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Important Towing Factors When Choosing 2019 Toyota Tacoma vs. Tundra

The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most highly-regarded trucks in the entire world. It is dependable. They last virtually forever. But what about towing? When should you choose a 2019 Tacoma, and when do you need to move up to the Toyota Tundra? Here are important considerations to think about.


When you think of the Toyota Tacoma, you think of a truck that is proven to last virtually forever. The running joke is you just cannot destroy a Tacoma. I have written stories about a Tacoma that held its own against a tornado strike and one Tacoma access cab that has traveled over 1.2 million miles. How about towing, though?

The 2019 Tacoma has a very strong towing capacity. But is it enough for your needs? The Toyota Tacoma and its full-sized Tundra counterpart are both strong and tough and dependable and reliable. Which one, though, is best for pulling and hauling your heavy equipment and toys?

Tacoma Towing Considerations

It is summer and time to take your campers and boats to the campgrounds and the lakes. Maybe you are hauling lumber or farming equipment. Or perhaps you have a trailer ready to haul your ATV to the trail head. These are all scenarios requiring a truck that can handle the tough loads.

For a midsize truck, the 2019 Toyota Tacoma can handle most jobs like this when put to the test. The actual towing capacity depends on engine size and model configuration.

Let’s begin with the smallest. Although less commonly driven, all Tacoma 4-cylinder trucks have a tow capacity of 3,500 pounds. This makes it ideal for smaller items that need to be hauled or pulled.

Most Toyota Tacoma’s are driven with the 3.5-liter V6 engine that offers 278 horsepower and 265 lb.-ft. torque. This is the workhorse of the Tacoma lineup and is absolutely up to the towing challenges most of you have in store for your trucks.

The towing capacities of the V6 Tacoma engine range from 6,400 pounds to 6,800 pounds. I am envisioning a scene of boats and campers and trailers and livestock all happily traveling behind a Toyota Tacoma.

Another consideration is the tongue weight or load available on a truck. Tongue load is the static force a trailer tongue puts on the hitch ball. Ensuring you have proper tongue weight can have a dramatic impact on how safe your journey will be.

A proper tongue load, or weight, is approximately 10 to 15 percent of the total loaded trailer weight.

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma has a rated tongue load of 350 pounds on 4-cylinder trucks and between 640 pounds to 680 pounds on V6 trim levels. Do the math and you will find this 680 pounds of tongue weight rating is 10 percent of the 6,800 Tacoma towing capacity.

It seems the Tacoma is the perfect truck for pulling most things you can throw at it. However, what to do when you need more?

Watch Truck Battle - 2019 Tacoma TRD PRO vs TRD Off-Road and Click To Subscribe To Torque News Youtube Channel for Daily Toyota Tacoma and Automotive News.

Compare 2019 Tacoma TRD Off-Road vs. TRD Pro

What about the Tundra towing?

Step right up and consider the 2019 Toyota Tundra when your needs match a full-size truck that can haul over 10,000 pounds.

The 2019 Tundra has a wide range of towing capacities. Tundra towing capacity pretty much begins where Toyota Tacoma leaves off. The minimum tow rating is 6,400 pounds that is found with the SR5 CrewMax 4x4 with a 4.6-liter V8 engine. At the high end, you can select the SR and SR5 Double Cab 4x2 with a 5.7-liter V8 engine. Towing capacity on these trucks is 10,200 pounds.

Can other Toyota models tow enough?

Not only can the Tacoma and Tundra handle your hauling and pulling desires, but many other Toyota models are up to the challenge as well.

Land Cruiser is the next best option for towing. It has been given an 8,100 pound towing capacity. Considering this is perhaps the most optimal utility vehicle on the planet, this strong rating makes it an even more attractive choice for off-roading enthusiasts.

For those considering a full-size SUV which seats 8 passengers comfortably in 3 large rows, the 2019 Sequoia is an excellent vehicle to consider. It is smooth, quiet and a very comfortable family road trip truck. Sequoia has a tow capacity between 7,000 to 7,400 pounds, depending on model configuration.

The 2019 Toyota 4Runner and Highlander both are rated at 5,000 towing capacity. If you want a smaller SUV, think about the 2019 RAV4. It has been all-new redesigned and has towing capacity ratings of 1,500 up to 3,500 pounds, which is found on the Adventure trim.

What truck is right for you?

What Toyota truck do you own and how has it handled hauling and towing? What is the heaviest thing you have successfully pulled?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story.

Jeff Teague is a Toyota news reporter at Torque News. You can reach Jeff on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories. Jeff also shares Toyota news videos on his Youtube Channel at ToyotaJeff1.