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Out With Toyota - In With 2014 Honda Sport

5976 Views 29 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  S.T.U.V
Hello Everyone! :act030:

As a multi previous Toyota PU owner, I recently began looking for another vehicle as my last Toyota Tacoma ('99) was bought back by the manufacturer due to frame rust a little over a year ago.

Naturally, there were times my car simply wasn't cutting it. Especially during the winter months. So, it was time to trade the car in and get another vehicle. All wheel drive? 4-Wheel drive?

For me, it was between a new Tacoma or Ridgeline. I really don't need a "truck" per say as I don't 4-wheel, etc. Like Toyotas very much as I've never had a "bad one" but I'm 6'2" and are tad tall for the Tacoma but still comfortable. The Ridgeline has plenty of room. Of course, each vehicles has it's pros and cons.

Test rode a couple new Tacoma double cab 4x4's and one Honda Ridgeline. Ended up locking in a 2014 Tacoma at a dealer I had done business with in the past. Then, the dealer pissed me off. Long story short, there was a delay due to someone not being up on their e-mails at the dealership and lack of communication between the salesman and myself. Rubbed me the wrong way. So, slightly ticked and... stubborn, I bounced around yesterday looking at a couple other Toyota and Honda dealers to see what was in stock. Well, fast forward... I bought a new 2014 Honda Ridgeline Sport yesterday. :act024:



This morning, I sent the Toyota dealership a sweet, polite e-mail stating I would not be following through with the purchase of the Tacoma. E-mailed the same copy to the salesman, the finance guy who was the biggest problem and the company President. Like they care I suppose.

That being said. This is my first Honda. If she is good to me and handles the snow like I've seen in videos online and all, she'll be a keeper unless the next model is much better. But, that's awhile down the road anyways so... wish me good luck!
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Congrats on your upgrade! Don't waste any mental energy on wondering "what if bought the Tacoma". It's a good truck and the next best choice for a compact half-ton pick-up truck. It's also great for off-roading. However, The Ridgeline is both a capable truck and an all-around lifestyle vehicle. Virtually every time I drive my Ridgeline, I get to enjoy one or more things about it that would be diminished if I were driving a Tacoma. The ride, handling, space, storage options and drive system are just so much better.

One thing that confuses me is why Toyota has a full-time 4WD option for the 4Runner, but not the Tacoma. I used to own a 4Runner with part-time 4WD and, while it's modestly entertaining to manually engage it at intersections in winter, it gets old to have to do that in varying conditions when you can't just leave it in 4WD (plus, there's understeer). Then there is the need to anticipate slippery conditions by sight when the real requirement is to do it by feel, because some bad patches are invisible. The Ridgeline's drive system makes these issues disappear.

The contrast was easy to see for me because I switched to the Ridgeline while there was already snow on the ground. What a difference! It's much, much more confidence inspiring. Actually, my biggest issue when starting to drive the Ridgeline was controlling my speed, because of the far superior handling and traction. It's less a matter of overconfidence than simply not being aware that you could be going that fast in conditions that bumps and roll would scare you into slowing down in a traditional RWD, solid-axle vehicle.

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I didn't see any mention earlier about winter tires. Those are still called for. I recommend Michelin X-Ice, and wish that I had them instead of Toyo G-02's (which are also quite good, but not the top of the heap). Blizzaks also work very well, but only last about half as long as X-Ice, so they are effectively double the price.
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