With American Marquees playing quite well in the heavy-duty pickup market with all the RAMs, GMCs, Fords, the Japanese have joined the show as well. Honda Ridgeline pulls off quite a show when we compare all these light pickups. Although, the Ridgeline is more of an SUV, owing to its uni-body construction as opposed to the more traditional truck-like Body on frame construction. Ridgeline owes its design nuances to the Honda Pilot. Considering the same, Ridgeline can also be considered Pilot's sister car.
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Engine and Performance
Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide
Honda Ridgeline is more inclined towards refinement and basically built for city roads and will be an excellent mate for your weekend excursion or fishing trips with your friends and family. Show it some serious off-road stuff and you might get disappointed. Starting at $29,630, Honda Ridgeline is on the expensive side for a base model of any mid-size truck in the country. However, all the luxury and smoothness sure comes at a price. With the top trim priced at $43,120, you still have to compromise on off-road and towing capabilities. So, is the Ridgeline worth it? Let's move ahead and find out!
8.0/10 Engine and Performance
8.0/10 Fuel Economy
8.5/10 Final Verdict
2020 Honda Ridgeline Features
Honda Ridgeline comes in 6 different trims, starting from the base trim – RT priced at $29.630 to top Black Edition which retails at $43,120. While ABS with EBD and other passive safety features are standard on all the trims, All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is unavailable on the RT trim.
RT (No AWD)
Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Guidelines
Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control System
Truck-Bed Audio System
Exclusive 18-Inch Black-Painted Alloy Wheels
Bluetooth Hands-Free Link and Streaming Audio
Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
540-Watt Premium Audio System with 8 Speakers, including Subwoofer
Black Side Mirrors, Door Handles, and Front Skid Plate
Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
Remote Engine Start
Heated Front Seats
Honda Sensing Feature Suite
Black Leather Trim with Contrasting Red Stitching
200-Watt Audio System with 7 Speakers, including Subwoofer
SMS Text Message Function
One-Touch Power Moonroof with Tilt Feature
Red Ambient LED Lighting
Cap-less Fuel Filler
18-Inch Gray-Painted Alloy Wheels
225-Watt Audio System with 7 Speakers, including Subwoofer
LED Headlights with Auto-On/
5-Inch Color LCD ScreenPush Button Start
Plus everything on the RT
8-Inch Display Audio with Electrostatic Touch-Screen
Blue Ambient LED Lighting
Automatic-Dimming Rearview Mirror
Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System
Although the car stands a firm ground with the engine that It comes with. It would also muster a gathering of free thinkers and choosers, with no engine options at all. It somewhat loses against other trucks in the category even when fully equipped and upgraded.
However, considering the features, choosing one of the trims can be a task at hand. That’s where we come to your rescue. Go through our detailed trim comparison and find out which one suits you.
RTL-T is the heaviest in feature list, you don’t have to go any higher in the trim levels. Brimmed well and it is good to go for.
2020 Honda Ridgeline Engine and Performance
"Among pickups, the Honda Ridgeline stands apart because of its uni-body chassis, fully independent suspension and torque-vectoring AWD system that improves stability on all surfaces. We like how the 3.5-liter V6 and the six-speed automatic work together. The catch: Off-road potential is limited."-Edmunds
Ridgeline shares its underpinnings with the Honda Pilot, so is the powertrain on this one. Honda Ridgeline is equipped with a 3.5L V6 i-VTEC engine that pumps out 280 HP and generates a peak torque of 262 lb-ft. peaking at 4700 rpm. The engine teamed with a 6-Speed Automatic Transmission drives almost as smooth as any luxury SUV in the market.
With no engine options available, the V6 does fare well against the competition in terms of on-road performance. Mated the 3.5L V6 is a 6-speed automatic transmission and Honda Ridgeline is not a truck with any more choices available. Other trucks in the category have taken a couple of steps more when it comes to the transmission.
3.5 L, V – 6, 6-Speed Automatic
3.5 L, V – 6, 6 Speed Automatic
3.6 L, V – 6, 8-Speed Automatic
3.6 L, V – 6, 8-Speed Automatic
4 L, V – 6, 5-Speed Automatic
262 lb-ft at 4700 rpm
265 lb-ft at 4600 rpm
275 lb-ft at 4000 rpm
275 lb-ft at 4000 rpm
281 lb-ft at 4000 rpm
Likes of Colorado and Canyon Denali offer 8-Speed Automatics with the V-6 configurations, while Honda and the Toyota Tacoma still make do with the 6-speed transmission resulting in slower quarter-mile timings. Addition of a better transmission would have rendered Ridgeline a better vehicle in terms of pure acceleration.
The V6 on the Ridgeline is not the best powerhouse available in the V6 setting but sure has a lot of upswept advantages over the other cars in the segment. The 3.5L Gas-powered V6 is capable of delivering 280 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque resulting in reaching 0 to 60 mph in under 6.6 secs while a quarter-mile in 15.2 seconds while crossing the line at 93 mph.
3.5 L, V – 6 i-VTEC
3.5 L, V – 6
3.6 L, V6
3.6 L, V – 6
4.0 L, V – 6
0 – 60 mph
Quarter Mile Timings
However, Canyon aces the Ridgeline by almost 0.3 seconds and does a 0-60 mph sprint in 6.3 seconds which also makes the Canyon the fastest car in the segment.
Ride and Handling
Honda Ridgeline is actually a family SUV disguised as a truck on the overall driving front. When Honda decided to carve the truck out of the Pilot, they made sure that the pleasure and feel ride along with all the other features. The Ridgeline offers excellent traction on all fours, although the front-wheel drive doesn’t disappoint either.
The engine is also available with 2WD (2-Wheel Drive) and AWD (All-Wheel Drive) drive options. AWD is available with Intelligent Variable Torque Management (i-VTM4). The management system can deliver up to 70 percent of total engine output to either the left or right rear wheel based on the conditions. It comes with an Intelligent Traction Management System with Normal, Mud, Sand, and Snow driving modes, too.
Ridgeline offers a rack and pinion steering. Driving the Ridgeline around the corner will ascertain our recommendation if driving pleasure on a budget is what we are shopping for. When we say, it’s nothing like a truck, we mean it.
With harder suspension than the Pilot, Honda decided to redesign suspension components for pickup duty. The Ridgeline is confident around the tightest of turns, it is firm, solid but a little bumpy at times, just a little. All thanks to the 18-inch wheels with 245/60 rubber and the high tire walls, the wheel always feel in control and the ride doesn’t become any rough even over the rougher patches.
Honda Ridgeline seriously lacks some stopping power. Among its peers, Honda Ridgeline took the longest in the 70 Miles per hour to a standstill test (70 – 0 mph). While all the other trucks stopped on the good side of 180s, the Ridgeline stopped at a longer 195 ft. distance.
70 – 0 mph (in feet)
Nevertheless, Honda has taken into consideration the safety leaks that the braking powers come with. Bringing in ABS with EBD along the Brake Assist (BA) somehow might help you be safer on the roads.
2020 Honda Ridgeline Fuel Economy
Honda Ridgeline get the same engine as it had in the older edition. The V-6 drives smooth and is mated to a 6 – Speed automatic transmission. The combination is almost a symphony delivering excellent fuel economy both in the city and on the highways. It wouldn’t matter if you were driving an AWD or the 2WD train, the Ridgeline delivers a flat 18/19 in the city while a 24/25 on the highways.
When looking at the mpg figures of the competition, you wouldn’t really be impressed with either. All the cars in the mid-size truck segment yield the same number. If you choose one, Honda Ridgeline would still deliver the best return to the price of gas in your city from the lot.
2020 Honda Ridgeline Interior
"This Honda’s cabin leaves little to complain about. It’s well-designed, well-appointed, and quiet, and it’s arguably the nicest interior in the class."-Cars.USnews
Seating and Comfort
The Ridgeline is a car that provides you with a lot of options even with almost 6 trims being available. Honda offers only one cabin size that is a crew can with the maximum sitting of 5 people. While the seats are comfortable and heated on the higher trims, the 60:40 split rear can also be folded for even increased cargo space on the car. However, the truck doesn’t really have a fully flat floor underneath the seats but sure helps in carrying some more weight around when the trunk is full or in case of bad weather.
Taking the ‘bad’ ground clearance into consideration, the Ridgeline has the seating height of 30.9 inches which is lowest in the class. While low seating height can be an issue for some looking for a bird’s eye view from inside of the car, getting in and out of the car is not going to be an issue for even the people with small bones.
The interior of the Ridgeline is along the lines of a pilot, Its a cockpit-like cabin with interior warped in leather upwards of the RTL trim of the vehicle. Even the base (RT) and Sport trims, you can opt for black fabric upholstery interior.
The dashboard is made out of soft plastic that meets the lines of luxury and sophistication. With a choice of 5.0 -inch non-touch music control and an 8-inch HondaLink Infotainment system, the cabin sure looks upmarket. However, the music interface fails to impress, making the Illuminated Steering Wheel-Mounted Controls a standard on all trims.
This is an area where most people, even not-so-music-buffs are not going to be happy about. Honda has not been very effective with the HondaLink on the Ridgeline. The system is not much fun to use, it’s more on the lines of unresponsive, and takes time getting used to. Covering the bad ground are some features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a trick, optional in-bed audio system, but still not impressed.
The standard infotainment equipment on the base model is a 5.0-inch non-touch display with Bluetooth connectivity. The Bluetooth connectivity is simple and quick, but won’t work when the truck’s ignition is off.
However, as you move up the trims, the display size increases along with the availability of touchscreen. Upwards of RTL-T trim, Honda offers an 8 – inch touchscreen HondaLink Infotainment system with Garmin-based navigation. Garmin is a third party navigation and tends to work well with most cars.
Although the increase in size doesn’t really solve any of the real-life problems faced on the Ridgeline. With touch sensitive volume slider which doesn’t really execute right and a not-so-responsive touch display, it becomes mandatory that you use on-steering controls, all power to the wheel.
The bed has an in-bed trunk with a lockable and sealable opening. You will also need to open it in case you want to access the tools and the spare tire. The trunk has a flusher at the bottom, which means that the trunk can be used as an icebox.
At 7.3 cubic feet of space, you can store anything from tools, fishing gear to ice and beverages. The trunk is quite big in size, so big that it can accommodate a full-grown male in it.
However, the clever Honda feature seems to pose a problem when the bed is fully loaded. Since you can’t access the spare wheel in case of a flat in the middle of nowhere. So, either you unload and then reach the spare wheel or secure the spare wheel in the cabin before plan on loading the vehicle.
Built for toughness, we can’t say for sure. All we can say, this is one refined machine that has a limited towing capacity In the 2WD option the Ridgeline can tow a maximum of 3500 pounds while when equipped with AWD functionality, you may be towing as much as 5000 lbs. Here’s a quick suggestion, go by the numbers and DO NOT test the vehicle for towing capacity. With the number on the Ridgeline’s board, you can probably haul a small boat or a pop up camper. You can sure load a motorcycle or an ATV on the back of your Ridgeline.
If towing capacity along with off-road capability is what you are looking for, you are in the wrong area.
Maximum Towing Capacity (Configuration)
Honda Ridgeline disappoints when towing capacity comes in place just 5000 lbs. and the best here is GMC Canyon with ability to lug 7700 lbs. Rest of the American and Japanese competitions come in between.
"More advanced construction techniques have let Honda remove the odd buttress-like structure from the previous Ridgeline's bed, giving it a more traditionally truck-like appearance, and significantly improving the aesthetics."-KelleyBlueBook
Dimensions and Weight
This is where Honda smoothly picked up the right cards with this pickup. Revamping the whole look was a smart move after all. If someone asked me about this truck? My general reaction would have been “Is that a truck at all?”. Honda Ridgeline is now one pretty truck, a perfect city companion for some dirty jobs.
Looking at the measurements, The Ridgeline is just like any other truck in the category. The Ridgeline is almost as long and tall as the Tacoma, Colorado and the Canyon when equipped with crew/double cabs and standard beds. However, the Honda is drastically wider, it is the widest truck in the category even without in the mirrors
Honda Ridgeline doesn’t really extend much courtesy outwards of the vehicle. Honda offers only one-bed size and single cabin size on all trims, irrespective. The 5-ft bed can hold 6-ft X 4-ft plywood with ease. It also has the highest payload rating amongst the rivals. Honda Ridgeline has a rating of 5000 lbs. (half a ton) of cargo and also features six heavy duty tie down cleats and bed lights.
What’s more attractive about the bed is that it comes with a two-way opening tailgate, which lets you reach the bed with ease. The bed also has a hidden in-bed trunk with a lockable opening, and also acts as an opening to the spare wheel and tool hatch.
Honda Ridgeline is one of the safest truck around. Honda Ridgeline has been rated as Good on safety measure, as rated by IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). The icing on this pound cake is being listed for IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
Good (Also Top Safety Pick+)
However, the competition is not far behind in terms of safety. Toyota Tacoma, GMC Canyon, and Chevy Colorado have received four stars from NHTSA while Honda’s offering scored a composite five stars. Overall, Honda Ridgeline can easily pass for being the safest pickup from the lot, or in the category.
Honda has carefully decided that Ridgeline should be the clear pick for anyone who is looking forward to buying a safer truck, if not the safest, which it might pass for. Several Active safety features can be found as standard on the spec list of Honda Ridgeline.
Standard Active Safety Standard Features include:
Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)
Brake Assist (BA)
Multi-Angle Rear View Camera with Guidelines
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)*with Tire Fill Assist and Location and Pressure Indicators
Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)
Keeping Active Safety on point, Honda also takes care of passenger on the passive fronts. Honda has left no stone unturned in order make the Ridgeline, the safer car it is. All the passive safety features have been made standard on all the trims. The passive safety features include Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure, and Front, Side and Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensors.
2020 Honda Ridgeline Competition
2020 Honda Ridgeline vs Chevrolet Colorado
Chevrolet Colorado has been that long-standing competitor in the light pickup market. Where it does lead the pack in terms of payload and the pulling capacity. Japanese options are pretty refined and cheap overall to maintain with a tad bit better ownership experience.
2020 Honda Ridgeline vs GMC Canyon
GMC is the most brute here when its firepower is compared to all the other pickup trucks. A towing capacity of 7700 lbs. tells a lot of stuff about it. It’s on a farther side of Honda and Nissan when it’s fuel drinking habits are concerned. But if that’s not much of your concern, it’s a great buy.
2020 Honda Ridgeline vs Toyota Tacoma
Toyota is known for its build and off road capabilities and Tacoma only impresses when both of these are concerned. Even though Toyota isn’t much of a player in the Heavy Duty Pickup segment but Tacoma in Light Pickup market, it does impress with ride quality and overall dynamic ability. Where it shines a lot is its 4x4 prowess.
2020 Honda Ridgeline vs Nissan Frontier
Nissan is a front runner in the light pickup market where Honda struggles to pull anything more than 5000 lbs Nissan is able to pull 6100 lbs. Frontier does exceptionally well as it is backed by a vast Nissan network in the USA as compared to the other Japanese manufacturers.
2020 Honda Ridgeline Final Verdict
Honda Ridgeline is one powerful contender when the city roads are where you spend most of your time and there are chores that you have to run around for, often. Ridgeline is one comfortable truck with enough power on tap.
However, for the wilder ones, who hit the trails more often, Ridgeline doesn't check the right boxes. Those who tow their belongings around on a regular, this truck might fail you. There are other trucks in the market that are more utilitarian and are more truck-like, unlike the uni-body Ridgeline.
For those who carry deep pockets and are city runners, the truck would fit right in the bill. With all the luxury and space, also features like the in-bed trunk and bed speakers, this is surely a rocker for the modern buyers, looking at SUV-like trucks.