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Midsize Pickup Comparo

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Comments

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    In auto form, yes. It was 1998, remember. We didn't have family sedans that reached 0-60 in under 6 seconds then, either. When you are ready to get off the torque train, i'll chat with ya again. I'm heading to dinner. I have to stop and buy gas first, good thing I can keep advertised horsepower figures with regular gas!
  • If you compare dimensions and capacities, you will see the Ridgeline is closer to a full-size truck, but is commonly compared to mid-size trucks because it only has a 6. Interior space and payload (1550# if I remember correctly) are comparable to or actually better than most 1/2-ton full size trucks. Honda did a great job designing a truck that would meet the needs of a large cross-section of truck buyers. Ridgeline sales started out slow, partly because it doesn't neatly fit into the typical truck categories. I believe the latest monthly sales figures show the Ridgeline passing the Frontier.

    I had a deposit on a Ridgeline in late 2004 because I wanted one of the first ones. After attending the press introduction in January 2005, I got my deposit back and bought a Frontier instead. I discovered that the Ridgeline's drive system relegates it to "soft-roader" status, which actually does meet the requirements of most truck buyers. I'm part of the small minority that tackles more challenging off-road situations, so that left me to choose between the 05 Tacoma and 05 Frontier.

    The Tacoma has a higher body, but lower chassis than the Frontier. The low point on the Tacoma is the central exhaust crossmember, which looks like it would get hit off-road. The exhaust on the 04 and older Tacomas was tucked higher. The back seat on the Tacoma crew-cab takes many more steps to fold than the Frontier's, and has less real world leg room than the Frontier. Thus, I've had my 05 Frontier for one year and 23,000 very enjoyable miles.

    I have since borrowed a Ridgeline for a day, and it does have a more car-like ride and handling than the Frontier. The extra power in the Frontier is noticeable compared to the Ridgeline, and I scared myself pretty good trying to take the Ridgeline up a hill that the Frontier takes with ease.

    Overall, unless you need true off-road capability or more than 5,000 # towing ability, the Ridgeline is probably a better choice than the other mid-size or full-size trucks on the market. If you exclude the Ridgeline from consideration, it becomes a much closer horse race with a lot of good choices. We each have our own reasons for making the choice we did. I enjoy hearing other's opinions on these forums.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    A VVT system is beneficial for any engine, any purpose. Although Honda made a name for VTEC using small displacement, high horsepower engines, that is not the only way such a system may be used.

    A VVT system allows the engine to select between a breathing pattern that is good for low rpm operation or another for high rpm operation.

    An engine without a VVT must pick one single pattern for breathing. Typically it is one that is best for the mid-range, and sacrifices both the low and high rpm bands. In a truck (where the low rpm range is very important) they will compensate for that lack of low rpm power by adding displacement.

    That is a perfectly legitimate solution to the problem. It tends to be a very cheap solution, too. But it introduces other problems with fuel economy and smog emissions.

    Meanwhile, the vehicle with VVT can use engine breathing specifically designed for low rpm use. This is better than something tuned for the middle range. Then VVT switches over to higher rpm breathing when the engine is pushed.

    And, as an FYI, Honda reports that more than 90% of peak torque output is available from 2,500 - 5,500 rpms. So, if 90% @ 2,000 is your personal benchmark, the Ridgeline cannot be far from it.

    Also, your statements about Honda engines not producing much torque is misleading. They simply do not build big engines. When you look at how much torque is being produced relative to the size of the engine, Honda is doing just fine. The Tacoma's 4.0L is good for 66.5 lbs-ft per liter. The Ridgeline's 3.5L is good for 70. And the Frontier's 4.0L is good for 71.

    If Honda had chosen to go with a larger, less fuel efficient engine, it probably would have generated something like 280 lbs-ft.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Great post.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Wow, a non-Honda owner that can actually admit that Ridgeline is great at what it is intended for. Good for you, and if I was going with a serious off-roader, I too would overlook the Ridgeline. Good points in your message, daniel. Rationality will always make points with forum posters. Saying "X brand is the best and thats it, period!" won't get you anywhere with anybody, as far as making a convincing argument.

    Tell us if you don't mind, what kind of off-roading do you do? What did you have before the Frontier? I'd be interested to know...

    thegrad
  • "Tell us if you don't mind, what kind of off-roading do you do? What did you have before the Frontier? I'd be interested to know... "

    Before my 05 Frontier I had an 01 Silverado ext-cab Z71, which did very well off-road. I decided to downsize for better fuel economy, more off-road capability, and a narrower body for less tendency to scrape bushes, etc. when off-roading.

    If I remember correctly, the Ridgeline is only 1" narrower than the Silverado, so I wouldn't have gained anything with regard to avoiding the bushes. Frontier, Tacoma, and the rest of the traditional mid-size trucks are several inches narrower than traditional full-size trucks. Most of my off-roading could be handled by the Ridgeline, but occasionally I encounter sections of rock and boulder crawling that fully challenge a true 4wd system with lo-range, locking differentials, hill start / descent control, etc. The "stairsteps" on Broken Arrow Trail near Sedona AZ are a good example.

    Guys like me who go rock and boulder crawling know they will scrape the bottom of their truck, so besides the mechanicals of the 4wd system, the design and protection of the undercarriage are very important, too. Besides needing more ground clearance, the Ridgeline would need a couple more skid plates and a redesigned exhaust, which is presently the low point for roughly half the length of the vehicle from front to rear. In addition, the Ridgeline has what I think is a parking brake cable clipped to the bottom of one of the frame rails; someone like me would scrape that off the first time "riding the rails." None of that matters, though, because the Ridgeline isn't intended for hard-core off-roading where you know you will be scraping the frame rails and other pieces on the bottom. I wish it was designed for more than soft-roading, because I'm very impressed with the rest of the truck and would be driving one now otherwise.

    By comparison, Tacoma TRD is designed for more serious off-roading, which is why I was surprised that the exhaust hangs as the low-point on the 05 when it was tucked up higher on the older models.

    Frontier is not perfect either. While I successfully took the stairsteps described above in my stock Frontier, I did a lot of scraping on the bottom in the process. No harm done, but it's still scary wondering if you're going to break something when riding the frame rails. I've since installed a 2.5" lift from Greg at prerunners.com, bringing my ground clearance up from a stock 10.5" to 13" and haven't scraped bottom since.

    Ground clearance aside, the Frontier's 4wd system has been great. I have a NISMO with 4-wheel limited slip, locking rear, hill-start assist, and hill descent control. Before installing the lift, I got myself stuck on a boulder on one of my excursions. I locked the rear end and was able to drive off with traction from only one wheel. Most of the time the 4-wheel limited slip works so well that the locking rear end is not even needed.
  • toykicktoykick Posts: 104
    honda did build a large displacement engine... and its in the ridgeline... i wouldnt call it an advancement in technology since The big 3 have v8 engines which are more fuel efficient then the ridgeline and have more power to boot not to mention they're probably cheaper also..

    I dont think the Ridgeline fits into any category since it doesnt compare to any truck... The Ridgeline has more human comforts in some ways... like interior space. But when it comes down to doing truck tasks... its over rated. Payload cap. for the ridgeline is under 1200 pounds with passengers. and has a towing capacity of 5k which is less then properly equipped midsized trucks like the Frontier crew cab, Tacomas crew cab, Dodge Dakota v8 and ford v6 ranger... yep thats right RANGER lol... with proper gearing you could tow bigger loads... :P nissan catched onto this, this year adding 4.10 gearing to push up its towing capacity to the tacoma... kinda funny since the taco doesnt use 4.10+ gearing to pull 6500 pounds..
  • toykicktoykick Posts: 104
    I agree with the fact that the majority of the people who have trucks dont really use its capabilities... but if you could barely put 13 bags of concrete in the bed and have to be cautious of not blowing out two expensive struts then its not so functional... this is a typical home depot run..
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I dont think the Ridgeline fits into any category since it doesnt compare to any truck... The Ridgeline has more human comforts in some ways... like interior space. But when it comes down to doing truck tasks... its over rated. Payload cap. for the ridgeline is under 1200 pounds with passengers. and has a towing capacity of 5k which is less then properly equipped midsized trucks like the Frontier crew cab, Tacomas crew cab, Dodge Dakota v8 and ford v6 ranger... yep thats right RANGER lol... with proper gearing you could tow bigger loads... nissan catched onto this

    What Nissan has catched on to is what brought their fuel economy down to 15/20. Honda may have already caught on to this fact, but would it really garner many more buyers with a lower gear ratio? Perhaps it would drive more away with the lower mileage? Noone will really know.

    On the subject of its 5,000 tow rating...

    GM, who has made compact trucks like its S-10 for a LONG time opted to take measures actually REDUCING its tow rating from 5,900 pounds in the S-10 to 4,000 pounds in the Colorado/Canyon. Apparently GM feels that buyers looking to tow heavy objects will likely step up to bigger trucks with V-8s more aptly suited to pulling heavy things and not go with a "weenie midsizer".
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "honda did build a large displacement engine... and its in the ridgeline... i wouldnt call it an advancement in technology since The big 3 have v8 engines which are more fuel efficient then the ridgeline and have more power to boot not to mention they're probably cheaper also.."

    LOL. I wouldn't call it "advanced technology" either. Not since it's been in mass production since the early 1990s.

    And the only way your V8 is more fuel efficient than the Ridgeline is if you install it in a 2WD truck or drive downhill with the wind at your back.

    "But when it comes down to doing truck tasks... its over rated. Payload cap. for the ridgeline is under 1200 pounds with passengers. and has a towing capacity of 5k which is less then properly equipped midsized trucks like the Frontier crew cab, Tacomas crew cab, Dodge Dakota v8 and ford v6 ranger"

    Well, let's look at some numbers...

    Ridgeline:
    Payload 1,549 (RT)
    Payload 1,558(RTS)
    Payload 1,554(RTL)
    Towing 5,000

    4X4 Frontier CC:
    Payload 1,381 (SE)
    Payload 1,365 (LE)
    Payload 1,098 (NISMO)
    Towing 6,100

    4X4 Tacoma CC:
    Payload 1,370 (short bed)
    Payload 1,315 (long bed)
    Towing 6,500

    4X4 Dakota CC (w/ opt. equipment to boost capacities):
    Payload 1,550 (SLT)
    Payload 1,560 (ST)
    Payload 1,530 (Laramie)
    Towing 6,750

    4X4 Colorado CC:
    Payload 1,338 (base trim)
    Towing 4,000

    Ford does not offer a Ranger in 4X4 crew cab configuration. The closest thing they have is the Sport Trac:
    Payload 1,480
    Towing 5,080

    Now, before you go and say that Honda has to reduce their figures when you add passengers, optional equipment, or cargo... This is the payload disclaimer from Toyota.

    "Includes the weight of occupants, optional equipment and cargo; limited by weight distribution."

    This is how Ford puts it.

    "Make sure vehicle payload (reduced by option weight) will accomondate trailer tongue load weight and weight of passengers and cargo added to towing vehicle."

    Chevy...

    "Maximum payload capacity includes weight of driver, passengers, optional equipment, and cargo... Maximum trailer weight ratings are calculated assuming a base vehicle, except for any option(s) necessary to achieve the rating, plus driver. The weight of other optional equipment, passengers and cargo will reduce the maximum trailer weight your vehicle can tow."

    This is the disclaimer used by Honda.

    "Industry practice is to boast a high maximum tow rating, even though some sacrifice of passengers and cargo may be necessary to suitably accommodate such a trailer load - in some cases limiting the vehicle to one passenger to accommodate the maximum specified towing capacity. The Ridgeline's 5,000-pound rating is calculated to include up to two passengers and 200 pounds of cargo."
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Thanks for the much more thorough post (as compared to mine). You really did some homework, varmint!

    It looks to me, based on your info, that Honda falls pretty much in the middle of the pack for these numbers.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The Honda is actually quite good for max payload. The only vehicle with a higher rating (couplah pounds) is the Dakota. But the Dakota I chose is actually the V8, not the V6.

    As discussed in the other thread, the Ridgeline's payload is actually on par with the full-size 4X4 crew cabs (even with a V8). Compared with the F150, it is slightly lower than the styleside and slightly higher than the flareside.

    The place where the Ridgeline falls short is towing. No doubt about that. But when you take into account that the others must subtract for gear and passengers, it's not as big a difference as the numbers suggest.

    Toykick is correct in saying that most vehicles have the *potential* to haul and tow more than the Ridgeline. But he is only looking at the best possible ratings. If he were to read the fine print, he'd learn that 4WD and crew cab configurations reduce the capacities of these vehicles. Extras add weight. Weight reduces capability.
  • toykicktoykick Posts: 104
    I didnt say Crew cab Ranger... i said Ranger.. A access cab 4.0 v6 ranger with 4.10 gearing installed by ford is rated at 6100 pounds.. do some more research... The ridgelines payload capacity is 1100 with 5 adults... as for who has more payload etc... unlike struts tacoma owners could upgrade their leafs and have another 2-300 pounds of payload cap... ;)

    as for which V8 truck wastes less gas then the ridgeline... The vvti v8 tundra... 18/22 for Access cab 16/21 for Double Cab tundra go to a dealership.. True mpg mileage isnt posted on toyotas website... :P Chevys Ext.cab silverado 5.3 4x2 310hp 335ftlb of torque gets 16/21 mpg... owners average 18-19 mixed.. lol do some more research GUY!
  • grove4grove4 Posts: 95
    Varmint good job.Nothing but the facts.Truth is if you look at what motor trend did while drag racing the trucks for toty,the RL was in the middle of the pack with V-8"s.Thats with 5k in each bed if I"m correct.Not to bad for a wee 6. :P
  • grove4grove4 Posts: 95
    Maybe I"m missing something, but I dont think you could get 5 people in the Ford.So whats the point?
  • toykicktoykick Posts: 104
    here something you guys havent pointed out.

    Gross combined vehicle weight rating:

    Double cab v6 Tacoma 4x4 : 11,100

    Ridgeline :10,085

    So The Tacoma can handle more weight per Axle then the Ridgeline...

    Nissan hasnt posted the frontiers #
  • grove4grove4 Posts: 95
    So the Ridgeline is lighter and has a higher payload to boot.I get it.Woo Hoo go Honda.Great job.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Subtract passenger weight from any of the other 4X4 crew cab vehicles and see if it matches the 1,100 lbs payload for the Ridgeline.

    If your point is that an empty truck is going to have a higher payload than a Ridgeline with five passengers, then... whoopee.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The only Tundra I can find with an 18-22 mpg is the 2WD V6, not the V8.

    You're going to need to provide something to back up those numbers. The Green Vehicle Guide lists the Tundra at 15-18 mpg. Even without 4WD, it's only rated 16-19. Those numbers are echoed by every page I've found, including the EPA's site.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Same rules apply to you, toy. We aren't talking about aftermarket parts. We didn't say the RL payload outdid the "upgraded strut" Tacoma. Just as you didn't say "Crew Cab" Ranger. When a Crew-Cab Ranger comes out, then talk about it.
This discussion has been closed.