There’s eight inches of snow all over your state, your city, your block, and your driveway.
You have two big, bad, muscular pickups to test.
All is well, regardless of the outcome.
We test the 2022 Toyota Tundra Limited Crew Max and RAM 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab 4X4 which, in these trims, are neck-and-neck in style and price. (Check out the varied and handsome trim choices for 2022 for the RAM and the Tundra here.)
What’s important about these big guys is that they can both laugh at ice and snow and probably be able to drag your house a few inches to the right in no time. There’s no question that they’re both worthy machines that do exactly what you paid to have them do. But someone has to come first.
Let’s take a look and compare, point by point, and may the best lug win.
It’s not that the tundra is domestic – it isn’t. But the Aries has a power and an authority not as profound as that of its rival. It’s easy to fall in love with the RAM’s 18-inch black wheels, all-terrain tires, E-locker rear axle, heavy-duty shocks, skid plates and triple tonneau cover. The RAM also has handrails for passengers to help themselves get in and out; not the tundra.
The 2022 RAM 1500 Big Horn is equipped with luxurious leather-trimmed seats, very generous legroom and storage space, plus the technology you expect from a premium pickup. The Tundra’s cockpit would match the RAMs if it weren’t for the Tundra’s touchscreen, which we didn’t like for reasons explained below.
Center console: RAM
The touch screen of the RAM is placed vertically and is seamlessly intertwined with the surrounding beautiful dashboard. The screen can also be turned off if you don’t want it at all – thanks! Also, the sound system keeps playing after you shut off the engine, meaning you don’t have to sit there and waste gas while a comic completes a set or plays a song to the end.
The Tundra’s touchscreen looks like they’ve finished off the dash and mounted this obtrusive giant horizontal screen at the end where the fonts are absurdly large. Also the whole unit demands your attention the moment you are in the vehicle. My kingdom for an “off” button.
While the Tundra delivers a blistering 479 lb-ft of torque, its 3.5 liter twin turbo 389 horsepower V6 engine had fewer teeth than the RAM’s 5.7L V8 Hemi 8-Speed.
Both were muscular, both have Variable Valve Transmission (VVT), but only one had that delicious, brutal power we crave in trucks.
The Tundra has a nice thick stem placed in front of the center console, where it belongs. The RAM offers a knob for a gearshift, like giving someone a Rolls-Royce with a thimble ornament on the bonnet. You want that stem.
The drive: tundra
The big RAM was easy enough to navigate and the comfort is significant, but I felt the tundra more in my wheel, always great when there’s snow everywhere. Of course, the smaller Tundra was also easier to park.
Our 1500 brought in about 20 MPG city, 25 MPG highway versus the predictably thirstier Tundra with its V-8 putting in a little less at 18 highway, 23 city.
Both machines are pricey for a reason, but the Tundra’s loaded price of $60,273 puts it ahead of the RAM, whose $44,900 base price inflates to $63,760 with all options.
Crash safety: Tie
The RAM gets almost 100% top marks in all categories at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – but so does the Tundra. That’s great news, anyway. There’s never been a safer time in history to drive a pickup truck.
Winner: RAM. It was more fun to drive, the sat nav didn’t dazzle us and we felt more manly in it.