Truck buyers expect vehicles with rugged durability that can take plenty of punishment and keep on running. The Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma both fit that bill, but which is the better rough-and-tumble investment for long-term ownership?
The Tough Tacoma
The Tacoma took a strong position in the midsize market two decades ago -- and has held on ever since. Loyal buyers come back for impeccable dependability and high resale value.
The base engine provides reasonably good fuel efficiency of 21 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. The optional 236-horsepower V6 is an advisable upgrade if you plan to tow and haul. There are trade-offs for its hardworking capabilities, though. An aging design means you can't expect modern car-like handling and ride, and soft brakes detract from the driving experience.
The Raging Ridgeline
The four-door Ridgeline looks like a traditional truck, but those squared-off lines disguise unibody design. This works with an independent suspension to deliver a smoother ride, but at the expense of towing prowess. A standard 3.5-liter V6 guzzles a truck-typical 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway. Overall, the Ridgeline is a great for commuting or recreational purposes, but feels a lot more like a Honda Accord than a truck when the going gets tough.
Are They Equals?
These trucks are ideal daily drivers for the truck lover -- specific needs will dictate which is better suited to a particular buyers.
Our Verdict: Toyota Tacoma
The Tacoma delivers what more truck buyers want for a lower price.