The Toyota Tacoma comes backed by 50 years of truck heritage. Building on the iconic Toyota Hilux which debuted in the 1969 model year, the first Toyota Tacoma released to North America over 20 years ago in 1995.
In comparison, the Honda Ridgeline is considerably newer to the truck market, having first been produced 15 years ago in 2004. Along with its solid history, the Tacoma is built with a classic body-on-frame design. The Ridgeline, however, is built with a unit-body construction that some truck enthusiasts may not prefer.
In this head to head truck comparison, we'll put the 2019 Toyota Tacoma up against the 2019 Honda Ridgeline to see which competitor comes out ahead in categories like safety, performance, and price.
Published Date: 6/14/2019
The 2019 Toyota Tacoma comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) on its models with automatic transmission. This includes the base model Tacoma SR that starts at $25,850. To compare, Honda Sensing® comes standard on Ridgeline RTL-E and Black Edition trims which start at $41,920 and $43,420 respectively, but is not an option on lower trims.
The Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) safety system includes driver assistance features such as Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD) and Brake Assist (BA). These features are similar to Honda Sensing®'s Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™).
Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) also comes with Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Sway Warning System (SWS), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). These features are comparable to Honda Sensing®'s Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM), Auto High-Beam Headlights, and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).
Both the Ridgeline and the Tacoma have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, and side-impact head airbags. However, only Tacoma has knee airbags.
In this next category, we'll compare the performances of the Tacoma and the Ridgeline.
Looking for towing power? The towing performance of the 2019 Toyota Tacoma outdoes the Ridgeline.
The 4x4 V6 Tacoma and 4x2 V6 Tacoma SR each have a towing capacity of 6,400 lbs. Meanwhile, the AWD Ridgeline has a lower towing capacity at 5,000 lbs. When equipped with FWD only, Ridgeline's towing capacity drops to 3,500 lbs.
For adverse conditions, the Tacoma with a V6 engine comes with a standard towing package that includes Trailer-Sway Control. The base-grade Ridgeline does not offer All-Wheel Drive (AWD), and towing packages do not come standard. Ridgeline drivers need to pay extra for these features. See dealer for pricing details.
In contrast to the Ridgeline which does not offer a manual transmission on any 2019 grade, the Tacoma TRD Off-Road, Sport, & Pro all offer a manual transmission option. For rugged terrain, the Tacoma offers Multi-Terrain Select (5 modes) and Crawl Control. To compare, Honda's Intelligent Traction Management System offers only four modes to select from.
For greater off-road capability, the Tacoma's ground clearance is 9.4-in. on all trims. The Ridgeline's ground clearance is 7.87 inches with All-Wheel Drive (AWD) trims and 7.28 inches on trims with FWD.
Next, let's compare prices.
In this section, we'll go over pricing. The Ridgeline's base MSRP of $29,990 is considerably higher than the Tacoma's starting MSRP of $25,850. However, base MSRPs aren't the only way the Ridgeline and Tacoma differ in price.
Toyota offers features for every Tacoma grade that are reserved for higher Ridgeline grades. One such feature is 4X4 or All-Wheel Drive (AWD). The least expensive Ridgeline grade with available AWD (the Sport) starts at $33,390 MSRP, and the other AWD-available Ridgeline, the Black Edition, comes in at a base MSRP of $43,420. The top-grade 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro starts at $42,960 MSRP while offering more off-roading features.
There's better value in safety features for the Tacoma as well. Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) comes standard on every 2019 Tacoma. Honda Sensing® is only available on RTL-E and Black Edition trims which start at $41,920 and $43,420 respectively. The Tacoma SR 4X2 4-CYL with Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) starts at $25,850.
When it comes to body style, the Toyota Tacoma knows that classic builds work best. That's why the Tacoma is built using a time-tested body-on-frame design. The Ridgeline is built with a crossover-like unit-body construction which some truck enthusiasts may not agree with. The Tacoma also comes backed with a longstanding history, having been first produced in 1995. In comparison, the Ridgeline is considerably newer to the truck market, having first been produced in 2004.
Another factor to be considered is towing capability. The Ridgeline has considerably lower towing capacity when equipped with All-Wheel Drive (AWD) at 5,000 lbs and Ridgeline's FWD trims can only tow 3,500 lbs. A 4x2 V6 Tacoma has a significantly greater towing capacity of 6,700 lbs.
Lastly, the Tacoma also beats out Ridgeline in pricing. The Ridgeline's base MSRP of $29,990 is higher than that of the Tacoma which comes in at a leaner base MSRP of $25,850. Also, the Ridgeline's base Sport AWD model, the Ridgeline Sport, starts at $33,390 MSRP. The Tacoma SR 4X4 4-CYL starts at $28,925. In addition, Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) comes standard on every Tacoma. Honda Sensing® is standard on RTL-E and Black Edition trims, but isn't available at all on lower Ridgeline trims. When you consider all these facts together, it's clear why our head to head winner is the 2019 Toyota Tacoma.