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Toyota Tacoma vs Honda Ridgeline



  • wooddorkerwooddorker Posts: 300
    "Leather interior, navigation, moonroof are available. These features are absent on the tacoma. What's up Toyota!? Are we in the new Millenium are not? Get with the program.

    Ridgeline has a independent 4 wheel suspension delivering a true Sedan ride on a truck! "

    WHY are you buying a TRUCK????

    Do you know why independent suspension does over rough terrain or when heavily loaded?

    If you want a Luxury CAR, buy one. If you want a TRUCK, don't knock them because it's a truck. I have a truck, an Outback, and a Jeep Wrangler. All have features that would ruin the others if shared. The Wrangler would SUCK with a loaded interior and independent suspension, the Outback would SUCK with solid axles, a box frame, and a straight six.

    Perhaps an loaded indie suspended SUV would be perfect for you?
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    "Do you know why independent suspension does over rough terrain or when heavily loaded?"

    Why yes I do know how a independent suspension performs over a rough terrain, because I just bought a Ridgeline, and it performs superbly off road unlike the full size Chevy 4x4 I'm used to that practically give occupants whiplash over the same trail. The Ridgeline rides like a soft cloud by comparison. If you want a refined truck that is every bit as rugged, but with great ride get a Ridgeline, or stay with the same old stuff. I'm moving into the future of truck design with Honda.
  • wooddorkerwooddorker Posts: 300
    "Why yes I do know how a independent suspension performs over a rough terrain, because I just bought a Ridgeline, and it performs superbly off road unlike the full size Chevy 4x4 I'm used to that practically give occupants whiplash over the same trail."

    Your definition of "off road" is probably quite different than mine.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "Your definition of "off road" is probably quite different than mine."

    Actually, you said "rough terrain", which I would not use to describe something like Rattler down at Paragon.

    Fact is very few puck-up trucks will do well in technical off-road situations. They require modification. And while making those modifications will grant the vehicle greater capability on the trails, it will also impact how the vehicle performs on the road and under load. Take a look at what happens to the Frontier's max payload when you add the Nismo package.

    So far, the Ridgeline has proven that it can handle loads. They've tested it on the track with other vehicles loaded the same way for comparison. The Ridgeline handled the loads just fine and bettered them all when it came to moving the load around corners. Off-road it handles hills, ruts, rocks, water, and mud just as well as the next truck. Anybody looking to tackle boulders is going to make those modifications I mentioned above.

    If we were talking about trucks with Super HD packages, I would agree without on Honda's choice of suspension. But it appears that the IRS set-up under the Ridgeline is equal to the kind of tasks mid-size trucks are expected to perform. In fact, with a payload of 1,550 lbs, it is rated higher than any other mid-size pickup.
  • caltacocaltaco Posts: 8
    I was realy looking forward to Honda's entry into the Truck market. I find Toyota's turning into a bit of a GM like product now. The styling is close to the Colorado, fake hood scoop etc.

    I just can't get past the shear uglyness of the Ridgeline. I'm sure the engine and drive train is excellent...but that face!

    I went with the 05 Tacoma Sport......I just couldn't do it......
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Yeah, I'm not a fan of the styling, either. It's too odd for the no nonsense truck buyers who make up the majority of the market.

    If I had never seen the Ridgeline prototypes, I'd have guessed that a Honda truck would have a conservative exterior with an upscale, car-like interior. Instead we got an odd exterior with a completely boring interior.
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    I too was an early critic of the styling, and was getting a 05 Taco. I now am driving a Ridgeline(I now love the styling). I had my deal set up for 2,500 below MSRP on a Taco Sport, and wound up paying MSRP on a Ridgeline. There just wasn't even a comparison. The Ridgeline was a much more refined truck. and the leather interior is anything but boring. The Ridgeline is as much of an improvement over the 05 Taco as the 05 Taco is over the 04 Taco.

    Much better improvements IMO that the 05 Taco doesn't have:

    -The Ride quality (can't beat that 4 wheel independant suspension)

    - This is one quiet ride (stone quiet compared to the Taco I drove).

    - Side air bags (I like Honda's safety for all program. Safety should not be a hard to find option. Way to go Honda)

    -No partime 4X4. I love the AWD off road and VSC and VTM-4 lock, which locks the rear diff.

    - Leather interior, moon roof, XM Radio, navigation. The interior cab is also roomier. Over all, far classier interior. The center console is also a much better design. Dual climate control ( can't remember if the Taco has this, sorry.)

    -Flip up back seats offer far more storage in cab than the 05 Taco.

    -Bed design. Do I need to even say it? The inbed Trunk beats any truck hands down, and may be the sole reason many people buy this truck. The tailgate is rated at 300 lb capacity vs the 200 lb rating of the Taco. 2 way opening tail gate.

    Hope this gives some people some food for thought.
  • caltacocaltaco Posts: 8
    I agree the Ridgeline has got some great features and it drove great but not enough for me to over look the styling.

    My 05 Sport drives very quiet compared to my previous Taco 01 and was comparable to the Ridgeline I drove. I've heard the comments about the noise level from a few people. Maybe a lesser model?

    I do hope the Ridgeline gives Toyota a wake up call.
  • treyh1treyh1 Posts: 34
    I'm not sold on the Tacoma yet either, but I can't see buying a pickup that I can't just put something in the bed over the side before I get it. I can live with the looks, but if you use the bed a lot that really, really reduces the functionality. It has a lot of positives over the competition, but with the negatives it's far from a slam dunk. At real-life prices you're talking a $3k-$4k difference depending on your needs; I'm not sure it's an apples-apples comparison in the first place.
  • Go to Edmunds and select all the Toyota Options that come with the Ridge RTS. The TMVP will be MORE than Ridge RTS MSRP, which is what I paid on 3/2. You still won't have the trunk, 4W disc brakes, unibody, 4W independent suspension, rear leg room, composite bed, in-bed secure spare tire, quiet ride, horse power, subwoofer stereo package...and the Ridge is so fun to drive. I drove both, and the Honda is quicker and whips around those turns. I swear it drives better than my wifes Camry!

    If you want a tow truck, buy a tow truck.
    If you want a garbage truck, buy a garbage truck.
    If you want a serious off-road truck, fix one up yourself.
    But if you want a comfortable vehicle to enjoy life in, buy a Ridgeline. It's worth every penny!
  • treyh1treyh1 Posts: 34
    Which is why I said "depending on your needs". 4W disk brakes? Couldn't care less. 4WD? Don't need it. Unibody on a truck? That's far from a hard positive.

    I want a truck for occasional hauling that's also a daily driver. Limited slip or locker is fine. I'm going to look at a Ridgeline, but for what I need it's going to be a few thousand more than a Toyota or Nissan (will look at those also), and the side bed height really bugs me. The ride & refinement may be enough to overcome that, but Honda hardly put out a slam dunk. I have an Odyssey that I'm very happy with, but it's far from perfect too.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "Unibody on a truck? That's far from a hard positive."

    If we explained that the combination of a ladder frame and unibody was more than twice as stiff as the next best truck would that make it understandable?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Please do explain it. Why is "stiffer" better? I would think that if you were in a condition that would flex a truck (such that the bed was twisted, say, 20% offset from cab), it is good for the flex to happen because having a unibody that stiffened the truck would put an aweful lot of pressure on it at the points where it was connected to the frame. This would tend to cause failure at those points whereas flex would help to alleviate the pressure.... wouldn't it? I am not an offroader, so I've never really thought too much about it, but I have about twisted my Chevy in half before trying to navigate my yard with 2 yards of sand in the bed. It hasn't seemed to damage the truck at all (other than snapping the exhaust pipe once) and if it weren't for the flex, I would have had tires dangling mid-air and likely been SOL. Granted, I have seen trucks going down the highway at a tilt due to bent frames, but I always assumed it was a result of a past collision rather than frame flexing.

    Anyway, a good explanation really would be appreciated.

    -Wes- :blush:
  • treyh1treyh1 Posts: 34
    I just have a degree in mech engineering & 15 years experience with design. If you dumb it down, I think maybe I can grasp it.

    There's a reason most pickup trucks are body-on-frame, Einstein. Just because the Ridgeline's design is best for you & your application doesn't mean it's best for every truck out there.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    There's a reason most pickup trucks are body-on-frame

    Would you care to elaborate, treyh1?

  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    I'm sure with his 15 years of engineering he will be able to tell us how the best auto engineers in the industry screwed up the Ridgeline. LOL , I love these guys.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Let us not forget the folks responsible for the Aztek were engineers.

    Getting back on track...

    Apparently you guys don't know much about trucks if you're questionning frame stiffness as a positive attribute. So I'll try to keep it less than technical. Every other piece of hardware on a truck is attached to the frame/chassis. Stuff like the suspension, the bed, the engine, etc. If the frame is al dente, those parts will have a hard time doing their job.

    Try playing basketball on a hardwood court. Now imagine playing on loose rocks. You can't jump as well when the ground shifts beneath you. You can't run as fast. You can't stop and change direction as easily.

    The same applies for trucks. A vehicle's suspension is tuned with a specific geometry in mind. As the truck body flexes, that geometry is changed, and the suspension can't do its job. That limits the loads it can carry. It limits the amount of weight the truck can control. That has nothing to do with how I might use a truck. It's simply the basics of engineering.

    Wanna know why the mid-size Ridgeline's 1,500 lbs payload is higher than even the full-size F-150? Stiffer chassis.

    As for the theory of bending is better, that is simply not true. You'll never find a hardcore off-roader boasting about how his ride flexes. Call one of their trucks "flexible", and they'll reach for a baseball bat. :sick:
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    "Let us not forget the folks responsible for the Aztek were engineers."

    I said the best engineers. :D They would be the ones working at Honda.
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    you want a vehicle to flex where it is supposed to, and not flex where it isn't.

    Suspension provides the flex. Chassis flex messes up the suspension characteristics thereby limiting all kinds of good things (handling, load carrying, off roading, going around a curve, etc.)

    Look, the reason the independent rear suspension is so good, is exactly because it flexs. The reason the Taco solid axle is bad, is because the wheels don't flex independent of each other.

    None of this is rocket science, just common sense.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    you want a vehicle to flex where it is supposed to, and not flex where it isn't.

    Fair enough, but I am not convinced that a frame like that on my old '69 is not supposed to flex. After all, the cab and the box are not one piece, but two entirely separate ones that have a 1/2" of gap between them. I'd say that it is designed like this to allow flex.

    I am certainly not arguing against the advantages of IRS for its intended purpose here. I am just discussing stiffness.

    But, I think John answered the question: "Chassis flex messes up the suspension characteristics thereby limiting all kinds of good things (handling, load carrying, off roading, going around a curve, etc.)" The clarifying point is that you do not want a vehicle to flex where it is not designed to flex, and if you put a unibody on a ladder frame, you are trying to mitigate the chassis flex.
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