Trucks & SUVs

2021 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2021 Honda Ridgeline: Which Pickup Is the Better Choice?

The pickup segment is rife with options. Among them are the 2021 Honda Ridgeline and the 2021 Toyota Tacoma. But of these two pickups, which makes for the better option? Is it the 2021 Honda Ridgeline or the 2021 Toyota Tacoma that makes for the better pick? Let’s find out.

A 2021 Toyota Tacoma parked on sand
2021 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline comes equipped with a more powerful base engine

At the heart and soul of the 2021 Honda Ridgeline is a 3.5-liter direct-injected VTEC V6 engine that comes paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Churning out a full 280-hp, Car and Driver reports that the Honda Ridgeline’s engine “feels smooth, and throttle response is especially receptive when you call for hard acceleration.” 

As for the 2021 Toyota Tacoma? This year’s model comes outfitted with a 159-hp 2.7-liter I4 engine, which makes it significantly less powerful than the Honda Ridgeline. Though, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma is also available with a 3.5-Liter V6 with 278-hp, which Car and Driver reports “provides decent performance and towing muscle.”

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But it’s the 2021 Toyota Tacoma that boasts better maximum tow ratings

While the 2021 Toyota Tacoma does come outfitted with a less powerful engine than that of the Honda Ridgeline’s, it does boast a better maximum tow rating than its Honda competition. Opt for the Tacoma’s standard 2.7-liter engine and it can tow a maximum of 3,500 pounds. Choose its available V6 instead and the 2021 Toyota Tacoma delivers an impressive 6,800-pound towing capacity.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline, on the other hand, isn’t quite as brawny as its Toyota competition. Opt for a Honda Ridgeline with front-wheel drive and you can expect it to tow up to 3,500 pounds. Choose one that’s equipped with all-wheel drive instead and the 2021 Honda Ridgeline is rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds.  

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma offers great reliability and resale value

There’s no denying that the Toyota Tacoma is a well-known pickup. It’s been around for quite a long time and has definitely earned its solid reputation. It certainly helps that the Tacoma offers great reliability ratings and boasts a high resale value too. Consumer Reports has given the Tacoma a five out of five overall reliability rating numerous times and, according to CarEdge, ranks number one in its segment for resale value.

As for the Honda Ridgeline? It’s certainly not the most unreliable pickup out there, but according to Consumer Reports, it has struggled some when it comes to overall reliability ratings. While the Ridgeline has earned itself a five out of five overall reliability rating for some model years, other years weren’t able to land such high marks. As for depreciation? CarEdge reports that the Honda Ridgeline has an average depreciation of 57%, compared to the Tacoma’s 29%.

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Choosing the right pickup for satisfying your automotive needs

If you’re after a well-rounded pickup that’s able to tow a hefty load, the Tacoma makes for a great pick. There’s no denying that it’s pretty reliable too, and will likely hold its value for quite some time. That’s not to say that you should avoid the 2021 Honda Ridgeline altogether, though. The Honda Ridgeline does have some things going for it, including its powerful base engine, it just doesn’t have nearly as much to offer as the Tacoma does.