By Teddy Field
In this car comparison, we’re going to look at two fullsize trucks. So Captain Obvious says that we should call it a truck comparison, which we will. Now that we’ve settled that, let’s go look at some massively capable brute-mobiles.
When Toyota introduced the fullsize Tundra in 2000, it put the truck world on its ear. For the first time in history, folks could buy a pickup that felt refined and well screwed-together. The 4.7 liter V8 was a smooth, velvety hunk of metal that felt like it should power a Lexus (which it did). The interior wasn’t assembled by drunken toddlers (hello Ford), the ride was smooth, and almost comfortable. Compared to domestic trucks of the day, the Toyota Tundra was like George Jetson’s rocket car. But lately, it’s fallen behind the rapidly advancing competition.
The 2013 Ford F-150 by contrast, is the most cutting edge object-hauler on the planet. Rain sensing wipers, power deployable running boards, a torque-tastic twin-turbo V6. The list of F-150 features and options is as long as your arm. But how will Master Yoda’s truck fare against the mighty Ford? Let’s find out…
2013 Ford F-150
“We Own Work”. That’s a slogan adopted by the Ford F-150 marketing team, to showcase how well the F-150 sells in the fleet world. Their press release says that 51% of Emergency Vehicle fleets use a Ford F-150, 68% of Hazardous Materials fleets use a Ford truck, and only 8% of those use a Ram 1500. The list goes on, but the jist is that commercial fleets run F-Series trucks, because they make economic sense.
According to Tim Lentile of the Lentile Construction Company: “Past experience, good service [from the dealer] and reliability is why we run F150’s”. After 30 years of managing a fleet of trucks that get used (and abused) by construction personnel, LCC almost exclusively uses Ford vehicles. And Mr. Lentile himself drives an F-150 XL, which in itself is high praise from a man that could drive anything he wanted (Lentile Construction is a pretty big deal in Georgia).
So what does all that Fleet Vehicle nonsense mean to you? Well, it means that Ford makes a pretty tough truck. A 2013 Ford F-150 will have no problem transporting you to work, then dragging your boat/toy trailer out of town for the weekend.
If you need passenger room, the 2013 Ford F-150 SuperCrew has one of the roomiest back seats in the business. That three-wide throne even folds away to reveal a huge cargo area with a completely flat load floor. Should ‘traversing crappy terrain’ be on your itinerary, the 2013 Ford F-150 FX4 offers 4-wheel-drive grip, with the handy Hill Descent Control system from the 2013 SVT Raptor. And if you have lots of chest hair, with a spray-on tan, the ridiculously luxurious 2013 Ford F-150 Limited offers 22-inch Bling-Bling wheels, red leather seats, and a month’s supply of Viagra.
On the equipment front, a brilliant feature found on the 2013 Ford F-150 equipped with the often-aggravating MyFord Touch system, is the addition of large hard-buttons on the dash, which allow you to control the HVAC & radio, without getting lost in a touchscreen maze. And of course, the engines are equally brilliant, ranging from a 302-hp V6, several V8s (including a 411-hp 6.2L big block…that can tow 11k lbs), and the 22 (hwy) mpg twin-turbo EcoBoost 3.5L V6.
Whether you’re an ambulance company, a lawn maintenance guy, or just a regular guy, Ford can probably configure a 2013 Ford F-150 that’ll meet your needs for a long time to come.
2013 Toyota Tundra
Unlike the F-150, the 2013 Toyota Tundra is primarily a consumer good. To that end, there’s less focus by Toyota on offering a myriad of configurations. Sure, there’s a work-ready stripper model, and you can get the usual regular, extended, and crew cabs. But the bed lengths are limited by the cab that you choose, and the base V6 can only pull 4,800 lbs, vs. 6,100 lbs with Ford’s base 6-pot.
Another deterrent to fleet use is the rather steep base price. The base 2013 Toyota Tundra regular cab v6 starts at $25k, vs. $23k for the 2013 Ford F-150. But many fleets still prefer the Tundra for its dependability, and simplicity. Compared to an F-150, the big Yoda is like an old Timex to an iPhone.
Even in the luxed-up 2013 Toyota Tundra Platinum Grade, you won’t have a fancy LCD screen in the gauge cluster, twirling a Toyota logo at you. Of course, you can get Toyota’s smartphone based Entune system, and a handy power roll-down back window. Plus, the room in the back of a 2013 Toyota Tundra CrewMax is so vast, you can actually slide the outboard sections of the 40/20/40 (when equipped) bench forward, and recline it. Particularly handy if you want to roll up to the jobsite Gangnam Style.
Under the hood, there’s no ‘variable camshafts’, or twin-turbos, like in the Ford. Just honest to goodness Toyota engines. The base 4.0 liter V6 makes a healthy 270-hp / 278 lb-ft, the middling 4.6L V8 makes 310-hp / 327 lb-ft, and the ‘big daddy’ 5.7 liter V8 makes 381-hp and a torque-tastic 401 lb-ft. There’s no real ‘tricks’ to these engines, just dual overhead cams, and variable valve timing. Both of which, Toyota has been using for years.
None of the 2013 Toyota Tundra engines are particularly fuel efficient either, but you know they’ll last forever. And the interior isn’t particularly fancy (like the Ford’s), but that means there’s less stuff to break. So if you can get over the jiggly ride, the 2013 Toyota Tundra would make an ideal drive-it-until-it-dies ‘personal use’ pickup. But if you have serious work to do, you’d better stick with the Ford.
Car Comparison: 2013 Ford F-150 vs. 2013 Toyota Tundra
|SPECIFICATION||2013 Ford F-150||2013 Toyota Tundra|
|Fuel Economy||N/A||16/20/17 4.0L / 2WD|
|15/20/17 4.6L / 2WD|
|14/19/16 4.6L / 4WD|
|13/18/15 5.7L / 2WD|
|13/17/15 5.7L / 4WD|
|Suburban Snob Factor||9 / 10 Camrys||6 / 10 Camrys|
|IIHS Ranking||Top Safety Pick = Y||Top Safety Pick = Y|
|Why Buy It?|
The 2013 Ford F-150 is America’s favorite pickup for a reason. It can tow an obscene amount of weight, while crossing social and economic barriers…in 2-wheel drive.
The 2013 Toyota Tundra was designed exclusively for our market. And represents the Japanese’s take on the ideal American truck: Simple but nice. Maybe we should listen to them…about the simple part.