2012 Toyota Tundra vs. 2012 Chevrolet Silverado: Which One Should I Buy?

Large work trucks are meant for one thing: work! These vehicles are rough and ready, and can handle nearly anything you throw at them, with the exception of a car pool. While they offer two or four door options, you still are going to be hard-pressed to fit a car seat into the back of them without some serious contortion. However, if you need a load of gravel or mulch moved into your yard, these are the vehicles for you!

The Toyota Tundra comes in at a slightly higher price-point, but continues to suffer in comparison as far as rugged looks, fuel efficiency and strength for towing, but it has a ton of standard features. The Silverado is a classic truck, with the tough good looks you would expect from a Chevy but it also offers a hybrid option and thousands of possible build combinations so you can get exactly the vehicle that you want. There are complaints that the Tundra is huge and can be difficult to maneuver but is still offered in an off-road edition that can lead to big, dirty fun.

Chevrolet Silverado 2012
2012 Chevrolet Silverado

Fuel Economy

Neither of these vehicles offer stellar fuel economy. With the 16 mpg for city driving of the Tundra ever-so-slightly beating out the 15 mpg city for the Silverado and the two vehicles tying for highway mpg at 20 each. The Tundra has a slightly larger fuel tank at 26.4 gallons, but both sizes are generous for these large frames.

Working Capacity

While the max tongue weight of the Tundra has 20 more pounds than the Silverado for a dead weight hitch, the max tongue weight for a weight distributing hitch is 720 for the Silverado versus only 520 for the Tundra. The payload for the Tundra is a spare 1,620 lbs where the Silverado delivers a 1,940 lbs capacity. Maximum trailer weights are very similar; within 100 lbs of each other but the wheelbase of the Tundra is significantly longer making it a true beast.

Interior Options

The Tundra, as expected, offers a few more amenities as standard to help account for the higher price point: cloth seats instead of vinyl, MP3 capability, audio jack standard, and DVD-audio at least as an option, which the Silverado does not offer at all.

Both of these vehicles are workhorses; you’ll find a slightly more refined workhorse with the Tundra but you will pay the difference in dollars to get it.


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