standard 4.3 V6. The Tundra’s 5.7 DOHC V8 produces 71 more horsepower (381 vs. 310) and 53 lbs.-ft. more torque (401 vs. 348) than the Sierra’s optional 2.7 turbo 4 cyl. The Tundra’s 5.7 DOHC V8 produces 26 more horsepower (381 vs. 355) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (401 vs. 383) than the Sierra’s optional 5.3 V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Tundra uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Sierra SLT/AT4/Denali requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Tundra’s standard fuel tank has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sierra Double/Crew Cab’s standard fuel tank (26.4 vs. 24 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Tundra’s optional fuel tank has 10 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sierra Regular Cab’s standard fuel tank (38 vs. 28 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Tundra’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Sierra:

Tundra

Sierra

Front Rotors

13.9 inches

13.5 inches

The Tundra stops shorter than the Sierra:

Tundra

Sierra

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

133.4 feet

Four Wheeler

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Tundra has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Sierra.

Suspension and Handling

The Tundra TRD Sport has front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Tundra TRD Sport flat and controlled during cornering. The Sierra’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Tundra Standard Bed Double Cab’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the Sierra 1500 Long Bed Regular Cab (145.7 inches vs. 139.6 inches). The Tundra Long Bed Double Cab’s wheelbase is 7.6 inches longer than on the Sierra 1500 Standard Bed Crew Cab (164.6 feet vs. 157 inches).

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

Tundra

Sierra

Extended Cab Standard Bed

44 feet

46.3 feet

Extended Cab Long Bed

49 feet

n/a

Crew Cab Short Bed

44 feet

46.3 feet

Extended Cab Standard Bed 4x4

44 feet

46.3 feet

Extended Cab Long Bed 4x4

49 feet

n/a

Crew Cab Short Bed 4x4

44 feet

46.3 feet

For greater off-road capability the Tundra Short Bed CrewMax has a 2.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Sierra 1500 Standard Bed Crew Cab (10.4 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Tundra to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Tundra is shorter than the Sierra, making the Tundra easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces:

Tundra

Sierra

Extended Cab Standard Bed

228.9 inches

231.8 inches

Crew Cab Short Bed

228.9 inches

231.7 inches

Passenger Space

The Tundra Double Cab has 1.4 inches more front hip room, 2.4 inches more rear hip room and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sierra Double Cab.

The Tundra CrewMax has 1.4 inches more front hip room, .2 inches more rear hip room and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sierra Crew Cab.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Tundra CrewMax’s rear seats recline. The Sierra’s optional rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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 GMC Sierra.

Both the Tundra and Sierra have bed indentations that accommodate 2x4’s for two-tiered loading, but the Tundra also has indentations to separate the cargo box into three different sections length-wise.

Towing

The Tundra’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Sierra’s (9800 vs. 7400 pounds).

While the Sierra 1500 Short Bed Crew Cab 4x4 can only tow 6600, any Tundra can tow a minimum of 9800 pounds.

Ergonomics

The Tundra’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows cost extra on the Sierra.

The Tundra’s standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over. Power locks cost extra on the Sierra.

The Tundra has standard power remote mirrors. The Sierra only comes with remote mirrors at extra cost. Without them the driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

The Tundra’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. GMC charges extra for heated mirrors on the Sierra.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Tundra is less expensive to operate than the Sierra because it costs $464 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Tundra than the Sierra, including $138 less for a muffler, $84 less for front brake pads, $83 less for fuel injection, $83 less for a fuel pump, $47 less for front struts and $360 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Tundra, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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