2020 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2020 Honda Ridgeline

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 2020/05/28

The Tacoma has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Ridgeline doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Tacoma (except SR/SR5/TRD Sport) offers an optional Panoramic View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Ridgeline only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Tacoma’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Ridgeline doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Tacoma has standard Safety Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Ridgeline 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 Tacoma and the Ridgeline 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 four-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Tacoma for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Ridgeline.

There are over 17 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Honda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Tacoma’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tacoma third among midsize pickups in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Ridgeline isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Honda is ranked 12th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Tacoma has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Ridgeline (21.1 vs. 19.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Tacoma higher (5 out of 10) than the Honda Ridgeline (3). This means the Tacoma produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Ridgeline every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Tacoma offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Ridgeline doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Tacoma stops much shorter than the Ridgeline:

Tacoma

Ridgeline

70 to 0 MPH

185 feet

195 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Tacoma TRD Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Ridgeline (265/65R17 vs. 245/60R18).

The Toyota Tacoma’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Honda Ridgeline only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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The Tacoma has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Ridgeline’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Tacoma Access Cab’s wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the Ridgeline (127.4 inches vs. 125.2 inches). The Tacoma Long Bed Double Cab’s wheelbase is 15.4 inches longer than on the Ridgeline (140.6 inches vs. 125.2 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Tacoma Access Cab’s turning circle is 3.8 feet tighter than the Ridgeline’s (40.6 feet vs. 44.4 feet). The Tacoma Long Bed Double Cab’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the Ridgeline’s (44.1 feet vs. 44.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Tacoma has a 1.53 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Ridgeline (9.4 vs. 7.87 inches), allowing the Tacoma to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Toyota Tacoma may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 300 pounds less than the Honda Ridgeline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Tacoma Double Cab shortbed has a larger cargo box than the Ridgeline shortbed (34.8 vs. 33.9 cubic feet).

The Toyota Tacoma has a standard tailgate assist feature, which prevents the heavy tailgate from falling with a crash and causing injury. It allows adults and children to easily open and close the tailgate with one hand to better facilitate loading and unloading. The Honda Ridgeline doesn’t offer a tailgate assist.

The Tacoma has bed indentations that accommodate 2x4’s for two-tiered loading to help accommodate diverse loads; the Ridgeline doesn’t offer two-tiered loading.

Payload and Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Honda Ridgeline is limited to 5000 pounds. The Tacoma Access Cab offers up to a 6800 lbs. towing capacity.

The Tacoma Short Bed Double Cab has a higher standard payload capacity than the Ridgeline (1560 vs. 1465 lbs.).

The Tacoma has a higher maximum payload capacity than the Ridgeline (1685 vs. 1580 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Tacoma is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Ridgeline. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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Consumer Reports rated the Tacoma’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Ridgeline’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Tacoma’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Ridgeline RTL/RTL-E/Black Edition.

The Tacoma’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Ridgeline’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Tacoma TRD/Limited has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Ridgeline doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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The Toyota Tacoma comes in extended cab and crew cab bodystyles; the Honda Ridgeline isn’t available as an extended cab.

Economic Advantages

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The Tacoma will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Tacoma will retain 61.41% to 75.5% of its original price after five years, while the Ridgeline only retains 58.64% to 59.99%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Tacoma will be $669 to $4917 less than for the Honda Ridgeline.

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 2020/05/28

The TRD Off-Road was selected by Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine as their 2016 4x4 of the Year. The Ridgeline has never been chosen.

The Toyota Tacoma outsold the Honda Ridgeline by over seven to one during 2019.

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