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2012 Toyota Truck Comparison: Tundra Half Ton Vs Silverado, F150 and Ram

Updated on June 27, 2017

For those of you looking to buy a 2012 model year half ton truck, never before has their been so many choices available. Only a few years ago there were only a couple of truck makes that stood out above the rest, but today most of the other trucks have caught up whether in power, design, or both.

Ten or fifteen years ago, the only reasons to buy a Toyota truck were low prices, good fuel mileage, and durability. If you needed a truck that could haul a large load or pull a fifth-wheel camper you definitely did not slow down for the local Toyota dealership. If you wanted a roomy cab with lots of extras, Toyota trucks were not for you. Times have definitely changed.

With Toyota's introduction of the Tundra several years ago, it has continually strived to compete in the half-ton pickup market. They have made their larger truck more bulky, more powerful, and more comfortable in order to catch up with Ford, Chevy and Dodge as well as borrowing some aspects of their front end design. But have they hit the mark? Do Toyota Tundra's "measure up," or are the American made half-tons still the better buy for truck buyers?

Toyota Tundra: Where Toyota Got It Right

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  • Size - Toyota's Tundra has added a huge amount of size to the cab interior in recent years. Many people see Ford as one of the roomiest cabs in the truck market today, but the only interior dimension that they beat the Tundra in is in head room, and that is only by 1 inch. The Tundra's shoulder, hip, and leg room is leaves room for any rider or driver to stretch out and enjoy the ride.
  • Creature Comforts- Although Toyota trucks have not been known for their interior extras and innovations, the Tundra has come a long way. The 2012 Tundra has an optional 4-disc changer, when Chevy is removing their 6-disc changer option. It also has bluetooth wireless and rear seat DVD system options. These bring the Tundra up to date and more. The Tundra also has 2 115 volt power outlets making the truck great for everyone who loves the outdoors or using their truck as a work truck.
  • Bulky Strong Look- Just looking at the Tundra exterior, it looks like a large, muscular truck. Although the outer look of a half ton truck does not necessarily sell it, it can definitely help. Most men that buy half ton trucks want the strongest and most dependable. The Tundra's large front end definitely conveys strength and the Toyota symbol is synonymous for most people for dependability.


Toyota Tundra: Where Toyota Got It Wrong

The most obvious area where Toyota chose poorly is that too much fuel economy was sacrificed for power. For years Toyota has been known for their economically viable choices in the automobile markets. However, with their change of focus in the pickup market, Toyota has chosen to go more for a high horsepower truck than an economic truck. That will definitely get them a look from people wanting a strong looking and feeling truck, but at a time when fuel mileage is key, Toyota has placed themselves near the back of the pack with Dodge for Fuel mileage. Yes, their 4.6 L version gets 20 mpg, but that model does not come close to the payload and towing capacities as the other trucks. The 5.7 L version gets 18 mpg, and, although it outpaces both the Chevy (5.3L) and Ford (5.0L) standard engines in HP (Toyota 5.7L - 381 hp, Chevy 5.3L - 315 hp, and Ford 5.0L - 360 hp) it lags in fuel efficiency and still comes up short in max payload and towing. The Toyota engine packages just don't yet have the right mix of efficiency and power to appeal to the mass of truck buyers in the American market as well as Chevy and Ford, yet. I would expect them to put in the effort to catch up in efficiency as quickly as they caught up in horsepower.

Toyota Tundra: Where Does It Rank?

I would most likely place the 2012 Toyota Tundra in third on the American full size, half ton pickup market, just behind Ford and Chevy. The Tundra is considered one of the most dependable pickup trucks out today, but they have yet to fine tune their engine packages for the best mix of horsepower and efficiency. Also, with recent changes in Ford and Chevy frames and suspension, Toyota will have to adapt to keep up with their maximum payload capacity and their towing capacity. They have plenty of horsepower available in the 5.7L to tow as much, so some changes must be made elsewhere and the most obvious choice is lightening the frame and body via redesign and lighter steel to allow for better efficiency.

Although I did not consider Tundra a truck I would be interested in before researching for this comparison, I would definitely consider them now, when buying a new truck. I have listed some changes they need to make, but overall they are very competitive with the Ford and Chevy and their overall look and size are quite appealing.

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    • WheelScene profile image

      WheelScene 

      11 months ago from U.S.A.

      Great Hub, thanks for sharing. Do you own a Tundra? Toyota trucks seem to have a better resale value than the others, why do you think that is?

    • kc-go-getter profile image

      steve evans 

      6 years ago from kansas city, kansas

      nice. I got to test drive two tundras at bass pro shops. one had a boat hitched to it. i think they under-rated tundras power-wise. they are the nicest trucks on the road in my opinion. people are so used to ford chevy and dodge that these new tundras are a breath of fresh air

    • profile image

      Smarter 

      6 years ago

      That is because you only record your mileage going down hill

    • profile image

      Lou 

      6 years ago

      I find it odd that Dodge is always last on fuel economy. I get 18 MPG. Average. In mine and when I drive 60-65. I get 20-21. None of the other trucks I have seen at work can do that

    • idia1902 profile image

      idia1902 

      7 years ago from los angelos

      Subject of very cool thank you very much

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