The Anti-Pickup Truck. Sure, the 2023 Honda Ridgeline looks like a pickup truck, but it doesn’t ride or perform like one. Unlike most of the midsize pickup trucks in the segment, the Ridgeline features a unibody platform that it shares with the Passport and Pilot. This trait gives the Ridgeline its comfortable ride, spacious cabin, and a versatile cargo bed that no other truck in the segment can match.

A large number of Ridgeline’s competitors have a body-on-frame design that results in a rough ride, but this isn’t something that the Ridgeline suffers from. Not only does the Ridgeline have a comfortable ride on all sorts of roads, but the pickup also handles corners with minimal body lean, and manages to feel buttoned down on poor tarmac.

Unlike its competitors that are available with four-wheel drive, the Ridgeline comes with all-wheel drive and the system is standard. For consumers looking to go off-roading, a rugged truck with 4WD is a better option. But for daily use and changing road conditions – like inclement weather and areas of the country that get snow – AWD is the better choice.

Capable Enough For Most. The Ridgeline may not come with the most powerful engine in the segment, but its standard 3.5-liter V6 offers a competitive amount of grunt with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The engine may not be the most powerful one in the class, but it operates smoothly and responds well to throttle inputs. Honda offers the Ridgeline with a standard nine-speed automatic transmission that delivers well-timed shifts smoothly.

One of the larger issues with the Ridgeline is its towing capacity. When properly equipped, the Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 pounds. This, depending on the competitor you’re comparing the Ridgeline to, is down between 2,000 and 2,500 pounds to other trucks in the midsize segment. That’s certainly not a small difference, but for drivers that go with the Ridgeline knowing that it can’t tow as much as cargo shouldn’t be disappointed, as the truck is still plenty capable for most people. When it comes to payload capacity, the Ridgeline’s maximum of 1,583 pounds is competitive for the segment, but still a ways off of segment leaders.

Despite coming with a crossover-based platform, a nine-speed automatic, and a 280-hp V6, the Ridgeline delivers so-so fuel economy. The truck is rated at up to 21 mpg combined, which is great for a V6, but not that great compared to rivals that are available with four-cylinder engines.

2023 Honda Ridgeline Interior

Great Tech At A Price. Honda offers the Ridgeline with an impressive list of standard safety features. Every trim comes with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. This is a great list of standard safety features for a midsize pickup truck. Higher trims add blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors. The RTL is the first to come with more advanced safety features but requires nearly $3,000 over the base Sport trim.

While the Ridgeline comes with an attractive list of safety features, the pickup truck is falling behind when it comes to its infotainment system. The truck is available with an eight-inch touchscreen as standard throughout the lineup. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, but that’s to be expected. You have to move up to a higher trim to get things like navigation, a wireless charging pad, and in-bed speakers, but the touchscreen remains the same.

Speaking of pricing, the 2023 Ridgeline is one of the pricier pickups in the segment. The truck starts at $40,095 and can go up to $47,525 (with destination). Since most automakers offer their trucks in stripped-down trims with four-cylinder engines, they’re far more affordable than the Ridgeline.

One Roomy, Useful Configuration. Unlike most midsize pickup trucks, the Ridgeline can actually seat five adults comfortably. That’s mostly due to the fact that Honda only sells the Ridgeline with a crew cab configuration and takes advantage of the truck’s unibody platform. Passengers in the back get nearly 37 inches of rear legroom and large doors that make ingress and egress easy. The rear bench seat is also wide enough to seat three adults side by side, while the bench seat flips up to house large items.

The Ridgeline’s standard five-foot-three-inch bed is small compared to beds found on some of its rivals, but it makes up for it with useful touches. There’s a weather-proofed cargo area in the Ridgeline’s bed that offers up to 7.3 cubic feet of cargo space. Despite the bed’s small size, a single sheet of four-by-eight-foot drywall, plywood, or any other build material can lay flat on the floor.

Final Thoughts. For consumers that aren’t interested in getting a rugged pickup with an immense amount of towing capacity, serious off-roading capability, or cramped interiors, the 2023 Honda Ridgeline is the answer. It’s a pickup truck that you’ll actually want to drive every day because it’s comfortable, well-equipped, and versatile. It’s a great family-oriented truck, but it carries a high price tag to match its multifaceted character.

While a dinosaur, the Toyota Tacoma still manages to be a competitive choice with great off-roading capability, a wide range of trims, a strong list of standard safety features, and legendary reliability. The Jeep Gladiator is aimed at consumers that plan on going off-roading regularly, need to tow over 7,600 pounds, are interested in a diesel engine, and prefer their truck to have the ability to act as a convertible.

Check prices for the 2023 Honda Ridgeline