CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Honda Ridgeline vs Toyota Tacoma

In the market for purchasing a new vehicle.

Does anyone know how the Honda Ridgeline compares to the Toyota Tacoma in terms of reliablity, maintence, resellability, overall performance, etc?

Thanks

The Toyota Tacoma has evolved from a small truck to a mid-sized truck, especially the V6 version. If you compare the version of the Tacoma with the V6 engine to the Honda Ridgeline, they are probably quite similar in terms of reliability and maintenance. The main difference is that the Ridgeline has features and a level of trim that sets it apart from other trucks.

However, if you are comparing the Ridgeline to the Tacoma that has an I4 engine, they are completely different vehicles that should be considered in separate classes.

I think if you want a real truck that can handle moderate towing, the V6 Tacoma would be a good choice. If want a real truck that can handle light towing or no towing, the I4 Tacoma would be my choice. If you want a fancy cushy truck that looks full-sized, but doesn’t have the same capacity for work as other full-sized trucks, the Ridgeline is worth a look.

Reliability is not an issue with either. I’ve had Tacomas for years and they are excellent for off road and rough treatment in 4wd. The Ridgeline is a “new” concept with ladder frame unibody combined. I have two friend who went to them from Toyota Tundras they liked and like these even better and have never looked back.

They tow as much as Tacoma, ride and handle better, offer better passenger accommodations, and give up only off road capability. The 4wd drive train is not as robust as the Tacoma though still capable for most on road uses. v6 4wd Economy should be comparable, with overall traction edge to Tacoma with standard LSD. Overall, the Ridgeline is more capable towing (5K lbs) and payload than many give it credit for and is a very reasonable alternative if you consider it mid and not full size. (see specs)

I would not hesitate to buy one over a Tacoma if I did not do much off road work (which I do) but expected the same work loads. The passengers and your back will like it much better. Disadvantages is; one body/engine style (crew cab v6) only where Tacoma gives many more alternatives.

The Tacomas is real body-on-frame, live rear axle truck. The Ridgeline is a glorified minivan, it’s for people that like the idea of having a truck, but really don’t have a real need for one.

The Ridgeline “has a box frame” welded into body structure instead of bolted on. It is not the same as the minivan. You can easily tell when you “crawl” under neath both which I have. It’s only the drive line capabilities that are different. The Jeep Cherokee rated for 7500 lbs tow weight, the Pathfinders for years and others used this body in frame instead of body on frame…nothing new and definitely not a minivan. the disadvantage is only in choice flexibility as “trucks” can slap on a variety of body styles, Ridgeline is stuck with one.
If you’re interested…

http://trucks.about.com/od/2006truckintrosspecs/ss/honda_ridgeline_4.htm

“The Ridgeline “has a box frame” …”

Today’s a good day. I learned something new. Thanks, dagosa.

Both the Ridgeline and Tacoma have the same, excellent repair record. The Honda will be slightly less in maintenance. The Tacoma should retain its value much better if that matters.

I think the fact that it lacks a low range transfer case, has an engine that produces more HP than torque, and has a bed that’s all of 5 feet long tells you all you need to know. How Honda boasts about the fact that the Ridgeline can tow a whopping 5,000 pounds just reaffirms my opinion that the Ridgeline isn’t a real truck. But at least it gets good gas mileage…

"bed that’s all of 5 feet long"
That’s longer than the standard Tacoma crew cab which is what it compares to. We’re comparing it to a Tacoma (3500 standard to 6500 tow package) where Ridgeline is 5000 standard. Not compared a Ford Super Duty.

Come on “Al Bundy”, give a little bit…it comes in pastels, mauve, teal…all those manly colors :slight_smile: Tell me “dnkybird” wouldn’t prefer something a little more genteel.

The bed on the shortbed doublecab Taco is 60.3 inches long :slight_smile:

You got me, but I’ll up you one with the tail gait down and the added under bed storage…now it’s at least “bigger” and lockable for bird watching gear.:frowning:

Only thing you can really compare a Ridgeline to is the Chevy Avalanche, in terms of body style, maybe even the Sport Trac, but not sure on that one.

Reread the post. The OP said nothing that suggested a need for a low range transfer case, an 8 foot bed, or heavy towing capacity.

Lots of us need occasional carrying capacity but don’t need anything heavy duty. I mourn the loss of the old small pickups. I miss mine.

BTW payload Ridgeline in that .3 foot smaller bed is 1,550-pound payload
Tacoma is 1295 lbs.

Even if you didn’t need it, there’s not much that the Ridgeline has going for it. For the same or in most cases, less money the OP could have V8 F-150 4x4 with 40 more HP, about 80 more ft.pounds of torque, a bigger bed, a more robust drivetrain and chassis, and only give up less than 1 MPG.

The Toyota interior has a high floor and should not be as comfortable as other trucks. Do consider the Ridgeline if the price doesn’t seem outrageous. The Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issue comes out in March, it’s the April edition.

“only give up less than 1 MPG.”

I drive full size trucks a work…that’s not a realistic difference; apples and oranges. OP wants Taco/Ridgeline comparison. I, like you, prefer full size trucks for many tasks; but that’s not the point.

“only give up less than 1 MPG.”

Actually it is a realistic comparison. The EPA rating is meant to compare mileage when buying a vehicle. The average mileage for the Ridgeline is 17 MPG and the average for a 4WD F150 with the 6 speed automatic is 16 MPG. Of course your mileage might vary, but it will change in the same way for both trucks. In the interest of full disclosure, the full quote is 15/20 City Highway for the Ridgeline and 14/20 for the F150. I’d call that just about the same.

Isn’t the ridgeline FWD…and the Tacoma RWD.

If you’re going to do any towing…I suggest a RWD vehicle.

The Ridgeline automatically applies power to the rear wheels when under load…not a deal. If towing a lot, I like you would always suggest rwd or 4wd too. Haven’t heard from “dnkybird” so we’re just spending each other’s money w/o a clue to OP’s use for vehicle.

Ask how much to replace the timing belt and / or engine in the Honda…Have you looked at an F-150?