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.