2009 Tundra vs 2009 F150 – Part Two – Features and Pricing

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Here’s part two of our 2009 Tundra vs. 2009 F150 comparison. This time, the focus is on the features and pricing of the two trucks. Read part one, the mechanical comparison.


Ford re-designed the interior of the 2009 F-150, and while it maintains a solid, uncomplicated truck aura, the finishes are improved, as is space in the SuperCrew (engineered with a flat floor for better storage) once the seats are flipped up. The headroom in the Ford SuperCab and CrewCab is slightly larger than the Tundra, the legroom slightly less. Both trucks offer a variety of nifty options and features, but the coolest options for the F150 are the Tool Link that uses Radio Frequency Identification so you can run inventory on the tools you’re carrying from the front seat, and the handy variety of steps available to get in and out (be it in and out of the cab or the bed).

The Tundra’s dash and interior finishes aren’t great: modern and clean, but not really on the same par with top-of-the-line luxury rivals. The smaller, recessed gauges on the dash disappear once you put on your sunglasses, and some of the center stack controls can be hard to reach. Seats are comfortable, however, visibility is great, and storage is superb. This is one of those nebulous areas where personal taste comes in. If your truck interior is doomed to dust, your seats covered with dirt, dog spit and spilled coffee, who really cares what it looked like in the dealer’s lot.

Tundra makes selection simpler with only the basic model in three cab and two bed configurations and the SR5 and Limited packages.

Winner: Storage goes to the Tundra, comfort is a tie, and luxury goes to the F150. If you throw in the cool features on the new F150, you have to give it the win, but if you don’t care about (or buy) these features, then…did we mention this comparison is close? Read below to see who won.


Ford built toughness into the frame of the ’09 F-150; they also injected serious testosterone into the front end and sheer mass of the truck. You’ve got a choice of 13 colors and an equal number of interior upholstery and colors and wheel choices (most linked to specific trim lines). There’s also a good selection of cargo management options.

Tundra has all the functional equipment for storage, fewer (but not by much) choices of paint and interior. Since Ford (as well as Dodge) are playing catch-up with Toyota on both performance and functionality, there’s nothing you can’t do with the Tundra. In terms of looks, it’s all personal preference, but we like the Tundra’s looks better…but who buys a truck based on looks?

Winner: After a lot of debate, we decided to split the results between interior and exterior. Tundra will win one of these categories, and F150 the other. Which is which will depend on you – most of these features, options, and designs come down to personal preference and need.


These trucks both offer a full suite of airbags, electronic safety systems, and excellent safety testing results. The F150’s 5 star government crash test ratings supercede the Tundra’s 4 star government crash test results. HOWEVER, the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) tested the Tundra last year and declared it a “Top Pick”, something that the new F150 matched a year later. The Tundra’s better braking system should be considered here as well – avoiding an accident is a safety feature as well.

The temptation to grant the F150 the win here is strong, after all, it did perform better in the government crash test. Still, the fact remains that in all other ways (and in the IIHS safety test) the two trucks perform nearly identically and share the same safety features. The Tundra’s slightly better braking performance compensates for the F150’s better crash test results, especially considering the government front crash test ratings are based upon a highly unrealistic “full head-on crash” that’s unlikely to occur in the real world.

Winner: Yawn – it’s another tie. Give the F150 credit for doing better in the government’s crash tests, but give the Tundra credit for stopping faster and offering all of these safety features two years ago.


Comparing two common builds – an XLT SuperCab F150 5.4L 4×4 and an SR5 DoubleCab Tundra 5.7L 4×4 – the price difference was pretty small. The XLT came with a partially “free” chrome package that sort of skewed the comparison. If Ford would allow us to configure the vehicle more cleanly, the prices would have come out closer. Still, the Ford, at $35,820 was only slightly more than a very similar Tundra at $34,387. It should be noted that an exact feature-to-feature price comparison isn’t feasible, so the take-away should be that the pricing between the two trucks is very close.

As far as incentives go, the 08′ Tundra offers $4,000 in rebates, and once the remaining units are cleared off the lots, Toyota will likely up the 2009 Tundra rebate from $1500 to something more closely matching the $3000 rebate currently available on the F150. As always, incentives are a moving target, but it’s resonable to assume that the F150 and the Tundra will be competing with each other in terms of dollars as well.

Yet the up front price is only half the story. Both Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds.com have found the Tundra to have the highest resale value of any truck. What’s worse, Edmunds listed the F150 as having one of the 10 worst resale values of all pickups. To be fair, the distinction isn’t as profound as it sounds…but it’s definitely not good. This is one of the other areas that the Tundra clearly outperforms the F150.

Winner: Tundra. Prices are comparable, but the Tundra’s superior resale value makes buying a Tundra less of a money-losing proposition.

The third and final part of our comparison is coming up on Friday – don’t forget to subscribe to our free email newsletter to find out who won.

Filed Under: Toyota Tundra Reviews and Comparisons


RSSComments (7)

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  1. TXTee says:

    When are we going to get some comparisons on long term costs of owning one vs. the other type of vehicle? Insurance rate comparisons, repair costs, maintenance costs, etc. of a year or two prior models would be great.

  2. Mickey says:

    Try this again. Very good review. I agree with most but tend to judge on my own personnal likes on vehicles. I need to actually go see a Ford to compare for myself. Very intresting the resale value. I have to check that also.

  3. TXTee – Good idea. I’ll work on it.
    Mickey – Thanks again.

  4. David McCormack says:

    First, I’m not a car dealer, I’m a Chief Technology Officer for a large company and decided to comment on this so called “side by side” comparison.

    The challenge I have is the Safety tie. The question for safety is.. will you be safe if you are in a crash? It is obvious that this goes to the F-150 with a 5 star crash rating vs a Tundra’s 4 star, yet this side by side comparison made it a tie because Toyota has larger rotors even though they state that both trucks “stop” the same. Also, how can the writers of this column disqualify the governments crash ratings by stating, “government front crash test ratings are based upon a highly unrealistic “full head-on crash” that’s unlikely to occur in the real world”? Really? Have they checked the government’s safety tests? They test front, rear, sides and rollover. Go check for yourself.. It is an extensive test.. http://www.safercar.gov.
    Regarding the interior, stating that the Tundra is not up to par with other “top of the line luxury rivals”, I’m assuming you are talking about the truck you are comparing it to correct? Ford F-150? And to follow up by justifying that “If your truck interior is doomed to dust, your seats covered with dirt, dog spit and spilled coffee, who really cares what it looked like in the dealer’s lot”,….. Really? So Tundra’s basic interior ties with F-150’s really sharp and relevant interior based on future wear and tear?
    The last one is the price comparison. The side by side report comparison had to put “It should be noted that an exact feature-to-feature price comparison isn’t feasible”. My concern here is not enough research on pricing and probably shouldn’t rate any of them. When we do side by side comparisons, we want the facts please. I noticed that looking at both base model trucks, the F-150 was a $1,000 cheaper. It should be noted that in this case, the consumer should look for themselves. Simply go to the car lots and read the options w/prices on the window stickers between the two trucks.. you will most likely see a large difference in options and you get more F-150 for the same price for less money as you would a Tundra. Another interesting note: Ford sales around 500,000 trucks in the U.S. compared to Tundra’s 100,000 a year. (see http://trucks.about.com/od/mak.....-sales.htm) If there were only 100,000 F-150’s sold a year, you will see the resale value of an F-150 much higher… Doing the math, in a 4 year span, Ford had sold roughly around 2,000,000 trucks of the same body type compared to Toyota’s 400,000 trucks. The more supplied, the less of a demand, therefore, the value after used will be lower despite how nice the truck is.
    Really? This side by side comparison is bias towards Tundra. The Ford of today is different. Simply drive one and see!

  5. Jason (Admin) says:

    David – I think you make some interesting points, but you make some mistakes too.

    First, the governments safety tests have changed dramatically in the last year. The tests and ratings you see today aren’t the same as they were in early 09′. Second, the government crash test results in 07′ were 4 stars, the crash test results in 09′ were 5, and NO ONE can explain why. Toyota didn’t change the truck.

    Second, as far as crediting the Toyota for better brakes and better standard safety features, I think this is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Survival statistics don’t matter if you never wreck in the first place.

    Third, the IIHS rated both trucks as top picks (but the 07′ Tundra won it first). By all accounts, these trucks are equally safe (at worst)…and ties go to the older design.

    Next, Ford’s interiors are excellent across the board. That’s why they won this category.

    Finally, pricing data isn’t available because Ford and Toyota equip their vehicles differently. You’re absolutely correct in that anyone thinking about these trucks should go to the dealer and get the best price for similarly equipped trucks.

    However, just as you say, up-front cost isn’t the only concern. The average Tundra holds it’s value better than the average F150. Total cost should be calculated, especially if you might want to change or upgrade vehicles at some point in the next 10 years.

    You say the Tundra’s high resale is due to scarcity, but this point doesn’t match reality. If low volume equaled low resale, how do you explain the best-selling car in the USA (the Camry) and the best-selling compact pickup in the USA (the Tacoma) both having the highest resale value in their segments?

    The bottom line is, both 09′ trucks are excellent. A case can be made for both, especially if you look at resale, safety, overall cost, and performance.

  6. BZ says:

    I have been in the used car business for over thirty five years and the Tundra retains a much higher resae value for a reason.Low cost of maint and reliability and this a fact !!!
    The F-150 goes into self destruct mode after 80K mi, just look at what Ford engineers did to there customers with the
    broken off spark plug problems on the 2004 F-150 5.4 ! The word is out and it is inferior engineering like this that kills Fords resale value.Not to mention lost customers.So you Ford fans just keep buying this worthless junk and I will buy a USA made Toyota that I don’t have to spend $1200
    to change the spark plugs !!

  7. Jason (Admin) says:

    BZ – The Ford spark plug problem is pretty well-known in Ford truck circles, and I agree it hurt their resale. You might be a little harsh, however, about Fords. They’re much better than they’ve ever been, and by many measures Ford quality is on par with Toyota.

    Still, just as you say, Tundra resale value is higher because consumers believe they’re worth more.

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