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On the sales charts, the Toyota Tacoma dominates the Honda Ridgeline. It’s the top-selling midsize pickup truck. With its off-road prowess and durability, the Tacoma has a significant following. However, the 2023 Honda Ridgeline beats the 2023 Toyota Tacoma in one huge way. It has better driving dynamics.

2023 Honda Ridgeline has better driving dynamics than the 2023 Toyota Tacoma

Front angle view of gray 2023 Honda Ridgeline midsize pickup truck
2023 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

In terms of driving dynamics, the 2023 Honda Ridgeline is superior to the 2023 Toyota Tacoma. Some people criticize the Ridgeline for not being a “real pickup truck,” for unlike traditional trucks, it has a unibody construction.

However, the unibody construction is part of the reason why the Ridgeline has such good driving dynamics. The unibody construction provides greater stiffness, enabling the midsize truck to use softer springs, resulting in better ride quality. Also, with the unibody design, there’s less vibration and noise, so you can enjoy a quieter ride. In comparison, the Tacoma is noisier, and its ride quality is harsher. 

Another reason for the better driving dynamics of the Ridgeline is its wider track width. Compared to the Tacoma, it has an additional 3.6 inches for the front wheels and 3.3 inches for the rear ones. Also, while the rear suspension for the Tacoma has a solid rear axle with leaf springs, the Ridgeline has a more sophisticated fully independent one with coil springs. Furthermore, the Ridgeline has larger standard wheels than the Tacoma (18” vs. 16”).

In past decades, pickup trucks were more utilitarian — and left much to be desired for ride quality and comfort. However, in recent years, they have greatly improved for driving dynamics — and this is exemplified by the Ridgeline. It has the capabilities of a pickup truck — but it drives like a smooth-riding SUV. The Tacoma, though, hearkens back to the rough-riding trucks of yesteryear. 

2023 Ridgeline also boasts better performance and acceleration than the 2023 Tacoma

Rear angle view of black 2023 Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck
2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

Another element that enables the 2023 Honda Ridgeline to have better driving dynamics than the 2023 Toyota Tacoma is its more powerful standard engine. All Ridgeline models feature a 3.5-liter V-6, which delivers 280 horsepower. 

Conversely, the standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine in the Tacoma is surprisingly weak. It produces only a meager 159 horsepower. That’s an output you’d expect to see for a compact car, not a midsize pickup truck. While the Tacoma offers an optional 278-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine, you have to pay extra.

Furthermore, the Ridgeline boasts quicker acceleration. It completes the 0-60 mph sprint in as little as 6.3 seconds, compared to 7.7 seconds for the Tacoma.

Other strengths of the Honda Ridgeline over the Toyota Tacoma


2023 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2023 Honda Ridgeline: Pickup Truck Showdown!

In addition to its better driving dynamics and performance, the 2023 Ridgeline pickup truck has some other strengths over the 2023 Tacoma. This includes a roomier cabin. The Ridgeline has a total passenger volume of 110 cu-ft. In comparison, the Tacoma only provides up to 100 cu-ft of passenger space. 

The biggest beneficiary of the extra space in the Ridgeline is the rear seat passengers — with up to 36.7 inches of rear legroom. However, the rear seats of the Tacoma are more cramped — with only 32.6 inches for the Double Cab models and 24.6 inches for Access Cab models.

Furthermore, the cabin of the Ridgeline is more upscale than the Tacoma. It has higher-quality materials and a more modern design. Plus, the Ridgeline offers interior features that you can’t get for the Tacoma. This includes a driver’s seat memory function, a rear seat center armrest, an easy entry system, and noise cancellation technology.

The 2023 Honda Ridgeline beats the 2023 Toyota Tacoma in a huge way with its better driving dynamics. When deciding between the two midsize pickup trucks, the superior driving dynamics are a pivotal factor to keep in mind.