Honda’s New TrailSport: A challenger to the Toyota Tacoma?

Honda’s new Honda TrailSport is a contender for the Toyota Tacoma. Honda has been making trucks and SUVs in America since 1979, but this is their first attempt at a pickup truck-style vehicle in the North American market. Honda has not yet released pricing or fuel economy estimates, but they say to expect it to be competitive with other midsize pickups in its class when it goes on sale later this year.

People buy a Honda SUV because they can drive well. They can go on the road where you drive most of the time. The Honda brand’s main selling point is not based on coolness or performance. And Honda trucks are less popular than comparable makes like Toyota, Ford, or GMC.

Exactly what is TrailSport you ask? Honda says that TrailSport will be mostly a styling package. For the time being, it’s unclear where TrailSport sits on the spectrum between trim and full-fledged Honda sub-brand.

You can expect specialized interior stitching and a tough cladding on TrailSport versions, at least at first. Honda is considering adding off-road-tuned suspensions, skid plates, better tires, and an extended AWD capability with added ground clearance eventually to future TrailSport models.

Is this Honda trying to catch up with the game? They are coming out with a Ridgeline edition called TrailSport. Honda describes it as a ‘rugged halo for Honda light trucks’. Could this be Honda attempting to compete more aggressively against mid-size trucks like the Toyota Tacoma?

Honda must be seeing the benefit of having an off road sub-brand. Toyota’s been doing it for years with their TRD brand, there’s even a TRD Off Road edition of the RAV4. Other brands also offer similar off road versions of their cars, like Subaru with their wilderness trims and Ford with their Timberline trim.

The name will be used in a variety of ways. According to Honda, it will be utilized first on their light truck models. For Honda, this can apply to almost anything other than a Civic, Accord, or Insight. So you can expect to hear more of this new moniker in the near future.

The first TrailSports models are expected to arrive at dealers in the fall. By then, the 2022 Tacoma and a completely redesigned Tundra will also be ready for ordering. Would you take a Honda truck over a Toyota? Let us know in the comments below!

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