4Runner vs. Ridgeline - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 11-20-2018, 09:14 AM   #1
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4Runner vs. Ridgeline

I am trying to finalize my decision on a tow vehicle for our 17A (due in Feb). Yesterday I test drove a 2015 4Runner Limited and a 2014 Ridgeline RTL. I am really leaning toward the Ridgeline at the moment due to the practicality of the truck bed and additional trunk storage underneath the bed. It seems like a solid, yet comfortable, and easy to drive vehicle.
I have always had a crush on 4Runners, but I think the Ridgeline is more practical for my needs.


Is there any reason I should reconsider and go for the 4Runner instead? Gas mileage? Towing capabilities? Anything else I may be missing?

I would love to hear your experiences and opinions regarding either vehicle. Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2018, 11:16 AM   #2
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Ronna,
We have a 2015 Escape 17A that we tow with a 2011 Honda Pilot. We think it's just about perfect for our trailer size, and where we roam. Our Pilot is very similar to the Ridgeline, with the same engine (Acura VTEC V6), and a 5 speed transmission. Ridgeline towing capacity is higher. We've been over much of the Western US, including some pretty healthy mountain passes. Overall mileage (12,000 miles over 3 years) towing averages about 13 mpg, which includes mt. passes in excess of 8,000 ft. Typical Interstate highway mileage is 14-15 mpg, at about 63-64 mph. We've gotten as good as 18 mpg on straight, level I-5 through Calif. Central Valley, and as low as 10 mpg on the climbs to our favorite fishing spots at 9-10,000 ft.
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Old 11-20-2018, 11:28 AM   #3
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Thank you so much for sharing your experience! It's very helpful to see some real-world numbers for a comparable vehicle pulling the exact trailer we will! Thanks
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Old 11-20-2018, 12:21 PM   #4
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I had a Honda Pilot and now have a 4Runner. The 4Runner has an advantage in towing because you can manually select 4th gear. In the Honda you could select overdrive or 3rd (which was recommended for towing) which was a choice between frequent gear hunting by the transmission or high engine revs and poorer gas mileage. Overdrive often was too high, third was too low. 4th on the 4Runner is just right. That said, the Honda transmission did the job.

Honda had 3mpg better gas mileage non towing, 3mpg worse gas mileage towing.

The Pilot rear suspension was soft, but corrected fine with the addition of air-lift 1000 air bags. The 4Runner is stiffer.

The Pilot ride was better so it made for a better all around vehicle. The 4Runner has a truck frame and is a better tow vehicle. I don't know how much the Ridgeline differs from the Pilot in ride and suspension.

Both offer all wheel drive. The Honda selects the mode automatically, the 4Runner has switches to turn. When not in all-wheel drive the Honda is a front wheel drive vehicle, the 4Runner is rear wheel.

You might also look at the Highlander as a comparable to the Ridgeline/Pilot. Or the Tacoma if you like the truck bed on a 4Runner frame.

Both are excellent vehicles.
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viajante View Post
I had a Honda Pilot and now have a 4Runner. The 4Runner has an advantage in towing because you can manually select 4th gear. In the Honda you could select overdrive or 3rd (which was recommended for towing) which was a choice between frequent gear hunting by the transmission or high engine revs and poorer gas mileage. Overdrive often was too high, third was too low. 4th on the 4Runner is just right. That said, the Honda transmission did the job.
...............

That's a good point about the Honda. That's why we are typically at about 63 mph, because the tranny locks in 5th gear just below that speed on level or near-level ground. That's really the one thing I wish Honda would provide - manual shift option.


Maybe the biggest determinant for us to pick Honda rather than a Toyota product is the service at the local dealer. We're a just a number at Toyota; at Honda, Martin, our service advisor, is on it, and goes out of his way to make sure everything is A-OK before we head out. Something to consider!!
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:40 AM   #6
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From experience on the Honda Ridgeline's after owning both a 2008 first generation and a 2017 second generation. Fuel mileage, average 15-20, normal for 2006-2014 models. Now the 2017 first year for the new model, 22-25, big difference, and pulling our Casita we average 16-18 MPG, big difference in the new model vs. the older model. I never took the transmission out of the overdrive position on either vehicle, but the 2017 Ridgeline has a 6 speed trans and the computer does all the work for you, probably that's accounts for the higher fuel mileage both towing and not towing. The Casita has a tongue weight of around 450 lbs. when we have it loaded for camping and the Ridgeline will only set down 1 to 1 1/4 inches and the travel is level to pull at that weight. We never used a WDH and the trailer and vehicle never ever acted like it needed one. The bed trunk is the best option I've every had in a pickup, we carry our propane grille and all the camping trailer setup gear in there. I personally don't think you would be disappointed with the Ridgeline it tows a trailer in it's weight class very well. I can't say much about the 4Runner as I have never owned one, but I see them being used pulling trailer of the same size all the time when camping. From what I read you may need a WDH and a tow package on the 4Runner to get the job done, but I would check into it before I decided on one. I personally would rather have a pickup to do the job and the Ridgeline rear seat when folded up give a lot of room to carry a lot of camping gear, plus you also have the pickup bed. Good Luck

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Old 11-21-2018, 10:46 AM   #7
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From experience on the Honda Ridgeline's after owning both a 2008 first generation and a 2017 second generation. Fuel mileage, average 15-20, normal for 2006-2014 models. Now the 2017 first year for the new model, 22-25, big difference
which Escape model you referring to?
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Old 11-21-2018, 02:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainman View Post
From experience on the Honda Ridgeline's after owning both a 2008 first generation and a 2017 second generation. Fuel mileage, average 15-20, normal for 2006-2014 models. Now the 2017 first year for the new model, 22-25, big difference, and pulling our Casita...
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
From experience on the Honda Ridgeline's after owning both a 2008 first generation and a 2017 second generation. Fuel mileage, average 15-20, normal for 2006-2014 models. Now the 2017 first year for the new model, 22-25, big difference
which Escape model you referring to?
Apparently a Casita 17, which is very comparable (as far as towing is concerned) to an Escape 17 - similar length, width, weight, and axle configuration.
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Old 11-24-2018, 07:24 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your insights.



We are now the proud new owners of a 2017 Ridgeline!!!



Our Escape 17A won't be ready until February, but we found a great deal on a Ridgeline yesterday and went for it! Having our tow vehicle in hand makes this whole adventure seem much more real! Now I can't wait for our build pictures to start coming in!!!
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Old 11-24-2018, 07:29 AM   #10
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Yay !
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