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Hello all,

First off, I must say this is a great forum; some great information and a lot of thoughtful, well written posts (showing great maturity, a rarity on many internet forums).

Now, I need your help. I am in the market for a compact quad cab truck for our family of four + large dog. It will be used as a daily commuter (about 3 mile commute each way), kid hauler (ages 7 and 4), road trip mobile, and household hauler. I live in Utah, and ski extensively up in the Cottonwood Canyons (where we average 500+" of snow per year). We also do a fair amount of camping and biking in remote areas here in Utah, sometimes waaaay backcountry on some rough roads. Finally, we have an old, 100 year old house we are remodeling/renovating, so I need a truck that can make regular runs to Home Depot as well as the landscaping supplier, hauling soil, gravel, plywood, 2x4s, and drywall.

So, after much research, we came down to the RL and the Tacoma. We've owned both Toys and Hondas, and love both companies. I've owned a 91 Corolla and an 86 4Runner, as well as a 90 Civic Si, 04 Civic Si (my wife's present car), and a 99 Ody.

I've looked at and driven both, and here are my opionions: Handling: the RL handled better, but not decisively so. I don't mind a "truck" feel, so the Taco, with the TRD package, wasn't bad. The steering on the Taco was definitely vague. Power: the Taco definitely has more power, but again, not decisively so. I couldn't care less about 0-60 times for a truck, as long as it's under 10 seconds or so. Interior: the Honda wins hands down in both space and details, such as the rear heating/AC vents, storage, etc. Exterior: this is my opinion only, the Taco is a more appealing exterior. Maybe the unconventional looks of the RL will grow on me, but the Taco is really beautiful. What can I say, vanity is an important factor in a purchasing decision. Utility: for hauling, both trucks are pretty equivalent, but I do like the lack of wheelwells in the RL, as well as the trunk and tailgate. Trailering is not an issue for us.

So, I still need some advice. For offroad use, it seems the Taco has a decisive advantage. Toyota has been building and racing off road vehicles for 30+ years, while this is Honda's first foray into trucks, and I can't ignore this. However, for snow travel, it seems the RL has a decisive advantage, with the VTM-4. It's funny, but contrary to popular opinion, 4 wheel drive trucks are some of the worst vehicles in the snow, IMHO; all wheel drive is definitely the way to go (our Outback is unstoppable in the snow). Finally, this is a brand new vehicle, and a very unconventional, polarizing one at that. So, is this vehicle going to be a hit, or will it be a (very rare for Honda) flop? What will it's resale be in 4-5 years? I know Hondas are known for resale, but this is something totally new. And, it seems that the RL is not selling as well lately, which is good, since I can get a better price, but does not reassure me otherwise. Will I be able to resell this later, if I want to?

So, has anyone else out there debated between a Taco and a RL? What made you decide for the RL? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
 

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For me the RL represents the balance in a vehicle that I was looking for. You've pretty well reviewed and answered the areas that I was concerned with as well. The comfort and functionality of the RL says it all.

The clincher, in our case, was the AWD/front wheel drive system and getting snowbound in the winter. I have repeatedly stolen my wife's CRV, since '98, for my extended trips to Nelson and Revelstoke, B.C.. The security of the AWD system under some very severe winter hiway conditions was the reason. Once I found out what the RL's system was I knew where I was headed. The test drive was the clincher. All I need now is a cap for the box and you'll find me up at Whitewater in Jan.

As far as resale goes, I don't intend on parting with my RL for quite some time.

Good luck!! Buy a Ridgeline, you'll be very happy with it.
 

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Hankim,
Thanks for your thoughtful inroduction and while I can't comment on "Taco vs Ridgeline", I can provide opinion on "'99 Ody to Ridgeline transition." I don't do off-roading, but needed ability to manuever our 10 acres, tow trailer, haul kayaks, and family. I knew from my wife's 03 Pilot that VTM-4 was excellent AWD system and better on winter slicked roads than most 4-wheelers (USA Today James Healey's articles on Pilot and Ridgeline and from wife's winter anecdotes; "nobody else could make it up the hill!")

While the Ody did admirably as a "pick-up truck", I got tired of living with all the odors and mess of things that could fit in its pickup bed, and longed for the AWD of the Pilot. Didn't want another Pilot because in spite of the 35hp & 5spd auto advantage, I enjoyed handling of the Ody better! And when it came to space there was no comparison - the Ody had twice as much cargo space and more versatility.

The Ridgeline came along and has the handling, VTM-4, as much cargo space and good power. For more seating we squeeze into the Pilot. Ridgeline also has the VSA (vehicle stability assist) along with all its other significant features in the base model. I've owned it since August 18 and am very pleased with it.

Please keep us informed on your decision process and good luck.
 

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We also do a fair amount of camping and biking in remote areas here in Utah, sometimes waaaay backcountry on some rough roads...

vs.

For offroad use, it seems the Taco has a decisive advantage.

The Ridgeline will handle some very rough roads just fine. The only hesitatation I would have in recommending the RL is if you are talking about true off roading, which includes boulders hopping, log jumping, and river crosssings. The lower clearance would be a problem.

If you don't really mean off road buy the Ridgeline.

Besides, this website is better than any Taco site!
 

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Have you factored in the safety advantages of the RL? Five star crash rating, with side air bags and vehicle stability control as standard equipment.
 

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I agree that Toyota makes vehicles of equal quality to Honda and I have owned both. I have found that Honda has better engineering and spends an extraordinary amount of time designing a new vehicle.

While the RL may not be the most astheticaly pleasing to some, when you are driving you don't have to look at it except from the inside where it counts.

So ask yourself, does it do what you need and give you what you want? Then what is left over is how you base your decision.
 

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IMO they are both very good vehicles but based on your original post I think that the Ridgeline fits like a glove. I could not be happier with mine. Our needs are very similar. You did mention that you don't need to pull a trailer. That older house that you are working on could change that. If hauling long items is a concern, get the trailer hitch and one of these things http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1202&page=4&pp=10&highlight=hitch+hand

I have used mine many times and it has been absolutely great. I do suggest the magnetic add-on light kits.

Also, as to the Ridgeline being a new model, I have had mine for about 4 months and it has been absolutely flawless since I drove it home from the dealer. Don't worry, be happy!

Welcome aboard!
 

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I was too lazy to read the replis but read the first post and here is my take.
These are two entirely different vehicles. The Taco is pretty much a pickup truck. It will have greater ground clearance, a rougher ride, and the durability and resale should be above average. It is a nice vehicle. If you were buying the vehicle as a work truck, I would tell you to get it in a flash. However, you sound a little bit more like me. You are using it for everything.
The Ridgeline is not just a truck to me. It can put on many faces. The interior is downright awesome. I am 6'4" and this is one of the rare vehicles I am very comfortable in. It is very SUV in nature. Then comes the bed of the truck. They really did a great job on the design, the wheelwells are barely visable. It can be used as a small Pickup. Add in the trunk and you have what many people look for in a sedan. It is the feature that sold me. Example:Going Mt. Biking: Both vehicles will do the job. The Ridge will be more comfortable both ride and seating. The Taco will get you to every place the Ridge will and possibly to a place the Ridge can't get (But I would never subject any of my vehicles to extreme 4 wheeling unless it is an old clunker.) Then, you finish the day of biking. You chuck all the dirty smelly items (clip on shoes, air pumps, helmets, etc. in the trunk of the Ridge or the Back of the Taco. You lock up the bikes and head for home. Then you decide to stop for some food on the highway. The Ridge owner returns and climbs in his truck and heads home. The Taco owner looks in the back of his trunk and wonders if all the little items are still there. Did you see my pump? Didn't I have another helmet in here? The Taco owner digs around and is glad that he found his stuff and it wasn't stolen.
I have found that my Ridge is the ultimate SCUBA vehicle as well for the same reason. It is so nice to put my wet BC, tanks, mask, suit, etc in the trunk, lock it up and be able to stop and not look over my shoulder.
 

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If off roading is a high priority, ground clearance, boulders, low range trans, etc, then get the Taco. If not there is no other choice than the Ridge. I really miss my F-150 4-dr Lariat I traded for the Ridge when it come to hauling. The Ridge just can't take the place of a full size bed with a bed liner. I am not throwing firewood into the Ridge's bed! That is what trailers are for. To sum it up, Ridgeline for comfort, room, economy, safety, resale, etc.
Taco for off roading. I am not sorry I bought the Ridge, but I don't haul anything in the bed but a garbage bag once a week. Trailer every thing else.
 

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Welcome to ROC. I was exactly where you are now back in March. This is an older post I wrote awhile ago that might address some of your concerns.


Keep in mind I was very stoked to go buy my 05 Taco Sport.This was a big decision. I can only think of a better choice if I needed to tow 10,000 lbs. For me it came down to the 05 Taco and the Ridgeline. This is my first Honda purchase. #1 in consideration was brand reputation, reliability, and resale value, and for me that was Toyota and Honda. I've owned a Toyota truck and car for fourteen years with not one problem between them, so Toyota really had brand loyalty from me, but the more in depth research I did about how Honda engineers approached this vehicle. It convinced me this was very different than a chopped up pilot that I initially thought it was. Honda truly brought some new ideas and improvements to the pickup table and they needed too with their first entry into this market. I was impressed with their Unibody integration with a ladder truck frame giving it 20 times more torisional stability and 2.5 time more bending rigidity. combine this with a beefy 4 wheel independent suspension, and you've got truck toughness with a ride of a nice car. This really does give the vehicle a more overall solid feel. This is also the best automatic transmission I've driven. Acceleration is excellent.

Other features that pushed it over the top:

- The 2006 Honda Ridgeline has earned a 5-Star safety rating for both frontal and side impact crash test performance from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), American Honda Motor Co., announced today. The Ridgeline, Honda's first truck, is the first ever 4-door pickup to earn the government's highest crash test safety rating.

-really like the VTM-4 AWD system instead of part time 4x4. It also has VSC that can be turned off and VTM-4 lock that locks the rear and front diffs

-I can haul 4x8 building material, and it will lay flat in the bed of this mid size truck. There's no wheel wells taking up valuable space. No other midsize can do this. (I really don't want to be driving some huge full size truck just to do this.)

-Biggest cab in class. It's pretty roomy inside. Love the flip up backseat allowing for alot of storage in back of the cab. lots of storage space through out. The center console is the best laid out storage space I've seen in a center console.

-Inbed trunk and 2 way opening tailgate (genius) lights in bed light the cargo area when you open the gate. (not available on Taco-NAOT)

-dual climate control (saved my marriage )

-leather interior, I really feel like I'm in a nice sedan (very classy, and not available on Taco)

-moon roof (NAOT)

-power rear window (NAOT)

-heated mirrors (NAOT)

-power driver's seat (NAOT)

We love this truck. It does everything well for us. It's a nice luxury touring car. It hauls cargo when I need to, and I love it off road. The most amazing thing: The styling has grown on me. I love the way this truck looks or maybe it's function and utility is driving the beauty.
 

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Having owned an 05 Tacoma Double Cab 4x4 for a few months, take it from me...THE ONLY ADVANTAGE TO THE TOYOTA WOULD BE IF YOU ARE A GOAT HERDER IN THE ALPS!! My Tacoma Experience The Ridgeline is clearly superior!!
 

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hankim said:
It will be used as a daily commuter (about 3 mile commute each way), kid hauler (ages 7 and 4), road trip mobile, and household hauler.
This is a no brainer.

Does the Taco have 3 latch positions in the rear seat? Better yet, is the rear seat actually comfortable?

The ride, the room, the trunk.

One more time...

The ride, the room, the trunk.
 

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Toyota does make a great product, just in this case not a superior one. I have a friend that works as a salesman at a Toyota store right across the street from us and he just bought a Ridgeline, now what do you think? The RL is great, buy it and you won't regret your decision. Good luck.
 

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Whoa! That's one descriptive site you've got there! Nice job!
jch said:
Having owned an 05 Tacoma Double Cab 4x4 for a few months, take it from me...THE ONLY ADVANTAGE TO THE TOYOTA WOULD BE IF YOU ARE A GOAT HERDER IN THE ALPS!! My Tacoma Experience The Ridgeline is clearly superior!!
 

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The most important thing you are ever going to be hauling in your choice of vehicles are your 4 and 7 year old children. Toyota does not offer rear seat side impact airbags in any of their pick up trucks delivered to North America, even though their sales brochures list this as an available option on the Tacoma and the Tundra lines.
 
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Here's my 2 Cents worth if you don't mind.

I have never owned a rice burner on 4 wheels before Ridgena just the 2 wheel kind. I have never really known anyone else that did. Most of the crowd I hang with or grew up with are military and always bought American. I have 4 sisters and 2 brothers and as far as I know I am the first to stray and I know my parents always owned Mopar. So with all this said, I can't give you an opinion on the Taco other than I have had a few at the bell. :D
I CAN tell you however that I have never been happier with a vehicle and I know that when I put my precious cargo inside, i.e., Todd, kids, dogs, we will all be safe, comfortable and happy. I still get a "high", if you will, when I walk out the front door and get my first glimpse of Ridgena and I have had her almost 7 months and over 20K in miles.
My advice is to consider what you read here, these people know their stuff, and test drive both then go with your first gut instinct. I promise you one thing, if you purchase the Ridgeline, you won't be sorry.
IMHOOC :p
 

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jch said:
Having owned an 05 Tacoma Double Cab 4x4 for a few months, take it from me...THE ONLY ADVANTAGE TO THE TOYOTA WOULD BE IF YOU ARE A GOAT HERDER IN THE ALPS!! My Tacoma Experience The Ridgeline is clearly superior!!
THIS IS DEFINITELY A MUST READ!!! THANKS FOR SHARING...TO ALL WHO IS READING THIS AND IS TRYING TO MAKE A CHOICE BETWEEN TOYATA AND HONDA....READ JCH'S "MY TACOMA EXPERIENCE" LOVE IT!
JCH, WHICH DEALER DID YOU BUY THAT CRAP FROM?
 

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Buy the ridge. hands down, safer, more functional, family friendly, work, play. only drawback is not for SERIOUS off roading.......but it wasn't built for that either. as for hauling, shoot, throw that wood in the bed. thats what its for!!! ;)
 
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