Powering the Honda Ridgeline is a 3.5L V6 engine producing 280 horsepower. The engine is coupled to a 9-speed automatic transmission, sending power to the front wheels, or to all four wheels on all-wheel-drive models. The engine allows the Ridgeline to tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped, while still returning decent fuel economy when not towing.
The Ridgeline's true party trick, however, is the way it manages to combine the best things about a car with the best things about a truck. The truck bed is wide and flat, and may, at first glance, appear short. However, the rear seats are able to fold completely flat, allowing the truck bed to extend right into the cabin when extra utility is needed. The Ridgeline also features a substantially sized trunk underneath the rear of the bed, allowing covered and hidden storage, just like a car. The rear seats are spacious and easy to get to, since the Ridgeline features four conventionally opening doors. The Ridgeline should also make a great platform for tailgating parties, as it features the world's first optional sound system in the bed of the truck.
With several different trims available, the Ridgeline offers something for everyone. The base model is dubbed the Sport and features power windows and door locks, 18-inch wheels, a 5-inch LCD color screen, Bluetooth with audio streaming, dual USB ports, speed-sensitive volume control and a 7-speaker 200-Watt sound system.
The RTL ups the luxury with a leather-trimmed interior, heated front seats, a 10-way power driver's seat, an acoustic windshield, a power sliding rear window and a power moonroof. The RTL-T was created for technophiles, with a navigation system, an automatically dimming rearview mirror, an SMS text message function, Apple CarPlay, Pandora and SiriusXM satellite radio.
The RTL-E adds to the RTL-T with several safety features, including a blind spot warning system and a lane-keep assist system. Also included on the RTL-E is an uprated stereo that includes speakers in the bed. All-wheel drive is standard on the RTL-E.
Finally, 2020 Ridgelines are available in the "Black Edition" trim. The all-wheel-drive Black Edition gets everything included in the RTL-E plus black alloy wheels, red ambient LED lighting and blacked-out exterior trim.
When Honda reintroduced the Ridgeline for 2017 after a two-year hiatus, the truck, in many ways, became a new benchmark among midsize pickups when it comes to real-world usability. Two years later, trucks like the Jeep Gladiator and Ford Ranger are raising the bar for their class, redefining what a midsize truck should be. Do those exciting new entries relegate the Ridgeline to the shadows, or does a spotlight still beam upon Honda's pickup?
At first glance, the Honda Ridgeline appears to be a conventional, body-on-frame pickup truck, but it's not. The Ridgeline actually 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 same assembly line in Lincoln, Alabama.
Thanks to its car-like underpinnings, the Ridgeline offers an Easter egg that body-on-frame pickups only dream of: An in-bed trunk. Open the tailgate, lift up on the handle on the edge of the bed floor and you'll open a portal to an additional 7.3 cubic feet of storage. At the bottom you'll find a drain plug in there, meaning this trunk can be used as an ice chest, making the Ridgeline the ultimate machine for any tailgate bash.
The Good The 2019 Honda Ridgeline is the best pickup in its class for driving on paved roads.
The Bad The Ridgeline needs more standard tech and advanced driver-assistance features to justify its price.
The Bottom Line Honda's midsize pickup will serve the needs of most people shopping in this segment, and probably more than they might imagine.
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