The 2018 Honda Ridgeline remains an interesting approach to the pickup, offering a capable powertrain, comfortable driving dynamics, excellent technology and safety features, and generous cargo space and cargo solutions – we're talking about you in-bed cooler and dual-opening tailgate. It returns for 2018 largely unchanged since its debut last year.
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2018 Honda Ridgeline Overview
What's New for 2018
There are new paint options and Honda has simplified the trim lineup by dropping the RTS trim.
Choosing Your Honda Ridgeline
The Ridgeline has six trim levels — RT, Sport, RTL, RTL-T, RTL-E and Black Edition
But regardless of trim, every Ridgeline carries a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The entry-level RT trim is only available with front-wheel drive while the RTL and RTL-T are available with either front- or all-wheel drive, although the latter adds $1,800 to the price tag. Finally, the range-topping RTL-E and Black Edition trims get all-wheel drive as standard.
Rear-drive models return 19 miles per gallon city, 26 highway, and 22 combined, while the all-wheel-drive models are rated at 18/25/21 mpg.
The towing capacity is 3,500 pounds for rear-wheel drive variants and 5,000 pounds for the all-wheel drive.
As is typical for Honda, the only available options come from the dealer-installed accessories catalog. The only decisions Ridgeline buyers need to make is what kind of drivetrain, trim, and interior and exterior colors they want.
The mid-level models arguably provide the best value for money, especially the RTL-T trim, which features several upscale amenities and of course, the option for all-wheel drive. We are really impressed by the safety items on the RTL-E variant but at nearly $43,000, it feels a bit too expensive.
2018 Honda Ridgeline Review
The Honda Ridgeline is the only crossover truck on the market, utilizing a car-based platform to deliver a surprisingly strong product. Its robust payload and competitive towing capabilities underscore how drivers will use it.
Narrowing the model choice you want begins with choosing front- or all-wheel drive. If you plan to tow, then go with the latter as it provides a 5,000-pound towing capacity (versus the standard 3,500 pounds) with its integrated tow hitch and seven-pin connector. All-wheel drive adds $1,900 to the cost, but it isn't available on the base trim.
We chose the all-wheel drive Ridgeline RTL with a starting price of $36,805 (including the $975 destination charge and $1,900 AWD premium) as our "best value" of the six trims offered. For $760 more than the Sport model, the RTL adds a leather-trimmed interior, heated front seats, and a 10-way power driver’s seat.
- Model: 2018 Honda Ridgeline RTL
- Engine: 3.5-liter V6
- Output: 280 hp/262 lb.-ft.
- Transmission: Six-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
- MPG: 18 city/25 highway
- Options: None. Additional features come bundled with each trim
- Base Price: $36,805 (including $975 destination charge)
- Best Value Price: $34,731
The 2018 Honda Ridgeline delivers 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque from its capable 3.5-liter V6 engine. This is the lone powertrain combination for the Ridgeline, but it's also sufficient for the vehicle at hand.
Honda’s Ridgeline drives like a car, delivering a comfortable ride and sharp handling. On the flip side, we found the 7.9-inch ground clearance as measured at its highest point won’t cut it for most off-roaders. If you’re a Toyota Tacoma or Chevy Colorado maven, then stick with those models.
The Ridgeline’s strong suits include its generous cabin space, delivering room for five. We also like the clever dual-action tailgate hinged at both the bottom and left side. What clinches it for many shoppers is the under-the-bed floor trunk with a flat bottom and drain plug. Although the bed is smaller than the competition, it still holds sheets of plywood or drywall, provided you don’t mind some overhang with the tailgate dropped down.
Interior and Exterior
Unlike the first-generation Ridgeline, this one fits in better with the competition. Straight off, the Ridgeline looks like a truck from the front, although its outline still evokes reminders of the Honda Pilot SUV, its platform mate. The four-door-only cabin is a plus – it's the only choice you’re given, but it's the most popular one among pickup truck buyers.
As for the interior, you can fit five people, although we think making room for four is best. Otherwise, the Ridgeline’s interior is similar to the Pilot, with the transmission shifter a welcome change from the Pilot’s push-button arrangement.
Our best value model comes with leather covering the seats and wrapping the steering wheel. The broad instrument panel is also similar to the Pilot and features analog gauges with a digital readout centered between. Beyond the base model’s small touchscreen is a larger one, measuring eight inches.
The Best and Worst Things
The truck-like front fascia is a design winner, although some will find the profile too tame for their tastes.
People who will use their pickup trucks for gardening, trips to the dump, shopping, and for pulling a boat or camper. In other words, individuals who aren’t lulled into buying more truck than what they need for some unclear bragging rights.
Individuals who plan to take their trucks far off road and play in the mud. Although only a small number of enthusiasts buy pickup trucks with such adventuring in mind, you’re not buying the Ridgeline for robust off-road pursuits. Light to moderate duty…yes, rock crawling…no.
The Bottom Line
Honda’s approach to the pickup truck market is unique, aiming for consumers who have realistic expectations on how they'll use their trucks. Its stout engine, spacious interior, and nifty in-bed trunk are features only enhance its appeal.
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