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2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2021 Toyota Tundra

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  • 2021 Chevy Silverado

    A dark grey 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 is angled left.

    Starting at

    $29,300*

    2021 Toyota Tundra

    A black 2021 Toyota Tundra SR5 is angled right.

    Starting at

    $34,025

    420Max Horsepower (hp)381
    460Max Torque (lb-ft)401
    13,300Max Towing (lbs)10,200

    A comparison of the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2021 Toyota Tundra highlights a stark difference in what truck enthusiasts and shoppers can expect from both full-size pickups. In the case of the Silverado 1500, the hallmark truck from General Motors has been paving the way with consistent improvements with each new model year, culminating in one of the best-selling vehicles in America. The Toyota Tundra has managed to carve out its own corner of the market as a reliable half-ton pickup with decent towing and a roomy interior.

    For the 2021 model years, Toyota opted to offer limited special editions for the Tundra, while the Silverado has been fitted with a number of changes and a few surprises. The Silverado 1500, in particular, has been given plenty of new colors to choose from, in addition to its already diverse palette. New wheel options for select trims have become available, along with an increased tow rating for select powertrains. The 2021 Silverado 1500 is available across eight trims, ranging from the basic Work Truck to the luxurious High Country. The 2021 Toyota Tundra spans only five different trim formats, which include a base model all the way to a special off-road edition.

  • Performance

    A black 2021 Chevy Silverado Z71 is shown driving through the city at night after winning the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2021 Toyota Tundra comparison.

    The 2021 Chevy Silverado comes with five powertrain options, which include a 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, a 3.0-liter Duramax turbocharged diesel I6, a 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V6, a 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8, and a 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine. Each of the powertrains delivers performance-ready horsepower and torque, much more so than the Toyota Tundra, which only has one powertrain option - a 5.7-liter i-Force V8.

    Engine Power

    The Tundra's 5.7-liter V8 features 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. While this offers more horsepower and torque than the Silverado's 2.7-liter, which has 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque, as well as the Silverado's 4.3-liter V6, which has 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, it doesn't match up to the other Silverado 1500 powertrain options. If you were interested in more horsepower or more torque, the Silverado 1500 provides it in spades. This gives potential truck shoppers a much higher ceiling when it comes to optional performance.

    The Silverado's 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 delivers a capable 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque through a six, eight, or ten-speed automatic transmission. On the torque side of the equation, the 3.0-liter Duramax turbocharged diesel delivers 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The Duramax clearly proves to be the better option when it comes to torque, making it great for crawling, trailering, towing, and off-road adventures.

    More Efficient, More Capable

    But that's not to mention that the Duramax is great at fuel-saving, as well. With the Duramax, you net an estimated fuel economy of up to 23 miles per gallon in the city and up to 33 miles per gallon on the highway. With the Tundra's 5.7-liter, you only get an estimated 13 miles per gallon in the city and 17 miles per gallon on the highway. So even if you have more horsepower at your disposal with the 5.7-liter in the Tundra over the 3.0-liter Duramax, you get much better fuel economy and torque out of the Duramax.

    At the top end of the performance chain is the 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 for the 2021 Silverado 1500. This engine provides 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. This gives you more than 10% additional horsepower over the Tundra and approximately 15% more torque over the 5.7-liter V8 found in Toyota's pickup. So if you want better overall performance, you definitely want to go with the Silverado.

  • Towing/Payload

    A black 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 is shown towing a trailer through a fence gate.

    With the powertrain capabilities of both trucks, it's easy to assume that the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2021 Toyota Tundra should prove to be an interesting match-up in the towing and trailering department. Well, in a way, it is. Both full-size pickups have impressive max-towing numbers and are somewhat closer than what you may have initially thought.

    Tundra Ratings

    For the 2021 Toyota Tundra, the 5.7-liter V8 can max out with a towing capacity of 10,200 pounds. This is possible thanks to the Tow Package, which comes with the Tundra. The package features a 4.3 rear axle ratio to get the most efficiency out of the V8's torque. The added Tow/Haul mode makes it easy to switch between towing and hauling, while the heavy-duty battery and 170-amp alternator help with the extra consumption from any trailer lights and accessories.

    When configured in a double cab format with rear-wheel drive, the Tundra can achieve a maximum payload capacity of 1,730 pounds. This makes the Tundra a surprisingly poor option for hauling, especially if you work in construction, landscaping, or other physical labor fields where hauling equipment is essential. With the coil-spring front suspension and trapezoidal multi-leaf rear suspension, coupled with front and rear stabilizer bars, the Tundra is reasonably well-tuned to handle the workload associated with towing and hauling.

    Silverado Ratings

    The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500, however, is just all-around more efficient in the towing, trailering, and hauling category. With the Silverado configured as a Double Cab with the 6.2-liter V8, you have up to 13,300 pounds of max conventional trailering. This is made possible when the Silverado is equipped with the Max Trailering Package. The package includes many similar features to the Tundra's tow package, such as a trailer brake controller, a heavy-duty locking rear differential, a 4/7-pin trailer hitch connector, hitch guidance, and heavy-duty cooling for the engine and transmission.

    When it comes to payload, the Silverado 1500 has a max payload capacity of 2,280 pounds when you have it configured as a Regular Cab with a long bed and two-wheel drive. As a pure workhorse, the Silverado 1500 comes with everything you need to get the toughest jobs done right out of the gate, even with the base trim. The optional powertrains give you leverage to scale up the Silverado's capabilities to well above those of the 2021 Toyota Tundra.

  • Features

    A close up shows the infotainment screen in a 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country.

    Capacity

    Both the Silverado 1500 and Toyota Tundra are capable of seating up to 6 people across two rows. When it comes to interior passenger volume, the Tundra offers up to 39.7 inches of headroom and 42.5 inches of legroom in the front row. With the bed, you get a total length of 97.6-inches of length to stockpile your payload if you opt for the longest configuration available for the Tundra.

    On the side of the Silverado 1500, the front cabin offers up to 43.03 inches of headroom and 44.53 inches of legroom. In the rear, you have a maximum bed length of up to 98.18 inches to store cargo and a total maximum cargo volume of 89.1 cubic feet of space to utilize when you opt for the long bed format. Matched up against the Tundra, you get more interior cabin room with the Silverado 1500, as well as a bit of extra space when it comes to the bed size.

    Technology

    As for interior features and technology, the Silverado 1500 features two display screens. On the upper-end trims, this includes an 8-inch diagonal driver information center featuring vehicle health and active safety features. There is also an 8-inch diagonal multicolor touchscreen, offering drivers and passengers opportunities to access in-vehicle apps and connect smart devices with wireless Bluetooth support. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, along with voice-activated features for hands-free access.

    The Toyota Tundra alternatively comes with a single 8-inch touchscreen. Lower-end trims are paired with a 7-inch touchscreen, however. Apple Carplay and Android Auto are standard across the entire line, along with Bluetooth support and USB media ports. However, the Tundra lacks some of the other key features found on the Silverado, such as the bonus driver information display, as well as integrated features like Teen Driver mode.

    While the Tundra offers a great suite of technology, performance capabilities, and towing capacity, none of it matches the Silverado 1500's features. In the battle of the 2021 Silverado 1500 vs 2021 Toyota Tundra, it's a clear win for the Silverado 1500. The new model year has more features and additional technologies that make it the better full-size pickup.

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