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2020 Honda Ridgeline gains a few gears with new transmission and a hefty price bump

Honda's bundle of active safety features is also now standard on all trims.

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Same exterior looks, but lots of new gear elsewhere.

Honda

Lots of changes are inbound for the 2020 Honda Ridgeline. The Japanese automaker shared the latest details about its pickup truck on Thursday, and they include a new transmission, active safety technology and a price increase.

Now, all 2020 Ridgeline models will feature a nine-speed automatic to swap gears. It replaces a six-speed automatic transmission, but the sole engine offered remains a 3.5-liter V6. It makes 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Also new is the addition of Honda Sensing as standard gear for every trim.

The group of features bundles active safety technology including adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.

There's big news for the trim hierarchy as well, since today's announcement confirms the base RT trim has been tossed out for 2020. That gives way to a pretty substantial price increase, since the cheapest Ridgeline will now cost $34,995 after a $1,095 destination charge. The old base model rang in at $31,085. Essentially, stepping into a new Ridgeline will cost nearly $4,000 more -- and that's before adding all-wheel drive.

What buyers will find in the reshuffled trims is more equipment, since the Sport trim becomes the new base model. There's standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with an 8-inch touchscreen, tri-zone climate control, remote start and 18-inch wheels to spice the truck up.

Adding AWD to the base Sport trim jacks the price up to $37,235, and stepping up to the cushier RTL trim shows a $37,765 price tag. Add four-wheel traction to the RTL trim and the price climbs higher, to $39,915. Here, these trims plop in a leather interior, heated front seats and other comforts.

At the top remains the RTL-E trim, which includes a premium audio system, LED headlights, an audio system for the truck's bed and more. It'll cost $43,115. If you fancy black-out packages, there's also the Black Edition, which will set buyers back $44,615. AWD is standard on the top two trims.

Across the board, the trims themselves also see pretty substantial price increases. The Sport trim (now the base model) costs $510 more compared to last year, while the midrange RTL starts at $1,800 more than last year. Something has to give for the standard active safety gear. At the top end, the RTL-E, however, only costs $100 more. Ditto for the Black Edition.

If the new updates strike a chord with you, look for the 2020 Ridgeline at dealers starting Dec. 16.

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