The 2022 Honda Ridgeline Might Be Better Than the 2022 Toyota Tacoma

The 2022 Honda Ridgeline is not the same Ridgeline people have ignored for a long time. In fact, in a lot of ways, the new Ridgeline is actually better than the best-selling pickup in its class. The 2022 Toyota Tacoma does a lot of things really well, which is why it sells the most every year. What does the 2022 Honda Ridgeline have that the 2022 Toyota Tacoma doesn’t? There might be a lot more than you think.

How the 2022 Honda Ridgeline beats the Toyota Tacoma

Red Honda Ridgeline parked in the desert. This is the same model and color as we had in our 2021 Honda Ridgeline review
2021 Ridgeline Sport with HPD Package | Honda

The Honda Ridgeline is a massive underdog in every way when competing against the king Tacoma. It does prove itself better in more ways than you’d think when comparing the two compact pickup trucks. Firstly, the payload rating for the Ridgeline Sport vs. the Tacoma TRD Sport. The Ridgeline has a maximum payload rating of 1,596 pounds, compared to Tacoma’s 1,100. Nearly 500 pounds separate the Ridgeline from the Tacoma, which is quite a bit when you’re hauling a heavy payload. Next are some of Ridgeline’s standard features. Coming standard in the Ridgeline Sport is a lay-flat truck bed, dual-action tailgate, and lockable in-bed trunk. None of these are available on the Toyota Tacoma.

The lay-flat bed simply allows products like plywood or drywall to lay flat, unlike the Tacoma. Tacoma beds are not wide enough, and materials like those will need to bend on the side of the bed or hang out further than the Ridgeline. The dual-action tailgate can be lowered, or swung open horizontally like a door. This allows for convenience when loading and unloading, or even climbing into the truck. You can even open up the bottom of the bed to store more inside with the in-bed trunk, exclusive to the Honda Ridgeline.

The Honda Ridgeline is faster than the Toyota Tacoma

Gray 2022 Toyota Tacoma with mountains in the background
2022 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

One of the most common questions, when anyone is looking for a vehicle to purchase, is how fast can it go? Horsepower, the engine, and many other things play a part in answering this question. Most importantly for the Ridgeline, it’s faster than the Tacoma. As far as acceleration goes, the Ridgeline can go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. The same speed can be reached in a Tacoma in 7.4 seconds. That’s more than a full second faster in favor of the Ridgeline, but that’s not all.

The Dirt Road Slalom Average Speed for the Ridgeline Sport is 32 mph, just barely beating 31 mph by the Tacoma TRD Sport. If you’re unfamiliar, the Dirt Road Slalom is Car and Driver‘s course for testing a vehicle’s off-road prowess. The Ridgeline notably demonstrated superior control and clocked a faster average time than the Toyota Tacoma. Though the average speed isn’t much higher than the Tacoma’s number, any amount faster on this course is quite significant. Could the Ridgeline be edging out the Tacoma in terms of off-road capability too?

The HPD Package

A silver 2022 honda ridgeline equipped with the HPD package parked outside
2022 Honda Ridgeline with HPD Package | Honda

The Honda Performance Development package adds accessories and changes the design of the truck to improve its appearance. It adds HPD fender flares, a sport grille with a carbon-fiber pattern, and 18-inch bronze alloy wheels. Each of these helps the Ridgeline to stand out from the competition. The most distinct of the HPD features are the bronze wheels, which are unlike almost anything else you see on the road. They look nice and are unique enough to turn the Ridgeline into a head-turner.

There are a lot of reasons to like the 2022 Honda Ridgeline. The extra features, speed, off-road prowess, and HPD package all add something to the vehicle that gives it an edge. Beating the competition is difficult for all automakers, but beating the compact truck giant that’s dominated for years is even harder. That’s why it’s so impressive that there are this many different ways the 2022 Honda Ridgeline is better than the 2022 Toyota Tacoma.

RELATED: The 2022 Toyota Tacoma Provides Increased Off-Roading Power