When Honda reintroduced the Ridgeline for 2017 after a two-year hiatus, the truck, in some ways, turned a brand new benchmark amongst midsize pickups on the subject of real-world usability. Two years later, vans just like the Jeep Gladiator and Ford Ranger are elevating the bar for his or her class, redefining what a midsize truck needs to be. Do these thrilling new entries relegate the Ridgeline to the shadows, or does a highlight nonetheless beam upon Honda’s pickup?

The 2019 Honda Ridgeline drives like a automotive, and that is fairly all proper with me.

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Work that unibody

At first look, the Honda Ridgeline seems to be a traditional, body-on-frame pickup truck, but it surely’s not. The Ridgeline truly rides on a crossover-like unibody chassis, sharing underpinnings with the Honda Pilot and Passport crossover SUVs, plus the Odyssey minivan, all which roll off the identical meeting line in Lincoln, Alabama.

Because of its car-like underpinnings, the Ridgeline provides an Easter egg that body-on-frame pickups solely dream of: An in-bed trunk. Open the tailgate, carry up on the deal with on the sting of the mattress ground and you may open a portal to a further 7.three cubic ft of storage. On the backside you will discover a drain plug in there, that means this trunk can be utilized as an ice chest, making the Ridgeline the final word machine for any tailgate bash.

For those who’re aiming to work as an alternative of play, the Ridgeline has you lined with a payload ranking as much as 1,465 kilos for front-wheel-drive fashions and 1,580 kilos for all-wheel-drive fashions. That is greater than the Chevrolet Colorado and Nissan Frontier, however lower than the Ford Ranger (1,860 kilos) and Toyota Tacoma (1,620 kilos). Towing capability for FWD Ridgelines is three,500 kilos, whereas AWD fashions can tow as much as 5,000 kilos, inserting the Honda in final place amongst its friends. The brand new Jeep Gladiator, which sits close to the highest of the midsize pickup class, can tow 7,650 kilos, whereas the GMC Canyon (and its Chevy Colorado twin) can tow as much as 7,700 kilos when motivated by diesel energy.

For those who’re merely hauling people, although, not one of the competitors can match the creature comforts right here. The Ridgeline provides loads of house for as much as 5 occupants. The rear row of seats are a little bit upright for my liking, however are nonetheless well-suited for prolonged highway journeys because of an abundance of legroom. Up entrance within the driver’s seat, after a six-hour stint to San Francisco, my physique was no worse for the damage. Honda enhances that consolation with high quality cabin plastics and, within the case of my tester, durable-feeling leather-based seats.

Need Apple CarPlay or Android Auto? Get able to pay manner up.

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Lack of normal tech

At its $31,035 beginning value (together with $1,045 for vacation spot), the Ridgeline comes up brief on customary tech. All you get is a 5-inch touchscreen and a seven-speaker stereo. You must go for the RTL-T trim stage at $38,045 to be able to get an Eight-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and embedded navigation.

The 2 highest Ridgeline trims (RTL-E and Black Version, beginning at $42,965 and $44,465, respectively) characteristic an Eight-speaker, 540-watt premium audio system that truly does not sound that premium. The 2 prime trims additionally embody a truck mattress audio system that makes use of six exciters to show the Ridgeline’s composite truck mattress panels into audio system, thus reinforcing the entire “final tailgating machine”.

In relation to customary superior driver-assistance options, the Ridgeline has none. My loaded RTL-E tester, nonetheless, comes fairly well-equipped with computerized emergency braking, adaptive cruise management, lane-keep help, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, in addition to entrance and rear parking sensors, computerized excessive beams and LED headlamps.

Pushed to please

The Ridgeline’s social gathering piece is the way in which it drives: not like a truck. Standard, ladder-frame pickups have come a good distance with how car-like they’ll really feel, however the unibody Ridgeline provides a smoother journey and sharper dealing with dynamics in contrast with the competitors. The steering is fast, correct and provides some suggestions, too. Take a flip sharply and there is comparatively little physique roll as this truck demonstrates nimbleness that belies its four,500 kilos.

The Ridgeline’s three.5-liter V6 engine additionally harbors an analogous disregard for weight. Making 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque channeled by a six-speed computerized transmission, the Honda strikes down the highway with caffeine urgency for those who’re heavy on the fuel, however pulls away from the lights easily for those who’re being extra mellow, because of a well-modulated throttle pedal. The identical will be mentioned for the brake pedal.

The EPA charges the front-wheel drive Ridgeline at 19 miles per gallon within the metropolis and 26 mpg freeway, which is nice, however not the perfect within the class. The Chevy Colorado can get 20/30 metropolis/freeway mpg when outfitted with a diesel engine. Even the Toyota Tacoma can stand up to 20 mpg within the metropolis. My all-wheel-drive Ridgeline is rated for 18/25 metropolis/freeway mpg, however after 909 miles of largely freeway testing, I solely averaged 22.5 mpg.

The Ridgeline’s cabin is a pleasant place to spend time.

Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow

Nonetheless a stable contender

The midsize pickup class is extra aggressive than ever earlier than. Honda must step up the Ridgeline’s sport to assist the truck develop into a section star once more. No want for a full reboot but, although. Extra customary cabin tech and superior driver-assistance expertise would elevate the Ridgeline again close to the highest.

Even because it stands, the Ridgeline is effectively price contemplating. Its on-road manners make it good for the way in which most individuals use their pickups: commuting. For the day-to-day commute, the Ridgeline remains to be exhausting to beat. 

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