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Toyota Tacoma vs Honda Ridgeline



  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I currently work at a Honda dealership, and you might want to do a little research, the honda ridgeline as with the pilot both have a four low option.


    That is not a "Low Range." All that is, is the ability to lock the vehicle in either 1st or 2nd gear—which is not low range.

    Vehicles with a with a low-range transfer case have a full set of gears x 2. So if the Ridgeline had a true low range transfer case, it would have a total of 10 gears, not 5.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Bob is right. VTM-4 locks the rear diff so that power is constantly being send to the rear wheels (up to a certain speed), but it has nothing to do with the gearing of the transmission.
  • My dying Grand Cherokee was capable but is not functional for my current needs. My requirements are for a pick-up capable of: 1) hauling firewood, dirt, stone, furniture, etc.; 2) 4WD or AWD to get me up the mountain dirt trail thru mud, snow, ice (but no need for off-roading); 3) small enough to fit thru the 8' wide mile-long "driveway" along the cliff; 4) smooth, comfortable ride [middle-aged man with bad back]; 5) relatively quiet ride [mild hearing loss]; 6) "good" mpg [miles from gas station; 7) "small" turning circle [tiny turn-around at cliff top]; 8) comfortable back seat for "haulin'" in-laws. I'm considering Dakota Quad 4WD; Tacoma Double Cab 4WD; & Ridgeline Crew Cab AWD. Anybody know what's best?
  • The ridgeline sounds like a good fit, I didn't wait because I didn't like the looks of it. I ruled out Dakota because of the history of Dodge and poor resale. That left Tacoma and Frontier (which you didn't mention). I heavily researched both, test drove both (many times) and I thought the Frontier was the clear winner. All three (Taco, Frontier and Ridgeline) are all newly designed/remodeled. There are going to be growing pains. With a completely new platform, I would be a little more hesitant to go with the Honda. The Taco is having some major growing pains (maybe they will get ironed out by later this year). I have had zero problems with the Frontier, but they have only been out for a couple of months. Just my thoughts.
  • Thanks for responding. I read that around town and on the highway the Frontier is comfortable but a bit harsh, that the heavy-duty frame is ultra-stiff which makes for a choppy ride. Do you own the Nismo or one of the others, e.g. LE?
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    Stiff frame is a good thing, which helps your ride. Stiff suspension setting make a vehicle ride hard. Are you saying the Frontier has a stiff suspension?

    You do not want a loose floppy frame.
  • This is why you need to demo for yourself: ride quality is extremely subjective.

    I test drove non-NISMO and NISMO Frontiers. I thought the non-NISMO (SE) had a very plush ride, predictable yet ultrasmooth. I actually preferred the firmer NISMO ride and ordered that truck instead for that and other reasons.

    These trucks have long wheelbases, so they do not have a choppy ride at all (again, this is my subjective rating). You want choppy, try riding a bobtailed 4WD such as a Sami or Wrangler.
  • centralcalcentralcal Posts: 215
    I have an LE. I think the ride is excellent (and I just got out of a car and I am very picky). I do think the Taco ride is a little more refined if you do not get the TRD package, but the Frontier is very nice and much quieter. The Taco sport seats are very comfortable, but I thought SR5 seats were not (and you can not adjust them). Also, the visibility wasn't very good. I feel very confident taking the Frontier through about anything (I am sure the Taco is the same). I would take them both out several times on a test drive, you will find one you like better.
  • woofwoof Posts: 27
    From what I can see, the Ridgeline is an interesting vehicle and would meet my needs for my next truck. Yet, recent experiences with my '01 and '02 Accords were the worst of any cars I've owned. The '01 was a lemon; Honda's customer service from both the dealer and the factory was terrible, actually torturous. (The '02 was not a lemon but was developing unexpected problems, including transmission and brakes, so I quickly dumped it after 20k miles and less than one year.) My Toyotas have been great; any issues were handled with care by the dealer often with a follow-up from the factory people. Based on experience, this is a BIG plus for Toyota. Even though Toyota's warranty is better from the start, they take care of customers much better in and out of warranty. My vote goes to Toyota.
  • boxskyboxsky Posts: 7
    That's unusually for Honda. I had a 95 Civic and my wife a 94 with no problems. I had over 125,000 miles on me with only a CV boot needing to be replaced and my wife had a water pump go around 85,000 miles.
    Later on my wife and mother both bought a RAV4 and both had small problems with them. My mother also got a Camry and had several problems with fit/finish. Honda, Toy & Nissan still are better then the big 3. It's all preferences.
  • Saw a commercial on TV on the Ridgeline. Somehow it doesn't look like a truck. It looks like it doesn't know what it wants to be. But they state it is built by Honda and I guess that explains it.

    I saw it at the car show and I wasn't impressed. However, I would like to test drive it. Maybe that is where all the hoopla starts!

  • captjohncaptjohn Posts: 9
    I chuckled over the similarities between the two of us, right down to the 99 Jeep GC that I owned that gave me a back ache from the lousy seats. I dumped it after only 1-1/2 years, Are you sure thats not the source of your back problems? I also owned a Dakota for 16 years, so I tried out the new 05. I liked how it drove, but was disappointed that the 5-sp auto is only available with the V8. Plus I'm fearful of the Chrysler engines. I've dealt with two many head gasket problems on Chrysler Engines with Iron blocks/Aluminum Heads (both V6 & 4). Read my first drive impressions of the Ridgeline vs. the Tacoma in the Ridgline forum. I'm leaning toward the Tacoma over the Ridgeline due to the interior fit and finish, but the Honda has some compelling features that might sway you, like the trunk in the bed.
  • I have much the same requirements. I ruled out the Dodge after a test drive - Not great ride, poor resale and rather spartan interior. (Even though the dealer offered a $5000 discount.) The V8 gets slightly better milage than the V6 because the V8 had a 5speed auto vs the 4 speed auto for the v6.
    I found a Tacoma quad cab with the SR5 #8 package and it had everything I (we) want. I got $1500 off MSRP. and bought it after a 5 mile test drive. My trade in was a Toyota Highlander and the ride is definately firmer, but it is the most comfortable truck I've ever driven. 6500 lbs towing and I said SOLD. I've now had it long enough to find any hidden defects - None found except there is a typo in the owners manual that says the horn will chirp when using the remote to lock/unlock. I am totaly satisfied with the Tacoma, except I had to buy a Bed cover from a another source - $200 Extang TonoIII.
    The Honda? It will not be discounted and I'm not sure I want their first effort at making an american-ized pickup.
  • Hey, where are you guys?
    Who just bought a Ridgeline and what do you think? BTW how long is that bed?

    I would be curious about MPG, acceleration, options, cost, and maybe why you bought one.

  • 6spdtl6spdtl Posts: 30
    I just love people discussing about their 4wd low when none of them has used it in their life for what it is for! It just goes on to prove how gullible and dumb (though large and important to a car company)the average truck buyer IS. The existance of 4wd low is for going down steep inclines (read rubicon type), it lets the vehicle maintain a crawling speed to avoid losing control or your brakes. You never need it for anything more, if you have used it for something else HERE YOUR SIGN: HEY BUBBA MAKE SURE YOU PUT THA TRUCK ON LOW TO GO UP THER HILL OR TO PULL OUT OF THER SNOW BANK. SURE GOMER HUH HUH. Just like 90% of truck owners never put more than a couple of pieces of plywood in the back or ever take their truck further than a gravel road less then 1% ever use low range and we can see by the comments around here even those that use it don't know what its really for!!!! Hondas real problem selling this truck will not be because it is not by far the best vehicle of its type ever made, but because the target consumer is just too dumb to even understand it. Its like trying to explain a toilet to a indian from the amazon that has never even used a latrine:)
  • I'm surprised you don't know about the enormous head gasket "campaign" involving Toyota V6 engines from late 1989 into the early Tacomas. While they appear to have solved the problem, it just goes to show that any make/model can have big problems. (I owned, still own, one of the trucks that had to get the head gasket replaced, and I can assure you that it was not a cheap fix--some people got it fixed free, some people paid 100%, most people ended up paying a good chunk of the cost.) I suppose this is better than the Ford V6 head gasket disaster, though. Ford apparently refused to acknowledge the problem.

    Honda just made the news with recalls of Civics and Accords--the same two models that have earned praise for great quality and reliability. You just never know.
  • I disagree. First gear in 4Lo is good for more than just descending on extremely steep grades. It goes UP extreme grades and surfaces very well also--better than first gear 4Hi does, with more control.

    Since it multiplies torque, there is no reason it be LIMITED to only descending uses. If that's all you use it for, that's your choice. There is absolutely no reason it can't be used for climbing and pulling purposes...any low-speed, high-torque situations. This is something many, many experienced 4-wheelers use, both up and down.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Yep. 4 Lo can be useful an any number of situations. It's like having additional (off-road) insurance for those rare occasions. I'd much rather have it—and never need it, than not have it—and need it.

  • swannswann Posts: 3
    6spdtl, I'd like to introduce you to my friend "Bubba", so you may share with him your superior knowledge involving the intricacies of the four wheel drive systems, and how gullible and dumb a prospect he is. That being said, I spent some time with the ridgeline today. It is a well thought out vehicle from a function ability standpoint but, the exterior lines are too difficult for me to digest. The 255 horsepower is so-so, needs more TORQUE! Most vehicles in this class produce more torque than horsepower, which is needed for towing. Honda obviously didn't solicit any torque info from "Bubba".
  • 6spdtl6spdtl Posts: 30
    I rest my case, they dont even get it when its explained to them!!!!!
    Now lets get into torque, the ridgeline has been proven to tow a 5000 lbs trailer as well as an F150 with the optional 5.4 liter V8. I guess the ridgelines has 250 percherons while the f150 has 360 shetland ponies. Its not only how much torque an engine can deliver, its how that torque is put to the ground, furtheremore, once your out of the standstill HP becomes more important than torque. I guess most bubbas use their trucks for pulling stumps and that kind of duty since all that bountyfull torque is not creating any towing advantages. Sorry fellas, The ridgeline is as butch if not more than any truck in the midsize market and even shows the big boys a thing or two when it comes to true utility. And as stated before, the regular truck buyer wont get it since hedoesn't have the nogging to understand it. Bubba put in low so we can multiply the torque! sure gomer lets do that!!!! By the way here your sign!!!!
  • captjohncaptjohn Posts: 9
    I went back and drove another Ridgeline Sunday, and then drove the Tacoma the same day, and like you, I bought the Tacoma Double Cab with SR5 package #8. The interior quality and finish was so much nicer. The back seat in the Ridgeline felt like I was sitting on a park bench with a stadium cushion. The Tacoma's seats are much more comfortable. I just felt more comfortable in both back seat and driver's seat with the Tacoma. Granted, the Ridgeline interior is a little wider. How I will feel in the drivers seat for 100,000 miles is more important to me than the additional functionality of the Ridgeline. Plus I bought what I wanted in the Tacoma for about $4000 less than the equivalent Ridgeline, so that will go a long way in letting me live with "less functions". Did you do much research on the Extang Tonneau cover? I need to buy a cover also, and would be interrested in your choice. Were they the only ones with a new Tacoma version available?
  • chuck999chuck999 Posts: 38
    Spent some time looking over / driving Ridgeline this Sat. Then went to Toyota dealer to look at Tacoma / Tundra. While Ridgeline safety features and ride quality are very impressive - I think that Honda not really getting the idea of a TRUCK ..

    1. Ridgeline model levels make it obvious that Honda thinks of Ridgeline more as an Accord or maybe even an MDX than a TRUCK. There is only ONE base model (RT) and you can NOT even add a sunroof. The RT-S adds a nicer stereo, alloy wheels and auto-climate control - but again NO sunroof possible. THEN you get to the meat of the Ridgeline range - The RTL - to which you can add Sunroof or Navigation. So - there are 2 cloth models and at least 3 leather versions ... Show me another TRUCK that has MORE leather versions than CLOTH. None of the competitors do this - and Toyota and Nissan and the big three have been selling TRUCKS a lot longer than Honda ....

    2. No FACTORY Tow Hitches - about 1/3 of Tacos and Tundras (maybe more) COME from the FACTORY with a tow hitch and wiring. None of this on Ridgeline. Having a hitch as a dealer installed option gives the dealer a chance to dicker with labor and installation charges - and makes the PRICE of a functional RIDGELINE even higher..

    3. No FACTORY fog lights - again at least 1/2 Toyotas and Nissans COME from the FACTORY with fog lights. To add fogs to RIDGELINE cost at least $500. And with the Ridgeline you've got to cut holes in the plastic for the install! It's like the engineers thought of fog lights at the very last minute ....

    4. Real towing - sadly, Honda has disingenuously inflated the Ridgeline towing figures substantially. In the OWNERS manual - towing with 5 passengers is NOWHERE NEAR 5000 pounds. More like 2000. So, if you've got a 5000 lb boat - looks like you better leave your family at home! ...

    5. Price - seeing as the Ridgeline needs a tow hitch and harness to tow and probably should have fogs, even the 27,700 base model shoots up to the 28-29k price point - as much as a top of the line Taco. With rebates and discounts you can get a loaded Doublecab V8 Tundra, with SAB, Tow package and Sunroof for about the same price .... (Check Carmax, Darcars or Fitzgerald auto mall ....)

    Look - the Ridgeline is a nice vehicle, rides great, has outstanding safety features, and IS probably more than most TRUCK owners really need. But if Honda wants to sell TRUCKS, they should start MARKETING it and outfitting it as a TRUCK. Let's see a Rigdgeline hauling sheet rock, feed bags or outfitted with a ladder rack. Ship 'em with FACTORY tow hitches and fogs. Build more RT's...

    The ability to haul motorcycles or tow a boat is NOT UNIQUE to the Ridgeline TRUCK.... The ability to haul WIDE working loads IS ...
  • swannswann Posts: 3
    Proven to tow, and how well it performs on the highway with a load is a different animal. I drove the ridgeline and have plenty of experience towing boats. I have a 3000lb 22ft skiff, and a 26ft 8000lb h/s vector. The ridgeline could handle the 3000lbs, but it would have to work real hard at getting even that load up to highway speeds within a respectable time frame. Plus the radiator sure looks tiny. You stated "the regular truck buyer doesn't understand that hp is more important than torque". You may need to explain this to the folks that have been manufacturing trucks for decades-Tacoma h.p. 245 TORQUE-282
    Frontier h.p. 265 TORQUE-284
    F-150 5.4 h.p. 300 TORQUE-365
    Just for kicks, lets throw a chevy duramax in the mix to further prove how far off all the other truck producers have been in understanding torque-Duramax h.p 310 TORQUE-590!

    I personally think the ridgeline is a well thought out vehicle. The design team needs to wrap their concept in a more appealing body exterior, and add more TORQUE!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The Ridgeline is a midsize truck, and is marketed towards homeowners, not construction crews.

    It's got 49.5" width between the rear wheelwells, which no other midsize truck can match. So yes, it can carry 1,100 lbs of sheetrock flat on the bed floor if need be. So what it extends off the rear of the lowered tailgate 18 inches? Just make sure it's properly tied down.

    I agree with you regarding the towing.

  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    Does the Ridgeline really expect to upset the truck world this much?? Man, reading these posts is making me think I can put my Grandmother in a RTS Ridgeline and her broken hip will be cured! Sign me up for one today!!
    What do I read is this: The Ridgeline IS going to turn the truck world on its ear, simply for the fact that Honda makes it(read engineering). No, it won't pull a stump out of the ground, and no it won't haul a Bobcat tractor, but it will go to HomeDepot and maybe haul some pine bark bags in the bed and three friends to spread the bark. As far as someone posting it's easier to access the bed than Toyota, better try reaching the helmet that slides up behind the cab over those high raking body panels, or the guy who doesn't like the fact Toyota doesn't equip certain safety features as standard and you have to pay for them. Have you seen the stickers on these trucks, Honda is making you pay for them and you DON'T have an OPTION of ordering them. I'm not biased to the Toyota, I settled on a GMC crew cab for towing, hauling and stump pulling reasons. I promise I will use 4-lo to go down hills too!I know my truck doesn't have a trunk in the bed, but I have too many things in the bed to get to a trunk. I'll honk and help you guys out when you get a flat and those sheets of drywall prevent you getting your spare as long as you Ridgeline guys will help me when my GMC breaks down after a few months and GM leaves me on the side of the road!!
  • bruvymanbruvyman Posts: 3
    BEST (Ridgeline) POST EVER .
  • hammaahammaa Posts: 79
    Hey Vern...what ARE you talking about?
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,727
    Hit the nail on the head. I agree the ridgeline will fit the needs of many people who don't need/require/ or want a "real" truck. This is not a knock on Honda. I think they may be on to something with this vehicle. Traditional truck buyers may laugh at the thought of a ridgeline, but I don't think that is HOnda's intended market.

    I don't think to many people will be buying the Ridgeline for towing, atleast they shouldn't. Realistically 3000lbs is probably more in line with what this vehicle is safely capable of by the time you factor the weight of people and gear.

    As for 4low, I've used it on my Pathfinder to pull out shrubs and it was needed.
  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    And my wife laughed at me for pulling trees and shrubs with our old S-Blazer!! But seriously, I think Honda will, if nothing else, make the other guys sit up and take notice. Truthfully speaking, how many people are going to buy a Ridgeline just because it's got a big "H" on the grill? Not that I'm saying it's a bad thing, I bought an Accord one time sight unseen, just because it was a Honda Accord. I thought "never wrecked, got some service papers- yeah I'll buy". I know I wouldn't do that with too many other makes. Turned out to be a great car until my wife got the SUV bug. I just got a hoot over all these torque and payload and off-road posts that were flying around like this was some kind of mid-size Super-truck that could carry anything but Kryptonite and traverse anything but the Atlantic. Keep it in its element and it will, no doubt, shine.
  • 6spdtl6spdtl Posts: 30
    What is surprising is that people just don't get it. For the press release honda put the ridgeline head to head with a ford F150 5.6 liter with a 5000lb trailer. The ridgeline matched in straight line performance and simply creamed it in the handling portion of the test. Fellas that is not the plain vanilla f150 this is the optional big block v8. This nonsense about the truck credentials is stupid since the entire press test/presentation is on the internet for all to see. The ridgeline has all the truck credentials of any truck in its category (if not more)plus it has driving manners that no truck even can dream of matching. In addition the toal weight capacity of the truck is over 1500lbs therefore it can carry 1000lbs of cargo plus 4 people in the cab, what is so diffucult to understand about that???? Or are people just plain st-pid? Furthermore carrying that load does not affect handling at all! Try that with any other truck mid or full size. I wish people would read and study before they speak these forums and just sound ignorant.
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