Oftentimes, when people are shopping for a vehicle on a budget, they opt for a base model because they think it’s all they can afford. But that’s not always the case.
The truth is, if you’re smart about the way you build your vehicle of choice, you can actually get a lot more for your money. And if you are split between two models, a great way to help you decide between them is to set a budget and see how much equipment you can get on each for that amount of money.
To prove this, we used Nissan and Toyota’s configurators, set a budget of $48,000 and tried to find out which Japanese pickup is the best value for a daily driver/weekend hauler: the 2017 Nissan Titan or the 2017 Toyota Tundra.
Photo via Nissan
2017 Nissan Titan SV Crew Cab, 5-foot-7 Standard Box, 4×4
We opted for the SV trim because it comes with functional standard features such as a Advanced Drive-Assist Display, skid plates, automatic headlights and Trailer Sway Control. It also has interior mood lighting and a NissanConnect infotainment system. Under the hood, the Titan SV has a 5.6-liter 390 horsepower and 394 foot-pounds of torque.
Photo via Nissan
Packages: SV Utility Package ($1,120), SV Towing Convenience Package ($470), SV Comfort & Convenience Package ($2,040)
These packages add almost every feature you could want in a daily driver/weekend hauler. The Utility Package adds Nissan’s Utili-track Channel System with four tie-down cleats, lockable rear seat cargo organizer, a factory-applied spray-on bedliner, LED under-rail lighting, tailgate area illumination and a 120-volt power outlet in the bed. Wtih the Towing Convenience Package we add heated tow mirrors, trailer brake controller and a trailer light check. The Comfort & Convenience Package loads the interior with features such as power-adjustable heated front seats, NissanConnect Navigation and MobileApps with a 7-inch touchscreen display, a three-month trial of SiriusXM, dual-zone climate control, front and rear sonar, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Warning, rain-sensing wipers and a Class IV trailer hitch.
Options: Electronic Tailgate Lock ($345), Nissan 4G Wi-Fi and Apps ($450), Bed Tent ($260) Class III Hitch Ball Mount ($81), All-season Floor Mats ($135), Remote Engine Start System ($275), Auto-dimming Rearview Mirror with HomeLink and Compass ($250), Emergency Road Kit ($66)
Although most of these options are for convenience purposes, there’s one that we selected solely because it’s one of the most unusual — and coolest — optional extras we’ve ever seen. The Bed Tent is exactly as it sounds, a dome-shaped tent that you erect over the truck bed. This might sound like something you’d only use when camping, but we think it would also make for a cool hangout while tailgating — especially because it has a canopy that extends beyond the tailgate for shade and/or cover from the elements.
The total price — with $1,195 destination charge — of our 2017 Nissan Titan Crew Cab, 5-foot-7 Standard Box, 4×4 in Cayenne Red: $47,387.
Photo via Toyota
2017 Toyota Tundra Limited 4×4 CrewMax
In Limited trim, the Tundra comes standard with convenience features such as Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite, a 3.5-inch color driver information display, an integrated backup camera, trailer-sway control and integrated trailer brake controller. The Tundra Limited also comes with a 5.7-liter V-8 that produces 381 horsepower and 401 foot-pounds of torque.
Photo via Toyota
Packages: Limited Premium Package with options ($1,850)
This package incorporates both the TRD Off-Road Package and Comfort & Convenience Package. That means we get 18-inch wheel, trail-tuned Bilstein shocks, skid plates, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and front and rear park-assist sonar.
Options: Remote Engine Starter ($499), Emergency Assistance Kit ($59), All-Weather Floor Liners ($139)
Because our Tundra was pretty loaded after the addition of the Limited Premium Package, we decided to add a few practical options.
The total price — with $1,195 destination charge — of our 2017 Toyota Tundra Limited 4×4 CrewMax in Silver Sky Metallic: $47,937.
If we were looking at which model is the best value for money before we added any options, the Tundra would be the clear winner. The Titan SV comes with almost none of the features you’d expect from a new vehicle. Because of that, however, it has a starting price roughly $1,000 less than the Tundra Limited’s. That means, after we loaded each one with all the options and packages we could, the 2017 Nissan Titan SV is the clear winner of our comparison.
Thumbnail photo via Nissan