Honda Ridgeline Vs. Toyota Tacoma: Midsize Pickups Battle

By Justin Cupler | December 5th, 2018

Midsize pickups are on a surge as of late, but two that have been around for quite some time are the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma. While they are both technically in the same class, there are distinct differences that make you wonder how they can be competitors.

Which of these distinct midsize pickups is best for our Rochester, New York shoppers? Find out below.

Exterior

Though they are both midsize pickups, the 2019 Honda Ridgeline and 2019 Toyota Tacoma couldn’t look more different. The Tacoma takes on a rugged pickup look that includes a flat face, high ride height, bulky shoulders, and more. Setting the Tacoma further from the Ridgeline is its TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro trims that add off-road-ready bits like knobby tires, black body cladding, skid plates, and more.

The 2019 Honda Ridgeline takes on the more refined look of a crossover, which makes sense because Honda based it on the Pilot crossover. Unlike the Tacoma, the Ridgeline has no distinct off-road packages, but it has loads of trims that offers sharp exterior upgrades.

The 2019 Honda Ridgeline is 210 inches long, 78.6 inches wide, and 70.2 to 70.8 inches high. It rides on a 125.2-inch wheelbase and has 7.28 to 7.87 inches of ground clearance. The Tacoma is available in a few body styles —  Access Cab with a long bed, Double Cab with a short bed, and Double Cab with a long bed — so some of its measurements come in ranges. It is 212.3 to 225.5 inches long, 75.2 inches wide, and 70.6 to 71.6 inches high. It rides on a 127.4- to 140.6-inch wheelbase and has 9.4 inches of ground clearance.

The Honda Ridgeline has just one bed option, and it is 64 inches long by 60 inches wide. The Tacoma’s bed is 56.7 inches wide in all cases, but its length varies: a 73.7-inch long bed and a 60.5-inch short bed. While the Ridgeline cannot hang with the Tacoma’s long bed, it makes up for this shortage with a 7.3-cubic-foot in-bed trunk for storing items or acting as a cooler for tailgating. Pair the latter with the Ridgeline’s available in-bed audio system, and you can throw one heck of a party.

Advantage: 2019 Honda Ridgeline

  • Shorter body is easier to manage
  • Larger bed than Tacoma’s short bed
  • In-bed trunk adds versatility
  • In-bed audio option is a nice touch

Advantage: 2019 Toyota Tacoma

  • Rugged pickup truck looks
  • Long bed can haul with the best of them
  • Nearly 10 inches of ground clearance

Interior

Like the exterior, the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma have distinctly different interior layouts. The 2019 Tacoma is all pickup with its upright dashboard, chunky control knobs, and limited features. The Ridgeline, on the other had, shows off its crossover roots with its soft styling, limited knobs and buttons, focus on comfort, and it laundry list of options.

In terms of seating space, the 2019 Ridgeline’s front seats offer 40.1 inches of headroom

40.9 inches of legroom, 62 inches of shoulder room, and 59.1 inches of hip room. The 2019 Tacoma wins in front legroom by 2 inches, but its headroom is 0.4 inches lower, shoulder room is 3.7 inches tighter, and hip room is 1.9 inches narrower.

In the rear seats, the Ridgeline shows off its crossover roots with 38.8 inches of headroom, 36.7 inches of legroom, 61.5 inches of shoulder room, and 56.6 inches of hip room. The Tacoma Access Cab has more hip room at 57.2 inches, but it is significantly tighter in all other measurements with 34.9 inches of headroom, 24.6 inches of legroom, and 56.5 inches of shoulder room. The Tacoma Double Cab is more forgiving but still tight with 38.3 inches of headroom, 32.6 inches of legroom, and 58.9 inches of shoulder room.

Advantage: 2019 Honda Ridgeline

  • Comfortable, crossover-like interior
  • Loads of tech and safety options
  • Roomier rear seats
  • Peaceful cabin

Advantage: 2019 Toyota Tacoma

  • Bulky knobs for easier use with gloves on
  • Two cab options
  • It’s a legit pickup cabin

Performance

Midsize pickups are not the rugged powerhouses their full-size siblings are, but they are far from soft. The 2019 Honda Ridgeline rolls in boasting a standard 3.5-liter V-6 engine with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This power heads to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can choose all-wheel drive as an option.

While this pickup won’t tow a massive camper, it is comfortable tugging around a small- to medium-size trailer with its 3,500- to 5,000-pound towing capacity. It’s also comfortable with a bed-load of cargo with it 1,447- to 1,580-pound payload capacity.

The Honda Ridgeline uses its crossover base to separate it from most other midsize pickups as its Honda Pilot-based platform delivers a superior ride quality and handles corners better than any of its competitors.

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma starts off a little slower than the Ridgeline with its standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that produces just 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. There is an optional 3.5-liter V-6 engine that pulls it close to the Ridgeline at 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. The Tacoma comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, but there is the rare six-speed manual gearbox lying around.

The Tacoma is a little more comfortable with a trailer thanks to its 6,800-pound towing capacity with the V-6 engine. Maximum payload ranges from 1,120 pounds to 1,620 pounds.

The Tacoma offers a TRD Sport model that helps enhance agility, but it is still not on the same level as the Ridgeline. Where the 2019 Tacoma earns its keep is its rugged TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro models that boast off-road suspension systems, rugged tires, and more to tackle heavier off-roading the Ridgeline may struggle with.

Fuel economy in the 2019 Tacoma checks in at up to 19 mpg city, 23 highway, and 21 combined with the four-cylinder engine and up to 19 mpg city, 24 highway, and 21 combined with the V-6. The Honda Ridgeline has a slight advantage at up to 19 mpg city, 26 highway, and 22 combined.*

Advantage: 2019 Honda Ridgeline

  • More standard power
  • Better fuel economy
  • Crossover-like handling

Advantage: 2019 Toyota Tacoma

  • Off-road-ready models
  • Higher towing capacity
  • Optional six-speed manual transmission

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Honda Ridgeline is available in six trims — RT, Sport, RTL, RTL-L, RTL-E, and Black Edition — and prices range from $29,990 to $43,420.

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma also has six trims to pick from: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro, and Limited. The 2019 Tacoma’s starting prices range from $25,550 to $42,660.

2019 Honda Ridgeline Key Features and Pricing by Trim

RT: $29,990

  • 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Hill-start assist
  • Active noise cancellation
  • “Snow” mode
  • 18-inch silver-painted alloy wheels
  • Multi-angle rearview camera
  • Daytime running lights
  • Auto-on/off multireflector halogen headlights
  • Eight in-bed tie-down cleats
  • LED taillights
  • Class III trailer hitch
  • Variable intermittent wipers
  • Truck-bed lights
  • Keyless entry
  • Black power mirrors
  • Black outside door handles
  • Keyless ignition
  • Power windows with one-touch front windows
  • Cruise control
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Floor mats
  • Two 12-volt power outlets
  • Map lights
  • 60/40 split-lifting rear seat with under-seat storage
  • 5-inch color infotainment screen
  • Seven-speaker 200-watt audio system with subwoofer
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • One 1-amp USB port in front
  • One 2.5-amp USB port in center console
  • 4.2-inch multi-information display
  • Digital speedometer

Sport: $33,390

  • All RT features, plus
  • Remote engine start
  • 18-inch gray-painted alloy wheels
  • Fog lights
  • Body-color mirrors
  • Gloss-black door handles
  • Smart entry
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • HomeLink universal remote
  • Outside temperature display

RTL: $34,870

  • All Sport features, plus
  • 18-inch machine-finished alloy wheels
  • Body-color door handles
  • Acoustic windshield
  • Power moonroof
  • Power-sliding rear glass
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • Four-way power passenger’s seat
  • Leather-trimmed interior
  • Heated front seats

RTL-T: $37,000

  • All RTL features, plus
  • Dynamic rearview camera guidelines
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Honda LaneWatch
  • Walk-away automatic locking
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen
  • Seven-speaker 225-watt audio system with subwoofer
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • HondaLink
  • SMS text message function
  • SiriusXM
  • HD Radio
  • Pandora
  • Satellite-linked navigation
  • One 1.5-amp front USB port
  • Two 2.5-amp rear USB ports

RTL-E: $41,990

  • All RTL-T features, plus
  • All-wheel drive
  • “Snow,” “Sand,” and “Mud” traction settings
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Road-departure mitigation
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic high-beam control
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Auto-on/off LED headlights
  • Seven-pin trailer connector
  • LED truck bed lights
  • Two-position memory mirrors
  • Chrome outside door handles
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Truck-bed power outlet
  • LED front map lights
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Blue ambient lighting
  • Two-position driver’s seat memory
  • 540-watt premium audio system with eight speakers
  • Truck-bed audio system

Black Edition: $43,320

  • All RTL-E features, plus
  • 18-inch black-painted wheels
  • Gloss-black door handles
  • Red ambient lighting

2019 Toyota Tacoma Key Features and Pricing by Trim

SR: $25,550

  • Projector-beam headlights
  • Daytime running lights
  • Dark gray grille w/ black surround
  • Body-color power outside mirrors, door handles, and rear bumper
  • Deck rail system with four adjustable tie-down cleats
  • Four fixed cargo bed tie-down points
  • 16-inch styled-steel wheels
  • Two-speed windshield wipers
  • Sliding rear glass
  • Engine and front suspension skid plates
  • Air conditioning
  • Fabric-trimmed seats
  • Urethane tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel with audio controls
  • Power windows and door locks
  • Entune Audio with 6.1-inch touchscreen
  • Six-speaker audio system with CD/AM/FM
  • USB 2.0 port
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Rearview camera
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Automatic high-beam control
  • Adaptive cruise control

SR5: $31,615

  • All SR features, plus
  • Fog lights
  • Charcoal grille w/ chrome surround
  • Chrome rear bumper
  • 16-inch silver alloy wheels
  • Variable intermittent windshield wipers
  • Sliding rear glass w/ privacy glass
  • 4.2-inch color multi-information display
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation App
  • 6.1-inch high-resolution touchscreen

TRD Sport: $32,245

  • All SR5 features, plus
  • 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • TRD sport-tuned suspension
  • Class-IV towing hitch receiver
  • Transmission fluid cooler
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Wide-angle fog lights
  • Gray grille w/ smoked finish and chrome surround
  • Hood scoop
  • Body-color overfenders and rear bumper
  • 120-volt power outlet
  • 17-inch machined alloy wheels
  • Power sliding rear window
  • Wireless smartphone and mobile device charging
  • Leather-trimmed shift lever
  • Smart Key System on driver’s door with keyless ignition
  • Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation
  • 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen

TRD Off-Road: $36,465

  • All SR5 features, plus
  • Double Cab body
  • 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • Multi-terrain Select and Crawl Control
  • Electronically controlled locking rear differential
  • TRD-tuned off-road suspension with Bilstein shocks
  • Class-IV towing hitch receiver
  • Transmission fluid cooler
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Wide-angle fog lights
  • Gray grille w/ smoked finish and chrome surround
  • Hood scoop
  • Black overfenders
  • Chrome rear bumper
  • 120-volt power outlet
  • 16-inch machined contrast alloy wheels
  • Power sliding rear window
  • Wireless smartphone and mobile device charging
  • Leather-trimmed shift lever
  • Smart Key System on driver’s door with keyless ignition
  • Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation
  • 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen

Limited: $40,565

  • All SR5 features, plus
  • Double Cab body
  • 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • Projector-beam headlights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Silver grille with chrome surround
  • Chrome-accented mirrors
  • Chrome-accented door handles
  • Body-color overfenders
  • Body-color rear bumper
  • 120-volt power outlet
  • Moonroof
  • 18-inch polished alloy wheels
  • Power sliding rear window w/privacy glass
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Leather seating
  • Leather-wrapped shifter knob
  • Smart Key System on driver’s door
  • Keyless ignition
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Entune Premium JBL Audio with Integrated Navigation
  • 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Class-IV towing hitch receiver
  • Transmission fluid cooler

TRD Pro: $42,660

  • All TRD Off-Road features, plus
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • TRD Pro cat-back exhaust system
  • TRD-tuned off-road suspension with 2.5-inch. FOX Internal Bypass coil-overs and rear remote reservoir shocks
  • Four-wheel drive
  • Active Traction Control
  • Projector beam headlights with black sport bezels
  • Rigid Industries LED fog lights
  • LED taillights with black sport bezels
  • Heritage-inspired “TOYOTA” front grille
  • Black badging, overfenders, and hood scoop
  • 16-inch TRD Pro black alloy wheels
  • TRD Pro front skid plate
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Black TRD Pro leather-trimmed heated front seats
  • TRD Pro shift knob
  • TRD Pro floor mats
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and HomeLink universal transceiver
  • Moonroof
  • Keyless entry
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert

Who Should Buy the 2019 Honda Ridgeline?

The Honda Ridgeline is the perfect truck for someone who needs a truck but doesn’t want to drive one every day. It has all the utility of a pickup, but it’s crossover-based cabin delivers un-truck-like levels of comfort, features, and peace.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Toyota Tacoma?

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma is a great fit for buyers who plan to travel off the beaten path frequently. With nearly 10 inches of ground clearance, the 2019 Tacoma can tackle virtually any terrain.

Ready to test the 2019 Honda Ridgeline for yourself to see if it’s what you need in a midsize pickup? Head over to Garber Honda’s new-car showroom serving Rochester, Henrietta, and Pittsford for a test drive today. Can’t stop by today? No problem. Our online inventory will give you an idea of what we have in stock so you can choose the 2019 Ridgelines you want to test drive when you stop by.

 

 

 

*Based on 2018 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.

Posted in Model Comparison