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2017 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2017 Honda Ridgeline vs. 2016 Nissan Frontier

Sometimes "midsize" can sound like a dirty word. As in something less than substantial, too small to get the job done. But midsize pickup trucks are very versatile, and come at a nice price besides. If you're in the market for a vehicle that can tow a couple tons and mud with the best of them and still get nice fuel economy, you'll want to see our comparison of three top models in the class, the 2017 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2017 Honda Ridgeline vs. 2016 Nissan Frontier.

The 2017 Toyota Tacoma is fresh on dealership lots as of late summer 2016, and is a carryover from 2016 models, with a nice variety of engine options and powertrains that can get up to 278 HP, enabling this capable pickup to tow up to 6,400 pounds, or more than three tons. The 2017 Tacoma has the best handling of the trio of trucks we're comparing, with a nice curb-to-curb turning radius of 40.6 feet in base trim levels. This makes the 2017 Tacoma much more able to turn on a dime than the 2017 Ridgeline's 44.4 feet or the 2016 Frontier's 43.33 feet, whether you're parking downtown or moving heavy freight at work. And the 2017 Tacoma was the only one of the three pickups that was named by Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com as the Best Resale Value: Midsize Pickup Truck for the 2016 model year.

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2017 Toyota Tacoma Vs. 2017 Honda Ridgeline 2016 Nissan Frontier
19, 24 MPG (city, highway) 19, 26 19, 23
6,400 Max. Towing Capacity (pounds) 5,000 6,500
Yes KBB.com "Best Resale Value: Midsize Pickup Truck - 2016"? No No
6.1 (7 in top-line trims) Size of Base Trim's Color Touchscreen? (inches) 5 5
40.6 Turning Circle (feet) 44.4 43.33

Take a Tacoma for a Test Drive in Novato CA

The 2017 Honda Ridgeline is back for the new model year after an absence of a couple years, and while it has the best power output with 280 HP in all trim levels, which narrowly edges the 2017 Tacoma's peak power of 278 HP, it is a bulkier truck with a base curb weight more than 200 pounds more than the 2017 Tacoma and 500 pounds more than a base 2016 Frontier. The 2017 Ridgeline also carries the highest base asking price at nearly $30,000 MSRP. Which is tough to swallow, when you consider the 2017 Ridgeline can only tow 5,000 pounds in all configurations, while the 2017 Tacoma and 2016 Frontier exceed that by more than 20 percent.

The 2016 Frontier was recently named best in class for vehicle satisfaction by AutoPacific. While this midsize truck has solid towing numbers and MSRP, it also comes with inferior fuel economy and a wider turning radius when compared with the 2017 Tacoma. The 2016 Frontier also has a smaller color touchscreen display than the 2017 Tacoma at only 5 inches, while the 2017 Tacom's checks in with 6.1 inches in base trims and steps up to 7 inches for top-line trim options. The 2017 Ridgeline also has an inferior 5-inch color touchscreen in base trims.

Add up all the pros and cons, and the 2017 Toyota Tacoma is a clear winner, with the finest combination of towing power, handling, color touchscreen options, and price, among the other benefits of this pickup. And we carry the Toyota Tacoma at Novato Toyota, 115 Vintage Way in Novato, CA, which is about 30 miles from San Francisco, and we serve the area that includes San Rafael, Petaluma, Oakland and San Francisco. Please contact us at (415) 897-3191 or visit us to set up a test drive of the Tacoma truck today.