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The 2021 Honda Ridgeline is here with a new Honda Performance Development package and standard all-wheel drive. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is a tried and true rugged beast in the latter end of a generation that began with the 2016 model year. And in all reality, there are only three reasons to choose the Toyota Tacoma over the Honda Ridgeline.  

all-new 2022 Honda Ridgeline posing off-road with two honda dirt bikes in the pickup bed
2021 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

Both of these trucks are considered midsize pickup trucks. They are larger than the new compact pickups like the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz and the 2022 Ford Maverick. But while the Tacoma and Ridgeline belong to the same segment, these two trucks are vastly different.

How much weight can a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck tow? 

With the 4-cylinder engine, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma can tow up to 3,500 lbs. Equipped with the stronger V6, the Taco tows up to 6,800 when configured properly. This is one of the primary reasons someone might choose the Toyota Tacoma instead of the Honda Ridgeline.

In fact, the 2022 Honda Ridgeline is a midsize truck that tows up to 5,000 lbs. While this is 1,500 lbs more capability than the 4-cylinder Toyota Tacoma, it’s nearly 2,000 lbs less than that of the V6 Tacoma pickup truck. If you want a towing machine, the V6 Tacoma pickup truck is going to do more for you than the Ridgeline. 

However, the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon both tow nearly 8,000 lbs (7,700) when equipped with the turbo diesel engine option. The Taco may not be the biggest, baddest towing truck, but when adequately equipped it does tow significantly more than what the 2022 Honda Ridgeline is capable of. 

The Toyota Tacoma dominates off-road

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma is coming with some enhancements to its TRD Pro trim as well as a new 4×4 Trail Edition Taco. The Toyota Tacoma doesn’t just look adventurous. Actually, it’s a proven rock crawler with a sturdy body on frame design and available extras that give off-road drivers an edge when it comes to trucking off the beaten path. 

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline is made with a unibody construction. That said, it does have reinforced frame pieces and standard all-wheel drive on every model in the new lineup. It’s really no slouch when it comes to off-road driving, but the Ridgeline just isn’t capable of handling off-road obstacles like the trusty Taco. 

The Toyota Tacoma offers a cheap pickup truck model

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro in Electric Lime climbing over rocks
2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro in Electric Lime | Toyota

Honda’s unibody pickup truck, the Ridgeline, starts at $36,490. This is quite a bit steeper in price than the base model 2021 Toyota Tacoma. One of the cheapest truck models on the market, the rugged Tacoma starts at $26,400 according to Toyota

For buyers that want a budget-friendly work truck, the Toyota Tacoma SR makes more sense than the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport model. One reason to choose the Toyota Tacoma over the Honda Ridgeline is for its low price point––but keep in mind that this pricing doesn’t allow for the V6 engine option. 

The Honda Ridgeline is a well-round midsize pickup truck 

a red 2021 Honda Ridgeline driving on a country road
2021 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

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With all new rugged styling tweaks, enhanced engineering, and standard all-wheel drive, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline is a midsize pickup truck that doubles as a city truck with a smooth ride and a toy hauler for weekend fun. 

It’s not easy to say exactly whether the Toyota Tacoma is better than the Honda Ridgeline or vice versa. However, there are really only 3 main reasons someone might choose the Toyota Tacoma over the Ridgeline. If you need a truck with a budget pricing option, better towing strength, and serious off-road capability, then go with the Toyota Tacoma. 

On the other hand, the Ridgeline is a truck with nice road manners, a loaded base model, and cool features like a trunk in the bed that can be used as a cooler. They are both compelling options for different reasons.