For those who tackle tough tasks, trucks are true workhorses that are depended upon every day. The Toyota Tacoma appeared in the North American truck market in 1995. In comparison, Honda introduced the Ridgeline 10 years later in 2005 for the 2006 model year. Even with an abundance of competitors, the Tacoma continues to both stand out and keep its starting price tag low.
The 2020 Honda Ridgeline base grade option starts at a much higher MSRP of $33,900. The base 2020 Tacoma SR 4X2 Access Cab starts at $26,050. In fact, three Tacoma 4X2 trims (SR, SR5, TRD Sport) and two 4X4 grades (SR, SR5) all come in at lower starting MSRPs than the base trim Ridgeline.
Another way these trucks differ is that the Tacoma has a more rugged body-on-frame construction whereas Ridgeline is a unibody construction usually reserved for cars and small SUVs. In this head to head we'll continue to compare these vehicles in categories of reliability, performance, and price.
Publish Date: 07/30/2020
Toyota comes with a long-lasting reputation for reliability across its vehicle models.
To help keep you and yours safe on the road, all 2020 Toyota Tacoma trucks come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P). This includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). Another feature outside of TSS-P, Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA), comes standard on the Toyota Tacoma Limited (starting at $41,865).
Honda does have its own comparable suite of safety features called Honda Sensing®. But, for Auto High-Beam Headlights and Blind Spot Information System (BSI) with Cross Traffic Monitor, you would need to upgrade to the Ridgeline RTL-E with a starting MSRP of $42,020.
Both the 2020 Toyota Tacoma and the 2020 Honda Ridgeline come standard with driver and passenger front airbags. But, only the 2020 Tacoma has standard knee airbags.
All purchases and leases of new Toyota vehicles also include ToyotaCare. This plan combines factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 24/7 roadside assistance for two years and unlimited miles.
Honda includes a roadside assistance program for three years or 36,000 miles. An additional contract maintenance service, known as Honda Care®, comes at an added cost to Honda drivers.
If you're looking for a truck to get the job done, the Tacoma offers high performance features to power forward.
The 2020 Toyota Tacoma 4X2 base-grade SR with a V6 engine upgrade has a higher towing capacity than the entire Ridgeline lineup. The Tacoma SR 4X4 Double Cab with a V6 engine can tow up to 6,400 lbs., or 6,800 lbs.with a 4X2 Access Cab configuration. The Ridgeline can only tow 3,500 lbs. with 2WD or 5,000 lbs. with AWD.
For tougher terrain, the Tacoma TRD Off-Road offers off-road capabilities with the help of Crawl Control (CRAWL) and a ground clearance of 9.4 inches. The Ridgeline has a ground clearance of 7.28 inches. Multi-Terrain Select also helps you navigate more terrain, from mud to snow. The Tacoma also features body-on-frame construction for a more durable approach to truck building, plus standard skid plates to help protect the engine and front suspension on all grades.
The 2020 Tacoma SR, SR5, and TRD Sport 4X4 trucks include a 4WDemand part-time 4WD with electronically controlled transfer case and Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto LSD) for a better grip even in tough conditions. TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro grades come with electronically locking rear differentials to further improve off-road capabilities.
The Ridgeline has a similar Intelligent Traction Management and Intelligent Variable Torque Management™ (i-VTM4®) AWD System for improved traction. The i-VTM4® only comes standard on the RTL-E and Black Edition trims that have a higher starting MSRP than the Tacoma TRD Off-Road.
For more choices, the 2020 Tacoma TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro, and TRD Sport all offer a manual transmission option while the 2020 Honda Ridgeline does not offer a manual transmission on any trim.
There's nothing worse than going to check out and having to spend more for the features you want. Toyota offers standard features at a lower starting price, meaning you get more for less.
The Toyota Tacoma base MSRP is lower than the Ridgeline. The Tacoma’s starting MSRP is $26,050 compared to the Ridgeline’s base price of $33,900. This price difference continues with the other Tacoma SR trims, SR5 4X2 trims, and the TRD Sport 4X2 Access Cab, all of which cost less than the base Ridgeline. In fact, all trims of the Tacoma, except the TRD Pro, cost less than the Honda Ridgeline RTL-E and Black Edition.
For a lower price tag, Tacoma drivers can get a more capable off-road vehicle, better towing, more connectivity options, and more driver-assist active safety features.
Even the base trim Tacoma comes standard with Amazon Alexa, Android Auto™, and Apple CarPlay® compatibility. All Ridgeline trims come with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® compatibility, but lack Amazon Alexa connectivity. In addition, Tacoma drivers also get a 3-month All Access trial with SiriusXM®. Some Ridgeline drivers miss out on SiriusXM® entirely as it is not offered on the Sport and RTL trims.
When it comes to history, the 2020 Tacoma has a 10-year edge over the Ridgeline. Toyota, as a brand, has been building trucks for over 50 years. They know what truck owners want and need.
All Tacoma trims come standard with the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite of active safety features. The Ridgeline has a comparable collection of safety features called Honda Sensing®.
For even more peace-of-mind, Toyota vehicles come with ToyotaCare which includes a factory-scheduled maintenance plan for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. Comparably, the Honda Care® maintenance program costs extra.
The 2020 Tacoma trims also feature more front legroom at 42.9 in. vs. 40.9 in. on the 2020 Ridgeline. Enhancing its potential for off-road travel, the 2020 Tacoma also features 9.4 in. of ground clearance. The 2020 Ridgeline only offers a minimum ground clearance of 7.28 or a maximum of 7.87 in. in comparison.
In terms of reliability, performance, safety, and price the 2020 Tacoma takes the cake in this head-to-head comparison.