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Midsize Pickup Comparo

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  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    I have not heard of any changes, I am curious though if they will do any. But they might not give invoice on an 07 early on...we will have to see! Thanks Again.

    I'm betting on no changes for the RL in 07. Enjoy your ride.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I have not heard of any changes, I am curious though if they will do any. But they might not give invoice on an 07 early on...we will have to see! Thanks Again.

    I'm betting on no changes for the RL in 07. Enjoy your ride.

    If there are any they will likely be minor...examples:

    The 2006 Odyssey added DRLs over the new-for-2005. The 2004 Accord added XM radio to its Leather models over the new-for-2003.

    Not major stuff, but worth looking into if you aren't in a hurry to buy.
  • I'm a big Honda fan and had pre-ordered the first available 06 Ridgeline in October 04. At the press intro in Jan 05, I discovered the Ridgeline doesn't have an undercarriage designed for serious off-roading. Besides its relatively limited ground-clearance, the lowest points that will scrape bottom will suffer serious damage. Many dealers have Ridgelines on display on a ramp. Crawl under one and see for yourself what will get damaged if you try to "ride the frame rails" in a serious off-road environment.

    Recognize, however, that Honda did not design the Ridgeline to handle situations that the small percentage of hard-core off-roaders like me tackle. Once I realized my off-road needs were beyond what the Ridgeline was designed for, I got my deposit back and bought on 05 Frontier crew-cab NISMO 4x4. The off-road capability of this truck, especially since adding a 2.5" lift from prerunners.com, is amazing. The lift brings the ground clearance from the stock 10.5" to 13". I scraped bottom a lot before the lift without damaging anything, as the lowest point is the frame rails that can handle the abuse. Since the lift, I've hit bottom very little.

    I chose the Frontier over Tacoma for several reasons. Tacoma recommends premium fuel, the back seat takes a lot of gymnastics to fold compared to Frontier and has less real-world leg room, all four 05 Tacomas I test drove had mechanical / quality problems (like difficulty engaging 4wd as others have reported), and most significantly the low point on the bottom was the exhaust, which someone like me would damage off-road. A stock Tacoma looks higher than a stock Frontier, but when you crawl underneath you discover the undercarriage of the Frontier is better designed for serious off-roading.

    14 months and 25,000 miles later, I am still thoroughly impressed with the Frontier. I have since had the opportunity to do an extensive (all-day) test drive in a Ridgeline, including off-road, and was very impressed. If you respect the limits the Ridgeline was designed for, i.e., don't scrape the undercarriage, its loose traction capability is actually quite good, as others have reported. When the going gets pretty tough, locking the VTM-4 lock makes a significant improvement. With VTM-4 lock off (normal mode), I scared myself pretty good trying to climb a 40-degree grade. With VTM-4 lock on and a running start, the Ridgeline actually made this hill. By comparison, my Frontier NISMO with Hill Start Assist, 4-lo, and locking rear can actually stop half-way up this hill and then continue up with no problem. Going back down this hill with Hill Descent Control in the Frontier is no problem either.

    Thus the Frontier will do everything the Ridgeline will do, but not vice-versa. However, with the exception of hard-core off-roading or towing, the Ridgeline will do everything the Frontier does better. When driving the two back-to-back you can't help but be more impressed with how car-like the Ridgeline drives. It makes the Frontier feel like a truck for lack of a better description.

    While recognizing that Honda did not design the Ridgeline for serious off-roading or towing over 5000 pounds, and thus forgiving its shortcomings in that area, there is one area where Nissan did a better job than Honda: the stability system. For my taste, Nissan's stability system intervenes at just the right time and allows me to really push the limits when traveling on loose traction dirt roads, like forest trails. When rounding a corner too fast, Nissan's system steps in and keeps the vehicle perfectly aligned as it brings the speed under control. On these same roads in the Ridgeline, the stability system intervenes a little too late, allowing the truck to get sideways in the corner. By the time things are back under control, you lose a lot of speed in the Ridgeline, whereas the Frontier is still motoring on. If it were a race, the Frontier would easily be able to maintain a greater speed than the Ridgeline.

    When all is said and done, unless you need more off-road or towing capability than the Ridgeline is designed for, I would recommend the Ridgeline over ANY other truck, either full-size or mid-size. The Ridgeline has the interior room and bed-width of a full size (try loading a 4x8 in the bed of a Tacoma or Frontier), but is only a little bigger than a mid-size on the outside, and delivers gas mileage comparable to a mid-size. The biggest difference, however, is the driving feel. The Ridgeline drives like a car; everything else drives like a truck. I still love my Frontier and its off-road capability. If it weren’t for my off-road needs, however, I would be in a Ridgeline.
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    Great post Dan, thanks. I think you summed it up pretty well.
  • toykicktoykick Posts: 104
    image

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    NHTSA now tested the Crew Cab Tacoma, and it was rated 5 stars all around just like the ridgeline... Since theres no direct links to the specs(nhta.dot.gov changes the URL each visit) I posted the front crash pics... You be the judge..

    The 4DR Frontier was rated 4 star frontal and 5 Side.
  • toykicktoykick Posts: 104
    I found this 0-60 Acceleration video on a new Tacoma.

    imageClick to see Video
  • Looking at the crash test results on safercar.gov it seems that everyone has either a 4 or 5 star rating, with the exception of the full-size Chevy and GM pickups (only 3-stars for the passenger). I guess this means that everyone is building safer trucks, which is good.

    If you look at the fine print, there is a variation within those ratings. For example, even though Ridgeline and Tacoma both get 5-stars, the Ridgeline has a lower Head Injury Criteria (244/272 vs. 316/413 for Tacoma), but the Tacoma has lower femur loads.

    Another good site with crash test results is iihs.org, although they don't have any numbers for the Ridgeline yet.

    While surviving a crash is important, avoiding it might be even more important. Having gone from a truck without a stability system (Silverado) to one that has one (Frontier), I will never have a truck without a stability system again. It's very easy to get sideways with an empty pickup bed, and a good stability system can make all the difference in the world. Honda is the leader here making their system standard on the Ridgeline.
  • ramzey28ramzey28 Posts: 130
    Great prospective....I stopped by to see the Frontier Crew cab today to get a feel for it and see the options and such. They did a nice job with it. I was impressed. I was behind a Ridgeline coming home after viewing the Frontier and looked at the height of the Ridgeline and also the ground clearance. Couple things caught me eye. One was the Ridgeline looks low on the road compared when I viewed it inside the dealer (as well as compared to the height of the Taco and Front-I think they are the same height but look different) and also the muffler hangs lower then the rest of the frame and such. I would think that would hit on alot of things. Mainly the pipe running back behind the rear axle. I wish the Ridgeline was higher but it would loose its ride and stability for sure. Ridgeline is more practical for me due to the family and the amount of 4wd driving I do (mostly snow and mud).
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Oookay. I don't quite know how to respond to that, so here it goes...

    COOL! I've never done a run like that on my new car (and don't plan too), but I did that on my 130 hp Accord LX a couple years ago, and I KNOW it took longer than your Tacoma. Congrats on your quick ride.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    Great post and summary. I think you pretty much nailed it.

    Bob
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    The Honda appears to be the "best" crash-worthy vehicle rated compared to the Fronty and the Taco. Considering the Honda weighs in at approximately 4400 lbs., it does perform better in the frontal tests. The Frontier weighs in slightly heavier and the Tacoma is a relative lightweight at approx. 3600 lbs. Remember, more mass = more force. This alone plays a huge part in how well a vehicle performs in a frontal crash with a fixed barrier.
    That said, these three look to be quite crash-worthy.
    But, hats off to Honda's Ridgeline!
  • toykicktoykick Posts: 104
    weight varys in some crash tests for some reason... the Highway crash tests for the Tacoma 2wd Access cab weighed in at 3,757 lbs. The 4DR doesnt weight 3600 pounds. The V6 Access cab prerunner tacoma with a manual transmission weights 3640, auto 3745(toyota.com). the lightest DC tacoma weighs in at 3845. Maybe they tested a 4 cyl DC tacoma ? :confuse:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Sure sounds like they did test a Tacoma not similar to the Ridge or the Frontier Crew Cabs; maybe an Access Cab?
  • badnessbadness Posts: 242
    ugly truck!!!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    ugly truck!!!

    Wow, a little untimely on the reply, but whatever!

    I had to go look up what you referred to...most just post what they were replying to within their own post.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    That's funny. Didn't have to look anything up to know what he was referring too.... ;)
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    The honors for Ugly Truckling go to Ridgeline.
    Good thing that ugly is only sheet metal deep as the Ridgeline is the most enjoyable to drive on pavement.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Game...

    Set...

    Match... to obyone.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Of-course you know that looks and driving enjoyment are purely subjective. I overheard a woman, once upon a time, say that she thought that the Porsche Carrera was ugly. I don't particularly care for the looks of the Ridgeline, but I realize that a look is not high on the priority list. The drive-ability is much more important to me. I haven't driven a Ridgeline ( I may never ) but I'm sure it drives nicely.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    I didn't think that Toyota made a 4 cyl. DC. Anyhow, the weights and the photos don't appear to jive. However you want to look at it, these trucks are well put together and I would feel secure in any of them.
This discussion has been closed.