2019 Honda Ridgeline vs. 2018 Toyota Tacoma

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Ridgeline deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Ridgeline’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Tacoma’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

Full-time four-wheel drive is optional on the Ridgeline. Full-time four-wheel drive gives added traction for safety in all conditions, not just off-road, like the only system available on the Tacoma.

The Ridgeline RTL-E/Black Edition has standard Parking Sensors to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Ridgeline uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Tacoma uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

The Ridgeline RTL-T/RTL-E/Black Edition has standard HondaLink Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Ridgeline and the Tacoma have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Ridgeline the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 89 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Tacoma has not been fully tested, yet.


The engine in the Ridgeline has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the Tacoma have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Ridgeline’s reliability 16 points higher than the Tacoma.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Ridgeline third among midsize pickups in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The Tacoma isn’t in the top three.


The Ridgeline’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 121 more horsepower (280 vs. 159) and 82 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 180) than the Tacoma’s standard 2.7 DOHC 4 cyl. The Ridgeline’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 2 more horsepower (280 vs. 278) than the Tacoma’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Honda Ridgeline is faster than the Toyota Tacoma V6 (automatics tested):




Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

8.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.6 sec

8.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.9 sec

4.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

91 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Ridgeline gets better fuel mileage than the Tacoma:








19 city/23 hwy

2.7 4 cyl./Auto


3.5 V6/6-spd. Auto

19 city/26 hwy

19 city/24 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto



19 city/22 hwy

2.7 4 cyl./Auto


3.5 V6/6-spd. Auto

18 city/25 hwy

18 city/23 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Ridgeline’s fuel efficiency. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Ridgeline has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Ridgeline’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Tacoma:




Tacoma 4x4

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

10.75 inches

12.48 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

10” drums

10” drums

The Honda Ridgeline has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Tacoma. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes, which work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Ridgeline stops much shorter than the Tacoma:





70 to 0 MPH

182 feet

195 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

134 feet

146 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

158 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The Ridgeline’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Tacoma’s standard 75 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Ridgeline has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Tacoma.

The Ridgeline has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Tacoma doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Honda Ridgeline has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Toyota Tacoma has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The front and rear suspension of the Ridgeline uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Tacoma, which uses leaf springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Ridgeline is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Tacoma.

The Ridgeline Black Edition 4x4 handles at .80 G’s, while the Tacoma Short Bed TRD Off-Road Double Cab 4x4 pulls only .64 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.


The Ridgeline is 1 foot, 3.5 inches shorter than the Tacoma Long Bed Double Cab, making the Ridgeline easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Unibody construction makes the Ridgeline’s chassis much stiffer, which contributes to better handling, and enables softer springs to be used for a better ride. Unibody construction’s stiffness also contributes to better durability and less body squeaks and rattles. The Tacoma doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

The Ridgeline uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Tacoma doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Ridgeline Black Edition 4x4 is quieter than the Tacoma Short Bed TRD Off-Road Double Cab 4x4:




At idle

37 dB

42 dB


77 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The Ridgeline has 9.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Tacoma Double Cab (109.7 vs. 100.1).

Cargo Capacity

The Ridgeline’s cargo box is larger than the Tacoma’s in almost every dimension:



Tacoma Double Cab




Max Width



Min Width




The Ridgeline 4x4 has a higher standard payload capacity than the Tacoma Short Bed Double Cab 4x4 (1580 vs. 1420 lbs.).


The Ridgeline offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Ridgeline RTL-E/Black Edition, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Ridgeline RTL/Black Edition’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Tacoma doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Ridgeline’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Tacoma’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them. The Tacoma TRD/Limited’s rear windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Ridgeline the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Tacoma can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Ridgeline has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Ridgeline’s variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Tacoma SR’s standard wipers have no intermittent settings at all, so the driver will have to constantly turn them on and off.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Ridgeline’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Tacoma’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

The Ridgeline has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Tacoma only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

When the Ridgeline RTL-E/Black Edition is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Tacoma’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

On extremely cold winter days, the Ridgeline RTL-E/Black Edition’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Ridgeline has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Both the Ridgeline and the Tacoma offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Ridgeline Sport/RTL/Black Edition has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Tacoma Double Cab doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.


Consumer Reports® recommends the Honda Ridgeline, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Toyota Tacoma isn't recommended.

Truck Trend performed a comparison test in its May 2017 issue and they ranked the Honda Ridgeline RTL-E 4x4 four places higher than the Toyota Tacoma Short Bed TRD Pro Double Cab 4x4.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Ridgeline first among midsize pickups in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Tacoma isn’t in the top three.

The Ridgeline was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 2 years. The Tacoma has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Ridgeline as the 2017 North American Truck of the Year. The Tacoma has never been chosen.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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