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Old 01-02-2013, 11:32 AM   #21
mike099
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Re: On the market for a used Ridgeline or Tacoma - What am I missing?

Just a thought. My wife loves the Ridgeline almost as much as her Sienna. She is short, so likes how the truck sets up a bit higher. If this is going to be her vehicle, she would probably be happier with the Ridgeline.

Funny about your minivan comment. My 27 year old daughter says no way to the minivan even though she does admit it is nice on vacations.

The ride on the Sienna and the Ridgeline are about the same, but have not gone on a roadtrip with the RL.

If you look at cars.com and autotrader.com you should be able to find some RL's in your price range.

Happy hunting.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:24 PM   #22
speedlever
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Re: On the market for a used Ridgeline or Tacoma - What am I missing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eluviis View Post
Hi guys,

My wife and I took the time to drive both a Gen 1 Taco and a 2008 Ridgeline yesterday. It was a bit of an apple vs oranges comparison as the Ridge was an RTL, so much more upscale than the Tacoma. We should've compared the Tacoma to an RT or a Sport, but hey.

So, this is what I gathered.

Pros for the Ridgeline.

1. Yes, the Ridge is much more comfortable inside. It's wider and the back seats feel the like back seats in a sedan. The backseats in the gen 1 Tacoma are as comfortable as getting kicked in the a$$ by a wild donkey.

2. The Ridgeline is faster and drives more like a car. In fact, it drive better than both of the Xterras I've owned. The visibility is great too.

3. The interior amenities in the RL are much more posh. Like I said, we drive an RTL, but still, I guess that even the RT is more posh than the Tacoma inside. Putting a center console seat with a lap belt (which is something my wife wants to do for the rare event when my parents come to visit and we need 6 seats) is much more doable in the RL than in the Taco.

Pros for the Tacoma.

1. This one's opinion: Ok, I admit... I like the Tacoma more for 2 reasons... I like the truck feel and the styling. I've always loved these trucks and always wanted to own one and never have. It's simpler and kinda stripped out... That's actually something I like. Of course, my wife prefers the gadgets. She actually likes a lifted truck with slightly low offset wheels and black rims, so if I buy her the Taco I have to give her that. But not a problem, I love that. She still likes the RL more nevertheless.

2. The MPG thing is still in favor of the Tacoma... I really don't want to get anything under 15MPG and I'm fairly certain the RL is going to average us 14MPG in our hilly town with crappy weak gas. After my research I'm pretty sure the lighter gen 1 Taco would give us about 2 MPG better. Plus, the RL's revvy engine will promote ever more fuel consumption over the Tacoma's more rough unit.

3. There are many places to go offroading - here. The Tacoma would be better at that if we decide to do that.

Finding a good gen 1 Tacoma with low miles can be a bit tricky (in the condition I want it to be in) - The one we test drove yesterday is the best one we've come across. The thing was well above average and with low miles for the year, 70,000. It was also price around $17,900 for an '04. It even had the camper shell we need on it. One of the better units too. The RL we tested was a 2008 RTL with 53,000 miles and they wanted $21,999. That one was at Car Max... Good car, but Car Max is always more pricey and they won't negotiate on top of that.

I put in an offer for the Tacoma but it wasn't accepted. It wasn't a lowball offer... I think it was pretty reasonable. Even though the dealer said no, and we walked, it was late at night on the 1st and I have a feeling a small counter-offer today might do the trick to get the deal. But we'll see. I might try and get a hold of a Ridgeline RT that's priced more closely to the Tacoma and take it for a spin. I like the Tacoma more, but in the end, it's going to be my wife's car so I have to keep that in mind.
I am not familiar with any way to put a 6th seat in a RL using the center console as a seat.

There's no way 5 people in the Taco will be as comfy as 5 people in the RL.

The Taco is a better off road vehicle, no question. The RL is a better suburban home-owner vehicle, no question.

Both vehicles have their flaws. Make sure if you get a Taco that it doesn't have the frame rot issue. I'm not sure how you know, to be honest.

Regarding your mpg analysis, remember the Taco is 2wd until you engage the part-time 4wd. Without lockers, it's going to be one wheel driver per axle. The RL is an AWD vehicle and at least has a (semi) locker in the rear. So it won't surprise me if the Taco might get a bit better mileage around town. I doubt it will beat the RL on the road.

In the end, it won't matter how practical a vehicle might be for your needs, if you don't want it, you will probably always find reasons to not like it. So get what you want (or you wife wants, if she's going to be the main driver). Personally, I'd feel safer with my family in the RL than in the gen 1 Taco.
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Last edited by speedlever; 01-02-2013 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:42 PM   #23
eluviis
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Re: On the market for a used Ridgeline or Tacoma - What am I missing?

^^^ There's a company that makes a center seat/console for it. You need to replace the stock console to fit it.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:34 PM   #24
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Re: On the market for a used Ridgeline or Tacoma - What am I missing?

Good to know. I have not come across that center seat/console issue before.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:30 PM   #25
mcjohn1024
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Re: On the market for a used Ridgeline or Tacoma - What am I missing?

I just bought a high milage Ridgeline and though I do like it I have learned a few things I thought I would pass on.

If it's at or over 105k miles make sure either the price reflects it or the timing belt, spark plugs and valve service have been done. That's about 1200 to 1600 dollars worth of service.

The CV boots could potentially be leaking with higher mileage Ridgelines also so check them out, another 500 or 600 dollar job to replace the boots if it's both front sides. That quote was from my local Honda dealer. I found a highly rated and reputable local mechanic that will replace both axles entirely with original Honda axles for the same price so all in all that's not too bad.

The '06s seem to have problems with the rear main seal leaking, the only quote I have gotten so far was 800 bucks. The upside is this particular mechanic told me to wait until the CV joints are shot or the rear main leak is worse and do both at once since they have to pull both CV axles as part of the labor in replacing the rear main, making the total cost of rear main and new axles around 1200 to 1300 bucks.

I'm sure Tacoma's have their issues too so if your planning on going that route check the Taco forums for their known issues and things to look out for.

Good luck in your decision and please learn from my mistakes and inspect the vehicle, asking for receipts and confirming all service that the seller is claiming to have been completed. I bought mine from what I thought was a reputable new/used car dealer that claims to inspect and bring service up to date before selling. Last time I take the work of a dealership.

-John


Almost forgot, it seems to be fairly common for the lights behind the buttons of the dashboard to burn out, all of mine are now out but I'm okay with it, reminds me of a Saab I had when in "night flight" mode. These are just little ten dollar light bulbs but you have to remove the dash and get to each button if you want to fix them. The dual climate control also has a tendancy to go out, this is a little more costly. I think the A/C control unit is around 250 bucks plus labor to install if you aren't a DIY'er.

Last edited by mcjohn1024; 01-03-2013 at 07:08 AM. Reason: add interior issues
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:20 PM   #26
dustboy
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Re: On the market for a used Ridgeline or Tacoma - What am I missing?

I owned a '99 Tacoma which I loved dearly for over 120k miles.

I moved to the Ridgeline because it has a real backseat.

In my market, the used Ridgelines are priced several thousand dollars less than a comparably equipped Tacoma. Or Tundra.

For your needs, I would say Ridgeline all the way. The wider body makes that backseat far more comfortable than the Taco. My Taco would go absolutely anywhere, but the amount of time I actually spent on trails that a RL couldn't handle were very few and mostly pointless.

The RL rides much better on bumpy roads. The first time I took a potholed gravel road, I was shocked because the holes that would have ruptured my kidneys in the Tacoma, barely registered on the Richter Scale.

The RL handles better in general. It's actually fun to drive on curvy roads.

5' beds suck, but at least the Ridgeline's is wide enough to be useful. Sheets of plywood lay flat.

And then there's the trunk!
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:11 AM   #27
eluviis
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Re: On the market for a used Ridgeline or Tacoma - What am I missing?

@mcjohn -Thanks for that insight. It always helps when you can balance the good and the bad before you buy. I've never bought a vehicle that right around 100,000 miles. I've bought cars with less mileage and others with much more than that (150,000+).

@dustboy - Thank you too. The RL is definitely much more comfortable. We're going to go check an RT which would be more in line with our budget than the RTL we tested. We're also going to go see an SR5 long bed Gen 2 Taco 2007. My wife managed to find a private party, well-cared-for gen 2 Tacoma…. So we'll throw that into the mix too. I think the Gen 1 is a better buy as you pay less for the year even with low miles. But with the Gen 2 you pay more for the year even with high miles.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:34 AM   #28
Maxdriver
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Re: On the market for a used Ridgeline or Tacoma - What am I missing?

The RL is the best riding, most comfortable vehicle I've ever owned..
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:30 PM   #29
Illbottengooty
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Re: On the market for a used Ridgeline or Tacoma - What am I missing?

I had a 2010 Tacoma double cab, my wife hated it. She didn't care it was the newest gen Marty Mcfly dream car. She complained enough that i switched a couple times and ended up with the 2011 Ridge. She love this vehicle. we have a 1 and 3 year old. and she can sit in the back with both car seats. she couldn't do this with the Tacoma. I loved driving the tacoma, but the ridgeline is more comfortable. I have a the honda hard top on the back. it doesn't allow for a lot of tall items, but if your not taking a full sized standing base. it is weather tight, and no maintenance.

The only problem i have is... i could haul a 21' airstream with a tacoma, but not with a ridgeline.
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