Tundra Murders Ram In Towing Ability Says Automobile Magazine

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Towing experience ought to be a standard requirement for anyone who reviews pickup trucks. Towing, according to data collected by Ford, is the reason for 44% of all pickup truck purchases (see Why do people buy trucks?). Towing showcases a truck’s most important features – the powertrain and the brakes.

One writer at Automobile Magazine feels the the Tundra "murders" the Ram in terms of towing ability.

One writer at Automobile Magazine feels the the Tundra "murders" the Ram in terms of towing ability.

A writer at Automobile Magazine found that, after towing with about a half-a-dozen trucks and SUVs, the Tundra was his favorite. Here are the highlights:

First, the writer details all of the trucks he’s towed with and what he was pulling. While the tow rigs vary greatly – from an F350 King Ranch to a BMW X5 – the tow load was always the same – a race car. The writer was quick to point out that every vehicle he towed with had plenty of power for towing. However, the Tundra’s powertrain impressed him the most:

The Tundra is ludicrously fast-and not just when it’s unloaded. Pulling my 2700-lb track car (on a 2000-lb trailer and loaded with another quarter-ton of spare parts), the Tundra feels faster in a straight line than my race car itself.

What’s more, the writer had a great chance to compare the Tundra and Dodge’s new Ram. While the new Ram had some advantages – a better ride, a nicer interior, a better stereo [sounds a lot like our Tundra vs. Ram comparison, no?] – the Tundra’s power advantages were, to quote the writer, “immense.”

Okay, towing isn’t about winning drag races, but having immense power reserves certainly helps when you’re dealing with mountain passes at highway speeds-or merging into fast-moving traffic…The Tundra’s ride isn’t quite as supple as the Dodge Ram’s when it’s driving around empty…the[Tundra’s] base stereo is pretty grim…[however] The brakes feel great and the steering, though overboosted, is pleasingly accurate.

As great as the Ram is in many other ways, the Toyota murders it in powertrain refinement, and the six-speed automatic always seems to have the right gear available for ferocious acceleration.

It’s great to see an auto writer really dive into the nuances of great towing – especially one who is admittedly not a huge fan of pickups. If all of the writers at Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Consumer Reports, etc., had to tow a race car cross country, they might give the Tundra’s excellent braking and powertrain the credit it deserves. Unfortunately, most of the people at these magazines don’t know much about towing, so they focus instead on ride quality, handling, and electronic features that don’t amount to much when pulling a big load.

Bottom Line: The Ram’s superior horsepower numbers look great on paper, but according to one reviewer with towing experience, the Tundra’s powertrain “murders” the Ram’s engine and transmission combo. Couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Read the Automobile Magazine blog post.

Anyone who has towed with both the new Ram and the Tundra care to comment?

Filed Under: Tundra News

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  1. Goofballtech/Tony says:

    I tow my tacoma to and from the trails and i find my truck tows great even with the 6″ lift and 35″ tires. I am very pleased with it. I am going to try and do some comparison if i can get a hold of one of my friends with other trucks to let me hook up my tow rig just to feel the difference for myself. Will post up if i ever have the chance. 🙂

  2. mk says:

    Sorry, no RAM comparison, just Chevy Silverados. The only past experience that even comes close for towing power vs. the tundra was the 6.0L V8 4.10 gear ratio 4 speed tranny on the 1/2 ton crewcab 1500HD, but it rode 3 times rougher/firmer/choppier and about 4-5 less mpg than my current tundra. I just wish Toyota would take the cues from this report and improve on the standard crappy stereo system, especially speakers, the ride comfort (still a bit too choppy for a 1/2 ton truck on the tundra), and the interior ergonomics/features of the RAM, dare I say it.

  3. Mickey says:

    Mk the standard crap radio is made by Delco which builds radio’s for GM. Now you see the picture. Yes they need to find a better stock radio. The JBL one I have works pretty good. I use both XM, MP3, and Ipod Nano on my truck. I don’t tow a whole lot. My boat being an 18.5 ft bowrider doesn’t weigh hardly anything. The only truck I had that had an issue was the F-150 which for some reason lost traction alot compared to the Silverado and Tundra which both haven’t lost traction. Also the Silverado and Tundra both had street tires as where the F-150 had B/F Goodrich all terrain tires. The only thing I towed that was heavy was a 97 Thunderbird on a full trailer with my 98 Silverado.

  4. steve says:

    I found this funny, “The Tundra feels faster in a straight line than my race car itself”. That’s some race car or lack of! So he towed 5200 lbs, that’s in compact pickup range. If no one has never really towed any real weight, they may think this is very informative. I guess he never has considering he has towed what maybe 6 or 7 times (that’s being really generous). A HD is not even breathing hard with 5200lbs behind it (considering they weigh at least 7,000 to 8,000 lbs them selves) so how can you compare it to a half ton? A HD does the same speed with that weight as they would empty. As for comparing the Ram to Tundra, if you don’t like the Ram capabilities buy a Tundra or buy a 3/4 Ram. Yhea, Ram makes those. Anyone who has a need to tow any substantial weight should know its better to go bigger than to wonder one day the “what could have been” or can I do it. Here is anther comment by Jason Cammisa about the Tundra, “and why do the diffs bind so badly when you turn in 4WD?!”. Apparently someone needs to inform him on how 4wd works, especially on what sounds like dry hard surface. In my eyes of towing with half tons (good thing for fleet accounts), three quarter tons and one tons through a five ton, the Ram is best half ton I have used. Anyone who is really serious about towing for recreational purposes should look at RV sites and magazines, they do quality reviews of both experts and consumers.

  5. Steve – I certainly agree that this review from Automobile Magazine wasn’t comprehensive. If someone is really looking for a truck-to-truck towing comparison, PickupTrucks.com did a very nice job. http://special-reports.pickupt.....-load.html

  6. TXTee says:

    I don’t tow but I have been happy with hauling and can agree the power and braking is great in mountain passes. Nice article. I also like that you pointed out to those who will complain that the comparison was across a wide range of vehicles from a King Ranch 350 to BMW X5.

    Still a bullet to the Ram from what I read….

  7. Che25 says:

    TXTee, you and Jason Cammisa have something in common. Apparently nether of you guys tow things. Hints the reason for both of you thinking the Ram is so good.
    Jason: the special report article you attached was not any better. If I want to drag race with other trucks while towing I guess it would help. How much did the trailer weigh? What I’m looking for is a article using say a 8,000lb trailer focusing on the following points, engine braking, stopping, emergency maneuvers (will the truck compensate for trailer sway), towing options (factory trailer brakes, mirrors, eng/trans cooler), pulling power (10% grade with cruise set a 70mph, what gear does it hold, RPM’s, does the trans search), fifth wheel trailers, visibility, suspension while on unimproved roads (aka Pennsylvania interstates), and the last speed. That is what is really needed to be known.

  8. Mickey says:

    Che25 two things. One TXTee is a female. 2nd the ram isn’t rated to tow enough.

  9. Che – The link I provided is just a small portion of an entire special report. You can find links to the entire special report on PickupTrucks.com. When you read, you’ll find that the Tundra isn’t the best truck according to them. In any case, the bottom line here is that one auto critic has a high opinion of the Tundra’s towing – take it for what it is…or don’t. Makes no difference to me. There’s no disputing one fact, however – the Tundra’s transmission has one more gear than the Ram. Anyone who has towed will tell you an extra gear usually makes a big difference…so this report makes a lot of sense.

  10. mk says:

    Jason, any ideas on if the 3/4 ton Ram who I think, not sure, won an award for best 2010 pickup of the year according to one magazine opinion, has coil springs for the rear end like on the 1/2 ton pickup to make it ride smoother? I doubt it since rear leaf springs support more weight, although the 3/4 ton trucks I have been in ride rougher than _hit when not loaded down. I’d never buy a 3/4 ton truck unless towing over 8K regularly of which not many regular customers do more than a few times per year unless in construction/contracting.

  11. opp says:

    Leaf springs, they are not made to ride smooth.

  12. mk says:

    That is why I am asking opp. If the dodge ram 3/4 ton has rear coil springs, then that would impress me since probably would ride smoother than any 3/4 ton on the market, but I doubt it does.

  13. mk – Leafs for sure. Can’t imagine a coil spring rear on a HD truck at any point in the near future.

  14. mk says:

    thanks Jason, that is what I thought, just asking the expert – you.

  15. mk – LOL – Thanks.

  16. Anthony Antenorcruz says:

    I looked at the 250s and Chevy HD but the tundra on paper had everything I needed including 0% interest which just became available on the ford 250s. I purchased my tundra to tow a cruiser yacht at 10,000lbs. I tow it about 30-40 miles from chino ca to long beach twice a month. I have to say this truck is simply amazing. I have taken my rig to Laughlin last summer 300 miles and the drive was stable with ample power. I never appreciated diesels for there smell, noise and during the gas increase the higher price at the pump. Plus the price for a fully loaded diesel compared to my fully loaded 4×4 tundra was significant and again the 0% sealed the deal for me. So toyota has provided me with a 1/2 ton that gets the job done for me.

  17. Anthony – Sweet man – send me some pics of you towing the yacht and I’ll put them on the site. admin@tundraheadquarters.com

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