The Ridgeline was a staple in Honda’s lineup from 2006 through 2014, but sales and demand tapered off through the 2010s. This led to the model going on a hiatus in 2015 and 2016 while the automaker redesigned it. Now with a new look and feel, the Ridgeline is—once again—prepared to satisfy buyers who want both a pickup for active lifestyles rather than hard work.

Pricing and Equipment

The Honda Ridgeline’s pricing starts off at $30,375 (destination fees included) for the RT trim. While that price may seem high for a base-level pickup, keep in mind that this is no normal truck: It comes standard with desirable features such as 18-inch wheels, a 2-inch receiver hitch, a dual-action tailgate, push-button start, tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, a seven-speaker sound system, and more.

The model I tested was the range-topping Black Edition trim, which checked in at $43,770 (delivery fees included). For this extra scratch, my model included:

  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated seats
  • Eight-speaker audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • 400-watt in-bed power outlet
  • In-bed audio system

Performance Pros

Honda Ridgeline

The Ridgeline isn’t your typical pickup truck with a slew of powertrain options. Instead, it has one powerful V6 option and buyers can choose only between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Where the Ridgeline really excels is its payload capacity and buttery-smooth ride for a pickup.

  • 280-horsepower V6 is plenty potent
  • 1,584-pound payload capacity tops its class
  • Smooth-riding crossover chassis
  • Quick to 60 mph

Performance Cons

While my tester was all-wheel drive and had some light off-road and hauling capabilities, the fact that the Ridgeline is now front-wheel drive in its base setup is a little unsettling. It seems odd to toss 1,500 pounds of gravel in the bed of a front-driven vehicle.

  • Base front-wheel-drive system seems counterintuitive
  • Lacks low-range transfer case
  • 5,000-pound max towing puts it a bit behind its competitors

Interior Pros

Honda Ridgeline

My tester was the Black Edition model, so I was surrounded by smooth leather and premium goodies. The quietness of the cabin was also pleasant, as was the visibility from the pilot’s chair.

  • Peaceful cabin makes it easy for long trips
  • Plenty of luxury in the Black Edition
  • Great-sounding audio system
  • Lots of room in the back seats, and they fold up for plenty of storage
  • High captain’s chair and short hood work together for great visibility

Interior Cons

While the interior was great, there were a few flaws:

  • I found padding on the back seats to be a little on the thin side, so they may not be great for long trips.
  • The audio system also lacked redundant physical buttons, meaning I had to rapidly tap a button on the screen to turn the volume down.
  • Oddly, this range-topping model didn't have ventilated seats.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The Ridgeline held several surprises for me, including its max payload, the in-bed audio system’s sound, and the interior quality. The most impressive, though, was its comfortable ride. I honestly never expected a pickup to ride so much like a comfy crossover, but the Ridgeline pulls it off.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The infotainment system is annoying to operate. Not only does it lack redundant physical buttons for common functions, it is also slow to search for points of interest and proved to be a distraction overall.

The Bottom Line

Although it now has more conventional looks, the Ridgeline is still a niche vehicle—not quite a pickup but not quite an SUV. It's perfect for buyers who are looking for the best of both worlds. Overall, the Ridgeline does what it is supposed to do very well, but it lacks any true truck-like characteristics.

In summary, if you’re looking for a real midsize pickup, the Ridgeline isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a daily driver with some pickup capabilities, then Honda built the Ridgeline just for you.