Most motorheads know the difference between full frame and monocoque trucks. And whoever they prefer, they will say that a monocoque vehicle is lighter and more efficient. But in the case of the Honda Ridgeline, this is simply not true. The Ridgeline actually weighs more than some Toyota Tacomas and gets very similar gas mileage. Here are the details:
|honda ridge line||toyota tacoma|
|Weight||4,436-4,475 pounds||3,915-4,550 pounds|
|V6 fuel mileage||18 MPG city/24 highway||19 MPG city/24 highway|
|Horsepower||280 horsepower||278 horsepower|
|Torque||262 foot-pounds||265 foot-pounds|
|0-60 (Motor Trend)||6.3 seconds||7.0 seconds|
|maximum towing capacity||5,000 pounds||6,400 pounds|
What is the difference between a full-frame truck and a monocoque?
Automakers attach the axles and drivetrain of a full-frame truck to a “ladder frame” before installing a pickup truck on top. Hence the name: body on frame. A monocoque vehicle features a reinforced body instead of a separate frame.
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For example, him Toyota Tacoma is a full frame truck. During the assembly process, Toyota first builds a rolling chassis complete with engine, transmission, and axles. You could conceivably drive it like this. Toyota then installs a Tacoma or 4Runner body on top of this frame.
the sling Ridgeline, on the other hand, is a unibody pickup. Its reinforced body shares a design with the Pilot crossover SUV. Honda begins the assembly of the Ridgeline with a body. Then install the transverse-mounted V6, FWD or AWD, and independent suspension at all four corners.
Is full-frame or unibody construction better?
Once upon a time, all vehicles used body-on-frame construction. In the 1960s, most automakers discovered that a one-piece vehicle was lighter, more agile, more efficient, and could be lower to the ground. While the cars are all one piece, most trucks retain full frame construction for added strength.
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A full frame vehicle is often better off road or while pulling a heavy trailer. This is because a full-frame vehicle is much less likely to flex under load or while navigating extremely rough terrain. Full frame vehicles are also easier to modify and sometimes last longer.
Most car enthusiasts believe that a one-piece vehicle will be much lighter, because you’re not dragging a heavy ladder frame. This weight saving is supposed to improve acceleration, stopping time, handling and even fuel efficiency. For this reason, crossover sales have outpaced full-frame SUV sales. But the truth is rarely that simple. The Honda Ridgeline, for example, can weigh more than the full-frame Toyota Tacoma.
How do the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma compare?
The Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma have nearly identical horsepower numbers and similar weights. The Ridgeline’s low stance and independent suspension give it a much smoother ride and responsive handling. Its acceleration is not fast, but it goes much faster than the slow Tacoma.
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The Tacoma’s full ladder frame and solid rear axle make it a much better tow vehicle. While the Honda Ridgeline has a maximum towing rating of 5,000 pounds, you can configure a Tacoma to tow up to 6,400 pounds. The Tacoma’s solid axle should also make it feel much more stable when pulling a heavy load.
Finally, while you can get a Honda Ridgeline with AWD, you’ll have a hard time installing a lift kit or crawling it down a rough off-road trail. Tacoma’s design makes it a great choice for tough off-roading, including obstacles that lift an entire wheel off the ground.
Because you can get a variety of cab and bed configurations from Tacoma, its weight ranges from just 3,915 to 4,550 pounds. The Ridgeline, on the other hand, only comes with four doors and a single bed size. As a result, each new Ridgeline weighs 4,400 pounds and shifts.
Toyota Tacomas are very different tools and both excel at very different jobs. But their difference is not as simple as weight or power output.
Then read why the Honda Ridgeline is Consumer Reports’ favorite truck or see how these two trucks compare in the direct review in the video below:
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