Trucks. They are as American as Mom and apple pie. Some people use them for work, some for off road, and some just to look cool. We decided to take two of the best selling pick ups, the 2013 Ford F150 FX2 and the 2013 Toyota Tundra and see which one would come out on top. You get a variety of choices in your F150 when it comes to engines, drive trains, cab, and bed size. We had the 3.5L V6 Ecoboost engine SuperCab 4×4. This engine produces 365 horsepower and a fantastic 420 lb/ft of torque, kicking in at a low 2500 rpm. The power is getting to the wheels through a 6 speed automatic transmission and you’ll enjoy an EPA fuel rating of 16 city/22 highway.
You get slightly less choice with the Toyota Tundra in terms of engines and the like. We opted to drive the 4.6L V8 Double Cab 4×4. Here you’ll get 310 horsepower and 327 lb/ft of torque at 3400 rpm. A 6 speed automatic is standard, with an EPA fuel rating of 14 city/19 highway.
Both trucks can tow up to nearly 7800 pounds, depending on the wheelbase you choose, making either an excellent choice as a weekend toy hauler.
The F150 features an independent double-wishbone suspension with coil over shocks in the front and leaf spring suspension in the rear with a solid axle. Steering is boosted electronically but is fairly communicative.
At a weight of nearly 5000 pounds, the F150 has a good ride for a pick up. Of course, the live axle means your rear end may skip a bit on a bumpy corner, but for the most part the truck remains composed and easy to drive.
The Tundra features a front Independent coil-spring double-wishbone front suspension with stabilizer bar and low-pressure nitrogen gas-filled shock absorbers. The rear gives us a live axle with trapezoidal multi-leaf rear suspension with staggered outboard-mounted low-pressure nitrogen gas-filled shock absorbers. Steering is a hydraulically powered rack-and-pinion system that gives you good feedback.
Topping the scale at 5550 pounds, the Tundra rides a bit on the stiff side. However, it is far from objectionable and remains easy to maneuver. Road noise is kept to a minimum at highway speeds. Keep in mind, however, that as with the F150 the live axle in the rear means the back end may get upset in rough corners.
The interior of the F150 is well put together and features quality materials. For a full size pickup I found the seats to be abundantly comfortable. Ford has taken steps to make the interior conducive to heavy work, as controls are easy to operate with work gloves on and there are features to help you run the business side of your heavy work, like file storage and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The Tundra hasn’t been updated in a while, and it shows no place more than the interior. It’s functional with comfortable seats and easy to use controls, but the materials seem a little cheap and plasticky. The 2014 model will get a new interior, so if you have your heart set on a Tundra, I’d wait until they become available in September.
If you’re looking for more off road performance, the F150 Raptor is one of the best out of the box pre-runners available today. The Tundra TRD package is good, but will require more modifications to match the Raptor. Starting at $35,915, the Ford F150 FX2 is the better buy here. Sure, at $33,685 the Toyota is less expensive, but Ford’s Ecoboost motor with nearly 100 more lb/ft of torque is worth the extra coin, especially if you are shopping for a work truck, and not just a cool truck.