2023 Honda Ridgeline vs. Toyota Tacoma vs Ford Ranger vs Hyundai Santa Cruz

Honda Ridgeline vs. Toyota Tacoma vs Ford Ranger vs Hyundai Santa Cruz at Germain Honda of Dublin

The Honda Ridgeline brings a whole new level of versatility to the midsize pickup segment. It does things that other pickups can’t, but this is a very competitive segment, and it’s not always clear what kind of advantage a Ridgeline can offer you. That’s why Germain Honda of Dublin has a helpful comparison, so you can see in detail how the Ridgeline stacks up.

Honda Ridgeline vs Toyota Tacoma

Honda Ridgeline Sport Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport
2023 Honda Ridgeline Sport VS 2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport
4×4 Crew Cab 5-Foor Bed
$40,095* MSRP $39,495
Standard ✓ Dual-Action Tailgate Not Available
Standard ✓ Lockable In-Bed Trunk Not Available
9 ✓ Transmission Speeds 6
Independent Multi-Link ✓ Rear Suspension Leaf Spring
109.7 Cubic Feet ✓ Passenger Volume 100.1 Cubic Feet
36.7 Inches Rear Leg Room 32.6 Inches
62 Inches Front Shoulder Room 58.3 Inches
Multi-Angle ✓ Rearview Camera Single-Angle
5 Stars ✓ NHTSA Crash Test Rating** 4 Stars
64 Inches Bed Length 60.5 Inches
50 Inches Bed Width At Wheel Wells 41.5 Inches

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First to go head-to-head with the Ridgeline is the Toyota Tacoma, using the TRD Sport 4×4 Crew Cab with the 5-foot bed, to give us the trim most similar to the Ridgeline Sport. This is a good place to start, since the two trucks are so similar in terms of price, fuel efficiency, and power. Looking at the details is important to see the differences. For instance, the Tacoma sports a pretty standard bed, but the Ridgeline offers standard equipment like a dual-action tailgate and a lockable in-bed trunk. These options mean a more versatile use of cargo space, giving you more options for how you use it. The Ridgeline’s bed is also longer, and wider between the wheel wells. This comes in especially useful for things like carrying sheets of plywood. Not only that, but AWD is also standard on the Ridgeline, while the 4×4 drivetrain on the Tacoma is an optional extra.

Passenger space is one area where the Ridgeline is always a standout, but when compared to the Tacoma, we can also see that passenger comfort is improved through an independent multi-link rear suspension, while the Tacoma is using a less sophisticated leaf spring system. And when you step on the gas, you’ll notice the advantage of the Ridgeline’s more modern and sophisticated 9-speed transmission, compared to the 6-speed automatic offered with the Tacoma.

The last category is safety, and the Ridgeline is a clear winner here, too. For low-speed situations, the Tacoma’s single-angle rearview camera doesn’t measure up to the multi-angle one found in the Ridgeline, which gives you a far better view when backing up, and a choice of views for different situations. But, most importantly, NHTSA crash testing got the Ridgeline a 5-star rating, compared to 4 stars on the Tacoma.

Honda Ridgeline vs Ford Ranger

Honda Ridgeline Sport Ford Ranger Lariat
2023 Ridgeline Sport VS 2022 Ford Ranger Lariat Crew Cab 4×4
$40,095* ✓ MSRP $41,870
V6 ✓ Engine Configuration I4
280 ✓ Horsepower 270
Independent Multi-Link ✓ Rear Suspension Leaf Spring
Standard ✓ Dual-Action Tailgate Not Available
Standard ✓ Lockable In-Bed Trunk Not Available
109.7 Cubic Feet ✓ Passenger Volume 97.6 Cubic Feet
62 Inches ✓ Front Shoulder Room 56.7 Inches
Multi-Angle ✓ Rearview Camera Single Angle
5 Stars ✓ NHTSA Crash Test Rating** 4 Stars

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Next up is the Ford Ranger, with the Lariat Crew Cab 4×4 being used for this comparison, as it is the most similar to the Ridgeline. Recently reintroduced, the Ranger is still a very conventional pickup. That means it lacks the versatile cargo options of the Ridgeline, such as the Dual-Action Tailgate, or the lockable in-bed trunk.

Ford equipped the Ranger with a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. So it doesn’t quite produce as much horsepower as the Ridgeline, and you won’t get the smooth, linear application of power that you get from a V6, such as the one found in the Ridgeline. Another conventional aspect of the Ranger is the leaf spring rear suspension, which isn’t going to offer the kind of passenger comfort you can expect from the independent multi-link system in the Ridgeline. And speaking of passenger comfort, the 109.7 cubic feet of passenger volume found in the Ridgeline offers a noticeable advantage over the 97.6 cubic feet in the Ranger.

When it comes to safety, the multi-angle rearview camera found in the Ridgeline is going to offer you a much better view of what’s behind you than you’ll find in a single-angle camera, like the one in the Ranger. But one look at the NHTSA crash test ratings of the two trucks tells us the most important safety information, the Ridgeline is rated at 5 stars, while the Ranger came home with only 4 stars.

Honda Ridgeline vs Hyundai Santa Cruz

Honda Ridgeline Sport Hyundai Santa Cruz SEL Premium
2023 Ridgeline Sport VS 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz SEL Premium
Standard ✓ Dual-Action Tailgate Unavailable
109.7 Cubic Feet ✓ Passenger Volume 101.8 Cubic Feet
19.5 Gallons ✓ Fuel Capacity 17.7 Gallons
Available ✓ Truck Bed Audio System Unavailable
1583 Pounds ✓ Total Payload Capacity 1411 Pounds
33.9 Cubic Feet ✓ Bed Cargo Volume 27 Cubic Feet
64 Inches Bed Length (Measured At The Bottom) 41 Inches
50 Inches Bed Width Between Wheel Wells 42.75 Inches

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Last up is the Hyundai Santa Cruz, specifically the SEL Premium. This is because the base engine in the Santa Cruz lags far behind the power output of the Ridgeline, and bringing the Santa Cruz up to the kind of power and towing capacity offered by the Ridgeline required optioning up. Like the Ridgeline, the Santa Cruz is a unibody pickup that offers an independent multi-link rear suspension and a cabin geared towards carrying passengers. But even with this setup, the Santa Cruz still falls short of the Ridgeline in passenger volume. And for as unconventional a truck as the Santa Cruz is, it still lacks the cargo versatility of the Ridgeline, which offers a dual-action tailgate. The bed of the Ridgeline is also noticeably bigger. Not just more volume, but longer and wider too, and by a big volume. That makes carrying flat items, such as plywood up to 4 feet wide, a lot easier in the Ridgeline.

The Ridgeline offers a truck bed audio system, which converts your entire truck bed into a big speaker, for tailgating or other situations where an exterior sound system is desirable. The Santa Cruz doesn’t offer this, and neither do any of the other competitors.

For all the refinement, the Ridgeline also shines when it comes to the more utilitarian tasks you want out of a truck. It has a bigger bed (not even taking into account the extra 7.3 cubic feet of storage offered by the trunk), and a larger payload capacity. It also has a bigger fuel tank, something you want if you’re hitting the trails away from a gas station. The Ridgeline excels as both a comfortable people transporter, but also as a rugged truck.

Honda Ridgeline Trunk
Honda Ridgeline Dual-Action Gate Trunk

Honda Ridgeline

Winner – Honda Ridgeline

It’s pretty clear from the comparison that no other truck offers up quite the same versatility, comfort, and cargo storage flexibility as the Honda Ridgeline. For features you won’t find anywhere else, and a safety rating that easily beats the competition, the Ridgeline is the only choice.

*MSRP includes $1,295 destination charge but excludes tax, license, registration, and accessories. Dealers set own prices. MSRP does not include $395 charge for premium colors.

**Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) New Car Assessment Program (www.safecar.gov)