Tundra v. F150 Comparison 2007 Part III: Ride, Handling, and Comfort

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This comparison is from 2007 and is out-dated. Check out our 2009 Tundra vs. F-150 comparison instead.

This is the third and final part of our comparison series Tundra v. F150. In this segment, we’re going compare the two trucks in terms of ride, handling, and comfort. As with the previous segments, we’re going to focus on the aspects that are most important to a typical, non-commercial truck user. Let’s get started.


When comparing the ride quality, a few ground rules must be set. First — both trucks are being compared without loads. We are comparing them empty because that’s how we were able to get them. If you load either truck up, you will find the ride will improve. For this reason, we’re not going to penalize either vehicle for “bounciness”. The springy feel of these trucks is a function of their design, and as far as we can see, something that every truck is going to have to some degree. Also, we think that of all the characteristics, ride is very much a relative term. If your previous vehicle is a 1992 Tacoma or 1992 Ford Ranger, we feel confident saying that anything on the road will ride nicer!! This isn’t a slam against either of those trucks, it’s simply a fact. Conversely, if you’re driving a 2007 Lincoln Town Car, both trucks are going to ride terribly by comparison. You get the idea — don’t buy a truck based solely on ride quality.

As far as ride quality goes, we have to say that the two trucks are very close. The F150 was the first truck on the road to offer such a high-level of refinement, and even though the design is years older than the Tundra, it still holds up very well. Ford was the first to produce a truck with rear shocks mounted outside the frame rails, and Toyota was wise to copy this design feature. Ford also has cast-aluminum lower control arms that are lighter than the typical steel control arms and improve front-end ride due to their lower un-sprung weight. We were unable to confirm if the Tundra matched this feature. In fact, using our mechanical comparison as a basis, we think it’s safe to assume that the F150 should ride nicer than the Tundra. After all, the frame of the F150 is stronger. However, one of the problems we have making this comparison is that the F150 XLT we tested came with 17″ wheels, while the Tundra SR5 had 18″ wheels. We think the extra inch of sidewall might affect the overall results and give Ford the advantage. We hate to admit it, but the finely tuned instruments that we used to measure the ride (our butts) aren’t finely tuned enough. We’re going to have to call it a tie.

WINNER: Ford. How does Ford win in the event of a tie you ask? Simple. The Ford is an older design. The fact that the F150 can haul as much as a new Tundra (more in some cases) combined with being an older design gives Ford the edge.


How to measure handling? First of all, there’s road feel. Both trucks use a rack and pinion steering system with power assist, with very similar results. We think both trucks “feel” great. Planted, solid, very capable, very precise. We’ve had a hard time finding much of a difference here. We like the feel of the Tundra steering wheel a little more, but it’s really very close. We’re going to turn next to some statistics (we’re more numbers guys anyways) but when looking at statistics we want to use some caution.

There’s something called a skid pad that professional vehicle testers use to determine a vehicle/s ultimate handling ability. The results, measured in “g”, indicate how hard a vehicle can be turned before it begins to skid. This is a very telling statistic about overall suspension design — it will indicate which vehicle is built more for going fast around curves. We find it hard to relate skid pad results to a real-world need when looking at trucks. After all, how many people typically push their truck to it’s handling limits? Just like ride quality, we think this is a characteristic that shouldn’t figure to heavily into your purchase decision.

There is a test that is done by the pros that we think is absolutely important, and that is the “slalom” test, which measures the highest speed at which a vehicle can navigate a slalom course without losing control. As far as relating these results to the real world, we think a higher slalom speed indicates a better chance of controlling your truck if you have to make an emergency lane change to avoid an accident. In tests posted by Edmunds.com, the F150 and the Tundra posted near identical speeds (55.1 mph and 54.9 mph respectively). In these tests, the Tundra used had 18″ wheels and the F150 17″ wheels. The F150 was able to post a higher speed even though the tires had more sidewall (and thus more flex), indicating the superiority of the F150 suspension. However, we would like to note that the test results were nearly identical, so the advantage here isn’t very large.

WINNER: F150, but it’s a close win again. We think handling is a small component of a typical truck purchase decision, but you’ve got to hand it to Ford — they build a nice riding, nice handling truck.


Ah comfort, the least quantitative comparison of all. We’ll start by talking about noise. We think that the quieter a vehicle is, the more enjoyable it is to drive. Sometimes we just like to go down the road with the radio off and enjoy the peace of silently moving through the world at 70 mph. Luckily, this is a characteristic that is very easy to measure. In the Edmunds.com tests sited earlier, the F150 has an interior db rating of 69 at 70mph, while a Tundra has a rating of 65.6. Under hard acceleration, the Tundra has a rating of 76.6 db v. a rating of 72 db for the F150. We noticed the difference right away. While we like the fact that the Tundra has a powerful and vocal motor, we think we’re going to get tired of hearing it roar. The F150 is quieter under hard acceleration, but not as quite on the highway. We’re likely to get used to the noise level in either truck, and both are acceptable.

As far as seat position goes, we like the F150 a little better. It feels higher and seems to be a better position for viewing the whole truck. We also think the F150’s front-end is easier to see over. However, we do think the F150 is harder to get in and out of than the Tundra. In terms of interior quality and comfort, we like the cloth in the Toyota better but we like the dash in the Ford more. Ideally, we would be able to blend the best attributes of both trucks to make them both better, but we think that the Toyota’s extra storage spaces and utilitarian design is great. We don’t like the big knobs on the Toyota over the more understated F150, but we could get used to it. Stereo quality on the stock sound systems is average, with neither vehicle gaining an advantage (although the Bluetooth on the Toyota is a great feature and the tie breaker.) Toyota doesn’t offer as many interior options as Ford, and we think the high-end Ford interiors look better than the Limited Tundra. Like we said before, those things really don’t matter to us when making a purchase decision, but they might to you.

In terms of comfort, we want to give both trucks a big thumbs up. They both deserve praise. IF ride, handling, and comfort are a big factor for you in your truck purchase decision, then take a good hard look at the F150.

WINNER: The F150 is a little nicer, but lacking in features. The Tundra needs more refinements to get a win in this comparison. Tie goes to the older design and Ford wins again.


We want to be clear — both of these trucks are excellent. If you choose to purchase either, you will be happy for years to come. However, in our minds, the decision rests on a few key factors.

  1. Power — One of the reasons that people buy trucks is to haul and tow. While we see plenty of trucks that aren’t doing either on the road every day, we think that overall towing and hauling ability is important. Also, good quick acceleration makes merging with traffic and driving in the mountains more enjoyable and a little big safer too.
  2. Safety — Second only to overall utility, safety is crucial. With more people commuting long distances every day than ever before, the chances of being involved in an accident have never been higher. However, safety is more than just crash test ratings. It encompasses every aspect of a vehicle’s ability to function in an emergency situation. Stopping and handling are paramount, with accident avoidance being the most important part of the safety equation (aside from safe driving that is).
  3. Value — We need to know that we’re getting the best “bang for the buck” with any vehicle purchase.
  4. Looks and Comfort — We hate to say it, but we know that people judge you by the car you’re driving. A good looking vehicle gets respect. Comfort makes long commutes more enjoyable.
  5. Availability of features and options — Buying a truck can often come down to which vehicle you can get with the features you really want or need.

Comparing the F150 to the Tundra, we know the Tundra is superior in terms of power. In fact, the new Tundra is the most powerful half-ton on the road. The combination of a dual VVT DOHC 5.7L V8 and a six-speed transmission make the Tundra as fast as some sports cars, as well as giving it the ability to tow 2000lbs more than the F150 in a normal configuration. Tundra wins the most important category.

Safety is another area that we believe the Tundra outshines the F150. While the F150 has higher NHTSA crash test ratings, we believe Toyota’s superior accident avoidance abilities (better brakes, electronic vehicle stability control) make the Tundra the better choice.

Value is an area that Toyota has a long history of being superior. Baring some incredible, unforeseen event, there is no reason to expect that the Toyota’s resale value won’t be higher than any one of its competitors for the immediate future. Furthermore, while we admit that previous reliability is no guarantee of future reliability, Toyota has proven time and again it knows how to build reliable vehicles. We feel very comfortable recommending the Toyota in terms of value. The Tundra’s up-front costs are higher, but you will probably pay less in repairs and your Tundra will probably be worth thousands more than a comparable F150 if you decide to trade it in or sell it down the road.

If you had to choose between a King Ranch or Harley Davidson F150 and a Tundra Limited on the basis of looks and comfort only, we have to say that the F150 is the cooler of the two. However, if you don’t want to spend $40k+ on your next truck and instead get a more basic model, than the two are pretty close. We like the styling of the Tundra better, but we’re well aware of our bias. On the other hand, if looks and comfort aren’t that important, than the choice is clear.

Features that we like about the F150: Cool interior packages, ability to get a custom-build, two-tone color choices, and the availability of a 6.5′ bed on a crew cab are all great. Features that we like about the Tundra: Back-up camera, front and rear sonar, slam-proof tailgate, TRD package, standard 18″ wheels, dual glove boxes, built-in file cabinet and laptop holder, and Bluetooth radio. The Tundra offers more features that we like standard, so we have to give it the advantage. But, if money were no object, you might see us sporting a super-charged F150 Harley Davidson SuperCrew in addition to our loaded Tundra Double Cab TRD (with a supercharger being added whenever they become available).

While we think it’s pretty clear that the Tundra wins this comparison, we want to give a shout-out to every F150 owner on the road. The F150 is a great truck — perhaps when we compare the Tundra to the new F150 due out in 2009, the results won’t be so clear cut.

If you want to learn more about the Toyota Tundra visit www.tundraheadquarters.com for more information.

Filed Under: Toyota Tundra Reviews and Comparisons


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  1. […] Up next in our Tundra v. F150 comparision — Part III: Ride, Handling, and Comfort. […]

    • Jason says:

      Just read the biased article and wanted to note that even when the article was published Toyota did not have the most powerful half ton truck on the market. You should note that instead of claiming otherwise. In fact, other trucks had rather large V8 options available, dwarfing Toyota. After all as you said yourself we want the most powerful V8 available. It’s hard to get people to read articles when someone writing it generates the facts.

  2. jimted says:

    I like how you always try to give it back to the toyota when they clearly lose. For example you called out the toyotas 18″ rims and the ford 17″ rims. If the the trucks are equally equipped then thats the way it is and toyota should have thought about that when considering ride and control. just give credit where credit is due and stop making excuses for toyota.

  3. gatorman says:

    “While we think it

  4. pups says:

    Why the hell are there all these arguments about which truck is better? Everyone that bought their truck obviously did so for a reason. Saying one truck is better than another is stupid, as they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

    enjoy your own truck and shut the hell up.

  5. Justin says:

    I’d have to agree with jimted. Why all the excuses for Toyota? I understand trying not to be biased, but it’s obvious in the way the Toyota is defended on anything it does not do better than the Ford.

    And like pups said, to each their own. Buy what you like, just don’t try to convince other by using biased reviews.

  6. wag225 says:

    Plain and simple. Toyota’s are without a doubt THE most dependable, longest lasting vehicle on the road. Not to mention that Ford seriously sucks. Sorry Ford lover, but facts and numbers don’t lie. Ford’s overall quality- especially long run quality of overall wear and tear doesn’t even compare to how great Toyota’s are.

  7. SunButteDan says:

    Great review with opinions that are subjective like we all have. Some points that need to be made are:
    1. Fully boxed frame is a marketing gimic that everyone seems to fall for. Just because it is fully boxed does not in it self mean stronger. If the channel frame is made with heavier or harder steel than it will be stronger than a fully boxed frame constructed of lighter, softer metal. So lets not let Ford hood wink us all into thinking that simply having fully boxed means any thing. After all look at most 18 wheelers. Are their frames fully boxed? Of course not! They are simple channel construction but are very strong. Also, what do suppose is going on inside a fully boxed frame during the winter? Moisture and rust. Long-term fully boxed will rust out and fail. I predict that recalls will be the norm as these fully boxed trucks get older.
    2. No mention has been made about Tundra’s power steering colume. A very nice feature that is not matched by any truck on the road.
    3. Can we say Motor Trend Truck of the Year?

    In time we will all agree that Tundra is the best pickup. In the future we will be seeing Chevrolet saying that their new Silverado is a “super Tundra”, just like they are now saying about their new Malibu being a super Honda.

  8. blaineguy says:

    It is simple to see that the tundra simply copied the design of the 2004 f150. They have a adopted the same frame concept, same center shift, same tailgate assist, same reverse camera, same box style, same brake system, same ride quality,etc. That being said, toyota was very smart to model their truck towards the F150.

    Toyota is on the right path, but you cann’t expect toyota to come into this kind of marketplace and have a hands down “best truck”. Ford’s f150 has been their bread and butter for a good reason. They know what the truck buyer wants. The new 2009 f150 will set another benchmark for GM and Toyota to copy four years later.

  9. eddie hunter says:

    i have a 1998 f250 light duty with the wierd combo of the 5.4, ifs front, heavy duty brakes, rear axle and tranny and it has reliably towed my kubota tractor and trailer (7060 pounds total) for years.
    i was ready for a new truck and i loved the crewmax for it’s garageability and it’s alleged towing ability. the dealer brought a crewmax 4×4 5.7 with tow package to my office and we hooked it up to my trailer w tractor. from the start, it was noticeably loud as it appeared to struggle to get the load rolling. i thought something must be wrong. i checked the brakes, the tow/haul switch and started off again. i turned to the salesman who was noticeably changing the subject to the dash and seats and other b.s. . i asked if there was a secret button i hadn’t found. he whipped out the brochure and started quoting chapter and verse about “it says here that it tows blah blah blah” . without a doubt, my old ford with 88,000 miles on an “outdated” engine towed far more confidently than this tundra. the other things that just seemed stupid were the placement and size of the rear view mirror. the front view is really kind of small and when that chunk of crap is on it, seeing signage or getting a good view of the road ahead is not happening.
    the headers were cheesy and throaty like a high school kids project junker. if i spend 40,000 on a truck, i don’t need to hear noise, i need to feel power. it was louder in the cab than any modern diesel i test drove. i run heavy equipment. thats all the noise i want to hear. when i’m going to the job or coming home or taking my family to disney, i don’t want to hear that crap.
    the look of the truck is very submissive next to any other half ton. the f150 4×4 crewcab makes it look like it’s asking for permission. i wanted the crewmax till i gave it a real test run and it was the most overexaggerated vehicle i ever tried. now that the f150 supercrew is increasing it’s cab size and putting a proper diesel in there, it is by far THE TRUCK TO BUY. i’m glad i held out and i’m buying the first f150 diesel crew 4×4 that has the right color. the forward visibility is superb and that matters when you’re towing and reading overpass signs. you really have to ignore the hype and test drive it like you are going to use it. i realized that the commercials, the brochures and the reviews were all inconsistent with it’s real life performance.

  10. Someone says:

    I think that wag225 is not the smartest one out there. I am not a hugh fan of Ford, but I am sure that it could kick and Tundras buts. And when people use the excuse that Toyota won the truck of the year, you should just put the car of the year, that is all that it won. Any of the other trucks could beat the toyota at towing, and what you get for the price, which is almost all that matters when you are buying a truck.

  11. pups says:

    Why the hell are there all these arguments about which truck is better? Everyone that bought their truck obviously did so for a reason. Saying one truck is better than another is stupid, as they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

    enjoy your own truck and shut the hell up.I also do not know about any kind of truck and am speaking out words that my mom told me to write. I got lost on this website when I was looking for little kittens.

  12. ICUH8N says:

    The article says that the Tundra is the most powerful half ton on the market, actually, the Sierra Denali is the the most powerful half ton on the market.

  13. Tim Bass says:

    To me, at this time, it all comes down to reliability, safety and fuel economy. I want a truck that has the power when occasionally needed but never at the price of the above. It’s going to be awhile before I buy a new Tundra.

  14. Brian says:

    pups…true and hilarious.

  15. Mickey says:

    Eddie good try…Raise the B/S flag. You read up above what edmunds put out.

  16. Mickey says:

    Both trucks should use real guages instead of C – H or L – H.

  17. ICUH8N – Not true. The Denali 6.0 has 375hp. Tundra? 391hp.

  18. “Tundra v. F150 Comparison 2007 Part III: Ride, Handling, and Comfort | Tundra
    Headquarters Blog” was in fact seriously enjoyable and useful!
    Within the present day world that’s very hard to manage.

    Thanks a lot, Vernell

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