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    Any Ridgeline owners in here?

    Are there any Honda Ridgeline owners in here? Preferably 2nd gen. I have been looking at these, because I don't need a crazy capable truck. I want to be able to tow a reasonable amount occasionally, get off road a decent amount, and tow haul stuff I need for the house and camping, etc. Full size trucks are way to big for what I want these days.

    I looked at the Tacoma and didn't like the seating position, and the Frontier is too old. I liked the Ridgeline because it is a good combination of comfort, performance and capability, and it is a Honda. Just wondering if anybody has any user experiences with them.


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    #2
    Actually I've considered one myself and did some research and tire kicking.

    Pros:
    > Overall quality, fit & finish appear very good.
    > Ride and handling also very good especially with empty load.
    > Styling while subjective is good but front end is a little dull.
    > Front seating space is excellent with very large console storage (same as the Pilot & Passport).
    > Engine is strong and smooth under most conditions, but 9-speed tranny not so much.
    > Depending on trim level features are are good but infotainment is not so great.
    > 2021 mid-model refresh seems to improve looks and gives it a more truck like appearance especially in front.
    > Slow sales may improve price negotiations during purchase.

    Cons:
    > Payload capacity is reasonable but not great. Truck bed is good for 4 x 8 plywood sheets but too shallow for tall loads especially with a camper shell.
    > Rear doors don't open wide enough. Strange since this isn't a problem with Pilot & Passport.
    > Rear seating gets uncomfortable after a little while mostly due to rear seatback angle being too vertical.
    > 6-speed trannys deleted for 2021.
    > 9-speed ZF tranny not my fav and has issues with shift quality & maintenance costs. Fluid is imported from Germany & costs per quart are about 3-4 times conventional Honda fluid about $50/qt! Honda may change to in house 10-speed in next gen version.

    I agree with your assessment of the Tacoma & Frontier and given the choices would still go with the Ridgeline. But if you can wait another year or 2 the next gen Ridgeline may see substantial improvements though I do worry the normally aspirated 6-cyl may be be replaced with a 4-cyl turbo since this appears to be the trend...
    Last edited by hiptech; 10-29-2020, 08:28 AM.
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      #3
      Your thoughts are similar to mine. A couple of notes though:

      - The fixed the door opening issue for 2019 by putting the same door checkers on the back that were on the front, so the doors open fully now.
      - The 9AT actually replaced the 6AT altogether for 2020, so as of 2020, no more 6AT. I am not sure if that is good or bad, because the durability of the 9AT when towing is probably better than the 6AT (just not real confident in load capacity on Honda wet clutch pack trannies anymore). I haven't read about a lot of issues, but the majority of the 9AT issues they have had (and there have been plenty) seem to be more related to control system failures vs actual mechanical failures.
      - I agree about the front and my biggest complaint about the current truck was the "soft" front end. I think the 2021 looks great though and really, it eliminates my complaints about the styling.
      - I also like the fact the new wheels are 10MM further out because it reduces the sunk into the wheel well look of the current stock wheels.
      -We have a 2019 Pilot EX-L AWD and I specifically bought that trim level because it was the highest I could go and still avoid the 9AT. LOL. However, about a year after we got it, it had this really random glitch where it would literally drop from 1st into second, to the point it felt like the transmission was going to drop, and it wouldn't go beyond 2nd gear. We pulled off the road, sat for a minute, shut it off and then it was like it never happened... I immediately took it to Honda to see if it had any DTC's and nada. Since then it has been fine, but it really undermined my confidence in the 6AT, so I am more willing to consider the 9AT now. That said, it does definitely have plenty of power and scoot to it. It definitely has stronger bottom end than my 2013 Accord, and it is surprising how easily it moves the 4300lb Pilot. I think it is actually making a lot more than 280HP.
      - I also suspect that Honda may likely use the 10AT in the next generation and they probably didn't put it in for 2021 because they were busy ramping up production for their other cars like the MDX, TLX, new Pilot, etc. Plus, they probably still have some contractual obligations with the 9AT.
      - I think long term comfortable back seats is just an issue in most trucks period. I have yet to ride in any truck of any size where the back seats are comfortable.
      - I think the 1580lb bed payload would be plenty for me, and while the 5000lb tow capacity is low (actually not hugely below full size trucks from not too long ago), I think this is tempered by the facts that A) a lot of stuff doesn't weigh that much, B) the Ridgeline is actually conservatively rated at 5,000lbs, so it will do it all day long and comfortably, whereas I think some other tow ratings are probably less comfortable and more sketchy, and C) I am not going to be towing crap all the time. Honda engineers said that when they rated it, it was for an amount it could easily pull. They have also admitted off record that it will actually do much more (probably close to the Taco, etc.), but they kept it conservative on purpose. You see this on a lot of the towing reviews, where they are surprised how little it struggles with it.
      - The thing that got me thinking about it was being able to tow the CB7, and then I looked and through Nov 2, they have a lease deal for $329 a month with $3200 down, which is a smoking deal on an RTL-E. I was leaning more toward purchase, but started thinking maybe lease would be better because A) lower payment initially, B) if I don't like the truck I can unload it easily and C) if I DO like the truck but don't like where the Ridgeline is headed, I can buy it off lease.
      - I think the next Ridgeline, Odyssey and Pilot will keep the V6. The new MDX base engine is still an NA V6, and I think Honda realizes that the turbo 4 in these is an issue for a lot of core Honda buyers (mostly due to longevity concerns). I also wouldn't be entirely surprised if the new V6 in the TLX Type-S might not spawn some NA versions that are specifically intended to serve these types of duties. Supposedly, it was designed primarily for their outboard engines, and the TLX Type-S just happened to benefit from that. LOL. Whatever it takes I guess, and I don't know if that rumor is true, but seems plausible based on how many outboards they actually sell and the fact they need to move up in terms of power.

      On the next Ridgeline, I think if they could make the bed a bit deeper (not a concern for me, but I can see it being an issue for others), make it look a little more macho, and make the tow rating higher, there wouldn't be too much to use against it. I would also like to see some more ground clearance (especially on the AWD model) because that is really its main limitation off-road (that and tires).

      I think if I end up getting one, it will be a 2021, and I will likely end up putting something around a 31-32" tire with a 2" lift. That would get me about 3-3.5" of total lift, which would make it a few inches more than a stock Tacoma TRD. Add skid plates and that would be about it. Take it out camping and enjoy it. I think if Toyota hadn't overtly over-emphasized the "truckness" of the Tacoma, I probably would not have thought twice about it. My best friend and a last gen Tacoma and I really liked it. The new one just rides so much like a truck (like needlessly so) and I can't get comfortable in it. I don't know if this one puts you more on the floor, but I don't remember any previous Toyota truck that makes you feel like you are sitting as much on the floor as the current Tacoma (and I like Honda's which always sort of put you on the floor). Maybe it's just that I notice more now that I am older and shit isn't working as well as it used to.


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        #4
        Originally posted by owequitit View Post
        I think if I end up getting one, it will be a 2021, and I will likely end up putting something around a 31-32" tire with a 2" lift. That would get me about 3-3.5" of total lift, which would make it a few inches more than a stock Tacoma TRD. Add skid plates and that would be about it. Take it out camping and enjoy it. I think if Toyota hadn't overtly over-emphasized the "truckness" of the Tacoma, I probably would not have thought twice about it. My best friend and a last gen Tacoma and I really liked it. The new one just rides so much like a truck (like needlessly so) and I can't get comfortable in it. I don't know if this one puts you more on the floor, but I don't remember any previous Toyota truck that makes you feel like you are sitting as much on the floor as the current Tacoma (and I like Honda's which always sort of put you on the floor). Maybe it's just that I notice more now that I am older and shit isn't working as well as it used to.
        I can only comment in detail bout the Tacoma relative to your thoughts, so here goes.
        • The 2020 TRD trucks have added a power driver seat will has height adjustment. That should alleviate some of the seating concerns. I agree it's not an ideal seating position, but given that the 2G and 3G trucks did not change a ton in that regard, I can say with over 80,000 miles of seat time, it's never been a huge deal to me, but that's for you to decide.
        • What tires were on the truck? If you go from P to LT tires the ride absolutely changes. The 3G trucks ride softer than the 2G, at least in terms of overall cabin noise. A Sport will ride smoother than an Off-Road. When I went from the stock P tires to a set of load range E BFGs, the ride changed, sure, but don't forget my previous vehicles all rode rough, so this is smoother than anything I've had.
        • From an interior comfort angle, the 3G truck is MUCH improved over the 2G. There's singificantly better technology, but the drawbacks are there too. Interior materials, like a;l new cars are meh. You can get CarPlay / AA on the 2020 trucks, along with excellent LED headlamps (I retrofitted them into my 2016).
        • Car seats are a bit of an adventure to fit, but if it's not your daily to haul the kids, it will be a non-issue. I haul my kids in mine often, but I think if it were our sole vehicle, it might get old faster than I'd like to admit.

        Now, a few comments I do have to offer in regards to the Ridgeline.
        • If you lift it, expect to chase issues. I've done it to both my trucks and both times I've chased issues.
        • Larger tires will ride harsher, so pay attention to the load range if you want to keep a supple ride.
        • I hated the dead pedal on the Pilot / Passport / Ridgeline. I actually very much considered the Passport as a replacement to the Jeep but after I sat in it and hit the dead pedal, it was immediately apparent that that would be a no go.
        If a Tacoma is too trucky for you, then the Ridgeline is a good solution. I actually prefer the truckiness of the Tacoma without the size heft that comes with a full size. I mean, I've had three Toyota Pickups and I don't intend to stop having them.

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          #5
          Originally posted by AccordWarrior View Post

          I can only comment in detail bout the Tacoma relative to your thoughts, so here goes.
          • The 2020 TRD trucks have added a power driver seat will has height adjustment. That should alleviate some of the seating concerns. I agree it's not an ideal seating position, but given that the 2G and 3G trucks did not change a ton in that regard, I can say with over 80,000 miles of seat time, it's never been a huge deal to me, but that's for you to decide.
          • What tires were on the truck? If you go from P to LT tires the ride absolutely changes. The 3G trucks ride softer than the 2G, at least in terms of overall cabin noise. A Sport will ride smoother than an Off-Road. When I went from the stock P tires to a set of load range E BFGs, the ride changed, sure, but don't forget my previous vehicles all rode rough, so this is smoother than anything I've had.
          • From an interior comfort angle, the 3G truck is MUCH improved over the 2G. There's singificantly better technology, but the drawbacks are there too. Interior materials, like a;l new cars are meh. You can get CarPlay / AA on the 2020 trucks, along with excellent LED headlamps (I retrofitted them into my 2016).
          • Car seats are a bit of an adventure to fit, but if it's not your daily to haul the kids, it will be a non-issue. I haul my kids in mine often, but I think if it were our sole vehicle, it might get old faster than I'd like to admit.

          Now, a few comments I do have to offer in regards to the Ridgeline.
          • If you lift it, expect to chase issues. I've done it to both my trucks and both times I've chased issues.
          • Larger tires will ride harsher, so pay attention to the load range if you want to keep a supple ride.
          • I hated the dead pedal on the Pilot / Passport / Ridgeline. I actually very much considered the Passport as a replacement to the Jeep but after I sat in it and hit the dead pedal, it was immediately apparent that that would be a no go.
          If a Tacoma is too trucky for you, then the Ridgeline is a good solution. I actually prefer the truckiness of the Tacoma without the size heft that comes with a full size. I mean, I've had three Toyota Pickups and I don't intend to stop having them.
          Sorry I didn't reply sooner. Have had some personal stuff going on with family. Like I said, Toyota guys are definitely loyal to their trucks, and that isn't a bad thing. I fully get it. I don't get it with the Ford, Chevy and Dodge guys as much (though of the three, I have seen quite a few Fords take a beating, and the HD Dodge Cummins don't die). I know the Tacoma would be a good truck, it just comes down to how much "truck" I really need/want. :LOL:

          Couple thoughts though:

          The Ridgeline is essentially the same cab up front as a Pilot. I know you didn't like the dead pedal, but I think it fits and works great. I might sit differently than you though, because it keeps my ankle pretty much exactly where I would want it, and it doesn't bother me after a full day of driving. That said, the front seat comfort is not comparable, IMO. Same with the back seat where you get more room, and more comfort in the Ridgeline. I definitely agree that the Ridgeline is more biased toward comfort, than "truck capability," though it also gets a fair bit of crap for not being a "real truck" and it is actually a lot more capable than people give it credit for (in fact, if it weren't for the tires and ground clearance, most people wouldn't have much to complain about).

          The Ridgeline has a wider bed, wider cab and more headroom. The in bed trunk would be a nice everyday feature and you can still store quite a bit of stuff under the rear seats as well.

          Towing capacity isn't huge, but it was apparently designed to tow that amount, all day long, in pretty much any conditions without issue. There is a guy in Washington who posted a video and they frequently towed about 750lbs more than the rating, and he said it had no issues whatsoever. Another guy pulled 5,000lbs from Washington to the Carolinas and only had an issue with the tranny overheating in Kansas (never threw the light, he just saw the temps creeping up on his scan gauge), but he didn't lock it out of the higher gears in rolling terrain, so it kept hunting for gears, with is not usually the best idea. Even Honda engineers have openly admitted that the truck is actually capable of more than 5,000, but of course they won't recommend it. They did say however, that it should never really have an issue with it. I haven't been able to confirm, but apparently, they tested it to run the Bullhead, AZ, Davis dam grade that C&D uses.

          The ground clearance is just shy of 8", which with some tires equivalent to the TRD versions of the Tacoma would put it about on par with the TRD Tacoma. With the additional 2" of lift (which is literally just spacing the struts) that would put it at right around 11", which to be honest, is probably plenty. 31" tires fit no problem, 32's start to get tight if you aren't careful about tread width, but it can be done). Honestly, with a stock tire size of roughly 29", that could net up to another 1-15" of lift. It will definitely reduce MPG, but so far, I can't find a single complaint about any issues. No CV joint binding, ride issues, etc. In fact, almost all of the people (including the ones that switch to AT tires say it pretty much rides and handles just like stock, since it just spaces the struts out. The 2" lift is pretty simple. They are also just releasing a 3.5" kit, which seems to be a lot more work, and could probably lead to chasing issues. I just keep thinking that a 2" lift with 31-32" tires and 2 skid plates would cover everything I need to do. i-VTM4 also seems to be pretty near unstoppable in the snow, while still doing really well in mud and sand. Since that is where I am looking at operating, it provides a lot of flexibility and capability, while being able to use. I have messed around a bit with the Pilot's i-VTM4 system, and it does actually way better than I expected, and still has some on road benefits as well (like reducing understeer and increasing stability). My big concern here is overheating the rear diff, although it supposedly "locks" under certain conditions. Further, I have to account for the cost of lifting (only a couple hundred), skid plates and wheels and tires, if I decide to go that route.

          Ride quality wise, I am sure it will take a bit of a hit with AT tires, but it would still be better than any other truck with the same tires, and given the mission profile, that is a consideration too.

          I am going to drive the Taco again, the Ridgeline and maybe wait to see what the new Frontier looks like, but I am leaning toward the Ridgeline at the moment just because of the areas it is really strong, the ease of fixing the things I don't like so much about it, and the fact that it is a bit of the contrarian route, which honestly appeals to me. I also kind of want to see what it can really do and decide for myself if I would want to step up to a more capable truck, or if it meets my needs. I have honestly thought about doing the same stuff to the Pilot too, LOL. They are also sort of cool when equipped more for off-roading. I also want to hold out and see what they change on the 2021 Ridgeline, because at least the new front end and wider track will help with the anti-truck stigma, and I think it looks pretty cool so far based on the HPD photos.

          The other issue is that equipment or equipment at the price, the Ridgeline ends up on top. Toyota's specs also get kind of complicated with certain options only available in certain colors, etc. I'll have to spend some time looking at their configurator. The TRD Pro is EXPENSIVE!

          I have time to decide. I could probably get a scream of a deal on a Frontier Pro 4X, but they are also too small and that thing is ANCIENT. The Tacoma would be a TRD Off-Road 4WD Double cab with the shorter bed. I will definitely hit you up if I have any questions or want more information.
          Last edited by owequitit; 11-09-2020, 04:49 AM.


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            #6
            Lots to unpack here. Let me try and go through. Reading this shows that the Ridgeline is an ideal fit for you, though.

            Originally posted by owequitit View Post

            Sorry I didn't reply sooner. Have had some personal stuff going on with family. Like I said, Toyota guys are definitely loyal to their trucks, and that isn't a bad thing. I fully get it. I don't get it with the Ford, Chevy and Dodge guys as much (though of the three, I have seen quite a few Fords take a beating, and the HD Dodge Cummins don't die). I know the Tacoma would be a good truck, it just comes down to how much "truck" I really need/want. :LOL:
            Exactly. I've always liked the aesthetics of Toyota, especially the earlier small body, big tire setup they used to have. The trucks have gotten bigger as the generations have gone on, and the tires not so much, so they've lost a lot of that proportion, but they've done better than Nissan or Chevy/GMC to keep it. That being said, I wish Ford would bring the Ranger Raptor to the US because I feel like that would force Toyota to up their game. The Pro is a nice truck, but it's not a level above a TRD OR in the same way the Raptors are for Ford.

            Originally posted by owequitit
            Couple thoughts though:

            The Ridgeline is essentially the same cab up front as a Pilot. I know you didn't like the dead pedal, but I think it fits and works great. I might sit differently than you though, because it keeps my ankle pretty much exactly where I would want it, and it doesn't bother me after a full day of driving. That said, the front seat comfort is not comparable, IMO. Same with the back seat where you get more room, and more comfort in the Ridgeline. I definitely agree that the Ridgeline is more biased toward comfort, than "truck capability," though it also gets a fair bit of crap for not being a "real truck" and it is actually a lot more capable than people give it credit for (in fact, if it weren't for the tires and ground clearance, most people wouldn't have much to complain about).

            The Ridgeline has a wider bed, wider cab and more headroom. The in bed trunk would be a nice everyday feature and you can still store quite a bit of stuff under the rear seats as well.
            It's funny how some things trip up one person and don't trip up others. Like in your case the seating position in the Tacoma was a deal breaker, for me it was the dead pedal. I literally had numbers run to trade the Jeep and it was an immediate "oh no, I can't do this". Having done that with the Corbeaus in my Vette (knowing immediately I wasn't comfortable but thought I could tough it out) it was a non-starter. It makes sense that the Ridgeline is more towards on-road than off-road given that it's core, it's a FWD unibody vehicle that's been adapted to be a truck, rather than a convention BOF vehicle. There's nothing wrong with that, it's two totally different target markets. For all intents in purposes, the Ridgeline would likely be a better fit for me for what I use my truck for, but I prefer my truck from an aesthetics standpoint, and for me, that's important.

            Originally posted by owequitit
            Towing capacity isn't huge, but it was apparently designed to tow that amount, all day long, in pretty much any conditions without issue. There is a guy in Washington who posted a video and they frequently towed about 750lbs more than the rating, and he said it had no issues whatsoever. Another guy pulled 5,000lbs from Washington to the Carolinas and only had an issue with the tranny overheating in Kansas (never threw the light, he just saw the temps creeping up on his scan gauge), but he didn't lock it out of the higher gears in rolling terrain, so it kept hunting for gears, with is not usually the best idea. Even Honda engineers have openly admitted that the truck is actually capable of more than 5,000, but of course they won't recommend it. They did say however, that it should never really have an issue with it. I haven't been able to confirm, but apparently, they tested it to run the Bullhead, AZ, Davis dam grade that C&D uses.
            I cannot comment too much on towing as I am not a tower. I know that people complain about the automatic in the Tacoma shfiting too much and too often when you're towing a heavy load, but in my mind if you're buying a truck with towing in mind, buy a full-size and be done with it.

            Originally posted by owequitit
            The ground clearance is just shy of 8", which with some tires equivalent to the TRD versions of the Tacoma would put it about on par with the TRD Tacoma. With the additional 2" of lift (which is literally just spacing the struts) that would put it at right around 11", which to be honest, is probably plenty. 31" tires fit no problem, 32's start to get tight if you aren't careful about tread width, but it can be done). Honestly, with a stock tire size of roughly 29", that could net up to another 1-15" of lift. It will definitely reduce MPG, but so far, I can't find a single complaint about any issues. No CV joint binding, ride issues, etc. In fact, almost all of the people (including the ones that switch to AT tires say it pretty much rides and handles just like stock, since it just spaces the struts out. The 2" lift is pretty simple. They are also just releasing a 3.5" kit, which seems to be a lot more work, and could probably lead to chasing issues. I just keep thinking that a 2" lift with 31-32" tires and 2 skid plates would cover everything I need to do. i-VTM4 also seems to be pretty near unstoppable in the snow, while still doing really well in mud and sand. Since that is where I am looking at operating, it provides a lot of flexibility and capability, while being able to use. I have messed around a bit with the Pilot's i-VTM4 system, and it does actually way better than I expected, and still has some on road benefits as well (like reducing understeer and increasing stability). My big concern here is overheating the rear diff, although it supposedly "locks" under certain conditions. Further, I have to account for the cost of lifting (only a couple hundred), skid plates and wheels and tires, if I decide to go that route.
            I'm trying to follow your numbers on the ground clearance, but I'm struggling a bit. I did a little of my own research, so bear with me here. I've seen anywhere from 7.8 to 7.9" of ground clearance, so I'm assuming that's where you got your 8" value from. As I'm sure you know, ground clearance, as measured in the truck world at least, would be to the lowest part of the truck hanging between the wheels, which in the case of my truck would be the rear differential. The only way to get increases there would be to increase the tire size. The 245/60-18 of a Ridgeline is a 29.6" tire if math still serves me right. A nominal 31" tire gives you approximately 0.7" of lift, putting you off your figures of 11" of ground clearance. Maybe Honda measures ground clearance differently than Toyota / other trucks. A suspension lift will help approach and departure angles, no doubt as well as getting the underbody higher in the air, but the actual ground clearance number will not be impacted by anything but tire size.

            The stock TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and TRD Pros running a 265/70-16 tire is 9.4" of ground clearance. A 265/75-16 or 265/70-17 (+1" in height) fits with only very minor rubbing if you go too aggressive with the wheels and gives you a half inch of ground clearance. I'm at nearly 10" in my truck without even touching the suspension. In fact with the stock TRD Pro wheels, people have managed to fit 285/75-16s on the Pro without touching the suspension, running a nearly 33" tire. I've seen some members stuff a 255/85-16 on a stock suspension truck, but I wouldn't want to risk the rubbing.

            Are spacer lifts the only option for the Ridgeline? Those are loathed in the Tacoma world as they can do some serious shock damage as they cause the shock to be the bump stop rather than the bump stop itself. Is this the case with the Ridgeline? I've seen a ton of photos of collapsed uprights due to spacers. Most people view the spacer lift as a way to get the look, but not the performance, like if you wanted to stuff a 33" tire into it.

            My lift is pretty middle of the road using the 2G TRD Pro Bilstein setup (new front and rear shocks and front springs) with an AAL in the rear. I'm about 2" taller than stock, and about 1" higher than the 3G TRD Pro model. Toyota blew out their kits for sub-$700 and for a well engineered, OEM quality piece I was totally on board. It's basically equivalent to the 6112/5160 combo without the adjustable perches. I did replace the needle bearing in my front differential with an aftermarket bushing as I ran into issues with my 2G, but it's a sub-$70 part and a half hour install.

            The different modes are pretty neat. Toyota has Crawl Control for the automatic and A-TRAC for the manual. I don't see how people with AT tires say it handles like stock, though. I've definitely lost grip with knobby tires and at least on the Tacoma when you lift the truck with stock UCAs, you lose caster. On my old truck since I had the ARB, the caster loss wasn't as noticable, but with this one, I definitely feel it wander on the highway, but since 95% of my driving is not highway, it doesn't bother me.

            Originally posted by owequitit
            Ride quality wise, I am sure it will take a bit of a hit with AT tires, but it would still be better than any other truck with the same tires, and given the mission profile, that is a consideration too.

            I am going to drive the Taco again, the Ridgeline and maybe wait to see what the new Frontier looks like, but I am leaning toward the Ridgeline at the moment just because of the areas it is really strong, the ease of fixing the things I don't like so much about it, and the fact that it is a bit of the contrarian route, which honestly appeals to me. I also kind of want to see what it can really do and decide for myself if I would want to step up to a more capable truck, or if it meets my needs. I have honestly thought about doing the same stuff to the Pilot too, LOL. They are also sort of cool when equipped more for off-roading. I also want to hold out and see what they change on the 2021 Ridgeline, because at least the new front end and wider track will help with the anti-truck stigma, and I think it looks pretty cool so far based on the HPD photos.

            The other issue is that equipment or equipment at the price, the Ridgeline ends up on top. Toyota's specs also get kind of complicated with certain options only available in certain colors, etc. I'll have to spend some time looking at their configurator. The TRD Pro is EXPENSIVE!

            I have time to decide. I could probably get a scream of a deal on a Frontier Pro 4X, but they are also too small and that thing is ANCIENT. The Tacoma would be a TRD Off-Road 4WD Double cab with the shorter bed. I will definitely hit you up if I have any questions or want more information.
            That point about it riding better makes sense. Anytime you go from a full frame vehicle to a unibody, by nature it will ride better. Different AT tires can ride in different ways, so pay attention to the options. I went from a fully highway biased tire (Micheline Premiers) on my wife's Grand Cherokee to a more AT biased tire (Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S) to get some snow capability and I did notice a slight difference in the firmness of the ride, but nothing too crazy. I have BFG ATs on my truck for 3 seasons and then Nokia Hakka R3s for winter. My friend had the same size tire on an Xterra but in Duratracs and they were LOUD. Like, shockingly loud for what they were. My BFGs are quite quiet.

            If the Ridgeline meets your needs, I'd go with it, but I'd be remiss to think it's going to top the Tacoma off-road, even with modifications. The approach and departure angles are just as important as the ultimate ground clearance. If you're not pushing the limits of the truck, then it's not going to be an issue.

            I do not love the powertrain in the truck. It doesn't have a ton of low-end power and behaves more like an old DOHC VTEC car, or something with a turbo in that the power is not linear. The engine likes to rev, which is odd for a truck and it doesn't really feel that great in the higher revs. If you keep your foot in it, it will move, but it reminds you it doesn't particularly enjoy it. The automatic transmissions don't have many fans, and I haven't driven an automatic to compare.

            The Tacoma is absolutely pricey, but depending on the region, there is room to work, assuming you don't go Pro. If you get a Pro at MSRP, you're doing well. I've lost track of the various option packages they have on the trucks these days. I ultimately simply checked the boxes needed to get a sunroof and a 6-speed manual. If I were to buy a new one today, I'd probably just grab a manual TRD Pro and not modify a thing on it. Mine's got too many mods (including most of the TRD Pro parts) these days and it's given me a few headaches (clunks and whatnot) but it's been mechanically flawless.

            The other thing about the Tacoma is how well it holds its value, if that's important to you. There were people selling Tacomas to Carvana during the summer for more than they paid for them new because of how the values were swinging. Some people literally sold their truck to Carvana for more than they paid and went out and bought a new one for less than they got from Carvana. When my 2013 was totaled, it had modifications, sure, but the actual check I received for the truck after 3 years was more than I paid for the truck. Like, I was only out for the modifications, and I took a ton of them back with me.

            My gut feeling is that the Ridgeline is the better option for you, but give the off-road side a long, hard thought before you commit, simply because that's where you're going to hit your wall.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by AccordWarrior View Post
              Lots to unpack here. Let me try and go through. Reading this shows that the Ridgeline is an ideal fit for you, though.



              Exactly. I've always liked the aesthetics of Toyota, especially the earlier small body, big tire setup they used to have. The trucks have gotten bigger as the generations have gone on, and the tires not so much, so they've lost a lot of that proportion, but they've done better than Nissan or Chevy/GMC to keep it. That being said, I wish Ford would bring the Ranger Raptor to the US because I feel like that would force Toyota to up their game. The Pro is a nice truck, but it's not a level above a TRD OR in the same way the Raptors are for Ford.



              It's funny how some things trip up one person and don't trip up others. Like in your case the seating position in the Tacoma was a deal breaker, for me it was the dead pedal. I literally had numbers run to trade the Jeep and it was an immediate "oh no, I can't do this". Having done that with the Corbeaus in my Vette (knowing immediately I wasn't comfortable but thought I could tough it out) it was a non-starter. It makes sense that the Ridgeline is more towards on-road than off-road given that it's core, it's a FWD unibody vehicle that's been adapted to be a truck, rather than a convention BOF vehicle. There's nothing wrong with that, it's two totally different target markets. For all intents in purposes, the Ridgeline would likely be a better fit for me for what I use my truck for, but I prefer my truck from an aesthetics standpoint, and for me, that's important.



              I cannot comment too much on towing as I am not a tower. I know that people complain about the automatic in the Tacoma shfiting too much and too often when you're towing a heavy load, but in my mind if you're buying a truck with towing in mind, buy a full-size and be done with it.



              I'm trying to follow your numbers on the ground clearance, but I'm struggling a bit. I did a little of my own research, so bear with me here. I've seen anywhere from 7.8 to 7.9" of ground clearance, so I'm assuming that's where you got your 8" value from. As I'm sure you know, ground clearance, as measured in the truck world at least, would be to the lowest part of the truck hanging between the wheels, which in the case of my truck would be the rear differential. The only way to get increases there would be to increase the tire size. The 245/60-18 of a Ridgeline is a 29.6" tire if math still serves me right. A nominal 31" tire gives you approximately 0.7" of lift, putting you off your figures of 11" of ground clearance. Maybe Honda measures ground clearance differently than Toyota / other trucks. A suspension lift will help approach and departure angles, no doubt as well as getting the underbody higher in the air, but the actual ground clearance number will not be impacted by anything but tire size.

              The stock TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and TRD Pros running a 265/70-16 tire is 9.4" of ground clearance. A 265/75-16 or 265/70-17 (+1" in height) fits with only very minor rubbing if you go too aggressive with the wheels and gives you a half inch of ground clearance. I'm at nearly 10" in my truck without even touching the suspension. In fact with the stock TRD Pro wheels, people have managed to fit 285/75-16s on the Pro without touching the suspension, running a nearly 33" tire. I've seen some members stuff a 255/85-16 on a stock suspension truck, but I wouldn't want to risk the rubbing.

              Are spacer lifts the only option for the Ridgeline? Those are loathed in the Tacoma world as they can do some serious shock damage as they cause the shock to be the bump stop rather than the bump stop itself. Is this the case with the Ridgeline? I've seen a ton of photos of collapsed uprights due to spacers. Most people view the spacer lift as a way to get the look, but not the performance, like if you wanted to stuff a 33" tire into it.

              My lift is pretty middle of the road using the 2G TRD Pro Bilstein setup (new front and rear shocks and front springs) with an AAL in the rear. I'm about 2" taller than stock, and about 1" higher than the 3G TRD Pro model. Toyota blew out their kits for sub-$700 and for a well engineered, OEM quality piece I was totally on board. It's basically equivalent to the 6112/5160 combo without the adjustable perches. I did replace the needle bearing in my front differential with an aftermarket bushing as I ran into issues with my 2G, but it's a sub-$70 part and a half hour install.

              The different modes are pretty neat. Toyota has Crawl Control for the automatic and A-TRAC for the manual. I don't see how people with AT tires say it handles like stock, though. I've definitely lost grip with knobby tires and at least on the Tacoma when you lift the truck with stock UCAs, you lose caster. On my old truck since I had the ARB, the caster loss wasn't as noticable, but with this one, I definitely feel it wander on the highway, but since 95% of my driving is not highway, it doesn't bother me.



              That point about it riding better makes sense. Anytime you go from a full frame vehicle to a unibody, by nature it will ride better. Different AT tires can ride in different ways, so pay attention to the options. I went from a fully highway biased tire (Micheline Premiers) on my wife's Grand Cherokee to a more AT biased tire (Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S) to get some snow capability and I did notice a slight difference in the firmness of the ride, but nothing too crazy. I have BFG ATs on my truck for 3 seasons and then Nokia Hakka R3s for winter. My friend had the same size tire on an Xterra but in Duratracs and they were LOUD. Like, shockingly loud for what they were. My BFGs are quite quiet.

              If the Ridgeline meets your needs, I'd go with it, but I'd be remiss to think it's going to top the Tacoma off-road, even with modifications. The approach and departure angles are just as important as the ultimate ground clearance. If you're not pushing the limits of the truck, then it's not going to be an issue.

              I do not love the powertrain in the truck. It doesn't have a ton of low-end power and behaves more like an old DOHC VTEC car, or something with a turbo in that the power is not linear. The engine likes to rev, which is odd for a truck and it doesn't really feel that great in the higher revs. If you keep your foot in it, it will move, but it reminds you it doesn't particularly enjoy it. The automatic transmissions don't have many fans, and I haven't driven an automatic to compare.

              The Tacoma is absolutely pricey, but depending on the region, there is room to work, assuming you don't go Pro. If you get a Pro at MSRP, you're doing well. I've lost track of the various option packages they have on the trucks these days. I ultimately simply checked the boxes needed to get a sunroof and a 6-speed manual. If I were to buy a new one today, I'd probably just grab a manual TRD Pro and not modify a thing on it. Mine's got too many mods (including most of the TRD Pro parts) these days and it's given me a few headaches (clunks and whatnot) but it's been mechanically flawless.

              The other thing about the Tacoma is how well it holds its value, if that's important to you. There were people selling Tacomas to Carvana during the summer for more than they paid for them new because of how the values were swinging. Some people literally sold their truck to Carvana for more than they paid and went out and bought a new one for less than they got from Carvana. When my 2013 was totaled, it had modifications, sure, but the actual check I received for the truck after 3 years was more than I paid for the truck. Like, I was only out for the modifications, and I took a ton of them back with me.

              My gut feeling is that the Ridgeline is the better option for you, but give the off-road side a long, hard thought before you commit, simply because that's where you're going to hit your wall.
              This is getting hard to respond to, so here are some thoughts, not necessarily in order.

              1) The ground clearance is measured the same. That said, the Ridgeline sits at 7.9 vs 9.4 in the Tacoma, or a difference of 1.5". Not an insignificant amount. Just like Toyota, it is measured from the lowest point on the car, which happens to be the rear lower control arms. Unlike the Toyota, there isn't a huge pumpkin in the middle of the rear axle, and the rear diff actually has substantially higher clearance, with the tow "tab" at the bottom of the rear subframe carrying 9" of clearance. On the Pilot, at least, the gas tank, the exhaust resonator and the front "skid plate" protecting the PTO to the rear hang down just a little bit less than the rear control arm, and give you a few extra 10th's clearance. Something that would have to be dealt with. Most of the structure is about 10" off the ground. The other advantage to having the lowest hanging portion on the vehicle just inside the tire, is that A) it will articulate with the tire, and B) in many cases your effective ground clearance will be a little more using the same techniques you can use on any other vehicle off road (such as straddling the obstacle, or offsetting to one side, etc.) Still, less than the Tacoma, without question. However, I am measuring the same size tires as the Ridgeline at more like 28.5" (call it 29" to be conservative) and a step up to a 31" would be more effectively about an inch of lift. It would also be fairly close to the Tacoma's stock tire fitment of ~31". That is actually just about 2" of tire increase, resulting in that 1" higher number I cam up with. Which without any other changes would bring the Ridgeline to just about 8.8" or about .5" less than the Taco. Yes, I can lift both. But with the Taco being pretty decent off road in stock form, my point wasn't that I couldn't modify the Taco, it was that I can get the Ridgeline to be just about as capable in terms of ground clearance, without too much effort. If I put the 2" lift on it, then I have no problem with ground clearance compared to a stock TRD Pro (which I agree, I would pretty much just leave alone), at roughly 10.8". This would also put the next lowest item on the truck at about 11" of clearance. The other area where the Ridgeline will struggle more given the same circumstances is approach angle, due to the transverse, FWD based setup in the Ridgeline. Stock for stock, the Ridgeline has an approach angle about 15* less than the Tacoma TRD Pro. Interestingly though, the stock break-over angle is published as being higher on the Ridgeline (possibly due to lack of transfer case or smaller drive shaft? It seemed odd to me). The departure angle is only about 1* less stock for stock, so with the larger tires alone, it would probably still suffer somewhat in approach, would probably be about the same in break over and would be better in departure. Without measuring, I wouldn't know what the effect of the 2" lift would be on approach angle, but I have to imagine a 3" total lift would have a measurable effect.

              Finally, since lifting the truck increases the control arm angle, I would imagine it would create a slight increase in ground clearance, just due to the increased angle of the arm. Don't know how much though.

              2) The lift kits for the Ridgeline are all essentially based on the JSport kits that were used on Honda's Baja trucks. It is essentially a "hat" that sits inbetween the strut and the strut mount without actually altering the strut function in anyway. The strut still works as intended, which is why the ride quality stays the same, but the ride height is slightly increased. Like I said, so far, I can't find a single complaint about this setup. The 3.5" lift works the same way, but also lowers the subframes in relation to the rest of the chassis, allowing larger diameter tires and wheels to be equipped.

              3) The primary limitation on putting bigger rolling stock on the Ridgeline is that anything much above 31" starts to run into clearance issues at the rear of the front wheel well. Traxda (one of t he primary Ridgeline supporters) makes a kit that moves the wheel forward an inch, gaining clearance in the area where Taco owners usually cut and weld that area. I don't think I would want to do that though. Apparently, the 3" kit helps this somewhat, but again, more effort.

              4) The main limitation for the Ridgeline offroad, no matter what you do to it, is the fact that it will not have the locking diffs or the low range. However, that said, the i-VTM4 does a lot better in maintaining traction that people think it will. I'm definitely not under the impression that it would be equally capable to the Tacoma under the same conditions, the question is more whether or not it would be capable enough for what I want, without losing too much in other areas. As much as I would like to pretend that I live in an overlanding magazine, the truth is that it will be doing around town stuff a lot more than overlanding. My biggest fear with i-VTM4 is that it may be more prone to overheating if it is working the rear diff hard, but that is one of the things I will just have to get in there and figure out.

              5) I tend to agree on the "truck looks" but I have never been hugely fond of the current gen Tacoma, which is a shame because I LOVED the way the old one looked. That said, the styling on the current Ridgeline front end has also been my big complaint, but the 2021 largely does away with that, and IMO, it looks plenty trucky without being over the top.

              6) When you were referring the powertrain, were you speaking of the Honda or the Toyota? The Pilot is deceptively torque and very smooth in its power delivery, but it is less than it needs to be revved out to produce meaningful thrust, than it doesn't complain about it like the Toyota seems to. To be fair, it is producing 90+% of it's peak torque from just less than about 2000RPM until about 6000, so the powerband is more broad than it initially seems. It took me awhile to realize that, when I found myself speeding or accelerating more quickly than though, even though the revs were still less than 2000RPM. I can't speak for Toyota, but the J35 also takes about 7K miles to fully break in, which is consistent with every other J-series we have owned. I am also fairly certain it is under-rated at 280HP. Based on the weight of the Pilot (4300lbs) it should be not as close to my Accord as it is. Personally, the powertrain on the Pilot/Ridgeline, IMO, is one of the strong points of it.

              7) I also agree that if towing is a priority, get a full size and be done with it. That said, I am not looking at towing anything (that I foresee) that is way outside of the Ridgeline's or Tacoma's ability, and the full sizes again are huge and require some more compromise that I don't think I want to make.

              Honestly, I keep going back and forth because the Tacoma is definitely more capable off road out of the box, but I still generally like Honda's engineering, and the Tacoma makes me sacrifice in other areas that are noteworthy too.
              Last edited by owequitit; 11-14-2020, 04:11 AM.


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                #8
                Originally posted by owequitit View Post
                ...
                .
                Okay, you make a lot of good points here, so let me address in order.
                1. Thank you for clarifying where you were at with ground clearance. This is the inherent difference between a unibody car versus a full framed 4wd truck. The packaging will be different. My most vulnerable areas is the transfer case. Obviously the rear pumpkin is also a low point, but it's protected by the tires (for the most part at least). As an FYI the ground clearance between a Pro and an OR is the same at 9.4" as the Pro has different rear shocks, but the leafs are effectively the same between the trucks (there's a different part number, but for all intents the ride height is the same, as is the tires). The Pro is 1" taller up front. You make a good point about the tire size on the Ridgeline changing the ride height, but if you're changing tires on the vehicle anyways, you can fit a 32" (31.6" actual) tire on a Tacoma without cutting or altering anything (I've done it 2x). You can get creative and run a narrower than stock 33" tire on certain wheels without lifting / cutting, Going to a 285 series tire is where you likely get into cutting cab mounts.
                2. I misunderstood how the lifts work on Ridgelines. Now that I've viewed a few videos, it makes more sense to me that it relocates the mounting of the tophat, without changing where the tophat is relative to the strut. The Tacoma spacer lifts go in between the spring and the tophat, changing the relative location of the strut to the spring, causing all kinds of havoc. I can get much more onboard with the Traxada design.
                3. See above. It's all in how big you want to go and your wheel specs. I'm at a comfortable place with my truck in that I have no rubbing and I haven't cut anything. I'll keep it that way.
                4. How often will you honestly be off-road in it? What's the off-road scene near you? I mean, if I lived where there wasn't snow, I could have gotten away with a Pre-Runner for as much as I actually engage 4WD, but in the winter I use it fairly regularly. I've gone out on the sand a few times and there's one or two small trails near me, but in MA it's pretty well locked down unless you know someone with open land.
                5. Looks are 100% subjective. What you like and what I like aren't the same, so there's no basis of comparison. I will say the 3G Tacoma has grown on me over the years compared to my 2G. But that may be a case of familiarity.
                6. Toyota. I had a TSB reflash done that helps a bit, but to say the powertrain is non-linear is an understatement. There are companies such as OVTune which makes a flash to turn it into a typical linear vehicle, but I'm growing to believe this is simply a function of new vehicles. It's also a pickup, so how fast it can get to 60, or how fast it can cruise at on the highway is pretty irrelevant to me. I will say, that the second you go to big, heavy, knobby tires your gas mileage goes away. My BFGs are load range E. I could get 23-24 MPG at 50 MPG on a flat road for a given trip on the stock Goodyears that I might see 20-21 MPG at now, even on my Nokian snow tires (though I've got heavier steel wheels...an alloy wheel may help)
                7. We're in agreement here.
                For you, the Ridgeline is the easy choice. The Tacoma has come a long way in the 2G to 3G in terms of refinement, but the Ridgeline is likely better to meet your needs.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by AccordWarrior View Post

                  Okay, you make a lot of good points here, so let me address in order.
                  1. Thank you for clarifying where you were at with ground clearance. This is the inherent difference between a unibody car versus a full framed 4wd truck. The packaging will be different. My most vulnerable areas is the transfer case. Obviously the rear pumpkin is also a low point, but it's protected by the tires (for the most part at least). As an FYI the ground clearance between a Pro and an OR is the same at 9.4" as the Pro has different rear shocks, but the leafs are effectively the same between the trucks (there's a different part number, but for all intents the ride height is the same, as is the tires). The Pro is 1" taller up front. You make a good point about the tire size on the Ridgeline changing the ride height, but if you're changing tires on the vehicle anyways, you can fit a 32" (31.6" actual) tire on a Tacoma without cutting or altering anything (I've done it 2x). You can get creative and run a narrower than stock 33" tire on certain wheels without lifting / cutting, Going to a 285 series tire is where you likely get into cutting cab mounts.
                  2. I misunderstood how the lifts work on Ridgelines. Now that I've viewed a few videos, it makes more sense to me that it relocates the mounting of the tophat, without changing where the tophat is relative to the strut. The Tacoma spacer lifts go in between the spring and the tophat, changing the relative location of the strut to the spring, causing all kinds of havoc. I can get much more onboard with the Traxada design.
                  3. See above. It's all in how big you want to go and your wheel specs. I'm at a comfortable place with my truck in that I have no rubbing and I haven't cut anything. I'll keep it that way.
                  4. How often will you honestly be off-road in it? What's the off-road scene near you? I mean, if I lived where there wasn't snow, I could have gotten away with a Pre-Runner for as much as I actually engage 4WD, but in the winter I use it fairly regularly. I've gone out on the sand a few times and there's one or two small trails near me, but in MA it's pretty well locked down unless you know someone with open land.
                  5. Looks are 100% subjective. What you like and what I like aren't the same, so there's no basis of comparison. I will say the 3G Tacoma has grown on me over the years compared to my 2G. But that may be a case of familiarity.
                  6. Toyota. I had a TSB reflash done that helps a bit, but to say the powertrain is non-linear is an understatement. There are companies such as OVTune which makes a flash to turn it into a typical linear vehicle, but I'm growing to believe this is simply a function of new vehicles. It's also a pickup, so how fast it can get to 60, or how fast it can cruise at on the highway is pretty irrelevant to me. I will say, that the second you go to big, heavy, knobby tires your gas mileage goes away. My BFGs are load range E. I could get 23-24 MPG at 50 MPG on a flat road for a given trip on the stock Goodyears that I might see 20-21 MPG at now, even on my Nokian snow tires (though I've got heavier steel wheels...an alloy wheel may help)
                  7. We're in agreement here.
                  For you, the Ridgeline is the easy choice. The Tacoma has come a long way in the 2G to 3G in terms of refinement, but the Ridgeline is likely better to meet your needs.
                  Also good points.

                  A couple more thoughts:

                  1) Much like on the Tacoma, the "critical areas" are the control arms, which are somewhat protected by the wheels, but the exhaust and the gas tank also hang down there a fair bit, so other than tucking the exhaust up with a smaller resonator, I am not sure what you could do with that, and the gas tank is protected, but still hangs fairly low. Maybe a skid plate could help there. It has one to take a hit from the front (plastic with a steel bar frame underneath), but no protection from directly below or to protect from dragging. They do make bolt on plates to cover and protect the powertrain and rear diff though. This was the main reason I would be most interested in getting the body higher off the ground. I think the control arms would be manageable with OK technique, but I am more concerned about the other stuff hanging down, specifically toward the center of the wheelbase, where you are most likely to start dragging it over stuff.

                  2) I *think* you can actually get bigger diameter than 31" on there, you just have to be really careful with wheel spacing and tread width. I don't think there is much practical reason to go much beyond a 32" tire anyway. A lot of people that report rubbing have tires that are 20-40MM wider than stock, with much more aggressive tread. That said, some report very slight rubbing at more than 90% full lock with 265's and other report none. It seems to be very dependent on wheel. This is one of the things that Honda changed on the 21, as the offset moves the stock wheels 10mm further out, which seems to help alleviate this slightly. Quite a few report less rubbing on stock wheels with upgraded tires, rather than the other way around, though most that report it are 265+ on the tread width (a full 20MM wider than stock). But, like I said, going above 31" it starts to get trickier. Oddly, lifting doesn't exactly help because the wheel well intrusion is right in the middle of the front well, where the main frame joins the firewall area, behind the wheel well lining.

                  The cost of putting the same upgrade on the Tacoma would probably be about the same, and again, would give the Tacoma another inch or so as well.

                  3) They are very cleverly engineered lifts. I think the other problem is that there isn't that much travel in the control arms, so you end up 3 wheeling a lot (or even 2 wheeling) because the suspension just doesn't have the articulation in it. I-VTM4 seems to handle that pretty well, but it would be better to have all patches on the ground. Oddly, most people report having to readjust the camber when lifting, but there doesn't seem to be much change in caster. Toe change is already adjustable in the stock suspension, so Traxda adds camber adjustment, because apparently, the 2nd gen Ridgeline removed the ability to do it, with the way the strut mounts to the knuckle.

                  4) For MPG, I definitely expect to take some hit on that not only based on the lift, but the design priority of the tire. That said, the Pilot gets about 26-28MPG pretty easily on the highway over varying terrain at about 75-80MPH, so I assume the Ridgeline would be slightly less under the same conditions due to the bed, but probably still acceptable.

                  5) Off roading would be somewhat frequent just because it is so accessible around here. That said, you can do an awful lot without actually engaging 4WD in many vehicles (especially with good AT tires) and I can't count the time I have been onboard something that had to use 4L that wasn't completely outside the box on what I need. One of the major bonuses of the Southwest is that there is so much park land that is either State or Federal Land, and is protected from development and control. That means that it is pretty easy to get out in the desert and explore endlessly without having to worry about whose land it is. There are rules, but they are simple and are designed to really just keep people from destroying things. Even the Park Rangers tend to be pretty lenient if they see you aren't trashing the land. So in that aspect it is slightly different than where you are. AZ and NV each have about 15-20% of the total land available for private ownership, so the rest is all "public" land. The other thing to consider is that we have counties that in some cases are larger than entire Eastern states, so you can literally truck off into the wilderness out here and not see a soul for hundreds of miles. It was popular in AZ to literally just take a 4-5 day vacation and off road across the state using trails, service and forest roads, which is why I see my mission as more of one of "overlanding." Death Valley, the Grand Canyon, Arches, Moab, and Canyonlands are all just a few hours drive away, so it is literally endless and you can do everything from sand dunes, to rock crawling if you want to. Hence the dilemma. On the one hand, I don't want to sacrifice everything in the name of off-roading (just buy a Jeep then), but I also don't want to get stuck out somewhere and die in the desert because nobody could find me... I wouldn't plan on going alone, but realistically, most of what I would be doing wouldn't fall into the realm of "hard core" or outside the realm of most relatively capable vehicles. Hell, you should see the places I took my CB7 and my Civic Si over the years. I didn't do it frequently, but I definitely got them into places where people were looking at me funny, and there was a chance I wasn't getting back out!

                  Oddly, the closest Toyota dealer to me has a 2020 TRD 4x4 OR almost like yours in metallic red. It is even a manual, and I have to say, that is very tempting right now... It has the LED headlights and pretty much all of the features I want, and I know the MT versions will hold their value most of all. It honestly looks really nice in that color too. It would be a truck whose ownership is measured in decades, most likely, for me. I may go look at it tomorrow just to get an idea for it. I have to go core charge a battery for my pops at a Honda dealer, so that will give me a chance to take a look at the Ridgeline on the same day too.


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                    #10
                    Originally posted by owequitit View Post
                    Lots of Stuff
                    1. Totally agree. Skids will help here. Do they make sliders for the truck? Obviously with a full frame truck like the Tacoma there are plenty available. Being in the Southwest, frame rust will not be a concern for you, so welding them on is a non-issue, compared to bolt on options.
                    2. Like with the Ridgeline, offset plays a roll in how big you can go without cutting. Like, a Pro can run a 285 on a stock wheel, but I likely couldn't run 285s on my wheels even though I have more front lift. If I were to run the Pro wheel, I easily could.
                    3. The go-to alignment for a lifted Tacoma is zero camber, zero toe and as much caster as you can get. You need to change out the UCAs to gain caster on the truck. When I listed my 2G, I had like a degree or so of caster and it drove fine on the highway (ideal is as high as 3-4 degrees). The new truck has the same degree of caster and it can wander a bit on the highway especially in heavily trafficked, crowned roads that have bends. It's a bit annoying, but not the end of the world. That being said, for a Tacoma, you're replacing the coil overs and doing either rear leafs or an add a leaf to get lift. I have the 2G TRD Pro suspension on mine, which is roughly equivalent to the Bilstein 6112 and then TRD Specific 5160 rear shocks. I have a generic progressive AAL in back with good results. I gave up my overload as it would have added another 0.5"-1" just due to thickness of the leaf in the pack. I was all in for under $1,000 as Toyota was fire saling the 2G suspension, but I suspect you could go with the cheaper 5100s and keep the price point roughly the same or step up to the 6112 or OME setups, but you'd be in the $1,200-1,800 range depending on how you configure the lift. You'll also need to change out the front different driver side needle bearing.
                    4. I could get 28 MPG downhill with the engine off, maybe.
                    5. Being in the Southwest changes everything.
                    The availability of the manual is a big draw for me for the Tacoma. You can forgive a lot of the powertrain oddness when you row your own gears. I retrofitted the OEM LED headlights into my truck. I don't have any of the nannies, but I also don't have the power rear slider, which is pretty awesome. Let me know what you think. I'd love to sit in one with a power seat to see if it's any good.

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                      #11
                      I went and looked at the Tacoma today. I definitely like it. It had most of the options on it, and was Barcelona Red, which is a color that looked fantastic, but wasn't actually a color I thought I would like. It had power seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, the full surround camera package, the upgraded sound system and a tonneau. I'm sorry I don't know names of all of the packages. LOL. They have so many. I think it also appeared to have the radar guided cruise control, and it was a TRD 4x4 Off Road package vs the TRD Sport 4x4.

                      I agree on the MT. It would be the type of truck I would buy and drive for a couple of decades, and then probably drive it some more. He said someone else had come to look at it earlier in the day and that he was supposed to go back by 4PM tomorrow to test drive it. Haven't decided if I should look deeper or just hold out for a little bit and keep exploring.

                      P.S. The back seat would definitely be a bit tight for a car seat, but it was not uncomfortable. It was interesting how much higher the back seats are than the fronts.


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                        #12
                        Originally posted by owequitit View Post
                        I went and looked at the Tacoma today. I definitely like it. It had most of the options on it, and was Barcelona Red, which is a color that looked fantastic, but wasn't actually a color I thought I would like. It had power seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, the full surround camera package, the upgraded sound system and a tonneau. I'm sorry I don't know names of all of the packages. LOL. They have so many. I think it also appeared to have the radar guided cruise control, and it was a TRD 4x4 Off Road package vs the TRD Sport 4x4.

                        I agree on the MT. It would be the type of truck I would buy and drive for a couple of decades, and then probably drive it some more. He said someone else had come to look at it earlier in the day and that he was supposed to go back by 4PM tomorrow to test drive it. Haven't decided if I should look deeper or just hold out for a little bit and keep exploring.

                        P.S. The back seat would definitely be a bit tight for a car seat, but it was not uncomfortable. It was interesting how much higher the back seats are than the fronts.
                        You looked at a MT, correct? The reason I ask is that the upgraded sound system is just a different head unit, it's not the JBL system, at least in the manual. The stereo kinda sucks. I've done speakers and a powered sub, and I'm still not 100% happy. JL Audio makes a Stealthbox for the rear compartment I was thinking of eventually doing with a dedicated amp, but we will see what the future brings.

                        I know at the time when I bought my 2016 it was just the Premium and Tech package, which gave me the BSM, heated seats, the Entune Premium, rear cross traffic and the moonroof. In 2016 you didn't get leather in the TRD trucks (which I loved), you didn't get the TSS package with the radar cruise and autobrake, or the CarPlay or the power seat.

                        I liked the OEM tonneau for the most part as the fit and finish was decent. It's easy to remove and reinstall as well. It's not 100% leakfree, but I've never tried to make it as such. The only thing that stinks is that it eats 1/3 of the bed if you have an item that won't fit with it on. I have my tonneau for the winter, but when I move my snowblower to my Mom's, it has to hang out on the tailgate. It's not the end of the world, and in theory I could remove it prior to loading it up, but it's a bit cumbersome to move around.

                        I have a pair of Graco 4Ever Extend2Fits in my truck right now. I've got one one rear facing behind the passenger seat and a front facing one behind me. With my daughter behind me, I need to be a bit more forward than I'd like so she has foot room, but it's not awful. I wouldn't wan to drive 100% of the time with her in back, but the wife is the primary daycare drop off and pick-upper.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by AccordWarrior View Post

                          You looked at a MT, correct? The reason I ask is that the upgraded sound system is just a different head unit, it's not the JBL system, at least in the manual. The stereo kinda sucks. I've done speakers and a powered sub, and I'm still not 100% happy. JL Audio makes a Stealthbox for the rear compartment I was thinking of eventually doing with a dedicated amp, but we will see what the future brings.

                          I know at the time when I bought my 2016 it was just the Premium and Tech package, which gave me the BSM, heated seats, the Entune Premium, rear cross traffic and the moonroof. In 2016 you didn't get leather in the TRD trucks (which I loved), you didn't get the TSS package with the radar cruise and autobrake, or the CarPlay or the power seat.

                          I liked the OEM tonneau for the most part as the fit and finish was decent. It's easy to remove and reinstall as well. It's not 100% leakfree, but I've never tried to make it as such. The only thing that stinks is that it eats 1/3 of the bed if you have an item that won't fit with it on. I have my tonneau for the winter, but when I move my snowblower to my Mom's, it has to hang out on the tailgate. It's not the end of the world, and in theory I could remove it prior to loading it up, but it's a bit cumbersome to move around.

                          I have a pair of Graco 4Ever Extend2Fits in my truck right now. I've got one one rear facing behind the passenger seat and a front facing one behind me. With my daughter behind me, I need to be a bit more forward than I'd like so she has foot room, but it's not awful. I wouldn't wan to drive 100% of the time with her in back, but the wife is the primary daycare drop off and pick-upper.
                          Yes, it was an MT, which honestly is pretty fantastic. I didn't actually drive it, as the COVID restrictions require an appointment for that, and pretreating and all of that non-sense. I like the color a lot more than I thought and the guy wasn't pressuring me, I just didn't expect anyone to be there when I looked at it and we had other errands to run. I may go back tomorrow and check it out in depth, if it is still there. I don't know if the MT's sit longer or shorter with the Tacomas because on most cars they tend to hang around at least a little bit longer. But if there was another guy going back to look at it a second time and test drive it, then I imagine he would be a serious buyer. I'm not in a hurry to compete for it, and I don't have to have it, so I am not really stressed about it or anything. The unfortunate thing is that there aren't too many incentives on it, and I don't expect they will willing to deal too much.

                          I do still need to go drive the Ridgeline again too. My pops is actually looking at a used 1st gen Ridgeline because he wants something more off-road capable, but would be doing stuff similar to me. He mostly wants to be able to go out and do his photography stuff, so the 1st gen would probably be good for that.


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                            #14
                            Originally posted by owequitit View Post

                            Yes, it was an MT, which honestly is pretty fantastic. I didn't actually drive it, as the COVID restrictions require an appointment for that, and pretreating and all of that non-sense. I like the color a lot more than I thought and the guy wasn't pressuring me, I just didn't expect anyone to be there when I looked at it and we had other errands to run. I may go back tomorrow and check it out in depth, if it is still there. I don't know if the MT's sit longer or shorter with the Tacomas because on most cars they tend to hang around at least a little bit longer. But if there was another guy going back to look at it a second time and test drive it, then I imagine he would be a serious buyer. I'm not in a hurry to compete for it, and I don't have to have it, so I am not really stressed about it or anything. The unfortunate thing is that there aren't too many incentives on it, and I don't expect they will willing to deal too much.

                            I do still need to go drive the Ridgeline again too. My pops is actually looking at a used 1st gen Ridgeline because he wants something more off-road capable, but would be doing stuff similar to me. He mostly wants to be able to go out and do his photography stuff, so the 1st gen would probably be good for that.
                            The MT take rate is well under 10% of total production. I don't necessarily think they sit on lots, TBH. I had to order mine and wait for it. That being said, I got mine under invoice, even having to wait for it. Getting a manual Pro would be the tough one, although they have all the options, but rarely trade for under MSRP.

                            https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/...thread.685728/

                            That should give you a rough idea of where you need to be price-wise.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by AccordWarrior View Post

                              The MT take rate is well under 10% of total production. I don't necessarily think they sit on lots, TBH. I had to order mine and wait for it. That being said, I got mine under invoice, even having to wait for it. Getting a manual Pro would be the tough one, although they have all the options, but rarely trade for under MSRP.

                              https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/...thread.685728/

                              That should give you a rough idea of where you need to be price-wise.
                              Thanks! I'll take a look through that thread, but I found a lot of good information on sites like LeaseHack and Truecar, as well as several others.

                              It seems that currently there is a $1000 rebate as well as about $707 dollars of dealer holdback.

                              Like most dealers, they put a few accessories on it, then try to charge out the nose for them ($1200 for door edge guards and "paint protection," which I am pretty sure is NOT the clear film offered by Toyota). Then of course, they have some profit built into the MSRP, so they realistically have about $4000-5000 of wiggle room, and then tack their "fees" on top of that, most of which are pure profit. If I paid what they wanted, there would a little over $8K in profit, but I am not sure if they want to deal. The good news is there is also another nearly identical OR at another dealer, the only difference I can see being that it is white instead of red. This 2020 also did have a few miles on it (374 when I drove it) so I will try to use that for some leverage too.

                              That said, I did go test drive it. Took me a few minutes to get used to it compared to my Honda and I am reminded that Toyota wasn't known for their manuals. It was really fun to drive, but very truck like with a long throw, and a vague clutch. It's actually funny, because I was smiling the whole time because it reminded me EXACTLY of the 87 Toyota truck that I learned to drive a stick on. That said, I agree with you that the engine pairs well with an MT. It is definitely not a rev happy engine, and it is really sort of happiest in the mid-range. I see what you meant with the J-Series in the Pilot feeling more "revvy" and I think that is one of the reasons that Honda gets crap for being "torqueless" even though the J-series specifically is anything but. That said, it does feel comparatively top end oriented, but I still think that is just because it makes good torque but revs out. It isn't a knock on the Toyota, as the Tacoma has a very Toyota traditional power delivery and it the engine was smooth and unobtrusive. It just sort of did its thing.

                              The power seat did help with the seating position, and I would be comfortable in that cab.

                              I took it on the highway, and power was good, and the truck rode pretty smoothly overall. A little bit trucky, but not necessarily in a bad way. Just enough to make you feel like you are driving a truck. I took it on a route I am very familiar with, which included some stop and go, some highway driving, and some road construction. I did notice some tramlining on a highway construction zone that we frequent. I haven't really noticed it too much in the Pilot, so it is probably mostly a side effect of the tires. It was decently quiet on the road and the Wranglers definitely had some hum to them, but not like a lot of the raised lifted trucks you see/hear.

                              I agree with you on the stereo too. Definitely not terrible, but not noteworthy either. I would say it is a little better than the 160W system in our Pilot. I didn't like that one either, but I didn't want to get a higher trim and have to take the 20" wheels, so I settled for a worse stereo. My wife doesn't like loud music anyway, and I frankly don't need more hearing loss, LOL. I would have to experiment with it to determine just how much I would need/want to change it.

                              Overall, I really liked it. Now it comes down to whether I want to take the budget hit, whether I can negotiate a good deal. I also still have to see if the Ridgeline fits better. But I can definitely see why you like the Tacoma. It has very much maintained "old" Toyota DNA. Much more than the first gen Tacoma, IMO, and that makes it instantly relatable and fun. I loved those old Toyota trucks when I was small.


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