Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A red 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 RST is shown driving in a desert after winning a 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2023 Toyota Tundra competition.

Chevy Silverado 1500 or Toyota Tundra? Which Full-Size Truck Is Right for You?

There’s never been a better time to be a truck fan. Looking at what’s out there right now, I think we’re experiencing a renaissance for pickups; you have new compact models hitting the road, a terrific selection of midsize options, and—of course—plenty of full-size trucks with power and capability that our parents could have only dreamed of. That last bit is what I want to focus on today because fans of full-size trucks benefit most from the chief automakers going to war and fighting for best-in-class specs.

Look at the 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2023 Toyota Tundra as the perfect example of how these companies have produced amazing trucks. Choosing between these two is honestly pretty difficult because both Chevrolet and Toyota have come out swinging with excellent full-size pickups. You’ll find powerful engines in both of their flagship models, letting them handle tremendous amounts of weight, and they are some of the most capable off-road models on the market. It’s an embarrassment of riches at this point, so let’s take a closer look at these two trucks to see if one of them clearly comes out on top…

Ridiculous Amounts of Power

One of the best ways to compare trucks is to check out the engines. You can get a pretty good sense of what a truck can do based on the kind of power it has propelling it. So, let’s see what we can get with these two pickups, and perhaps we’ll get a clear idea of which one is best.

The 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 has four different engines available, starting with a 2.7L High Output Turbo I-4 (now called the TurboMax) that delivers 310 hp and an impressive 430 lb-ft of torque. There’s an available 5.3L V8 that offers an improved 355 hp, and there’s a 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 that delivers 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. (This V8 is your best overall choice.) If you want something different, there’s a 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel that provides 305 hp, a beastly 495 lb-ft of torque, and the best fuel economy numbers of the bunch.

With the 2023 Toyota Tundra, there are only two engines on offer, which isn’t great for those who love multiple options, but they’re both excellent choices. The standard engine is a 3.4L Turbo V6 that offers 358 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, though some trims have this engine tuned to offer 389 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque instead. The other is an available MAX Turbo Hybrid version of this V6 that pushes performance up to 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque, which is incredible for a six-cylinder.

As you can see, the Toyota wins out on raw numbers, but if you like the feel and long-term reliability of a diesel engine in your truck, then the Silverado is the only way to go.

Pulling Their Weight

Just looking at engine specs, you might think that Toyota has delivered the more powerful and capable truck—but horsepower and torque are only part of the equation. Those specs are important when it comes to your overall driving experience, but how the truck has been engineered to handle weight is just as vital. With its standard engine, the Chevy Silverado can pull up to 9,500 lbs behind it, while the available 6.2L V8 and Turbo-Diesel engines both top out at 13,300 lbs. The Toyota Tundra can handle up to 12,000 lbs of weight when properly equipped, so it starts off strong but falls behind what the Silverado can do.

In terms of payload, the Tundra can handle up to 1,940 lbs of weight in its bed. By comparison, the Silverado—with its heavy diesel engine—tops out at 1,970 lbs of maximum payload, but the lighter starting engine allows for up to 2,260 lbs of payload capacity. So you can see that the Silverado comes out on top in both areas, and the differences can be pretty significant: almost 11% greater towing and about 16% more payload. Whether that will make a difference for you depends on what you expect you’ll need, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

A white 2023 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is shown driving up a forest hill.

Born for Adventure

If you’re interested in taking your full-size truck off-road, you should choose a model with a dedicated off-road trim; fortunately, both the Chevy Silverado and the Toyota Tundra have one. With the Silverado 1500, you actually have three options: two Trail Boss versions of other trims (the Custom and LT) and the incredible ZR2. You get an off-road suspension with a factory lift on all three of these, though only the ZR2 has Multimatic DSSV dampers and a high-performance lifted suspension for incredible capability out on the trail.

With the Toyota Tundra, you want to look for the TRD Pro trim if you’re interested in leaving civilization behind, which has the powerful MAX Turbo Hybrid engine and an off-road suspension with a factory lift and FOX Internal Bypass shocks. Honestly, both trucks are great for hitting the trail, with recovery hooks installed, skid plates to protect their undersides, and impressive four-wheel drive performance. I prefer the Silverado 1500 since it has three great trims for heading off-road rather than one, but you’ll get an incredible backwoods ride from either truck.

Sophistication and Innovation

Honestly, both trucks are excellent examples of how well manufacturers have embraced modern tech and comfort features in their cabins. The Chevy Silverado 1500’s High Country trim comes with a 13.4-inch infotainment display with Google built-in and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You’ll also find a seven-speaker Bose Premium audio suite in the High Country, along with perforated leather seating with ten-way power front seats, heated front- and second-row seats, and a heated steering wheel. There’s a 12.3-inch Driver Information Center in the High Country, plus keyless open, push-button start, wireless charging, and an available head-up display to take things to the next level.

Looking at the Toyota Tundra’s Platinum trim—which is similar in starting price to the High Country—we find a 14.0-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia system with a 12-speaker JBL audio suite and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Platinum has remote keyless entry with push-button start, a wireless smartphone charger, and a 12.3-inch digital gauge display. There’s an available head-up display (HUD), plus leather-trimmed seating with ten-way power front seats and many other similar features to the High Country. The infotainment display here is 0.6 inches larger than in the Chevy, but I doubt you would notice a difference even viewing them side-by-side if that’s your main point of argument.

A close-up on the back of a white 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 LT is shown.

What’s Left to Be Said?

Looking at the key features and options for both of these trucks has provided us with a clear winner: truck fans. Honestly, the differences between these pickups are rather minute. You can get more horsepower and torque from the Toyota, but the Chevy can handle greater towing and payload. Both trucks have impressive off-road trims available, and you’ll find impressive luxury trims and innovative technology inside both, as well.

At the end of the day, both the Chevy Silverado 1500 and Toyota Tundra are fantastic; the right one for you will likely come down to your personal preferences and which one delivers what you want while meeting your budget.