Test-Driving The Mighty 2022 Toyota Tundra Vs. The Brawny RAM 1500

Test-Driving The Mighty 2022 Toyota Tundra Vs. The Brawny RAM 1500

There’s eight inches snow all over your state, your town, your block and your driveway.

You have two big, bad, brawny pickups to test.

All is well, regardless of outcome.

We’re testing the 2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Crew Max and RAM 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab 4X4 which, in these trims, are neck-and-neck style-wise and price-wise. (Check out the varied and handsome 2022 trim choices for the RAM and the Tundra here.)

What’s important about these big boys is that they both have the ability to laugh at ice and snow and can probably tow your house a few inches to the right in a pinch. It’s no question they are both worthy machines that do precisely what you paid to have them do. But someone’s got to come out ahead.

Let’s take a look and compare, point-by-point, and may the best lug win.

Body: RAM

It’s not that the Tundra’s homely – it isn’t. But the RAM has a might and an authority to it that’s not as profound as in its rival. It’s easy to be charmed by the RAM’s 18-inch black wheels, all-terrain tires, E-locker rear axle, heavy-duty shocks, skid plates and tri-fold tonneau cover. The RAM also has railings for passengers to assist themselves getting in and out; the Tundra does not.

Interior: RAM

The 2022 RAM 1500 Big Horn is equipped with luxurious leather-trimmed seating options, very generous legroom and storage, plus the tech you expect from a premium pickup truck. The Tundra’s cockpit would have matched the RAM’s were it not for the Tundra’s touch screen which we didn’t like for reasons explained below.

Center console: RAM

The RAM’s touch screen is placed vertically and is seamlessly intertwined with its surrounding handsome dash. The screen can also be shut off if you don’t want it at all – thank you! The sound system, too, continues to play after you shut off the engine, meaning you don’t have to sit there and waste gas while a comic finishes a set or a song plays through to the end.

The Tundra’s touch screen seems like they finished the dashboard and, at the end, mounted this intrusive, gargantuan horizonal screen whose fonts are absurdly large. The entire unit, too, demands your attention the moment you’re in the vehicle. My kingdom for an “off” button.

Engine: RAM

While the Tundra provides a blistering 479 lb-feet of torque, its 3.5 litre twin turbo 389 horsepower V6 engine had fewer teeth than the RAM’s 5.7L V8 Hemi 8-Speed.

Both were brawny, both have Variable Valve Transmission (VVT) but only one had that delicious, cruel power we crave in trucks.

Shifter: Tundra

The Tundra has a nice fat stalk placed forward of the center console, where it belongs. The RAM offers a knob for a gearshift, which is kind of like giving someone a Rolls-Royce with a thimble as a hood ornament. You want that stalk.

The Drive: Tundra

The big RAM was easy enough to navigate and its comfort is considerable, but I felt the Tundra more in my wheel, always a great thing when there’s snow all over the place. Naturally, the smaller Tundra was easier to park as well.

Mileage: RAM

Our 1500 brought in about 20 MPG city, 25 MPG highway versus the predictably thirstier Tundra with its V-8 bringing in slightly less with 18 highway, 23 city.

Pricing: Tundra

Both machines are pricey with good reason, but the Tundra’s loaded price of $60, 273 gives it the edge over the RAM, whose base price of $44,900 inflates to $63,760 with all options.

Crash safety: Tie

The RAM receives almost 100% top ratings in all categories at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – but so does the Tundra. That’s great news, regardless. There has never been a safer time in history to drive a pickup.

Winner: RAM. It was more fun to drive, its nav sys didn’t blind us and we felt more manly in it.