A pickup truck for the masses. The 2020 Honda Ridgeline may not be the most rugged or brawny truck on the market, but it's likely a great choice for most people in need of a Home Depot hauler.
Built off the Honda Pilot platform, the Ridgeline is arguably more comfortable and practical for daily use than most other pickups on the market, even if it doesn’t assert its masculinity with every styling feature.
Crossover-like performance. The Ridgeline is essentially a Pilot with a bed, which affords it advantages and disadvantages alike. The good news is that the unibody platform allows it to drive easily and ride comfortably like the family crossover on which it’s based. Additionally, there’s no solid rear axle, allowing the Ridgeline to pack a large trunk in the floor of the bed that competitors simply can’t match.
On the downside, towing performance and off-road capability are heavily hampered by this configuration. Without a beefy leaf-spring suspension or a solid rear axle, the Ridgeline’s maximum towing capacity is about a ton less than most competitors like the Ford Ranger or Chevrolet Colorado.
Furthermore, the vehicle’s crossover roots equate to lower ride height, which, combined with the lack of a low-range gearbox, means any off-road adventures will likely be limited to well-maintained dirt roads.
Thoroughly practical. While you won’t be towing massive loads or filling the bed with several tons of particulate, the Ridgeline is still massively practical. The interior is far more spacious than any other truck on the market, with enough room for five adults to sit comfortably. Overall, this is a truck that you can drive without compromise, whether you’re in an urban, suburban, or rural setting.
The Ridgeline also offers many storage places throughout the interior, including under the rear seat. The best feature though is the in-bed trunk, which is the Ridgeline’s calling card. It's waterproof and drainable, allowing it to be used to carry things like muddy boots or even as cooler if you fill it with ice.
Safer than most trucks. Another advantage to the Ridgeline’s crossover roots can be seen in its crash-test scores, which exceed those of most traditional trucks. The Ridgeline earns top marks from the NHTSA and IIHS in almost all categories. The only true demerits come from a four-star federal rollover rating and a poor rating for the base model’s headlights from the IIHS.
The Ridgeline is also one of the few trucks on the market that comes standard with a suite of advanced safety features. All Ridgeline models receive automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring.
The only other midsize pickup that can match this level of active safety is the Toyota Tacoma, but it can't hold a candle to the Ridgeline’s crash-test results.
Final thoughts. The Ford F-Series is the best-selling vehicle in America, followed by the Ram 1500 and the Chevrolet Silverado. However, we think that most people buying those would do just fine with a Honda Ridgeline instead. If they could get past their crossover style, they may even admit that they prefer it.
At the end of the day, the Ridgeline is comfortable, practical, and easy to live with. With its top safety scores, it can actually be used as a family vehicle, and it has excellent features like an in-bed trunk that we know that we’d use. It may not be the best boat hauler or off-roader, but it's a truck for the majority of truck owners that never use their trucks for their intended purposes anyway.
However, if you do require an extra ton of towing capacity, you’ll need to look at something a bit more traditional like the Ford Ranger with its 7,500-pound or the Chevrolet Colorado with 7,000-pound towing capacity.
Almost all other midsize pickup trucks also offer dedicated off-road packages or trim levels with optional part-time four-wheel-drive systems like Ford’s FX4 Package, Chevy’s ZR2 Package, and Toyota’s TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro trims. If you’re looking for that kind of adventure, those models will certainly take you further.
Check prices for the 2020 Honda Ridgeline »