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Toyota Tacoma vs Honda Ridgeline



  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    "Wow, I thought this was a discussion about really have issues. Seems the Honda Ridgeline is the vehicle to buy if you're compensating for something... "

    Yeah, I was trying to compensate for my lack of off road ability, payload capacity and ride comfort. I'll bet you have a fuctionless hood scoop on your Taco. Now that's compensating for something, or is that just style over substance.
  • gringo1gringo1 Posts: 72
    I followed this thread from the beginning reading every post until about halfway through. I'd read enough by then.

    There seems to be a very polite group of posters who know that this Ridgeline simply is not a truck in 4WD or towing capabilities, and there are posters who don't really know that world, but like to talk like the Ridgeline will perform under those demands.

    Anyone like 6spd poster, for example, who says 4 Lo is for downhill only purposes obviously has not lived or driven in circumstances that require 4 Lo more often than a driver would like to need to resort to it.

    I don't know, maybe I'm cynical about know-it-alls who don't have the experience but read a lot.

  • treyh1treyh1 Posts: 34
    One thing I learned about these forums when researching minivans is that not everyone can rationally discuss "their" vehicle. Good information comes from those who can say "I like a, b & c about my car, but the competition had a little better y & z." To make an informed purchase, I come here for information others can share, and the "OH MY GOSH THIS CAR IS PERFECT HOW COULD YOU BUY ANYTHING ELSE" crowd isn't very useful for that.

    These two apparently excellent trucks have mildly different functions. Anybody who can't recognize that fairly obvious fact isn't going to be a source of decent insight.
  • treyh1,

    I think you hit the nail on the head. There are some posters that are level headed that you can trust what they are saying, then there are others that you just have to chuckle at. I even find myself disagreing with some of the things that the Edmunds writers have to say about some cars/trucks. However, I find the Edmunds writers to be less biased than most other e-mags.

    That brings me to the question why this topic even exists. The Ridgeline and Tacoma are trucks, but appear to be targeted to two different camps. This in itself would appear to be sufficient to keep a constant state of conflict going on this board. I just read the First-drive about the Ridgeline and did not get surprised by any of it.*#19 The Ridgeline excelled at a very nice on-road ride, but could not handle the off-road part of the course. Once again no surprises here. Why can't we just take each car/truck for what they are and just leave it at that? :)
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    "but could not handle the off-road part of the course."

    That's not what they said exactly. They were referring only to the steep hill on the off road part. It should also be noted that they felt the stock tires weren't off road tires and didn't help. I must add that I've had it in deep dry sand where the undercarriage was scraping the surface and VTM-4 lock was not even required. I didn't even have to turn off VSC. My experience off road has been very good, and wouldn't want to subject any production vehicle to more than my Ridgeline was subjected to. That extra inch of clearence helps with the Taco. I've also read posts where the Taco and Ridgeline were compared on steep muddy ascents and drivers felt the Ridgleine performed better. That being said if I were looking for extensive off roading capabilities, the Ridgeline wouldn't be my first choice, but it's very capable for my BLM off road requirements.
  • 5553543255535432 Posts: 150

    I fully agree with you that those stock Ridgeline tires are not for off roading. They almost look like the all season and winter Nokian tires I put on my Pilot.Those tires are amazing, no more hydroplaning, and no more sliding on slush and even better handling on ice.No more switching tires too when the weather changes.

    The fine thread pattern of the stock Michelin LTX is meant to improve handling in wet, slushy, dry pavement and last but not the least, offroading. I bet offroading prowess of the Ridgeline would improve if they stick those offroad tires from Jeep Wrangler. :shades:
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "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."

    Yes and no. The design is such to allow the body and cab to flex independently. Just about every pick-up is built the same way. However, this is not because they desire that flexibility. It's because they cannot prevent it (without extraordinary measures). If they had a chassis that flexed and a body which did not, the body would end up a pretzel.

    There's also an advantage in being able to swap out the bed for a dumper, fenced platform, or some other type of cargo hold.

    Because the unibody and full frame on the Honda are so well integrated, there is less flex and less need for that gap. There are drawbacks, of course. In order to get the unibody/frame combo strong enough, the designers had to buttress the chassis. That's what those big honkin' C-pillars are for. And those are also the reason why we'll probably never see a long bed version of the Ridgeline.
  • treyh1treyh1 Posts: 34
    Can't imagine that.

    The other main ones are tow capacity (lack of hard attachment points) & what happens when you push the truck past its limits. I know few people who haven't at some point or another overloaded their trucks, either towing or payload. Manufacturers expect that, and all vehicles have some dummy factor built in. Put too much in the bed of a body-on-frame & you'll wear out your bearings faster. Get real stupid & you may break a leaf spring or other suspension hardware. What you won't normally do bend the frame or any other sort of major damage. Push a unibody past its limits & you may be visiting someone with a frame puller.

    Which is why I said earlier that a unibody isn't a hard positive. It depends on how you use the truck. I'm not sure why that drew such fire.
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    "Push a unibody past its limits & you may be visiting someone with a frame puller."

    The Ridgeline ladder frame and unibody combination has 20 times more torisional rigidity and 2.5 times more bending rigidity than any other truck. What you describe will never happen to this truck. This is basic info that everybody should know if your talking about this truck. It's in almost every review or talking point about the Ridgeline. Your making alot assumptions about what you think this truck is with out even bothering to read anything, and I do mean anything about it.

    Unibody integrated with a ladder frame is a hard positive no matter how you slice it. There is no disadvantage, period. Please read something.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "The other main ones are tow capacity (lack of hard attachment points) & what happens when you push the truck past its limits."

    You're drawing fire because you're still not getting it.

    The Ridgeline is a ladder frame-base truck. It just has a unibody cabin, bed, and engine compartment instead of separate pieces on top of a frame. It is a frame that has been reinforced with a unibody, not replaced by a unibody. This is the same kind of thing used for the Land Rover LR3 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

    In short, it does have "hard attachment points".
  • i think i can afford it... i choose not to... cuz its ugly... its not inferior... its faster nicer lookin inside and out... so wuts better bout this honda uglyvan... hmmm nothin o wait gps and leather seets ill giv ya that... but if u got money u can install those.... im wondering how u see its better .. its uglier rides worse is slower and is ugly inside and out... thanks for the chrome on the steering wheel honda... proved the cars are ugly inside and out
  • mtpktsmtpkts Posts: 3

    I drove the Ridgeline and it drove like my Pilot but a tad stiffer. It was a much better ride than the crew cab v6 TRD Sport LB Taco I purchased ten minutes later. I like many of the features of the Ridgeline but the Taco drove like a truck - Leafsprings, drum brakes, separate bed w/ associated flex, etc. A real man know a station wagon when he sees it.
  • Trey, your recent posts suggest that you think people are saying this truck is "Perfect". That is far from the truth. Although we owners might be saying we love this truck, I don't think anyone is saying it's the perfect truck. Rather that it's perfect for what we need, and for what many people actually will or could use this truck for, which is not heavy duty off-roading, heavy duty hauling/towing, or heavy duty construction work. This is not a heavy duty truck. It is important to understand the limitations of any vehicle, such as the ease of rollover of SUV's.

    There are also a lot of details that Honda, perhaps purposely, left out, like a mileage computer, visor extenders, day running lights, the infamous vanity mirror, and some other things that they will, most likely, add in future years' models, in addition to the annual rise in price that usually occurs with all vehicles. So there is room to improve, which I think is built-in.

    There are always going to be improvements on vehicles, one would hope. One could also keep waiting for next year's model to come out...but that seems to be a perpetual losing proposition to me.
  • gd113gd113 Posts: 114
    So a hard ride and old school mechanics make the Taco better? I'm not sure why leafsprings and drum brakes are better. The Taco is nice but doesn't it depend are your needs? If you need a dump truck get it, if you need an off roader get it, if you want traction in bad weather, safety, and to haul stuff on the weekends get the Ridge. Not everyone can go off roading. Where I live I don't need heavy duty off road capabilities because there is no where to go off roading. I think some are into the macho image rather than the real need.
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    "so wuts better bout this honda uglyvan..."

    Well, I'll tell ya. Keep in mind I was very stoked to go buy my 05 Taco Sport.This was a big decision. I can only think of a better choice if I needed to tow 10,000 lbs. For me it came down to the 05 Taco and the Ridgeline. This is my first Honda purchase. #1 in consideration was brand reputation, reliability, and resale value, and for me that was Toyota and Honda. I've owned a Toyota truck and car for fourteen years with not one problem between them, so Toyota really had brand loyalty from me, but the more in depth research I did about how Honda engineers approached this vehicle. It convinced me this was very different than a chopped up pilot that I initially thought it was. Honda truly brought some new ideas and improvements to the pickup table and they needed too with their first entry into this market. I was impressed with their Unibody integration with a ladder truck frame giving it 20 times more torisional stability and 2.5 time more bending rigidity. combine this with a beefy 4 wheel independent suspension, and you've got truck toughness with a ride of a nice car. This really does give the vehicle a more overall solid feel. This is also the best automatic transmission I've driven. Acceleration is excellent.

    Other features that pushed it over the top:

    -really like the VTM-4 AWD system instead of part time 4x4. It also has VSC that can be turned off and VTM-4 lock that locks the rear and front diffs

    -I can haul 4x8 building material, and it will lay flat in the bed of this mid size truck. There's no wheel wells taking up valuable space. No other midsize can do this. (I really don't want to be driving some huge full size truck just to do this.)

    -Biggest cab in class. It's pretty roomy inside. Love the flip up backseat allowing for alot of storage in back of the cab. lots of storage space through out. The center console is the best laid out storage space I've seen in a center console.

    -Inbed trunk and 2 way opening tailgate (genius) lights in bed light the cargo area when you open the gate. (not available on Taco-NAOT)

    -dual climate control (saved my marriage )

    -leather interior, I really feel like I'm in a nice sedan (very classy, and not available on Taco)

    -moon roof (NAOT)

    -power rear window (NAOT)

    -heated mirrors (NAOT)

    -power driver's seat (NAOT)

    We love this truck. It does everything well for us. It's a nice luxury touring car. It hauls cargo when I need to, and I love it off road. The most amazing thing: The styling has grown on me. I love the way this truck looks or maybey it's function and utility is driving the beauty.
  • gd113gd113 Posts: 114
    Good write up gearhead1. I agree with you as an owner, love the truck. I'm glad you know english and learned how to type.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    That's enough potshots. Any more personal comments, and I make life uinpleasant, ok? :)

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • treyh1treyh1 Posts: 34
    It's a unibody, derived from the Odyssey, that's been altered & reinforced with ladder elements. Look at a picture of an Odyssey skeleton & look at the Ridgeline skeleton. Honda's not stupid; simple economics dictate that they use their large, developed platform for as many models as possible. Hence the MDX, Pilot & now Ridgeline.

    Think about what you're claiming. You're saying the Ridgeline is so over-engineered that it has a unibody (that's good enough for the Odyssey) AND a ladder frame that would be good enough for any other truck. Yet with all that stiffness it still needs those awful c pillars, can only carry 150 lbs more than the cro-magnon Tacoma, and can tow 1500 lbs LESS. Does that make any sense to you?

    The reality is that it has some ladder elements & some frame elements. It's a compromise vehicle, and probably a dang good one if they've figured out automatic transmissions by now (I have an Odyssey that they had to extend the warranty on). And the compromise might be perfect for some people. For others that need more of a traditional pickup, it might not be. That simple fact really shouldn't be cause for Ridgeline owners to get defensive.
  • ush00zush00z Posts: 30
    Got a chance to take a look at the Honda up close. Someone at work bought a new one.

    It was a silver with black leather. I don't care much for a leather interior in a truck. To me, my truck must be a work truck, not a luxury vehicle (my SUV is a Mercedes, it should have leather). So I'll not comment on that.

    I checked out the bed. It was a small bed. My Taco is a shortbed, so it's not big by any standard, but at least I can haul a cubic yard of dirt in it to fill my yard. I don't think the Honda is up to this task. It seems like it can't haul anything larger that a barbecue grill or a few flower pots. Even if it has the space, I don't think you'll want to make the Honda's bed dirty because I feel like you have to protect it like it is an interior part.

    As for the look, it reminds me of a lifted 4 door El Camino or a 4 door Isuzu Amigo without the back seat. If I want a truck, I'd get the one with the bed that's not so integrated with the cab. But that's just my definition of a truck.

    BTW, my 05 4 door Taco with 2WD and side airbags was priced at $26K MSRP with everything I need (don't need leather) in a work truck. It hauls my family of 4 (comfortably) most of the time, but I feel much better that it can be a serious work horse hauling anything else. The Honda is probably close to $30K. I don't think and don't want to spend $30K on a truck whether it be Chevy or Ford or Toyota or Honda. That's what I'd spend on a SUV.
  • mtpktsmtpkts Posts: 3
    Yup. The comparison between Ridgeline and Taco is somewhat moot b/c the market segment is clearly different. The last line was just a reference to that Miller beer commercial that I thought might have some relevance.

    Actually, the Ridgeline was a nice truck but priced $4k over MSRP at the dealer I visited. As a second vehicle, the Taco met my needs at a better price point.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "It's a unibody, derived from the Odyssey, that's been altered & reinforced with ladder elements. Look at a picture of an Odyssey skeleton & look at the Ridgeline skeleton."

    Sorry, but you're just plain wrong.

    Ridgeline frame

    Ridgeline unibody & frame integration (schematic)

    Ridgeline unibody & Frame integration (photo)

    The Ridgeline's frame includes 7 additional rails not used in the Pilot or MDX. The frame rails in the Ridgeline are fully boxed and the channels are 70% deeper than those in the others.

    The Odysey does not use fully boxed rails, instead it makes use of a "four ring" unibody design.

    Ody photo
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    Cool post Varmint, I actually learned more about the Ridgeline today.
  • treyh1treyh1 Posts: 34
    I'm not sure what part of "derived", or "altered & reinforced" is so hard to understand. Maybe it's just a coincidence that the rings, especially the A & B pillar areas, are really, really, really similar in all those vehicles. Maybe Honda is stupid & has a completely unique platform for each vehicle. That'd go against pretty much what every car manufacturer in the world does, but it would help you sleep better at night knowing that no minivan DNA is present in your purchase. So it must be true.

    You addressed none of the rest of my post, not surprisingly. If it has all the strength of a traditional ladder frame, PLUS all the strength of a unibody, why aren't the capacities radically different? Why the towing limitations? Does Honda reccomend that you NOT use a load leveling hitch? I'd heard that but haven't seen an owner's manual, so that's an honest question.

    This is a compromise vehicle. That's not a bad thing, nor is it an insult. Clearly I'll have to get objective info on the Ridgeline elsewhere. Enjoy your car.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,158
    Indeed, that was a good write up. Some of the points you mentioned (AWD, bed design) are exactly the reasons I have kept the Ridgeline on my consideration list. Function and utility DEFINITELY come before aesthetics, or even ammenities like dual climate(!). In fact, they probably MUST come before aesthetics with this truck. :surprise:

    Varmint, thanks the for reply regarding body/chassis flex. I always appreciate it when someone takes the time to answer the ignorant. :blush:

    I hope to have a few more years before making a decision, but I don't know whether new or used will be preferable when the time comes. I'd rather have an idea about these models and, especially, potential problems now than buy an '05/'06 something in 3 years and have to backtrack.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,158
    I am not sure that I agree this is a compromise vehicle, depending on what underscores "compromise" in your mind. It certainly has a different intended use than a traditional pickup, but this is not a compromise for those who are the targeted buyers. If anything, I would say that an SUV is a compromise vehicle and this Ridgeline is an alternative to this compromise. It is really all a matter of intended use.

    You bring up a good point about capacities, loading vs overloading (I think you mentioned this in an earlier post), etc., but so many other factors other than the body/frame construction come into play here. Suspension, GVW, transmission, brakes, blah blah blah...
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,158
    Okay, Varmint, please point out the "C" pillars on one of thse links. The term "pillar" would tell me that it should be a vertical member and "C" should probably be the shape, but I do not see anything that jumps out at me as fitting this description. Are they in the cab area? Sorry, but I just want to clear this one up so I can fully appreciate the engineering...
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "Maybe Honda is stupid & has a completely unique platform for each vehicle."

    A platform is nothing more than a set of dimensions, the number of stops on a production line, and the types of jigs which can be used to assemble the parts. Two vehicles may be built using the same kinds of hardware, in the same order, using absolutely none of the same parts.

    I could be wrong, but it appears you are using the term "platform" with the same meaning that might have applied 30 years ago. Using the same platform does not mean using the same body.

    Now, the Ridgeline does use some of the same "DNA" as the other vehicles build in the same production facilities. The most obvious example would be the transversely-mounted J series V6 engine. The Ody, MDX, Pilot, and Ridgeline all have the same drivetrain, each with a different state of tune. Each one uses similar suspension designs. They all have Mac Struts up front and IRS at the rear. Very few of the parts are the same, but they are the same "types" of suspension. The MDX, Pilot, and Ridgeline also share the VTM-4 electronic 4WD system, although certain parts have been beefed up for use in the Ridgeline.

    But it pretty much ends there. 90% of the frame under the Ridgeline is made from different parts than the Pilot or MDX.

    "You addressed none of the rest of my post, not surprisingly."

    I'm trying to post only what I know.

    Why are the towing limitations different than some of the traditional trucks? Probably because of the independent rear suspension. But that's a guess on my part.

    Please allow me to return the question. Why is the body-on-frame Sport Trac capable of towing only 80lbs more than the Ridgeline with only a driver on board? Why is the body-on-frame Colorado capable of towing 1,000 lbs less than the Ridgeline? Why can none of the body-on-frame match the Ridgeline's 1,550 lbs of payload?

    Why no load leveling hitch? No idea. If you really want to press the issue, I could guess at that, too.

    And, finally, my parting advice for you would be this... If you want information couched in more "objective" terms, try asking for the information instead of introducing yourself to the thread with abrasive posts regarding the vehicle in question.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    A "pillar" is a support holding the roof up. I think you've got that part. ;) The letter has to do with the order of the pillars from front to back.

    The A pillar is the pillar up in front of the driver. It goes from the dash to the roof. The windshield spans between the two A pillars.

    The B pillar is the one directly behind the driver, between the front and rear doors. Your front seat belts are probably fixed to the B pillar.

    The C pillar is the support that ends the cabin on any truck, sedan or coupe. The Ridgeline has a rather large C pillar because the unibody extends from the nose to the tail. Having that extra large C pillar adds additional rigidity to the body structure. You'll notice the same thing on the Avalanche.

    For what it's worth, SUVs, wagons, and vans will also have a D pillar as the roof line extends all the way to the rear of the vehicle.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,158
    Thanks.... it is extremely obvious (though I will refrain from smacking my forehead) now; I was just looking for a shape rather than a location. :blush:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,158
    Is there a 5th wheel hitch on the market yet for the Ridgeline? It probably would require something different than most pickups due to the in-bed trunk.

    I think that, as with any truck, if you are planning to tow towards the upper rated limit, especially on a regular basis, a 5th wheel trailer is far preferable to a bumper-level hitch. I don't think the Ridgeline would have any trouble hitching to or pulling a 5th wheel, but due to the gate design, the driver would certainly need to be conscientious about its presence and lower/raise as necessary; unless you can remove it and put on a drop-center gate (waste of time/money).
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
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