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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Towing, off roading, rock crawling. These are the areas people knock the Ridgeline and say unibody is no good for any of these things and the AWD system is no good compared to a true 4x4 for off road.

First, from a towing standpoint I think we're more limited by brakes, suspension, and engine then we are by structure. I'm perfectly fine with 5000 lbs as I will never tow anything heavier than that ever. If I did, I'd buy a vehicle rated for more.

Second, for off road light trails and gravel roads, wouldn't our AWD system out perform a 4x4? Multiple online reviews suggest the handling and ride are FAR superior to any other truck.

Third, and OK, this truck is not a rock crawler. It has no 4 low. If I wanted to crawl rocks I'd probably buy a jeep. I fail to see how a 4x4 system is better than our AWD in ANY situation other than rock crawling.

From what I understand you're not supposed to leave a truck in 4x4 high on dry pavement or any ground that does not allow slippage at all times. So in the winter, unless you're driving ON snow or ice you should not be in 4 high or you can damage it.

It seems that many of the arguments about structure and AWD / 4x4 are based on very old information where unibody vehicles were not strong or tough, and AWD was still new and not as developed. I'd love to see a real modern take on these topics by someone that really understands and isn't clouded by 20 year old plus vehicle tech.

Other than rock crawling I fail to see how much of the criticism has merit at all. Don't judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree.
 

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The Jeep Cherokee has been unibody since 84. A lot of them are being modified and are indeed being used as rock crawlers. So while there are some obstacles to overcome apparently the rock crawling crowd sees no problem in using a unibody vehicle as the basis for their build.

Ive had real 4X4s and there is a real advantage to having 4-lo but I used it maybe a few times a year so its hardly a necessity for mine, and probably most peoples use. The 20.5:1 low gear is enough.

Part-time 4x4s should only be used in low traction situations. A wet road is usually low enough traction to prevent damage to the drivetrain but it is still dangerous to drive like that unless one really likes the sensation of severe understeer or the phenomenon known as "crab walking."

There has also been AWD systems quite capable of doing what traditional 4x4 does we just didn't use the term AWD they were full-time 4wd. My 76 F250 had this and Jeep's Quadratrac was a form of this. Both had a low range just like their part-time brethren. Traditionalists claimed the full-time system was less robust than part-time way back in the 70s but it turned out there's no real significant durability difference between the two systems.
 

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I'll just drop this here for you. The Ridgeline is very capable actually. Honda marketing sucks really.

Honda built a truck for the 95 percentile but the 95 percentile wants to look they drive like the 5 percentile. Thats the problem. Theres a lot of Wrangler Rubicons that have seen less dirt than my old Mustang did.
 

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I see this topic as some video games that give you a chart of the strengths of different characters so you can compare them.

Ridgeline
GM Twins V6
Ranger
Tacoma V6
Gladiator 3.6 V6​
Frontier​
PayloadX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XX XX X X X XX X
On RoadX X X X XX XX XX XXX X X
Off RoadX XX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XX X X X
AccelerationX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XXX XX
Fuel EconomyX X XX X XX XX XX XX X
TowingX XX X X XX X X XX X XX X X XX X X X
ResaleX X X XX X X X XX X X X XX X X XX X X

In summary, you have to pick your pill.
 

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2019 RTL awd, MSM
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I see this topic as some video games that give you a chart of the strengths of different characters so you can compare them.

Ridgeline
GM Twins
Ranger
Tacoma V6
Gladiator 3.6 V6
PayloadX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XX XX X X X X
On RoadX X X X XX XX XX XX
Off RoadX XX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XX X X X X
AccelerationX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XXX X
Fuel EconomyX X XX XX XX XX
TowingX XX X X XX X X XX X X XX X X X
I'd knock the Tacoma towing to XXX. Many folks will put the Ridgeline over the Tacoma when towing anything under 5k, and most report towing performance above 5k to be nerve-wracking in the Tacoma. The Taco has soft springs for a better off-road ride, but makes towing a bit nervous-feeling.

You could add resale...
5 for Taco
4 for Ridgeline and maybe Jeep
2.5 for GM
2-2.5 for Ranger (too soon to really tell)

I'd put Frontier on par with GM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I love this. It's like old Nintendo hockey....pick the small fast guy, the medium guy, or the tough slow guy haha

I see this topic as some video games that give you a chart of the strengths of different characters so you can compare them.

Ridgeline
GM Twins V6
Ranger
Tacoma V6
Gladiator 3.6 V6​
Frontier​
PayloadX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XX XX X X X XX X
On RoadX X X X XX XX XX XXX X X
Off RoadX XX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XX X X X
AccelerationX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XXX XX
Fuel EconomyX X XX X XX XX XX XX X
TowingX XX X X XX X X XX X XX X X XX X X X
ResaleX X X XX XX X XX X X X XX X X XX X X

In summary, you have to pick your pill.
 

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I also have a 12 2 door wrangler automatic. The automatic is important because the torque converter pretty much negates the need for 4 low. I never use 4 low while wheeling. Now I'm more mud than rock, but rocks are no problem either. For pure rocks with an auto, full lockers are more important for rocks for low gears. Anyways our 1st gear is pretty low. Manual shifts are a whole other story. You need 4 lows for manual.

For all but situations where high clearance is needed, I'd rather be in a Ridgeline.
 

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Another offroad comparison where the Ridgeline shines is in this torture test traveling to the Racetrack in Death Valley which has a brutal washboard road for many miles. Both the Tacoma and Titan comparison vehicles they bring have their shocks totally blow out, while the Ridgeline only has some mild leakage.

 

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It seems that many of the arguments about structure and AWD / 4x4 are based on very old information where unibody vehicles were not strong or tough, and AWD was still new and not as developed.
Some people still write checks.
Some people still have landlines.
Some people still write on a printed calendar.
Some people still want a human cashier.

These people will eventually die off and most trucks will have unitized bodies and be powered by electricity.
 

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Let's talk about the real reason I don't wheel in my Ridgeline, but I use a wrangler instead: Damage. If you drive your 4X4 through eastern woods and mud, you are likely to find yourself in a damaging situation. Trees providing free pinstriping. Slipping off a rock and denting your bumper or fender. In a wrangler these are all handled relatively cheeply and many people think tree pinstriping enhances its look. I bang up my Ridgeline, I'm can easily be talking thousands. As been said before, poorly maintained country roads it is great. Just stay away from hard core wheeling. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to go wheeling in a decked out full sized 4x4 pick up for the same reasons.
 

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I see this topic as some video games that give you a chart of the strengths of different characters so you can compare them.

Ridgeline
GM Twins V6
Ranger
Tacoma V6
Gladiator 3.6 V6​
Frontier​
PayloadX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XX XX X X X XX X
On RoadX X X X XX XX XX XXX X X
Off RoadX XX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XX X X X
AccelerationX X X X XX X X X XX X X X XXX XX
Fuel EconomyX X XX X XX XX XX XX X
TowingX XX X X XX X X XX X XX X X XX X X X
ResaleX X X XX XX X XX X X X XX X X XX X X

In summary, you have to pick your pill.
I'd knock the Tacoma towing to XXX. Many folks will put the Ridgeline over the Tacoma when towing anything under 5k, and most report towing performance above 5k to be nerve-wracking in the Tacoma. The Taco has soft springs for a better off-road ride, but makes towing a bit nervous-feeling.

You could add resale...
5 for Taco
4 for Ridgeline and maybe Jeep
2.5 for GM
2-2.5 for Ranger (too soon to really tell)

I'd put Frontier on par with GM.
Jeep has way better resale value then the Ridgeline by a mile. Ridgeline sells in such a low number I don’t think it will ever be highly sought after which hurts resale to a degree.
 

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Jeep has way better resale value then the Ridgeline by a mile. Ridgeline sells in such a low number I don’t think it will ever be highly sought after which hurts resale to a degree.
I would agree with the Wrangler. It is too soon to tell on the Gladiator. Prices were pretty high on those when they debuted, and IIRC, Jeep had to come down in pricing a bit to start moving them. Then the pandemic hit. It's pretty easy to sell anything in the current market.... too soon to tell if the Gladiator will hold its value like the Wrangler.
 

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Some people still write checks.
Some people still have landlines.
Some people still write on a printed calendar.
Some people still want a human cashier.

These people will eventually die off and most trucks will have unitized bodies and be powered by electricity.
Hey! Guilty on all four counts :).
Only "write" two checks - one to my landscaper and another to a trash service 4x a year. Neither accepts electronic checks.
Still have a landline cause the wife wants it. Happy wife......
I like a printer calendar.
I want to give human cashiers a job & don't get along well with some machines (or human cashiers for that matter)

Otherwise, I love my Ridgeline no matter what kind of body it has or whether of not some consider it a truck. . It rides better than some cars and does what truck like things I want it to. Not looking forward to an electric vehicle as electricity is expensive where I'm at an goes out too often.

Just having fun on the forum - no offense to anyone.
 

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I would agree with the Wrangler. It is too soon to tell on the Gladiator. Prices were pretty high on those when they debuted, and IIRC, Jeep had to come down in pricing a bit to start moving them. Then the pandemic hit. It's pretty easy to sell anything in the current market.... too soon to tell if the Gladiator will hold its value like the Wrangler.
ya they were way overpriced.I think any 4x4 truck holds value these days even pre Covid. I had a Sport S and traded it in for a Rubicon. Amazing truck for adventures but sadly after moving to the country it wasn’t practical anymore which is why I went with the Ridgeline. But each time sold it for more then what I bought it for. I don’t think it will ever sell like the Tacoma as it’s niche to a degree.
 

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I would agree with the Wrangler. It is too soon to tell on the Gladiator. Prices were pretty high on those when they debuted, and IIRC, Jeep had to come down in pricing a bit to start moving them. Then the pandemic hit. It's pretty easy to sell anything in the current market.... too soon to tell if the Gladiator will hold its value like the Wrangler.
Jeeps...

I don't know, if anything the Gladiator is receiving a more fanatical response than the typical Wrangler. Maybe the prices are over boosted and will crash, but I think there are just too many brainwashed jeep buyers out there. What a waste of money. However Jeep is not a car maker, they are a lifestyle brand. They are selling the intangible. I don't get it, but many others do.

I certainty like to take advantage of it though. I helped my brother fix up a frame rotted TJ he bought for $500. Some frame patch kits, cheap lift and tires later, we sold it to some jeep fanboy for $10K. People love these things and will pay a surprising amount for them.
 

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Jeeps...

I don't know, if anything the Gladiator is receiving a more fanatical response than the typical Wrangler. Maybe the prices are over boosted and will crash, but I think there are just too many brainwashed jeep buyers out there. What a waste of money. However Jeep is not a car maker, they are a lifestyle brand. They are selling the intangible. I don't get it, but many others do.

I certainty like to take advantage of it though. I helped my brother fix up a frame rotted TJ he bought for $500. Some frame patch kits, cheap lift and tires later, we sold it to some jeep fanboy for $10K. People love these things and will pay a surprising amount for them.
I tend to go through vehicles pretty quickly and always trading in for something new or different. I gotta say the Gladiator was by far my favorite vehicle ever. The places it took us and ease of upgrading it made it perfect. But I love off-roading and that’s by far the best vehicle to do it in. Now most people don’t off-road like me so it’s a waste if you don’t use it for that purpose. Lifestyle like you said. The same could be said for people trying to off-road their Ridgelines. It’s not built for that and would be dead last for that purpose.
 

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I’ve coming most immediately off of a 2012 subaru Wrx, and before that a 2002 grand Cherokee, and before that 1996 GC. The 2002 GC had selectrac (2wd high/4wd high/4wd lo) , 1996 GC had FT 4wd hi/lo, and the wrx was FT awd w an open center diff. I’ve taken all on typical terrain: dry, wet, sand, gravel, Snow, dirt/mud. The wrx was the worst performer (if one wheel loses traction 100% of your the power goes there and you become stuck altogether) and so the ridge and GCs performed equally as well (although I admit no snow test Yet for the ridge since it’s too new). I lve also driven Tacoma’s and jeep libertys a bunch. Based on my own experience, I agree with the OP: other than a lo setting, there’s no material difference in performance, the ridge is just as good as any “true” 4wd. Whether it’s mechnical locking diffs or brake locks or other tech the net effect is all the same, keepin the wheels on the ground turning!

I also agree w the comment on newer jeeps (FCA owned) , they’re being sold to and bought by suckers. $110k for a grand wagoner... and they’re ugly as hell!
 

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Jeeps...

I don't know, if anything the Gladiator is receiving a more fanatical response than the typical Wrangler. Maybe the prices are over boosted and will crash, but I think there are just too many brainwashed jeep buyers out there. What a waste of money. However Jeep is not a car maker, they are a lifestyle brand. They are selling the intangible. I don't get it, but many others do.

I certainty like to take advantage of it though. I helped my brother fix up a frame rotted TJ he bought for $500. Some frame patch kits, cheap lift and tires later, we sold it to some jeep fanboy for $10K. People love these things and will pay a surprising amount for them.
After selling my 2014 Ridgeline I’ve had several vehicles and have recently purchased a 2022 Gladiator Texas Trail. Picking this up allowed me to sell my 2002 Wrangler for a stupid price, sell my Ram and combine the best of both worlds into one vehicle. After nearly 5 months of ownership I’ll say it fits my needs and lifestyle perfectly.
 
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