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Toyota Tacoma vs Honda Ridgeline



  • Do you work for Honda or are you a novel writer?

    You write a lot of fiction here. Look up the tow ratings for Tacoma, Dakota, and Frontier to find out for yourself. The battle is not full-size vs. midsize; it's right in the mid-size field.

    Or maybe you compose music, because you change your tune slightly when people present facts rather than hyperbole.

    Aside from the towing debate, Ridgeline ONLY comes with automatic transmission, and no low-range transfer case. For many truck buyers, those will be reasons to not even consider the Ridgeline. Especially since ALL Honda and Acura automatic transmissions are listed as banned from Mt. Washington Auto Rd.--too fragile for steep sustained grades (Jaguar and Sterling share this distinction). They were blacklisted there more than 20 years ago, and they STILL are.

    I didn't come here to trash Honda products. But some things need to be pointed out, because they do matter to some buyers. The Ridgeline is a different offering from other vehicles, and that's good. What's not so good is your (Honda's?) squirrely presentation of "minor" things such as off-road ability or towing capacity.
  • reddrigreddrig Posts: 3
    This cracks me up. First off I don't own a Tacoma or a Ridgeline. You talk about real world. I work for a City in Orange County Ca near the ocean. Land of the SUV and now the ridgeline. 03-10-05 Obs a ridgeline towing a Trophy fishing boat up a grade to get to the launch area. Ridgeline did not make it. Gearbox let go on his new Ridgeline. I helped this person with tow services. Boat was around 5200 pounds with gas. He prob had another 500 pounds in gear. Yes it was overloaded a tad, but it was a new vehicle and did not handle this load at all. I'm still intrested in the Ridgeline, but not for it's towing capabilities. Trucks and these hybrids share a few things in common, but if I'm towing I'll lean toward the truck. This was as real world as it gets and the Honda failed in my eyes.
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    How did it fail? He exceeded Hondas specifications. He was a moron. Just curious, how much stuff did he have in the Ridgeline itself. Was he also carrying 5 adults, and a bunch of stuff in the bed?
  • reddrigreddrig Posts: 3
    I did not search the boat, but the gear he had was in his vehicle. Single male adult. After the problem vehicle made a grinding noise with a lurching movement upon acceleration. I'm not a certified mechanic, bit I believe it was a gearbox prob. I agree the guy was stupid, but I have overloaded a few trucks in my lifetime and never tore one up like this guy did. I'm a Ridgeline fan, but I'm not jumping on the bandwagon about the towing capabilities of this vrhicle. If I want to tow anything over 4000 pounds I'll stick to trucks that were designed for that purpose. Another reason I like the Ridgeline is it appeals to my wife more than a truck does. It's more SUV and fits the suburbite chick/mother image. I'm already seeing rich moms enroute to the local Grocery store inb the new Ridgeline. This helps me out when I have to sell it to the old lady.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    This is another reason why 4x4 trucks have a low range in the transfer case. Low range can be very useful with boat ramps, which can be steep. As much as I like the Ridgeline, I really think Honda was remiss in not offering this feature.

    I bet he also did not lock it in 4x4 mode. In order to do this, the vehicle must be in either "1" or "2.," not "Drive."

    Also, besides being a bit overloaded, the truck was brand new and most likely not broken in.

  • bongusbongus Posts: 8
    This might sound like a stupid question but how do you "break in" the car so that you avoid a problem like this?
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    The Ridgeline is an interesting vehicle, but I am still not sure what Honda's target audience is. I think you will see more SUV owners make the switch than truck owners. The idea of a trunk in the truck sounds great, but my dad owns a construction company, and his bed is always full of things. That would mean that you would constantly be needing to move things around to get to tools, accessories, etc. Now if the bed of your truck is always clear, then this is great, but most truck owners buy a truck to put things in the bed..

    Now I have not seen one in person, but from the commercials and other pics, I think this truck is rather weird looking.. It may look better in person, and beauty is always in the eye of the beholder (as my wife can attest), but I think the styling may turn more people off to the truck than on to it.

    I have not driven the new Nissan Frontier, but on paper it looks awesome, and should be considerably cheaper than a Ridgeline (since Honda is not exactly known for negotiating on price). My other concern is Honda working out all the kinks on its first ever American sized truck. I would definitely wait a year or two. I would like to drive one, but still think I would end up with either a Ford, Nissan, or Toyota.
  • chuck999chuck999 Posts: 38
    Great story about the transmission failure, although as everyone already mentioned there could be lots of reasons for this ...

    I'm not sure that I would agree with the poster who said "He exceeded Hondas specifications. He was a moron."

    Most engineers tend to design in at least a 10-20% tolerance in specs - "just in case" ...

    So at 5800 pounds - it was about 16% over spec - not really all that bad .....

    Certainly not so overloaded as to justify a catastrophic transmission failure ...

    Again - should remember that the Ridgeline is an EARLY production version of a NEW vehicle - there are bound to be bugs to work out. BUT - it's hard for me to see why a transmission that works fine with 5000 pounts should fail with just a 16% overload .....
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The vehicle was probably less than 2 weeks old. As with any brand new vehicle, you don't put under heavy stress until it's been fully broken in.

    I probably would have waited until the vehicle had at least 1000 miles on it before towing a heavy trailer.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,029
    anyone can post unsubstantiated stories about some vehicle nightmare. my guess is that it was just a bad unit. not only that, but anyone towing that big a boat with a 'ridge or other similar size vehicle is asking for trouble. think cross winds while towing. from my own personal experience, my friend was unable to pull his 19 foot boat out of a steep ramp with his astro van, even with 2 of us were standing on the trailer tongue. my wife's '91 explorer with an anemic 160 hp, but with low range and about 200 lbs of torque managed to both up the ramp. it was a manual tranny, so it really smelled doing it, but we drove with that clutch for at least another 5 years, before trading it in.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • The Ridgeline looks like just another ugly and quirky Honda product i.e. Element. I can't wait to see them show up in the salvage yard with bent frames due to load and performance issues. The bent frames will cause the entire truck to bend due to its Accord style unibody construction, not much different that the Oddessy or Accord platform which is not made for truck duty. Acutually here in Southern California, every used Honda these days seens to be a salvage title or prior theft recovery. So much for Honda Durability.

    Wait a few years, we'll see all the kids slam their Ridgelines to the ground, put big loud exaust pipes on them and decorate with Asian letter stickers.
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    "The bent frames will cause the entire truck to bend due to its Accord style unibody construction, not much different that the Oddessy or Accord platform which is not made for truck duty."

    Have you read anything about the construction of this truck???? Apparently not, Please do your research before you post.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    " The Ridgeline is an interesting vehicle, but I am still not sure what Honda's target audience is. I think you will see more SUV owners make the switch than truck owners "

    That's what I've been reading in some of the Ridgeline reviews. It's more targeted to SUV owners who have an occasional need to put extra stuff in the back. Not for serious towing or off roading truck needs.

    One thing I don't like about the Ridgeline, and also the Pilot, is there's no 2WD model. I'm in Florida and have no use for AWD. I bought a Highlander over the Pilot last year simply because with the options I wanted, I saved $5K.

    I've been considering a Tundra or the Ridgeline and even the Tundra 2WD double cab V8 is less than the Ridgeline. I haven't priced both out in detail yet though. I'm waiting until Edmunds gets the pricing details of the new X-SP sport package.
  • whaleyawhaleya Posts: 28
    Not all Hondas are banned from Mt. Washington Rd. The transmission must show an "L" or a "1" - thus some Hondas are banned.

    This is a function of the need for strong engine braking on the way DOWN, not the strength of the transmission on the way UP.

    Also, all Hummers are banned from the road as well (too large)
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Jimsa1252 - You've got a lot of reading to do. If you have questions, go ahead and post them here or the main Ridgeline thread. We'll help get you a clue. There's no shame in being uninformed on such a new vehicle.

    Midnightsun - Took my CR-V along with several others up Mt. Washington last summer.
  • I've got a question that maybe one of you out there might know: if the "infinitely variable" nature of the VTM-4 system may compensate for the lack of a specific geared 4-LO?

    Anyone have any thoughts on this issue? Thank you!
  • I stand corrected on the transmission exemption. Thinking back to the auto transmissions I've driven, I can't remember any that did not have L or D1. It blows me away that such a configuration would even be sold (safety issue) in a country that has mountains. I assume that *current* Honda models all have L or D1 but maybe that's another bad assumption.

    Whether the owners know to *use* the lower gears is another question.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Nope. VTM-4 allows for variable amounts of power (up to 70%) to the rear wheels. However, it does nothing in terms of changing the engine speeds vs wheel speed.

    By increasing the number of engine revs to the number of tire revolutions, low gearing allows the engine to reach higher rpms while attempting to accomplish the same job. These are random numbers but... that means you can apply as much torque at 5 mph as the engine normally would at 10 mph.

    Equally important though, is the advantage lower gears gives the driver in terms of control. Throttle response is easier to manage while in low gear. You can avoid "jerking" a load or lurching over a rock while driving off-road.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The Mt. Washington Auto Road isn't a public road. While we do have mountains in this country, none of our public roads take the same lengthy, 12 percent grade that engineers chose for Mt. Washington. With the possible exception of some logging roads, it is nearly unique.
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    Slightly off topic, but on my Mazda B4000 (Ranger Clone, same chassis with the old Exploder) with the ford 5 speed auto, you can select first gear, but there is no engine braking in first gear if the vehicle is coasting. For engine braking you need to select second gear, which would not be all that helpful on a steep road. Is this common? If so, Mt. Washington might want to update their restricted list.
  • driver6driver6 Posts: 5
    to Midnight Sun:
    The Ridgline has a D1, as well as a D2 as well as a way to down drive from Drive to D3.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,029
    ...or you might want to get the transmission checked. :)
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • If you're talking paved roads, that is correct.

    If you're talking dirt, not correct. There are lots of steep, long unpaved roads in the U.S. (at least in the western U.S.), and I'm not even talking 4x4 trails. Sure, the Accord or Civic is not likely to be taken on those kinds of roads, but the Ridgeline is being projected as some kind of supertruck. That's why people get into trouble: they believe the marketing hype.

    There's also the possibility that the manufacturers just plain f*ck up in spec'ing the vehicle. Every summer, for years, I'd pass by lines of Chrysler minivans (the early ones), hoods up and antifreeze spewing all over the place, near the buffalo viewing area on I-70 near Genesee (CO). The cooling system in those vehicles was just not up to the ascent. There are bound to be the oddball poorly-maintained or just bad-luck vehicles on that climb, but when I see ONE make/model consistently having the SAME breakdown, I am suspicious.

    I bet the market segment Ridgeline is targeting is those minivan buyers, who then "moved up" to SUVs, and now think a truck would be cool. Honda ads on TV gush about being rated "most family-friendly". Fine. I just hope those families don't think they are better *trucks* than the other products out there, based on some misleading statements posted by Honda salesmen.
  • supcrdssupcrds Posts: 11

    coming in a little late on this but something to keep in mind is the wording in the orignal post was "5200# boat" I know my boat is listed with its weight and not boat/trailer, good chance this was a 5200 lb boat on a 1200 lb trailer, which would put this WAY over the limit.
    Also I agree I would not get a truck that will just tow the intended load. If I am towing 3500# I will shop for a 5000# rating.
  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    How's the MPG side of the equation?? With gas running $2.00/gallon in Atlanta, I'm sure people are gonna pass up the bigger offerings for some of that Honda reliablility. If the Pilot gets around 20mpg, I'm sure the Ridgeline can't be too far off.
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    Just filled up. It was 17.6 mpg, but it's new (450 miles so far), this should improve. Avoid gas with MMT in it. Honda says this will decrease fuel economy and damage emissions system if used regularly.
  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    Sorry, you gotta help me on MMT. What is it and what does it do and why doesn't Honda like it--and why does it taste funny??

    But pretty sweet already pulling almost 18mpg!!
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    It's a Manganese fuel additive and Honda doesn't like it. The sign at the Philips 66 station says their gas is Honda approved.
  • d3coyd3coy Posts: 3
    btw it dosent really matter WHERE you buy your gas unless you live in alaska or houston where it is pumped from, all fuel maufacturers pump their gas into the same pipelines and pull out of the same pipelines, thus all the "brands" of gas (one of the most highly regulated liquids on the open market anyway) get mixed, this is what is know in the industry as fungible gas, or generic. additionally the additves placed in fuel are so minimal that they are added somewhere in the range of 1 fl oz. per 1,000 Gal. so dont worry about where you get your gas, jsut how much you need to put in it.
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    Yeah, I've heard all gas is the same, but find it hard to believe, as I've had experiences where some of my vehicles definitly got bad gasoline from different stations. Then there's gas with methanol, ethanol etc. Chevron with techroline?? Not all gas is the same, despite the fact I keep hearing it is. It's just not my experience with gas stations.
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