The Honda Ridgeline has been on sale in the US since 2006, although there was a product hiatus between the end of the first generation in 2014 and the beginning of the current, second generation in 2017. Although the closely related Honda Pilot midsize SUV received extensive updates this year, the 2019 Ridgeline has remained pretty much the same since it was reintroduced for 2017. Honda builds the Ridgeline, Pilot and the Honda Odyssey minivan in Lincoln, Alabama.
Honda offers only one engine option for the Ridgeline: a 3.5-liter V6 with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, which is about average for V6 engines in the midsize pickup truck segment. The Ridgeline's engine is paired exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission that, depending on trim, can send power to the front wheels or all four of them.
Fuel economy for front-wheel-drive models is 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg highway. All-wheel-drive versions return 18/25 city/highway mpg. Both figures are pretty good for the segment, but not best in class. That title goes to the diesel-equipped Chevrolet Colorado, which gets 20/30 city/highway mpg. Meanwhile, the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma in their most fuel-efficient forms can get 19/23 and 20/23 city/highway mpg, respectively.
There's plenty of room inside the Ridgeline for up to five occupants, while also offering a respectable amount of payload. The Honda's maximum payload rating of 1,580 pounds beats the Chevy Colorado's 1,574-pound maximum and the Nissan Frontier's 1,360-pound rating. The new Ford Ranger (1,860 pounds) and the Toyota Tacoma (1,620 pounds) can carry more, however.
Unlike its body-on-frame competition, the Honda Ridgeline is built off a carlike unibody structure. As a result, the Honda pickup can't meet the maximum towing capabilities of its peers. Whereas the diesel-powered GMC Canyon (and its Chevy Colorado twin) can tow up to 7,700 pounds, the best the Ridgeline can do is 5,000 pounds. That's the lowest maximum tow rating in the class.
There's not much standard tech to speak of with the Ridgeline, but that's typical in the midsize truck class. Base models get a 5-inch touchscreen paired with a 200-watt, seven-speaker sound system that can support Bluetooth streaming. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, embedded navigation as well as HD and satellite radio are available, though.
Unlike the 2019 Toyota Tacoma, which comes with standard collision-mitigation braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams, the Ridgeline offers all those driver-assist technologies optionally.
The 2019 Ridgeline is offered in six trims with base prices ranging from $29,990 to $43,420 plus $995 for destination. The base Ridgeline LT features a dual-hinged tailgate, which means you can open it down like a conventional pickup truck, or you can swing it open like a typical door. It's also got an in-bed trunk that can carry up to 7.3 cubic feet of cargo. The trunk's integrated drain plug means the below-floor compartment can even double as an ice chest. Other standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, a built-in Class III trailer hitch, push-button start and a fold-up rear seat.
The $33,390 Sport trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels in gray, black exterior trim, fog lights, keyless access with remote start, three-zone climate control and a HomeLink transceiver. $34,870 steps you up to the RTL trim, adding model-specific 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, leather upholstery with heated and power-adjustable front seats as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power-sliding rear window and an acoustic windshield.
Next up is the $37,000 RTL-T that includes LED daytime running lights and doors that automatically lock when you walk away from the truck. There's also an autodimming rearview mirror, a 225-watt, seven-speaker audio system connected to an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus HD and satellite radio as well as embedded navigation.
At $41,920, the RTL-E comes with compulsory all-wheel drive, a heavy-duty transmission cooler, LED low-beam headlights and a power outlet in the truck bed. The RTL-E also adds numerous driver-assistance features like collision-mitigation braking, lane-keep assist, automatic high-beams, adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring plus front and rear parking sensors. Inside, there's a heated steering wheel and an eight-speaker, 540-watt premium audio system with speakers in the truck bed.
Finally, the $43,420 Black Edition carries all the same niceties as the RTL-E, but with a much darker appearance outside and in along with red-LED ambient interior lighting instead of the RTL-E's blue.
The 2019 Honda Ridgeline is available at retailers nationwide now.