Only 1 Midsize Truck Is Rated Most Reliable and Safest, and It’s Not a Toyota

Toyota has dominated the mid-size truck market for years regarding reliability and safety. That’s why it’s somewhat surprising that another vehicle has been named as more reliable and safer than the Toyota Tacoma. Find out which truck is rated the most reliable and safest, according to an industry leader.

The Toyota Tacoma came in second

A 2023 Honda Ridgeline as one of the most reliable and safest.
2023 Honda Ridgeline | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

According to iSeeCars, the Toyota Tacoma didn’t take top honors but came in at a respectable second. While that’s not quite what Toyota might be used to, it’s still an accomplishment. The Tacoma is still a dependable and safe mid-size truck.

It landed an overall score of 8.5 out of 10 from iSeeCars. Regarding reliability, value retention, and safety, the Tacoma scored at least an 8 out of 10.

The Toyota Tacoma offers everything from a budget truck to a serious off-roader with its available trim levels. It has available off-road equipment consisting of Crawl Control, snorkels, and skid plates. It still is a reasonably inexpensive entry into the mid-size truck market that is capable on and off-road.

That said, the Tacoma hasn’t had a significant update since 2016, and it shows. Tacoma’s interior is not as refined or comfortable as its competitors, though it has recently added Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

While the Tacoma does score high in reliability, there are still some concerns if you buy used. Recent year models have had recurring transmission issues.

Even at a respectable second place, the Toyota Tacoma is tough to beat for the value.

The Honda Ridgeline took top honors as the truck rated most reliable and safest

The Honda Ridgeline is a different truck than everything else in the mid-size segment. The Ridgeline is the only mid-size truck with a unibody, giving it some leverage over its peers in certain areas.

The Ridgeline scored an impressive 9 out of 10 overall. Even more impressive was the perfect 10 out of 10 in safety. It scored a little lower than the Tacoma in value retention at 8.4 versus Tacoma’s 8.9, but the scores in safety and reliability took it over the top.

What makes the Ridgeline a little different is that automotive testers who don’t focus solely on trucks gave it high marks.

What makes the Honda Ridgeline the truck rated most reliable and safest?

The Honda Ridgeline has an updated infotainment system, which includes an in-bed audio system. The unibody design gives the Ridgeline a smooth ride with best-in-class ride quality. iSeeCars was amazed that “it is not the top-selling vehicle” in its class because of its precise handling, comfortable ride, and sleek look.

It has the better towing capability and more horsepower than the Toyota Tacoma without losing comparable fuel mileage. It comes in at an average of 21 mpg, while the Tacoma averages 18 to 21 mpg.

However, the Tacoma starts at $27,150, while the Ridgeline starts at $38,140. The Tacoma’s top trim level is $5000 above the highest average price of the Ridgeline, so at some trim levels, the prices are very comparable.

Where the Tacoma shines is in its off-road capability. The Ridgeline’s unibody design doesn’t lend itself to harsh off-roading conditions, though it is capable enough for lighter exploring and hitting up some dirt roads in the area. The Ridgeline shouldn’t be your pick if you want a truck that will tackle any off-road challenge.

On the other hand, if most of your driving is average, with a bit of off-roading or pulling a boat thrown in on the weekends, then the Honda Ridgeline might be your surprise mid-size truck pick.