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I'm a new member and let me say I appreciate what I've read and learned here. Let me also say, right off the bat, I am NOT a Tacoma "Fan Boy", in fact I'm not a fan boy of any model or maker. I like what I like, I like what is "good", and what does or should perform the way it should - especially when "it" can cost $50K and more.

So, I'm an owner of a 2003 Toyota Tacoma SR5 PreRunner (4 door). I am the original owner, the truck has been "babied" its entire life, has ONLY been serviced by the dealer for things that I did not wan't to tackle, or things that were warrantied, etc. Fluids, belts, sensors, hoses, etc. all replaced by me. My truck in all those years doesn't have a single door ding and has only 85K miles on it. Still it is is 17 years old. So... I'm in the market as they say.

I like the look of the "2nd gen" (the first gen... ummmm... no, sorry), have found that most reviews of the 2019 - 2020 (which is what I'd be looking at) are very favorable, and in most cases put the Honda in number one or two position above the Ford, Chevy and Toyota. For me, the "limitations" of the Honda over say a "real truck" (what we know many non-Ridgeline people call their trucks) are not problems for me. Yes I want to be able to dive fire roads, etc, haul bikes and camping gear, but NOT tow or do any real "4 wheeling". So the Honda seems like exactly what I'd want.

I live in W. Los Angeles and have a large Honda dealer (with a Toyota dealer next door - owned by the same). I have seen so few, none really, Ridgelines on the road. I've been surfing the web, looking at photos and reviews for a week or so now. So today I decided to visit the dealership. First off, they only had ONE Ridgeline. It was a black "Sport" '19. I told them I was not buying today, but that I was in the market (told that what I had, and that I WOULD be looking at Tacomas too), and that April / May I would be buying. They let me walk around the exterior and sit in the drivers seat.

So... Let me just ask, I know(?) that the major change between the '19 and '20 is the transmission, right? Also, is a "Sport" much different than say a RTL-E (what I would be looking to buy)? I ask because I was very disappointed in both the interior (WAY more "plastic" and plastic feeling than even my 17 y/o Tacoma, WAY more plastic than my wife's '19 Mazda CX-5, which was much cheeper, and WAY more 'cheep' feeling than a '19 CRV), and the use of just an overwhelming amount of plastic that is sure to be a rattly mess down the road in areas such as around the rear window, the nearly entirely plastic rear bumper, and the way the plastic "bed Liner" (well, it is't really a liner, it IS the bed) sits on the bed "rails", and top of the tailgate, and interfaces between the bed and cab. Why is it that a CRV or Pilot actually costs less than a Ridgeline (building a truck is actually easier than building a 5 door, 4+ hatch) and has more features (why did the CRV sitting next to the Ridgeline have the SAME mirrors, but didn't have and there is no option for, intergraded lighted singles in the mirrors?

So, has the 2020 been improved in these areas? Is an RTL-E "better" in regards to the very (for a Honda) cheep feeling plastic interior (the door panels have rough mold seam lines on them) of the '19 I just looked at?

I went into the dealer today thinking I'd be drooling over what I saw, and would be confirming what I had thought I knew by reading reviews and such. But now, I'm back to square one. I guess I'd better go see the Ford, Chevy, and Toyota? Or... are all modern trucks (that can easily cost over 50K) this way? Not as excited as I thought I'd be.

You need to buy a Toyota to be happy. Its all through your post. I could not be happier with my 2019 Ridgeline RTL-E. Great vehicle.
 

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I'm a new member and let me say I appreciate what I've read and learned here. Let me also say, right off the bat, I am NOT a Tacoma "Fan Boy", in fact I'm not a fan boy of any model or maker. I like what I like, I like what is "good", and what does or should perform the way it should - especially when "it" can cost $50K and more.

So, I'm an owner of a 2003 Toyota Tacoma SR5 PreRunner (4 door). I am the original owner, the truck has been "babied" its entire life, has ONLY been serviced by the dealer for things that I did not wan't to tackle, or things that were warrantied, etc. Fluids, belts, sensors, hoses, etc. all replaced by me. My truck in all those years doesn't have a single door ding and has only 85K miles on it. Still it is is 17 years old. So... I'm in the market as they say.

I like the look of the "2nd gen" (the first gen... ummmm... no, sorry), have found that most reviews of the 2019 - 2020 (which is what I'd be looking at) are very favorable, and in most cases put the Honda in number one or two position above the Ford, Chevy and Toyota. For me, the "limitations" of the Honda over say a "real truck" (what we know many non-Ridgeline people call their trucks) are not problems for me. Yes I want to be able to dive fire roads, etc, haul bikes and camping gear, but NOT tow or do any real "4 wheeling". So the Honda seems like exactly what I'd want.

I live in W. Los Angeles and have a large Honda dealer (with a Toyota dealer next door - owned by the same). I have seen so few, none really, Ridgelines on the road. I've been surfing the web, looking at photos and reviews for a week or so now. So today I decided to visit the dealership. First off, they only had ONE Ridgeline. It was a black "Sport" '19. I told them I was not buying today, but that I was in the market (told that what I had, and that I WOULD be looking at Tacomas too), and that April / May I would be buying. They let me walk around the exterior and sit in the drivers seat.

So... Let me just ask, I know(?) that the major change between the '19 and '20 is the transmission, right? Also, is a "Sport" much different than say a RTL-E (what I would be looking to buy)? I ask because I was very disappointed in both the interior (WAY more "plastic" and plastic feeling than even my 17 y/o Tacoma, WAY more plastic than my wife's '19 Mazda CX-5, which was much cheeper, and WAY more 'cheep' feeling than a '19 CRV), and the use of just an overwhelming amount of plastic that is sure to be a rattly mess down the road in areas such as around the rear window, the nearly entirely plastic rear bumper, and the way the plastic "bed Liner" (well, it is't really a liner, it IS the bed) sits on the bed "rails", and top of the tailgate, and interfaces between the bed and cab. Why is it that a CRV or Pilot actually costs less than a Ridgeline (building a truck is actually easier than building a 5 door, 4+ hatch) and has more features (why did the CRV sitting next to the Ridgeline have the SAME mirrors, but didn't have and there is no option for, intergraded lighted singles in the mirrors?

So, has the 2020 been improved in these areas? Is an RTL-E "better" in regards to the very (for a Honda) cheep feeling plastic interior (the door panels have rough mold seam lines on them) of the '19 I just looked at?

I went into the dealer today thinking I'd be drooling over what I saw, and would be confirming what I had thought I knew by reading reviews and such. But now, I'm back to square one. I guess I'd better go see the Ford, Chevy, and Toyota? Or... are all modern trucks (that can easily cost over 50K) this way? Not as excited as I thought I'd be.
 

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Discussion Starter #64 (Edited)
You need to buy a Toyota to be happy. Its all through your post. I could not be happier with my 2019 Ridgeline RTL-E. Great vehicle.
Well I've been "mostly" happy with my Taco. It has (and still does, a strange "loose" feeling suspension, that both the dealer AND suspension shop both assure me "there is nothing wrong") had a few things, including the SRS (suppliantly restraint system "computer") go bad. But considering it's age (not milage) I guess it's been pretty good. All that said, I've liked what many here, and many reviews have said about the RL. That it is the "truck" most of us need, in that unless you are doing "serious" off roading, pulling heavy trailers, etc. then this is the more "comfortable" truck that can do what the majority of us do with our tucks.

I can only really compare anything "truck-ish" to my Taco, considering I've had it as my main vehicle for so long. I'm not convinced I'd be completely happy with a 2020 Taco.

Is that a dual band Diamond antenna I spotted on the tailgate? ;)
Tri-Band Comet! ;-)

I considered buying a Tacoma/Tundra instead of my Ridgeline. We bought a brand new Toyota Sequoia Platinum in 2010 and drove it for 7 years before trading it in for a Acura RDX V6t SHAWD. So why didn't I buy a Tacoma or 4 runner? Because Toyota is BORING. While I like the exterior, the interiors are BLAND and the electronic systems lame. Honda has style that Toyota has not had on most model for years (I have said Toyota has been sliding into being Buick for years). Sure, recently, Toyota has shined a bit with the BRZ and Supra *pulling it out of what I have called "bland conformity"). I've owned a few Lexus too, and Toyota has been OVER styling them for years now, the things look like they should have 1000 hp and yet are still generally under powered). The Tundra based models (including Sequoia) have not changed in what 15 years??? Then their is the Tacoma marketing, dudes drinking mountain Dew and jumping quads and motorcycles over it like a Evil Carival commercial targeting the 18 to 24 age crowd. That just not me, the Ridgeling is vastly more "adult". In this group, the Ridegline is a "premium" brand while the Toyota, Chevy, Ford, ect... are just normal class cars. Its shocking to hear someone complain about plastic in the Ridgeline, have you not been in a Chevy??? It has a nice aerodynamic hood in a day when bigger trucks are still in a competition to make the front of their rigs taller and taller in some odd social competition to make guys feel like their wieners are bigger then everyone else. Hell, I think the new Silvarado front end is taller then the average male...

This is actually my first "pickup" I have ever owned simply because I would not buy or own any pickup made today besides the Ridgeline due to its refinement as being pretty much the same as driving a Pilot and MDX (which I owned both for almost 10 years and loved it). I live in the suburbs, drive into the 3-5th worst traffic in the entire USA on occasion and only need to haul loads to the dump or trailers of barkdust/gravel. I dont need a hard core 4x4 with truck suspension and terrible gas mileage.

These are the things that I personally love about the Ridgeline and why it works for ME
Thank you for your honest and thoughtful reply.

I like the look of the "2nd gen" (the first gen... ummmm... no, sorry), have found that most reviews of the 2019 - 2020 (which is what I'd be looking at) are very favorable, and in most cases put the Honda in number one or two position above the Ford, Chevy and Toyota. For me, the "limitations" of the Honda over say a "real truck" (what we know many non-Ridgeline people call their trucks) are not problems for me. Yes I want to be able to dive fire roads, etc, haul bikes and camping gear, but NOT tow or do any real "4 wheeling". So the Honda seems like exactly what I'd want.

----- Problem #1: "Looks", IT'S A TRUCK!!!
----- Problem #2: "Reviews", THEY ARE BOUGHT!!!
----- Problem #3: "Real Truck", I HAUL 16 FOOT LUMBER AND OVER A TON TO THE DUMP, I'd like to see your Tacoma do that!!!
----- Problem #4: "4-wheeling", the Ridgeline Is NOT a 4 wheeler, it's All-Wheel drive when needed

I live in W. Los Angeles and have a large Honda dealer (with a Toyota dealer next door - owned by the same). I have seen so few, none really, Ridgelines on the road. I've been surfing the web, looking at photos and reviews for a week or so now. So today I decided to visit the dealership. First off, they only had ONE Ridgeline. It was a black "Sport" '19. I told them I was not buying today, but that I was in the market (told that what I had, and that I WOULD be looking at Tacomas too), and that April / May I would be buying. They let me walk around the exterior and sit in the drivers seat.

----- I live in Orange County (the Sane portion of the LA Basin) Ridgelines are everywhere even old gray ones like mine, not a month goes by when I'm not saying "Hey where's Mark Going?", as I see my truck drive by, and more commonly, "Man they ruined that truck", when I see a Second Gen... and I don't drive much, 110,000 in 13 years, usually at night when there is no traffic, and NEVER in LA anymore, too many Loons...
----- Since the beginning of time, popular vehicles are NOT readily available at new car dealerships...
----- I was a Toyota guy since 1982, and usually had to have the Dealer FIND the vehicle I wanted doing what they called "A Dealer Locate", then arranging a swap between dealers to trade for the one I wanted...
----- Read this website and you'll hear from the horses mouth, the lack of quality found in the second gen, not some poll created by some group that gets paid to make you believe stuff...
----- Bottom line is YOU are NOT a Ridgeline person... If you haven't noticed yet, Ridgeline Owners are a smart group of people that keep their eyes and minds open...

Wow dude. Well please stay out of LA County, we don't want "Sane OC types" up here. AND, when did I say I needed to haul 16 foot lumber??? Wow, I'm glad for you. You're a "REAL" truck guy.

You come off as an ASS. I have had a particular brand of truck, for 17+ years - was there even a RL back then? So, now I'm looking for something new. EVERYTHING I read I liked about the 2019 / 2020 RL. When I went to see one I was surprised, how "plastic" it seemed. Last year we replied my wife RAV4. We looked at the new RAV, the Honda CRV, and the Mazda CX-5. The CX-5 beat all of them in safety, reliability and features. My wife mid - high model line CX looks like a ??? Mercedes inside, now a year old has been PERFECT, and cost way less than the RAV or CRV. It IS hands down the better "fit and finish", and drivability of the Toy or Honda IN THAT CLASS of car. So.... again, coming from my OLD Taco, with really does (feature wise) look like a 20 y/o truck inside, AND knowing what I saw in the new RAV, the CRV, and now the CX-5, I was surprised but the lack of "class" the RL had. Granted it was a "Sport". Some have told me I need to see an RTL-E, that it will (?) have a better interior finish.

I figured coming to THIS site and titling my post "Why Am I Disappointed" I'd rile up some feathers. IF you are a member of this board, then you likely HAVE the vehicle, and don't like to hear someone isn't / wasn't initially all lovey about something you have. BUT, I wanted real impressions of the tuck from real people that own one. Talking to a dealer they want to sell you. Hell, half the time (Toyota, and Mazda too) I know more about the vehicle than the sales people do.

----- Read this website and you'll hear from the horses mouth, the lack of quality found in the second gen

WTF? So... you have a first get I guess? WOW, what are YOU doing here, seems everyone else has a 2nd and loves it.

----- Bottom line is YOU are NOT a Ridgeline person...

So... I have to be an ASS like you? Well then maybe I'm not a RL person.

Go drive one, then you will see the difference. I too had an old but nice “truck” a 2005 xterra with 48,000 miles. But I drive Az to wi and back twice a year. I wanted something comfortable and would carry my stuff. The comfort of the drive got me. I bought my xterra new, so the difference in 15 years technology, and comfort still have me kind of amazed. Drive one, then talk to us about your taco.
S35flyer - Yes that sounds very much like what I'm hoping to achieve, "something comfortable and would carry my stuff". I've said it a few times now I think, but I'd like something that I CAN dive a graded dirt road on, that can carry some fun toys (mountain bikes, camping gear, the occasional run to the home improvement store) but be a little "daily driver" friendly.

Thank you for your reply.

It also depends on what you need. If you need more towing power or payload capacity or to travel on off-road rocky terrain, then the Ridgeline may not be for you. If you need a truck with an aggressive "manly" appearance, then the Ridgeline may not fit the bill. However, if you need a mid-sized truck for weekend hauling on normal roads that is roomy, comfortable, smooth, with the best road manners, with plenty of git up and go, then take a look at the Ridgeline. If you need a truck with nice storage, including a large in-bed trunk, then it's got to be the Ridgeline. Did I mention that they are also reliable?

I found what I needed in the Ridgeline. Now if only traditional truck buyers would give this vehicle a chance… By the way, I went from a Ram truck with leather and all the bells and whistles. It was a road warrior and very comfortable. However, I have not looked back and I am enjoying every minute in my smaller, more nimble, truck. To be honest, I haven't noticed the abundance of plastic. I guess it is because plastic is everywhere these days.
Trail Dog - Thank you for your reply. Like I've said, I like 90% of what I've read about the '10-'20 RL, and what you point out is what has me looking at the RL. I was just a bit "surprised" (maybe the better term than "disappointed") by a few things I saw when I looked at that "Sport" model last weekend. I do need to go find a RTL-E, what I'm interested in before I make ANY decision.

My 2 cents
Hey guys. I'm the owner of a brand new one month old 2019 Ridgeline Sport owner. I'm extremely satisfied with my purchase. Yes, I did see the significant changes on the '20 models. But I'm making 2 of those changes this week: a manual tailgate lock and better door checkers for the rear doors. I know the transmission's been upgraded, and that's probably a good thing although I might not notice it. But the fact that my dealer discounted $6,600 off the MSRP and I got a great deal on an 8 year warranty...Those got me to pull the trigger. Plus as a first-time truck owner, I love love love how my white Ridgeline looks in my driveway. And it rides like a Caddy. And the simplicity of the in-dash stereo with real knobs instead of a big display, suits me very well. I'm not a touch-screen guy.

So as far as '19 v '20, if a dealer near you is deeply discounting '19 models, you might wanna take a closer look. Just my opinion. No regrets here.
Thank you herrp58. Good info, the type I'm looking to hear / learn.
 

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I had a great little 1989 Nissan Hardbody pickup for 29 years, before it developed any problems other than having to repair the clutch early on. It did everything I needed it to do and served me well. It is also known as the D2 Hardbody, simple rugged and durable; basically bullet proof. Look it up - the D21 ran from 1986 until 1997. It is the truck that was often hauled south of the border because of it was just a good basic truck and was a good price. But alas, that was a different era and in my opinion, much of the high tech that is now on trucks has also meant more things that can go wrong. I cannot compare today's trucks with that one, because they simply do not make them like that anymore (made to last a long time). However, in many ways, today's trucks are much better. When I purchased my new Ridgeline last month, I did a lot of research and I test drove all of them. The one that came away a clear winner in my mind, after all was said and done was the Ridgeline. That does not mean that is the one for you. Everyone has different tastes, wants, needs, budgets, etc. It is a very personal choice. You can buy another brand and be perfectly happy with it. My neighbor recently replaced his older Taco with a new one. He obviously likes them. Everyone is different and that is OK. On this forum all we can do is be honest and informative about the vehicle we like the best. We are a biased bunch, for sure, because all of us want to think we made a wise choice and a good investment in filling our transportation needs. We probably do go overboard in our praise at times.

I wish you all the best in whatever you decide to do. Good luck on your search! BTW, that is a good looking Taco that you have and I'm jealous. I imagine you get lots of complements. On a Ridgeline, maybe not so much, but it's still a great truck from the ground up.
 

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Discussion Starter #66 (Edited)
Geez, loadmaster - why so condescending? These forums are exactly the place for people to come and ask for info and opinions. No one is "required" to do research before they ask. In fact, asking here IS research. Try to resist the temptation to act like a d#$% and skip the question next time.
dokibe - No worries, I got what Loadmaster was saying. I am trying to do my research. I know I might have "kicked the hornets nest" a little (I mean I did come on a Ridgeline board and say I was "disappointed", I think I should have used the term "surprised"?). But I want to hear from REAL owners of the RL series. I (really do) want to hear from owners that have had theirs a few years and say "the plastic is holding up, not turning gray / white, is not rattling...". That is what I want to hear, but I want to hear the truth. A Honda dealer is going to tell you what it takes to SELL a tuck. So... I'm sorry if I came off like "hey, I don't think your (people here) tuck is that good". I think(?) it is exactly the type of truck I'm looking for, I just want to hear that the things that (once I saw one in person) have NOT been an issue for owners.
 

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Depending on the road surface, I can hear a rattle every now and again. The plastic is still black on my RTL-E after two years in Houston, no garage, but I do use 303. The windshield is big, and it can be vulnerable to road hazards, and it's expensive to replace, as the windshield includes the camera for lane keeping assistance and other functions. Avoid that windshield if it's an issue--or get the road hazard insurance. I had to shell out $1100 after cracking my windscreen in New Mexico.

If you're not towing, and you do not need heavy off-roading capability, like the Moab trail, the Ridgeline is the best mid-sized truck offering modern features. It's great in an urban setting, and after driving from Houston to San Diego, and then from Houston to Destin, I was amazed at how comfortable the ride was compared to previous pick-ups that sort of beat me up on longer trips. Also, the Ridgeline is amazingly good on the beach. I've taken my truck onto Matagorda beach and it floats over the sand in sand mode. Not even a hiccough. On wet twisting roads, as I drove in the highlands of New Mexico and Arizona, the truck hugged the road. I would have to drive far more cautiously in a RWD truck, like a Tacoma.

Now there is the gut appeal factor, and we have to face it. It's not rational, but for most men, driving something macho is important. I feel it at times myself, even though I know in my head that I would probably never use the higher end off-road features, my gut still doesn't care. I am able to hold off my gut for now, but if you think it's a problem, then get the truck you'll be happy with. It's your money, after all.

The only other mid-sized truck I'd recommend is the Frontier for its price and reliability, but it's an old design with poor mileage and a relatively loud ride. Comfort-wise, it's still better than the Tacoma, though. My 2008 SE drove as well, if not better, than the 2017 Tacoma I test drove when I was shopping.
 

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Discussion Starter #68
Not acting like a “dick” do you know what would happen if I came to my supervisors and asked them a question about loading procedures that could be found in our publications. I would get destroyed, understandably, as people need to help themselves as much as they can. Then get more help if needed after you’ve exhausted others. I only came off condescending as much of the information in OPs original posting was blatantly false which showed me that extensive research had not been done. When I have a Biology exam coming up I don’t text everyone in class asking them what we need to study for the exam I go and study myself first and then if I need more help I go find people.

You have to help yourself before others can help you.

If you look back through the 4 pages of this forum, the most liked comment has 6 likes, that is my posting...

truth hurts sometimes, facts don’t care about your feelings. That is unfortunate if it offended you.
Load - hey I didn't take your comments as 'dick-ish', I did think maybe (you are a RL owner, right) you could have said, as others have now, "no, mine (the plastic, the bed, etc.) has been fine..." I HAVE done a LOT of poking around on the web, reading everything, watching everything I could find (before I signed up on this board), I then did visit my local Honda dealer, which only had ONE RL on the entire lot of any model year. When I saw the truck first hand I was, I really was, surprised first by the rattly (I tapped it with my knuckles) plastic around the rear window. I immediately thought to myself, "oh this is going to be a problem 10k - 20k down the road". I STILL feel that way, am I wrong? I'm trying to "do my research" by asking real owners (not the dealer). I have "plastic" inside my Taco that rattles and it drives me crazy - that IS one of the reasons I think its time to move into something new, it honestly is. I don't want to hear creaking / tapping / rattling dash and windshield pillar plastic covers.

Please explain what part of my (the OP) post is blatantly false? The truck DOES have a very (the Sport) plastic interior, as much or more than my old Taco - which rattles, seam / mold lines are very apparent on much of the interior door panel, the entire rear widow bezel is a hard plastic which is in direct contact with the metal of the body and the glass of the window - a rattle source waiting to happen. The bed "liner" looks to me like much of the black plastic that turns gray / white over time on other vehicles. So... I was asking, doing my research, here on Ridgelineownersclub.com, trying to hear from real "owners" if I'm right or wrong?

Depending on the road surface, I can hear a rattle every now and again. The plastic is still black on my RTL-E after two years in Houston, no garage, but I do use 303. The windshield is big, and it can be vulnerable to road hazards, and it's expensive to replace, as the windshield includes the camera for lane keeping assistance and other functions. Avoid that windshield if it's an issue--or get the road hazard insurance. I had to shell out $1100 after cracking my windscreen in New Mexico.

If you're not towing, and you do not need heavy off-roading capability, like the Moab trail, the Ridgeline is the best mid-sized truck offering modern features. It's great in an urban setting, and after driving from Houston to San Diego, and then from Houston to Destin, I was amazed at how comfortable the ride was compared to previous pick-ups that sort of beat me up on longer trips. Also, the Ridgeline is amazingly good on the beach. I've taken my truck onto Matagorda beach and it floats over the sand in sand mode. Not even a hiccough. On wet twisting roads, as I drove in the highlands of New Mexico and Arizona, the truck hugged the road. I would have to drive far more cautiously in a RWD truck, like a Tacoma.

Now there is the gut appeal factor, and we have to face it. It's not rational, but for most men, driving something macho is important. I feel it at times myself, even though I know in my head that I would probably never use the higher end off-road features, my gut still doesn't care. I am able to hold off my gut for now, but if you think it's a problem, then get the truck you'll be happy with. It's your money, after all.

The only other mid-sized truck I'd recommend is the Frontier for its price and reliability, but it's an old design with poor mileage and a relatively loud ride. Comfort-wise, it's still better than the Tacoma, though. My 2008 SE drove as well, if not better, than the 2017 Tacoma I test drove when I was shopping.
Thank you for your reply. Yes... windshields on anything these days are BIG and have cameras, mounted to them, heated wire coils, etc. So yes, replacing one... oooh, not good if you can help it.

If you've seen the pix I posted of my Taco here, then you'll see that even after 17+ years the black plastic is pretty good, and I've used 303 on it most of its life.

Macho / gut appeal - well we all like something that looks good, and I think the RL does, the 2nd gen. I wish it sat about 2" higher "right out of the box" (I know there are "lifts" for it), but otherwise I like it.

Thank you for your honest and thoughtful comments.
 

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Way back in 2002 I was looking at small trucks, but with 4 super active kids eventually realized the "indoor space" would be more useful to me than the "outdoor space", so I wound up with the redesigned CRV (terrific; had it for 13 years, including college kids driving it).

Different life stage now, and since 2011 have had Ridgelines (in addition to wife's SUV), but if a truck like the Ridgeline had been around in 2002 I might've gone that way. There's huge difference between the Tacomas, Dakotas, Rangers back then and a modern RL - bigger and way more versatile - which I think makes the SUV vs. truck tradeoff somewhat less dramatic at this point in history.

Also, this video is apropos of nothing else in this note :))), but when I was deciding whether to get the G2 it was very helpful, being very different than most reviews/test drives I studied:

Savage Geese is a great videoblogger. Well worth the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #70
I'm coming from a 2004 Tacoma S-Runner (2wd V6 5spd) Extended Cab and while it was a good (reliable and comfortable) truck it drove - like a truck. I bought a 2019 Ridgeline Sport which is similarly equipped with updates to the electronics that you might reasonably expect, plus AWD, an automatic trans, and usable back seats. Drives much better and is more economical, even though the motor management system is a little annoying. First big difference though is I don't think that you're going to find AWD in most of the midsize competition until you get into the highest trim levels. Second big difference is the independent suspension which has a much better ride. Some of the critical driveline components in the Ridgeline are unique and quite a bit beefier than the Pilot so it's really not just a crossover SUV with a truck bed. Third big difference was the unique operation of the tailgate. Finally the in-bed trunk and fold up rear seat make secure storage simple.

Others have given you good advice - find a 2020 RTL-E and test drive it. The value proposition of the great year-end deal I got on my 2019 Sport more than offset all the bells and whistles of the top trim level 2020 E (for me). It just depends upon what you want.
CPA - I've found what you've said to be what most reviewers of the RL have said - and it's things I like and am looking for. As I've said a few times in reply to others, I'm NOT in need of a "4X4 / off road" truck these days. Something that will get me down a graded dirt road from time to time is what I need these days. Remember now, my Taco is a 2003, this is BEFORE the first RL came out. So... I bought the "best" at the time midsized truck.

And...I do like the idea of the "in-bed trunk".

Thank you for your thoughts.
 

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Depending on the road surface, I can hear a rattle every now and again. The plastic is still black on my RTL-E after two years in Houston, no garage, but I do use 303. The windshield is big, and it can be vulnerable to road hazards, and it's expensive to replace, as the windshield includes the camera for lane keeping assistance and other functions. Avoid that windshield if it's an issue--or get the road hazard insurance. I had to shell out $1100 after cracking my windscreen in New Mexico.

If you're not towing, and you do not need heavy off-roading capability, like the Moab trail, the Ridgeline is the best mid-sized truck offering modern features. It's great in an urban setting, and after driving from Houston to San Diego, and then from Houston to Destin, I was amazed at how comfortable the ride was compared to previous pick-ups that sort of beat me up on longer trips. Also, the Ridgeline is amazingly good on the beach. I've taken my truck onto Matagorda beach and it floats over the sand in sand mode. Not even a hiccough. On wet twisting roads, as I drove in the highlands of New Mexico and Arizona, the truck hugged the road. I would have to drive far more cautiously in a RWD truck, like a Tacoma.

Now there is the gut appeal factor, and we have to face it. It's not rational, but for most men, driving something macho is important. I feel it at times myself, even though I know in my head that I would probably never use the higher end off-road features, my gut still doesn't care. I am able to hold off my gut for now, but if you think it's a problem, then get the truck you'll be happy with. It's your money, after all.

The only other mid-sized truck I'd recommend is the Frontier for its price and reliability, but it's an old design with poor mileage and a relatively loud ride. Comfort-wise, it's still better than the Tacoma, though. My 2008 SE drove as well, if not better, than the 2017 Tacoma I test drove when I was shopping.
The manly side of me said, "no way am I getting that truck, it doesn't have the "look". The sensible and rational side of me won out in the end and I am OK with the looks because many other things about it kept swaying me in its direction. It really doesn't look so bad after all.
 

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Discussion Starter #72
Coincidentally, I had an '03 Tacoma "Limited" and kept it for 15 years before selling it and buying an '18 Ridgeline Black Edition. It was a very reliable truck other than the Taco's propensity to get body and frame rust. Mine got recalled, fortunately, and they kept it for a week, taking virtually everything off the underside, rehabbing it and spraying on some black protectant stuff. But I must say that, by any measure, that top-of-the-line trim level was rather pedestrian at best. Creature comforts were virtually non-existent. Granted, my Ridgeline is 15 years younger, but the step up in ride, interior quality, bed design, etc. blew me away. I'm not up to speed on the current Tacos, but they're still body-on-frame, so unless you like/need that, the ride will never be like that of a Ridgeline.
"but the step up in ride, interior quality, bed design, etc. blew me away". (y)

I have to say I just let two of my friend both drive my 2017 Ridgeline Sport for the first time last Saturday, Both of them Toyota owners. Both commented on how well the vehicle rode and handled in comparison to their trucks, one Tundra, one Tacoma, and were amazed at how quiet it is. They both took note of the average MPG which on winter gas is 19.5 combined, in the summer it is 20.5 - 21mpg combined. I have ridden in both their vehicles extensively and done find the interior in my Sport to be of less quality than either of their trucks. The Tacoma owner took the interior completely out of his truck and applied Dynamat to the entire thing, including floors footwells and door interiors and he said the Ridgeline was still quieter. Cam at 22,000++ and still not a rattle or squeak to be found. While I would love an upscale Ridgeline, my business and leather seats do not mix well.
Thank you for your comments. I honestly appreciate them.
 

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Choosing a replacement vehicle for us is a long, long process utilizing lots of resources.
Reading your post sounds like you're half way there by narrowing down what you're looking for already. Sorry I can't contribute to your question because I'm after a 1st Gen, but once you find your truck you'll be really happy.
Have fun, and if you do buy a RL, keep in touch because we like stories.
Take care.
2d1c
: ^ )
 

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Discussion Starter #74
I think this is the issue. I too feel that Honda's interiors have not kept up with the competition (in mid-size SUVs, not trucks). The interior in my RTL-E, while nice for a truck, is years behind my wife's CX-9 in terms of interior design and materials (not to mention real working seat heaters which it seems Honda has still not figured out since the days of my 2012 Crosstour).

I love my RL for its functionality and versatility but would love to see Honda step up its game in the interiors of their vehicles (again talking about in relation to other midsized SUVs, not other midsized trucks).
Tsigos - THANK YOU. Now, as I've said I've only so far sat in a "Sport" model, and I WILL get a look at a RTL-E. I really think the RL is the right truck for me, I just wish that for something that is straddling the fence between SUV/ Car and a "truck", and one that everyone says the ride is so much better than a (real?) truck, that it would have just a notch up on things like its interior. Your wife has a CX too? My wife's is just coming up on a year old now. Her's pretty much has everything except the turbo and AWD. It is as they say, loaded. Even at that it will end up costing less than my (assuming...) RTL-E would cost. It is an amazing automobile. The "tech" the "feel" of the interior. But... I need and want a truck, something with a bed.

Again, thank you for your honest opinion. It very much is mine as someone that is looking at, and very serious about the RL and WILL be buying something in the next few months.

Do your research and buy the truck you can live with. Never rush out to buy something without doing a deep dive. You'll never be disappointed in anything but your lack of research.

Not to fond of the digital dash. I can live with it. There are few vehicles on the market that "do it" for everyone, but work well for most if they are honest with themselves.

As far as other people's opinions, it helps being old enough not giving a damn about what others think. I'm 55. If someone doesn't like the truck I bought they likely failed to realize I bought it for me, not them.

I remember when I bought a Toyota Truck in the late 80's and people said "Why in the hell would you buy a tiny Japanese POS."

Times change don't they?
Ha! Well you are completely right on ALL your comments. All of them. I'll be 53 next month! Where does the time go? Ahh, yes (another "thing" I wish was different / better, for me) the "digital dash". Yep. Well, the older I get the more I realize nothing is "perfect", even when I think things should be! :)

If you pay $50,000, it is probably because you live in California. I bought my 2019 RTL-E for $37,000.
And I got way more standard features than a GMC Denali that costs $80,000. Get the RTL-E, you won't regret it.
Well... "building" one on the Honda site, an RTL-E, adding the extras I want, it all adds up into the mid $40k. So, then add in your tax and you are driving $50k of a mid sized "pickup truck" down the road! :oops:

Savage Geese is a great videoblogger. Well worth the time.
About to check out that video. (y)
 

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Ok, I've had mine 32k miles. It's not been back to the dealer to fix anything and has no faded plastic. I use Plastic renew on the sides and bumpers a few times a year and all trim interior pieces are fine and basically the only thing that might be wrong with it i just found out recently that maybe my light bulb in the console for the shifter is not lighting up. Otherwise I have nothing to say negative about this thing. I've tried to find problems along the way but they corrected themselves. It's been a good vehicle for me in the 3 + years I've had it since Oct 2016.

Steve who will drive it for years yet.

dokibe - No worries, I got what Loadmaster was saying. I am trying to do my research. I know I might have "kicked the hornets nest" a little (I mean I did come on a Ridgeline board and say I was "disappointed", I think I should have used the term "surprised"?). But I want to hear from REAL owners of the RL series. I (really do) want to hear from owners that have had theirs a few years and say "the plastic is holding up, not turning gray / white, is not rattling...". That is what I want to hear, but I want to hear the truth. A Honda dealer is going to tell you what it takes to SELL a tuck. So... I'm sorry if I came off like "hey, I don't think your (people here) tuck is that good". I think(?) it is exactly the type of truck I'm looking for, I just want to hear that the things that (once I saw one in person) have NOT been an issue for owners.
 

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Discussion Starter #76
Not acting like a “dick” do you know what would happen if I came to my supervisors and asked them a question about loading procedures that could be found in our publications. I would get destroyed, understandably, as people need to help themselves as much as they can. Then get more help if needed after you’ve exhausted others. I only came off condescending as much of the information in OPs original posting was blatantly false which showed me that extensive research had not been done. When I have a Biology exam coming up I don’t text everyone in class asking them what we need to study for the exam I go and study myself first and then if I need more help I go find people.

You have to help yourself before others can help you.

If you look back through the 4 pages of this forum, the most liked comment has 6 likes, that is my posting...

truth hurts sometimes, facts don’t care about your feelings. That is unfortunate if it offended you.
Humm... (just went back to read my post, the OP post) Still trying to see what might be confused as "much of the information in OPs original posting was blatantly false". I posted:
  • My dealer only had one to look at.
  • I was surprised (disappointed) by the amount of what appears might become rattly plastic.
  • The CRV would / could end up costing less with a similar level of build (this is true if you use the Honda.com "build your own", at least when I did it, side by side - two browsers tabs).
So... what do I have that is blatantly false?

(Edit)... So... ("When I have a Biology exam coming up I don’t text everyone in class...") what exactly IS this forum for? Not for owners and potential owners to ask honest questions? Or is just for owners to stroke their ego that they have the "best truck"? Just asking?

Ok, I've had mine 32k miles. It's not been back to the dealer to fix anything and has no faded plastic. I use Plastic renew on the sides and bumpers a few times a year and all trim interior pieces are fine and basically the only thing that might be wrong with it i just found out recently that maybe my light bulb in the console for the shifter is not lighting up. Otherwise I have nothing to say negative about this thing. I've tried to find problems along the way but they corrected themselves. It's been a good vehicle for me in the 3 + years I've had it since Oct 2016.

Steve who will drive it for years yet.
Stevem5215, thank you for your comments. Good to hear 32k and 3+ years. That seems like a good amount of time / milage for anything to pop up. Thank you.
 

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Keep in mind long term costs as well. No one has had a second gen to the 10 year mark yet. With the 2020 a timing belt job and two atf changes will cost well into the 2k range. Take a look at the fuel filler, it's cheap. Every time I fill up I'm thinking will this thing even last it just a piece of plastic with a lot of play, fragile. Is the rest of the truck this way? Then there are the intermittent issues that are different than characteristics. (suggest you read up on VCM it inevitably works its way into what you feel although minimal) I have an intermittent engine knock, a camera that intermittently turns black and a hard pedal on startup, all on occasion. I'm in the camp that the RL is not a daily driver (hoped it would be) but it's something for getting around in the bad weather and bed use. If I replace my Accord with an SUV all I need is a bed, not even the rear seating, So for me there's no point in stepping up to an E to get the headlights. Probably not even a Ridgeline. An RTL with the headlights for 35k should have been the answer but Honda played games with the pricing on the refresh to basically move everyone up to an E given the small (although artificial price delta). Unfortunately, Honda didn't follow the trim offerings of the Passport in the refresh. If you are going to daily drive and go on long trips then I think the RL is the most dialed in choice. As far as the 9 speed, the only good thing I read about it is that it seems to have faded into the background but there are nightmare stories about its past, difficult to shake labels. Redline reviews says that in Pilot form vs. Highlander the 8 speed Toyota is better than the 9 speed in the Pilot Elite/Touring and the Toyota 8 speed gets more hate than love. Also, every time I read about long term ownership, it's dominated by Toyota and Lexus DNA nothing HMA makes the list. Something to think about.
 

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Wow, the stench from all of the pissing contests in this thread!

@Terrestrial Rover That is one beautiful 17-year-old truck you have. Whatever you decide about your new truck, it would be hard to give up after years it has given you and you have given it. It's hard to kick a loved one to the curb, so to speak. Have you considered keeping it in addition to your new truck?

As others have said, only you can make the decision, but the care you have given your Taco leads me to think a Ridgeline could be the right vehicle for you if you like the RL's looks and unique qualities. From what I can tell looking at older ones, they seem to hold up well in the looks dept. and Honda has an excellent reputation for being durable and reliable.

Personally, I was a Chevy (real) truck gal all of my life, originally from, I guess, the insane part of Orange County. After a ton of research and test driving everything out there, I really wanted to love the Colorado, but much to my shock, the Honda Ridgeline RTL-E came out on top for my purposes.

I'm not sure which plastic parts bother you, but I appreciate that the interior is mostly soft materials on my RTL-E. I didn't know there was that much difference in the interior between the E and the Sport. I look forward to your opinion when you finally get into a higher model. So far, I don't have any rattles, but I am still a new owner with less than 1k miles.

Not trying to sell you, but here's what I think. The interior is roomy for passengers and easy to convert the seats up for hauling dogs and things that need to stay dry. I like the comfortable ride and the AWD now that I am used to it after decades of 4WD. The road I live on would be considered off-road by a lot of folks and my truck has managed just fine in the snow, mud, gravel, ruts, and potholes--except for that one perilous slide down the hill on ice! I have to say I love the RL bed as much as anything else about my truck. It is a big deal for me to be able to lay down a pile of 4x8 plywood flat without having to build supports in the bed. The sides of the bed are short, but I've found it more than adequate for hauling what I've put in it. The trunk is a safe place for luggage and photo gear when I travel. The side-opening tailgate is a lot handier than I imagined, too. I am also fond of the safely "nannies" that bother some folk. I am apparently in the minority on this, but I also think it is damn classy looking compared to some real trucks.

The narrow rear door openings, and the lack of locking tailgate were negatives for me until I found out they are both pretty easy fixes. Both are taken care of in the 2020. The driver's seat could be a little wider, but I could also stand to be a bit narrower. :) I do wish the rear seats could optionally fold flat like bed. I have not found anything else that I didn't quickly get over.

I hope you find the truck that you can love as much as your old Taco and that it lasts you at least as long.
 

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I'm a new member and let me say I appreciate what I've read and learned here. Let me also say, right off the bat, I am NOT a Tacoma "Fan Boy", in fact I'm not a fan boy of any model or maker. I like what I like, I like what is "good", and what does or should perform the way it should - especially when "it" can cost $50K and more.

So, I'm an owner of a 2003 Toyota Tacoma SR5 PreRunner (4 door). I am the original owner, the truck has been "babied" its entire life, has ONLY been serviced by the dealer for things that I did not wan't to tackle, or things that were warrantied, etc. Fluids, belts, sensors, hoses, etc. all replaced by me. My truck in all those years doesn't have a single door ding and has only 85K miles on it. Still it is is 17 years old. So... I'm in the market as they say.

I like the look of the "2nd gen" (the first gen... ummmm... no, sorry), have found that most reviews of the 2019 - 2020 (which is what I'd be looking at) are very favorable, and in most cases put the Honda in number one or two position above the Ford, Chevy and Toyota. For me, the "limitations" of the Honda over say a "real truck" (what we know many non-Ridgeline people call their trucks) are not problems for me. Yes I want to be able to dive fire roads, etc, haul bikes and camping gear, but NOT tow or do any real "4 wheeling". So the Honda seems like exactly what I'd want.

I live in W. Los Angeles and have a large Honda dealer (with a Toyota dealer next door - owned by the same). I have seen so few, none really, Ridgelines on the road. I've been surfing the web, looking at photos and reviews for a week or so now. So today I decided to visit the dealership. First off, they only had ONE Ridgeline. It was a black "Sport" '19. I told them I was not buying today, but that I was in the market (told that what I had, and that I WOULD be looking at Tacomas too), and that April / May I would be buying. They let me walk around the exterior and sit in the drivers seat.

So... Let me just ask, I know(?) that the major change between the '19 and '20 is the transmission, right? Also, is a "Sport" much different than say a RTL-E (what I would be looking to buy)? I ask because I was very disappointed in both the interior (WAY more "plastic" and plastic feeling than even my 17 y/o Tacoma, WAY more plastic than my wife's '19 Mazda CX-5, which was much cheeper, and WAY more 'cheep' feeling than a '19 CRV), and the use of just an overwhelming amount of plastic that is sure to be a rattly mess down the road in areas such as around the rear window, the nearly entirely plastic rear bumper, and the way the plastic "bed Liner" (well, it is't really a liner, it IS the bed) sits on the bed "rails", and top of the tailgate, and interfaces between the bed and cab. Why is it that a CRV or Pilot actually costs less than a Ridgeline (building a truck is actually easier than building a 5 door, 4+ hatch) and has more features (why did the CRV sitting next to the Ridgeline have the SAME mirrors, but didn't have and there is no option for, intergraded lighted singles in the mirrors?

So, has the 2020 been improved in these areas? Is an RTL-E "better" in regards to the very (for a Honda) cheep feeling plastic interior (the door panels have rough mold seam lines on them) of the '19 I just looked at?

I went into the dealer today thinking I'd be drooling over what I saw, and would be confirming what I had thought I knew by reading reviews and such. But now, I'm back to square one. I guess I'd better go see the Ford, Chevy, and Toyota? Or... are all modern trucks (that can easily cost over 50K) this way? Not as excited as I thought I'd be.
 

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Discussion Starter #80
Keep in mind long term costs as well. No one has had a second gen to the 10 year mark yet. With the 2020 a timing belt job and two atf changes will cost well into the 2k range. Take a look at the fuel filler, it's cheap. Every time I fill up I'm thinking will this thing even last it just a piece of plastic with a lot of play, fragile. Is the rest of the truck this way? Then there are the intermittent issues that are different than characteristics. (suggest you read up on VCM it inevitably works its way into what you feel although minimal) I have an intermittent engine knock, a camera that intermittently turns black and a hard pedal on startup, all on occasion. I'm in the camp that the RL is not a daily driver (hoped it would be) but it's something for getting around in the bad weather and bed use. If I replace my Accord with an SUV all I need is a bed, not even the rear seating, So for me there's no point in stepping up to an E to get the headlights. Probably not even a Ridgeline. An RTL with the headlights for 35k should have been the answer but Honda played games with the pricing on the refresh to basically move everyone up to an E given the small (although artificial price delta). Unfortunately, Honda didn't follow the trim offerings of the Passport in the refresh. If you are going to daily drive and go on long trips then I think the RL is the most dialed in choice. As far as the 9 speed, the only good thing I read about it is that it seems to have faded into the background but there are nightmare stories about its past, difficult to shake labels. Redline reviews says that in Pilot form vs. Highlander the 8 speed Toyota is better than the 9 speed in the Pilot Elite/Touring and the Toyota 8 speed gets more hate than love. Also, every time I read about long term ownership, it's dominated by Toyota and Lexus DNA nothing HMA makes the list. Something to think about.
14v6 - Ahh yes (long term), well both my wife and I keep cars 10 years as a minimum. (my Taco MUCH longer than I thought I would). I mentioned in reply elsewhere in this thread that less than a year ago my wife got a new 2019 Mazda CX-5. The thing drives like a dream, has an interior that rivals my friends Mercedes and is really fun to drive. I'm sort of crazy when it comes to keeping my cars looking good (well, like I said, I keep'em 10 or more years), so I'm the guy out there using the two, sometimes three bucket wash method 10 minutes after it stops raining.... And I've always done oil / fluid, belts, sensors, radiator flush / fill, tire rotation, etc. myself. So I get to know you might say my cars. Well, my wife CX-5, the ENTIRE undercarriage is covered / hidden under plastic panels. The wheel-wells are made of like a fabric covered plastic (keep the road noise down?). So... I'm thinking this car IS not going to be around in 10+ years, certainly NOT looking (and sounding, rattles) like it does now. But... I guess that is the way everything is. Nothing is designed to last. Like everything, it is designed NOT to be "fixed" but more to be tossed out when it breaks. Sad, but undeniable.

For me, the model level of the RL... Well, I see it like, I'm going to keep this thing 10+ years, so I should get it the way I want, spend the money. AND do any aftermarket stuff the first weeks I own the thing - get it the way I want. So, the RTL-E seems right for me. Likely with one of the wheel / rim upgrades, etc.

Yes, the tranny. Well, I've heard that one both ways now, that the 6spd is better, the new 9 is better. Who knows yet anyway?

So... my original post... Well, buying a car isn't something I go into lightly. They cost a lot of money, and hey we're talking about a Honda, not a BMW or Porsche but still. And as I say I plan to / need to keep a new one 10, maybe 15 years. So, I look at things like the plastic, where it is used, what type (density?) it appears to be. How I foresee it behaving in a year, and in 10.

Anyhow... I really like what I've read about the RL, as far as the "type" of truck it is, that is does have a more comfortable ride, etc. I like the way it looks, I like the bed, and it would do exactly what I need a truck to do. I don't really "need" a tuck that maybe a 4x4 Taco is, I just don't do that sort of (off-road) driving. I do drive a dirt road form time to time, but not in the sense that I would need what some might call a "more capable" off road truck than the RL.

So... I just need to get some more time looking at them first hand.

Thank you for your honest opinion. Yours is the type that I came here looking for.
 
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