Honda Ridgeline vs. Nissan Frontier

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Automotive Editor

Cynthia Gast is an automotive writer with a lifelong interest in how things work, including cars. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading the works of other writers, visiting historic sites, quilting, going to the drag races, and, of course, figuring out how things work.

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, Automotive Editor - November 14, 2013

These two trucks are at opposite ends of the pickup spectrum. The Honda Ridgeline functions like a car with a pickup bed, while the Nissan Frontier is designed for work needs first and only adds upscale comfort features at the higher trim levels.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Ridgeline & Frontier >>

Which one do truck buyers pick most often?

What the Honda Ridgeline Gets Right

Comfort and convenience head up the list of the Ridgeline’s strongest attributes. Its car-based structure provides easy handling and a smooth ride and, at the base RT trim level, the Ridgeline offers more features that make the ride a pleasure than does the Frontier. The comfortable rear seats are easy to access, making the Ridgeline a family vehicle with extra cargo space for bicycles and camping gear.

The Ridgeline acknowledges its role as a truck with a two-way tailgate, standard all-wheel-drive at all levels, and a lockable trunk-type space hidden in the cargo bed.

What the Nissan Frontier Gets Right

The Frontier’s primary job is as a work truck. Buyers have several choices available in configuring their ideal truck with two body styles (extended cab and crew cab), two cargo bed lengths, two engines, five trim levels, and two-wheel or four-wheel drive. While not all choices are available in all combinations—the longer cargo bed comes only with the crew cab body, for instance—there is still a wealth of possibilities.

Frontiers equipped with the V6 engine have a towing capacity of up to 6,500 pounds when equipped with the towing package, compared to just 5,000 pounds for the Ridgeline. Owners who use their Frontier in city situations may find the 152-horsepower four-cylinder engine adequate to their needs while saving on gasoline consumption.

Which Truck Is More Popular?

More than three times as many buyers pick the Nissan Frontier over the Honda Ridgeline. The Frontier can handle city traffic, dirt roads, and the rough terrain of construction sites and offers comfort ranging from an economical bare bones variety to upscale luxury.

On the other hand, the Ridgeline is a good truck for transporting people and occasionally cargo around town, but its off-road ability is limited and its lowest trim level is priced significantly higher than the Frontier.

Our Verdict: Nissan Frontier

We think that the greater versatility of the Frontier makes it the go-to choice for more people.

Take a closer look at the Honda Ridgeline >>

Take a closer look at the Nissan Frontier >>

, Automotive Editor

Cynthia Gast is an automotive writer with a lifelong interest in how things work, including cars. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading the works of other writers, visiting historic sites, quilting, going to the drag races, and, of course, figuring out how things work.

Follow On: Google+ | Website

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