There’s no shortage of great pickups on the market these days, and even the specific segment of light-duty full-size trucks is comfortably crowded. That’s not a bad thing, don’t get me wrong – more options means you have a lot to choose from, and if you’re a Chevy fan, then this is certainly a great time to shop for a truck. With so many options, I thought it would be interesting to pit two of them against each other: the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2020 Toyota Tundra.
These are pretty comparable trucks since they are both full-size, but they are general purpose vehicles, not heavy duty. That means you would expect pretty similar levels of power and performance from them, but there are also some pretty big differences here. I’m going to look closely at the engines they each have and how the power from them translates into towing and payload capacity. And I’ll look inside these trucks to see what kind of interior comfort features and tech options they each have.
So let’s see how they stack up and if one is clearly superior to the other.
The Heart: Engine Options
First things first: let’s take a look at the engines that you can get in these two trucks because I can tell you right now, there is a huge difference here. For one thing, there are six different engines available on the 2020 Chevy Silverado. While two of them are variations of one engine, that still means there are five completely different engines available. By comparison, there is one engine you can get on the 2020 Toyota Tundra. One.
On the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500, we start off with a 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 engine that provides up to 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. Not bad for starters, and there is an available 2.7L Turbo engine available that offers up to 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque. From there, you can also choose a 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine that gives you up to 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. This is the engine with two versions available: one with active fuel management and a 6-speed transmission and the other with dynamic fuel management and an 8-speed automatic.
There is also a Duramax 3.0L Turbo-Diesel I-6 available that offers up to 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. This comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which is also offered on the last engine. Finally, the available 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine provides you with up to 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque for incredible overall performance.
So, now that we’ve covered all of that – what does the 2020 Toyota Tundra have up its proverbial sleeve? The Tundra comes with a 5.7L V8 that offers up to 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. That’s a solid engine, honestly, but it definitely falls short of the most powerful option in the Silverado, and it comes with an unimpressive 6-speed automatic transmission. While it’s fine, it’s not spectacular and the complete lack of options is quite underwhelming.
The Muscle: Towing and Payload
Looking at engines and comparing horsepower and torque is fun, sure, but these numbers are largely academic. In terms of daily driving, more horsepower and torque can make one truck a lot more fun to drive than the other, but a minor difference doesn’t necessarily have a huge effect. With that in mind, I wanted to take a look at what these numbers and the designs of these two trucks mean in terms of real-world applications: in particular, towing and payload.
The 2020 Chevy Silverado has a lot of possible maximum towing capacities depending on the cab and bed size you choose and the engine you pair with it. Rather than list dozens of possible combinations, let’s just look at the best you can get. When properly configured, you can get up to 13,400 lbs of maximum towing capacity. If you are more interested in payload, then you can get up to 2,250 lbs of maximum payload when properly equipped.
Since there are fewer combinations of the 2020 Toyota Tundra, looking at towing and payload is a lot simpler on it, but I’m still just going to look at the best it has to offer. When properly set up, you can get up to 10,200 lbs of maximum towing on the Tundra, which is more than 3,000 lbs less than what the Silverado has to offer. If you go for payload instead, then you can get up to 1,730 lbs of maximum payload, which is more than 500 lbs less than the Silverado.
If you only need less than 10,000 lbs of towing than either truck might work for you, but if you think you’ll need to go over that, then the Silverado is the clear winner.
The Soul: Interior Luxury
In terms of comfort and luxury, both of these trucks have some great options, but let’s take a look at some specific details. The 2020 Chevy Silverado, at its highest trim, features 10-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats, which are heated and ventilated. The available heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel has audio and phone controls, and there is dual-zone automatic climate control.
By comparison, the 2020 Toyota Tundra offers a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat and a 6-way power front passenger seat at the highest trims. These are heated and ventilated, and there is a leather-trimmed steering wheel with phone and audio controls. You can also get automatic dual-zone climate control in the Tundra.
Overall, I would say these two trucks have pretty comparable luxury and comfort options, which is good to see.
The Brain: Tech Options
In terms of interior technology, the 2020 Chevy Silverado has an available 8-inch HD color infotainment system with a 7-speaker Bose premium sound system. The instrument cluster includes an 8-inch driver information display, and there is a wireless charging area, plus available remote start, keyless open and start, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The 2020 Toyota Tundra features an available 8-inch infotainment display with a JBL sound system. A 4-inch driver information display is standard on all models, but there is no option for a larger screen if you want it. An auto-dimming rearview mirror is available, along with remote keyless entry and push-button start, but there is no wireless charging area.
So what’s the word? I’d have to say the 2020 Chevy Silverado comes out on top in pretty much every single area. Certainly in terms of engine options and performance, the Silverado is the way to go. It’s hard to call it a fair fight when you have six different engines to choose from with the Chevy truck and only a single engine on the Toyota. Even though the Tundra’s engine is pretty good, it still falls short and this translates into much lower maximum towing capacity.
Inside, both of these trucks have great options for comfort and technology, especially if you look at higher trims with more packages included. Overall, however, the 2020 Chevy Silverado still beats the 2020 Toyota Tundra with a more adjustable front-passenger seat, a larger driver information screen available, and other great details like an available wireless charging pad. In the end, the Tundra is fine, but that’s really it. The Tundra is fine, while the Silverado pushes ahead with greater technology that’s on another level.