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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had the last year of the first gen Ridgeline and really regret selling that truck. I had a full size truck for some time but really started hating how big it was so last July I got a Tacoma. I do like Off-Roading but I don't do anything to extreme just some rough back road stuff not rock crawling. There wasn't many Ridgelines to test drive at the time so never got to try a newer version yet. The problem is Honda's pricing in my opinion to me the base seems like the best deal and then the RTL-E leaving the RTL in a weirdly over priced package.

The new face lift and the HPD package really makes the Ridgeline much better looking which was also a reason I never bother looking and the newer ones. My only other gripe is it need like one more inch of ground clearance.

Reason why I am tempted to trade Tacoma is gas mileage is completely a lie I average 16-20 mpg which feels terrible. To makes matters worse it has small fuel tank only giving me an estimated range of 350 miles when full. I ended up testing the highest grade fuel to see if it made a difference which it surprisingly did getting avg of 18 mpg in town now but that fill up price really hurt.

Other thoughts are the engine and the power it makes I still feel like Honda has a stronger engine (also sounds better with v-tec) hills are the Tacoma's worst enemy. I am worried about towing with this truck and its lack of power. One other thing which is the automatic especially on cruise control is a bit clunky and hunt for gears a lot this is not always the case but when it happens it is super annoying.

I have seen a few lifted Ridgelines and wonder if the process is a lot of work or not? For the type of off roading I do the AWD is fine just need clearance, skid plates, and good All Terrain tires.

I am eyeballing a used Ridgeline Sport with HPD package but its red which wouldn't be my first choice in colors. Does the seats have good lumbar I need support with my back after pinching my sciatic nerve real bad a few years back. How hard is it to upgrade the Audio system to not sound like trash? Are LED headlights easy to install as an upgrade later on?

I miss my Flat floor with magic seats and the trunk in the bed and really draws me back to the Ridgeline as more utility oriented type of person.
 

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Lot of things here.
MPGs - you won't see a significant change going to the Ridgeline, maybe 2 to 5 mpgs depending on how you drive. Not enough alone to warrant a change.

Clearance - edited
Note: get nolo skids if you're going off road.

If you don't want any upgrades, I believe you are right, the best bang for your buck is the sport. But I'm partial to the RTL-E.

Seats are pretty good, and overall comfort and room is light-years ahead of the Taco.

Sounds like you know the big differences, and the extras that make the Ridgeline a great choice , trunk, tailgate, AWD system, wider bed, bigger cabin, sitting upright, better ride...

But it isn't an off road beast. With that said its better than people give it credit for, search youtube and even our forums, people have pushed them harder than I thought possible.
 

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1. Realistically, you won't get much better fuel economy with the Ridgeline than you did your Tacoma.

2. On paper, the Ridgeline's and Tacoma's 3.5L V6 engines are within manufacturing tolerances of difference when it comes to power ratings. In the real world, the Ridgeline is significantly faster if you're worried about winning stoplight races.

3. It's not impossible, but it's not easy to upgrade the audio system since it is very integrated with the vehicle from the safety features to the tailgate lock.
 

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2021 Ridgeline RTL-E in Radiant Red Metallic II
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I took my RL up a couple of DNR roads last summer and she did great. The roads were in terrible shape because WA state had basically not been maintaining them during the pandemic. In fact, on the last road, a Tacoma had pulled in off the highway ahead of me. The driver got out and looked at the craters in the road and decided he didn't want to try it, so he turned around and went elsewhere. I got out and looked at the same craters, decided I could probably pick a good line through them, and proceeded to make it 3 miles up the road to the trailhead. Had the place to myself pretty much. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I took my RL up a couple of DNR roads last summer and she did great. The roads were in terrible shape because WA state had basically not been maintaining them during the pandemic. In fact, on the last road, a Tacoma had pulled in off the highway ahead of me. The driver got out and looked at the craters in the road and decided he didn't want to try it, so he turned around and went elsewhere. I got out and looked at the same craters, decided I could probably pick a good line through them, and proceeded to make it 3 miles up the road to the trailhead. Had the place to myself pretty much. :)
That is how I learned to Drive Off-Road so all the goodies other than 4wd on my Tacoma I have not even need yet. I do a lot of solo off-roading so I tend to error on the side of caution. I was watch a video on youtube a guy doing real world driving on the highway and he was getting 28 mpg in the Ridgeline with eco mode on which would be nice for long highway trips. The same guy tested the Taco and averaged 22mpg. I hate the fact that according to my computer my max range is 350 miles which is pretty lame and now I got to to a uhaul trailer on a two day trip for a job move. I am going to guess I will need to stop every 150-200 miles to fill up for gas which might be tricky. I know in some states you might be on a stretch of road that long with no gas stations maybe I should get a gas can before I leave and have spare gas just in case =:(
 

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My one opinion is this, we have learned our lessons with our Ridgeline where if you really want to do any more than traveling maintained off-pavement roads, then I would recommend purchasing a vehicle already better designed for this type of driving and do not potentially tear up your Ridgeline, and I do not mean this to be demeaning to the Ridgeline in any way. We have our "trucks" in which do the back country better, but the Ridgeline surpasses these "trucks" in every way when cruising down the highway.

Speaking from experience and just saying...................................

Bill
 

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2022 Ridgeline Sport
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My only other gripe is it need like one more inch of ground clearance.
Agreed. There are a number of lift options ranging from a mild 1.5" front only ("leveling kit") to a 3.5" lift - look into the options from Traxda, Truxx, JSport, and HRG Engineering.

I'm not doing anything on mine yet, but am contemplating the 1.5" leveling kit. The only issue is that it's still a chore and a half to install from what I've seen, so if I'm going to pay for labor, I only want to do it once. I don't want to be yet another person who gets the 1.5" only to end up wanting more later and paying again for parts and labor...buy once, cry once.
I am eyeballing a used Ridgeline Sport with HPD package but its red which wouldn't be my first choice in colors. Does the seats have good lumbar I need support with my back after pinching my sciatic nerve real bad a few years back. How hard is it to upgrade the Audio system to not sound like trash? Are LED headlights easy to install as an upgrade later on?
Red is actually a pretty great color on the RL, especially with the HPD package - I'd check it out in person before writing it off. On the lumbar support, the Sport trim doesn't have adjustable lumbar support, so definitely try to take a test drive in one. Pretty sure the headlights are already LED - or at least they are on my '22 Sport. It's the High Beams (and therefore also the DRLs) that are still halogen...
I miss my Flat floor with magic seats and the trunk in the bed and really draws me back to the Ridgeline as more utility oriented type of person.
Those plus the swing-out tailgate and the bed that is wide enough to lay 4x8 plywood flat, really put the Ridgeline into a class of it's own. It's not a "mid-size", it's not exactly a "full-size" when comparing some specs like towing, but for a lot of us, it's the Goldilocks "right size" class.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Agreed. There are a number of lift options ranging from a mild 1.5" front only ("leveling kit") to a 3.5" lift - look into the options from Traxda, Truxx, JSport, and HRG Engineering.

I'm not doing anything on mine yet, but am contemplating the 1.5" leveling kit. The only issue is that it's still a chore and a half to install from what I've seen, so if I'm going to pay for labor, I only want to do it once. I don't want to be yet another person who gets the 1.5" only to end up wanting more later and paying again for parts and labor...buy once, cry once.
Red is actually a pretty great color on the RL, especially with the HPD package - I'd check it out in person before writing it off. On the lumbar support, the Sport trim doesn't have adjustable lumbar support, so definitely try to take a test drive in one. Pretty sure the headlights are already LED - or at least they are on my '22 Sport. It's the High Beams (and therefore also the DRLs) that are still halogen...
Those plus the swing-out tailgate and the bed that is wide enough to lay 4x8 plywood flat, really put the Ridgeline into a class of it's own. It's not a "mid-size", it's not exactly a "full-size" when comparing some specs like towing, but for a lot of us, it's the Goldilocks "right size" class.
Maybe I will look at it the only thing I know is the base model audio is absolutely garbage. If it is not to expensive to upgrade later could be an option.
 

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I took my RL up a couple of DNR roads last summer and she did great. The roads were in terrible shape because WA state had basically not been maintaining them during the pandemic. In fact, on the last road, a Tacoma had pulled in off the highway ahead of me. The driver got out and looked at the craters in the road and decided he didn't want to try it, so he turned around and went elsewhere. I got out and looked at the same craters, decided I could probably pick a good line through them, and proceeded to make it 3 miles up the road to the trailhead. Had the place to myself pretty much. :)
My old full-size had the ground clearance and skid plates, but it was huge, so a lot of "off-roading" was more stressful than fun. The RL is nearly as wide, without the ground clearance. My wife and I are thinking of getting a couple of electric fat bikes. Put 'em on the bike rack on the trailer hitch, drive to the trailhead, and enjoy 20-30 trouble-free quiet miles with no worries about ground clearance, racing stripes down the sides, and other assorted vehicle damage. There may also be more probability of seeing (and photographing) wildlife. Sounds good in theory, anyway. We're planning to rent a couple to try them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My old full-size had the ground clearance and skid plates, but it was huge, so a lot of "off-roading" was more stressful than fun. The RL is nearly as wide, without the ground clearance. My wife and I are thinking of getting a couple of electric fat bikes. Put 'em on the bike rack on the trailer hitch, drive to the trailhead, and enjoy 20-30 trouble-free quiet miles with no worries about ground clearance, racing stripes down the sides, and other assorted vehicle damage. There may also be more probability of seeing (and photographing) wildlife. Sounds good in theory, anyway. We're planning to rent a couple to try them out.
Yup or even could put a dirt bike or smaller adventure bike in the bed of the truck. Or pull quads on a trailer which would be fun just more expensive option. That is one thing that sucks about NM from where I live most the off road trails are only for things under a certain width typically smaller side by side or a quad. They really limit where you can take a truck off road here which wont matter soon since I am moving for a job in Kentucky. I have no idea if they have much in the way of off-roading there maybe by the appalachian mountains they might. On a side not NM sucks as a state.
 

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I had the last year of the first gen Ridgeline and really regret selling that truck. I had a full size truck for some time but really started hating how big it was so last July I got a Tacoma. I do like Off-Roading but I don't do anything to extreme just some rough back road stuff not rock crawling. There wasn't many Ridgelines to test drive at the time so never got to try a newer version yet. The problem is Honda's pricing in my opinion to me the base seems like the best deal and then the RTL-E leaving the RTL in a weirdly over priced package.

The new face lift and the HPD package really makes the Ridgeline much better looking which was also a reason I never bother looking and the newer ones. My only other gripe is it need like one more inch of ground clearance.

Reason why I am tempted to trade Tacoma is gas mileage is completely a lie I average 16-20 mpg which feels terrible. To makes matters worse it has small fuel tank only giving me an estimated range of 350 miles when full. I ended up testing the highest grade fuel to see if it made a difference which it surprisingly did getting avg of 18 mpg in town now but that fill up price really hurt.

Other thoughts are the engine and the power it makes I still feel like Honda has a stronger engine (also sounds better with v-tec) hills are the Tacoma's worst enemy. I am worried about towing with this truck and its lack of power. One other thing which is the automatic especially on cruise control is a bit clunky and hunt for gears a lot this is not always the case but when it happens it is super annoying.

I have seen a few lifted Ridgelines and wonder if the process is a lot of work or not? For the type of off roading I do the AWD is fine just need clearance, skid plates, and good All Terrain tires.

I am eyeballing a used Ridgeline Sport with HPD package but its red which wouldn't be my first choice in colors. Does the seats have good lumbar I need support with my back after pinching my sciatic nerve real bad a few years back. How hard is it to upgrade the Audio system to not sound like trash? Are LED headlights easy to install as an upgrade later on?

I miss my Flat floor with magic seats and the trunk in the bed and really draws me back to the Ridgeline as more utility oriented type of person.

Regarding Milage a large vehicle is a large vehicle, yes some people have had great MPGs with the J35 v6 engine however, keep in mind that MPG is most likely with the VCM active ( there are a lot of posts regarding VCM so i will spare the details) my 2017 Ridgeline with the black edition (6spd auto) with 1.5-inch leveling kit and 1 inch larger tires and VCM disabled gets about 20MPG 70/30 highway/ city.
Also, the tank in the Ridgeline is small 19.5 gallons with the reserve at 2 gallons appr 17 Gallons before it yells at you, the most i have filled up on a trip when the needle reached 10 miles to E was 16.6 Gallons.

I would get the ridgeline if you want something much more comfortable plus Functionality because if you consider Fill up range I am pretty sure they have larger aftermarket tanks for the Tacoma where the ridgeline is scant in the aftermarket.

Both are great Trucks, i wouldn't doubt the Tacoma will outlive the ridgeline, but both are great Trucks
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Regarding Milage a large vehicle is a large vehicle, yes some people have had great MPGs with the J35 v6 engine however, keep in mind that MPG is most likely with the VCM active ( there are a lot of posts regarding VCM so i will spare the details) my 2017 Ridgeline with the black edition (6spd auto) with 1.5-inch leveling kit and 1 inch larger tires and VCM disabled gets about 20MPG 70/30 highway/ city.
Also, the tank in the Ridgeline is small 19.5 gallons with the reserve at 2 gallons appr 17 Gallons before it yells at you, the most i have filled up on a trip when the needle reached 10 miles to E was 16.6 Gallons.

I would get the ridgeline if you want something much more comfortable plus Functionality because if you consider Fill up range I am pretty sure they have larger aftermarket tanks for the Tacoma where the ridgeline is scant in the aftermarket.

Both are great Trucks, i wouldn't doubt the Tacoma will outlive the ridgeline, but both are great Trucks
I wonder if they are doing a refresh for 2023 on the Ridgeline I hope so because the truck need to exist. If they can update the interior design to not look like a rental car that would go a long way for Honda. I also hope they make a real off-road package doesn't need to be as good as the TRD but maybe close to matching something like z71 or fords middle ground package. If they are planning to refresh I may just wait and see what it brings and live with the Taco longer at least it hold resale value well.
 

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2022 Black Edition [Nov 24, 2021] - Traded 2017 B.E. [Sept 23, 2016]
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2. On paper, the Ridgeline's and Tacoma's 3.5L V6 engines are within manufacturing tolerances of difference when it comes to power ratings. In the real world, the Ridgeline is significantly faster if you're worried about winning stoplight races.
Use the paddle shifters! The 9 speed won't know how the F** to shift when you jump a light. :)
 

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Black 2020 Ridgeline RTL-E
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I had the last year of the first gen Ridgeline and really regret selling that truck. I had a full size truck for some time but really started hating how big it was so last July I got a Tacoma. I do like Off-Roading but I don't do anything to extreme just some rough back road stuff not rock crawling. There wasn't many Ridgelines to test drive at the time so never got to try a newer version yet. The problem is Honda's pricing in my opinion to me the base seems like the best deal and then the RTL-E leaving the RTL in a weirdly over priced package.

The new face lift and the HPD package really makes the Ridgeline much better looking which was also a reason I never bother looking and the newer ones. My only other gripe is it need like one more inch of ground clearance.

Reason why I am tempted to trade Tacoma is gas mileage is completely a lie I average 16-20 mpg which feels terrible. To makes matters worse it has small fuel tank only giving me an estimated range of 350 miles when full. I ended up testing the highest grade fuel to see if it made a difference which it surprisingly did getting avg of 18 mpg in town now but that fill up price really hurt.

Other thoughts are the engine and the power it makes I still feel like Honda has a stronger engine (also sounds better with v-tec) hills are the Tacoma's worst enemy. I am worried about towing with this truck and its lack of power. One other thing which is the automatic especially on cruise control is a bit clunky and hunt for gears a lot this is not always the case but when it happens it is super annoying.

I have seen a few lifted Ridgelines and wonder if the process is a lot of work or not? For the type of off roading I do the AWD is fine just need clearance, skid plates, and good All Terrain tires.

I am eyeballing a used Ridgeline Sport with HPD package but its red which wouldn't be my first choice in colors. Does the seats have good lumbar I need support with my back after pinching my sciatic nerve real bad a few years back. How hard is it to upgrade the Audio system to not sound like trash? Are LED headlights easy to install as an upgrade later on?

I miss my Flat floor with magic seats and the trunk in the bed and really draws me back to the Ridgeline as more utility oriented type of person.
I traded a 2019 Tacoma Off-Road in 2/20 for a 2020 Ridgeline RTL-E. Had 36K miles on the Toyota and now have 20K miles on the Honda. In real world driving the Ridgeline is getting 30% better gas mileage over the Tacoma.

I just did a 600 mile highway trip not towing and had 24.5 mpg. We also just 1200 mile camping trip pulling our 2300lb trailer and had a cumulative mpg of 18.4mpg. Our Tacoma never got over 13.5 mpg pulling our camper. Also the 9 speed handles towing so much better than the Tacoma’s 6 speed. Tacoma had trouble picking gears all the time.

Only negatives on the switch is the bed height is shorter in the Ridgeline. We need to put our generator in the trunk as itwon’t fit under the cover. However, the Honda does have a trunk and wider and 4” longer bed.

2nd negative is we bought the old nose 2020 rather than waiting on the 2021. Not as nice looking but tolerable.

Never went off-road so the Tacoma’s setup was totally wasted. We could never run in 4 wheel drive the required miles to keep system lubricated as recommended in the owners manual. I like have AWD much better as we are always on pavement.

Also, the seating comfort alone is worth the switch. We do long distance drives all the time now that we are retired and the Ridgeline is a “huge” improvement in comfort all around. DW wouldn’t even drive the Toyota as she could never get a comfortable seating position. Now she has no issue sharing the driving on long trips in the Ridgeline.
 

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I wonder if they are doing a refresh for 2023 on the Ridgeline I hope so because the truck need to exist. If they can update the interior design to not look like a rental car that would go a long way for Honda. I also hope they make a real off-road package doesn't need to be as good as the TRD but maybe close to matching something like z71 or fords middle ground package. If they are planning to refresh I may just wait and see what it brings and live with the Taco longer at least it hold resale value well.
I'd expect the updated Ridgeline (G3) in 2024. It is generally preceded by the Pilot (which will be new for 2023) and the MDX (new in 2022).

I'd also expect an "offroady" Trailsport package for the Ridgeline, although that may not happen until 2025. That would probably offer a 1.5" lift, real factory skidplates, A/T tires and recovery hooks. If we are really lucky, they will throw in the active suspension from the new MDX.
 

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I'm starting to see better MPG's after 6000 miles and summer arriving. Cumputer says 23 average the last 300 miles mixed city/highway driving. It's impressive for a heavy truck that's not aerodynamic. When I really gas 'er it has this loud, metallic sound of pistons slamming up and down. Maybe it's a characteristic of the direct injection, giving it that hard edge sound. But I rarely drive her hard like that.

The transmission is really smooth and dialed-in to all kinds of stopping and starting, cruising, whatever.

The seats are very supportive, and tight feeling, but lots of cushion in them, yet still firm.

The stock stereo sound in the 2022 Sport is good. Not great, but pretty good. Good enough for me playing jazz, and pop tunes, and radio. The interface sucks though. Laggy awful touchscreen.

Did you drive the new Nissan Frontier? I wanted to test drive it, but they weren't available at the time so bought the Ridgeline.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'd expect the updated Ridgeline (G3) in 2024. It is generally preceded by the Pilot (which will be new for 2023) and the MDX (new in 2022).

I'd also expect an "offroady" Trailsport package for the Ridgeline, although that may not happen until 2025. That would probably offer a 1.5" lift, real factory skidplates, A/T tires and recovery hooks. If we are really lucky, they will throw in the active suspension from the new MDX.
Darn that sucks was hoping it might be a little earlier... maybe I will just test drive the new Ridgeline I can always decide later on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I traded a 2019 Tacoma Off-Road in 2/20 for a 2020 Ridgeline RTL-E. Had 36K miles on the Toyota and now have 20K miles on the Honda. In real world driving the Ridgeline is getting 30% better gas mileage over the Tacoma.

I just did a 600 mile highway trip not towing and had 24.5 mpg. We also just 1200 mile camping trip pulling our 2300lb trailer and had a cumulative mpg of 18.4mpg. Our Tacoma never got over 13.5 mpg pulling our camper. Also the 9 speed handles towing so much better than the Tacoma’s 6 speed. Tacoma had trouble picking gears all the time.

Only negatives on the switch is the bed height is shorter in the Ridgeline. We need to put our generator in the trunk as itwon’t fit under the cover. However, the Honda does have a trunk and wider and 4” longer bed.

2nd negative is we bought the old nose 2020 rather than waiting on the 2021. Not as nice looking but tolerable.

Never went off-road so the Tacoma’s setup was totally wasted. We could never run in 4 wheel drive the required miles to keep system lubricated as recommended in the owners manual. I like have AWD much better as we are always on pavement.

Also, the seating comfort alone is worth the switch. We do long distance drives all the time now that we are retired and the Ridgeline is a “huge” improvement in comfort all around. DW wouldn’t even drive the Toyota as she could never get a comfortable seating position. Now she has no issue sharing the driving on long trips in the Ridgeline.
That's really good to know on the towing MPG the other vehicle I was thinking about was a Chevy/GM Canyon with the diesel for better towing and mpg. That being said I know diesels are expensive maintenance wise also very expensive to fix. And GM/Chevy reliability has not been to great the last few years from what I have seen so a bigger risk of things falling apart later.

I also think many of the smaller trucks towing ratings are overly optimistic border line lying. Taco is rated for 6500 pounds but I dont think it should be pushed much beyond 4k just because of the transmission and engine is so unhappy doing it. My old ridgeline seem ok with towing 5k loads I did put on a extra transmission cooler though but everything felt solid. My Tacoma struggles to find gears even not towing up a hill cant imagine towing.
 
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