2020 Honda Ridgeline vs. 2020 Toyota Tacoma

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/14

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.

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.

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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Ridgeline the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 106 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Tacoma was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/14

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.

Engine

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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-cylinder. The Ridgeline’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 2 more horsepower (280 vs. 278) than the Tacoma’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/14

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

MPG

Ridgeline

FWD

Auto

3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

4WD

Auto

3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/24 hwy

Tacoma

RWD

Auto

2.7 DOHC 4-cyl.

20 city/23 hwy

3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/24 hwy

4WD

Manual

3.5 DOHC V6

17 city/20 hwy

Auto

2.7 DOHC 4-cyl.

19 city/22 hwy

3.5 DOHC V6

18 city/22 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down some 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.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Ridgeline’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Tacoma doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Honda Ridgeline, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Tacoma.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Ridgeline

Tacoma

Tacoma 4WD

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 that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Ridgeline stops much shorter than the Tacoma:

Ridgeline

Tacoma

70 to 0 MPH

181 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

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/14

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

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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 2.9 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Tacoma.

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

The Ridgeline Black Edition executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the Tacoma Short Bed TRD Pro Double Cab 4WD (27.7 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 29.3 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Chassis

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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.

Passenger Space

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

Cargo Capacity

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

Ridgeline

Tacoma Short Bed

Tacoma Long Bed

Length

64”

60.5”

73.7”

Max Width

60”

56.7”

56.7”

Min Width

50”

41.5”

41.5”

Payload

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/14

The Ridgeline AWD has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Tacoma Short Bed Double Cab 4WD (1580 vs. 1155 lbs.).

Ergonomics

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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-E/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 close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically. 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 Smart Entry standard on the Ridgeline allows you to unlock the driver’s door, tailgate and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading cargo, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Toyota Tacoma’s available Smart Key System doesn’t unlock the tailgate.

The Ridgeline’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Tacoma’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 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 “Marginal.”

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 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.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/14

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

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its May 2018 issue and they ranked the Honda Ridgeline Black Edition two places higher than the Toyota Tacoma Short Bed TRD Off-Road Double Cab 4WD.

The Ridgeline was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 3 years. The Tacoma has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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