|13,300||Max Towing (lbs)||12,000|
|2,280||Max Payload (lbs)||1,940|
|Available||Diesel Model||Not Available|
It used to be pretty simple to buy a pickup truck. A quick search of the spec sheet revealed the tow ratings, payload ratings, and bed size. Buyers simply chose the truck with the capabilities required to get the job done. Today, comparing the multiple trim lineups of the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2022 Toyota Tundra, things are far more complicated.
Full-size pickup truck buyers now must consider more than just 4x2 or 4x4 – they're now weighing the benefits of luxury interior finishes, next-generation trailering technology, and even upgraded tailgates. The 2022 Silverado 1500 comes in eight different trims, and Toyota asks buyers to choose from six trim options.
Buyers in the full-size truck segment are extremely diverse, which is one of the reasons automakers have stepped up and added more options. Unfortunately, Toyota seems to have ignored adding affordable options, and the price of entry into the Tundra family remains much higher than it is for Chevy.
Heritage is another important quality full-size truck buyers value. The 2022 model year represents the 55th year Chevy has manufactured a full-size pickup truck, and the company enjoys an over 100-year tradition of building trucks overall. The Tundra is a newcomer by comparison. It was launched in 1999, and because of that, it doesn't evoke the same sense of tradition and legacy.
What's important to you in a full-size truck, and which truck – the 2022 Silverado 1500 or the 2022 Tundra – fits best with your budget and lifestyle? In a side-by-side comparison, one of these rigs clearly offers more features and better capability. You probably won't be surprised which one emerged as the winner.
As one of the "Big Three" truck manufacturers, Chevy knows a thing or two about mass-producing affordable and durable pickups for people that need them. It's a strength not shared by Toyota. The Tundra's starting price is several thousand dollars more than the Silverado's, making it out of reach for a large swath of full-size pickup truck buyers.
For 2022, the Silverado 1500 is available in eight trims: the WT, Custom, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, ZR2, and High Country. Why so many? Automakers like Chevrolet design trim lineups to bundle popular features and equipment so that buyers don't have to sift through long lists of complex add ons.
The Silverado 1500 WT and Custom are two entry trims priced specifically for commercial fleet customers and buyers on a budget. Chevy keeps it simple in the cabin, but because these buyers need the utility of a pickup truck, the absence of fancy cabin finishes is not a big deal. They'll use their truck as a tool, maybe at the job site or for towing or plowing snow.
Unfortunately, Toyota's Tundra lineup doesn't include a value-priced entry model, which leaves out a large percentage of the truck-buying market. It could explain why the Tundra struggles to compete with the Silverado, too. Even the base SR5 trim of the Tundra starts closer to $40,000 than $30,000, and the prices only go up from there as you climb through the Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition, and TRD Pro.
Another key difference that renders the Tundra less desirable is powertrain options. The Silverado lets buyers choose from a handful of engines, including two V8s and a powerful turbo-diesel. Unfortunately for Tundra buyers, they're stuck with a 3.5-liter V6 option in either I-FORCE or I-FORCE MAX hybrid versions. The hard truth is, many pickup truck buyers aren't quite ready to trust hybrid power.
One key feature many full-size truck buyers need is heavy-duty trailering capability. The Chevy Silverado 1500 delivers big, with up to 13,300 pounds of towing capacity. The Tundra falls far short, delivering only 12,000 pounds. Payload is equally unbalanced, with the Silverado offering 2,280 pounds and the Tundra coming in at just 1,940 pounds.
Not only that, but safe and effective trailering is all but guaranteed on the Silverado 1500, thanks to a suite of advanced trailering technology that practically automates hook-up. The category's first-ever Advanced Trailering System utilizes an app accessed on the touchscreen that lets buyers customize a trailer profile.
What else can the Advanced Trailering System do? It creates a pre-departure checklist and can diagnose and alert you to any trailer lighting problems. It also monitors trailer tire pressure and temperature. Chevy utilizes eight different cameras to offer 15 camera views. These include four hitch views, six driving views, and five parking views.
The Silverado's trailering capabilities also include safety features like Trailer Sway Control, Hill Start Assist, and Auto Grade Braking. You'll find these features on most full-size pickups, but what you won't find is Chevy's unique trailer theft alert and the first-ever electric parking brake hook-up assist feature. Combined, these systems eliminate the stress and worry associated with trailering.
The Tundra offers some similar trailering technologies, but they're not as robust as the ones you'll find on the Silverado. This could be a deal killer for buyers who plan to tow an RV or a boat frequently. Launching that boat becomes a lot less tedious when you can rely on views like Chevy's Transparent Trailer and Rear Side view to get a crystal clear image of the boat ramp and the surrounding area.
The Tundra's Panoramic View Monitor offers the same 360-degree top-down camera view as the Surround View setting found on the Silverado. They also both offer a Bed View setting, but only the Silverado has an Inside Trailer View feature that lets drivers monitor trailer cargo. And Chevy's innovative Bowl View displays a 3D image that enhances accuracy when backing up or hooking up the trailer.
For 2022, Chevy offers two trims that are specifically designed for off-roading enthusiasts: the Trail Boss and the flagship ZR2. Chevy enthusiastically declares that the Silverado 1500 ZR2 offers "next-level off-road capability" and highlights that the ZR2 trim is the first of its kind.
The ZR2 is factory-lifted, so buyers don't have to scramble to find compatible aftermarket lift kits. It's at home both in high-speed off-road driving and navigating rugged, technical terrain. The standard 6.2-liter V8 engine pairs with a 10-speed transmission to give drivers access to 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Unique to the ZR2 is a set of Multimatic dampers that add to the ZR2's off-roading prowess, along with a one-pedal rock crawling setting – Terrain Mode – that optimizes the chassis and suspension for precise maneuvering.
The ZR2 also features 33-inch mud-terrain tires, skid plates, and a giant steel front bumper designed to withstand punishing obstacles on the trail. The bumper end caps are even easily removable and replaceable, so repairing some dings and scratches won't require a complete bumper replacement. Custom exterior enhancements differentiate the ZR2 from the rest of the Silverado lineup and add to its aggressive stance.
In response, Toyota includes an off-road-focused TRD Pro trim in the Tundra lineup for 2022, as well as TRD off-roading packages that buyers can add to other trims. The TRD Pro trim wears 33-inch all-terrain tires, the same as the 33-inch mud-terrain monsters found on the Silverado ZR2. You'll also find skid plates and a specially-tuned and lifted suspension on the Tundra TRD Pro, but it's only 1.1 inches vs the 2-inch lift on the Silverado. More importantly, the Tundra only has a rear locking differential and part-time 4x4, while the Silverado ZR2 boasts front and rear lockers and a full-time 4x4 system that will engage when needed.
Because the Tundra TRD Pro is a flagship trim, the price tag is also substantial. However, buyers looking to save money and augment a lower-trim Tundra with the TRD Off-Road Package will sacrifice capability. In short, the Chevy Silverado 1500 ZR2 delivers more rugged architecture and equipment that can better tackle the trail.