The Honda Ridgeline is a pickup truck with a bit of an identity crisis, as it is neither a true truck nor a true SUV; this is a vehicle that crosses over both territories and therefore plays a unique spot in the market (Submitted)

The Honda Ridgeline is a pickup truck with a bit of an identity crisis, as it is neither a true truck nor a true SUV; this is a vehicle that crosses over both territories and therefore plays a unique spot in the market (Submitted)

2019 Honda Ridgeline changes the truck market

The Honda Ridgeline is Honda’s only pickup truck, and plays an important – yet niche – role for this ever evolving company

The Honda Ridgeline is Honda’s only pickup truck, and plays an important – yet niche – role for this ever evolving company. It is a pickup truck with a bit of an identity crisis, as it is neither a true truck nor a true SUV; this is a vehicle that crosses over both territories and therefore plays a unique spot in the market.

After winning the 2017 North American Truck of the Year, Honda had high hopes for the Ridgeline, but it struggles to keep up with the sales paces of its primary competitors such as the Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, or most recently, the Ford Ranger mid-size trucks.

Truck buyers tend to be a very loyal bunch, and therefore the Ridgeline has had a hard time breaking into the segment that expects trucks to be body-on-frame, true-to-the-core designs. The Ridgeline is actually based on the Honda Pilot, so its strengths are also its weaknesses: strengths being that the vehicle is car-like, far surpassing other trucks’ road manners – but at the same time, the Ridgeline lacks toughness and ruggedness associated with frame-based trucks.

In fact, despite the fact that Ridgeline receives overwhelmingly positive reviews from magazines and industry specialists, its direct competitor Toyota Tacoma outsells the Ridgeline by 10 to 1 ratio. On the other hand, once people own the Ridgeline, they say they can never go back to traditional frame-based trucks, simply because the car-based Ridgeline performs so much better on normal roads. If you desire to take your truck to true off-road courses, though, it will be more difficult to do that with the Ridgeline as its car-based body and suspension can’t withstand the kind of terrains that body-on-frame trucks eat for breakfast.

Design

Honda has taken a lot of care to create a beautiful and comfortable interior for both the driver and passenger – no doubt having the Pilot as the “baseline” helps here. The interior space of the cabin is generous and the Ridgeline leads the segment in terms of interior space capacity. Visibility is high throughout and the cab has an insulated, quiet feel to it. Heated front and back seats make the drive comfortable, even in the middle of a Canadian winter, not to mention a fully functioning rear window defroster (you can’t get that in most trucks, including the Tacoma).

The exterior has softer styling than the aggressive appearance of other competitors, which can be a plus or a minus depending on individual tastes.

The Honda Ridgeline may have many bells and whistles that are more common in passenger vehicles, but it still offers truck features inside and out. The back bed has many functional features besides just offering storage. Like in Tacoma, the bed is made of a composite plastic, and therefore will never rust.

One unique feature is the deep, practical lockable in-bed trunk, which helps keep your goods safe. This storage is remarkable large and deep, and even can be used as a cooler if you put ice in it as it has a drain hole.

The tailgate has a dual-action feature: it can be pulled down like a regular truck tailgate or swung open sideways to make loading things easier. The bed of the Ridgeline is large (5’4” x 5’) with a clearance of 4’2” of clearance between the wheel wells. Towing capacity is 5,000 lbs and comes with a trailer stability assist safety function. The towing capacity isn’t as high as other competitors, but the Ridgeline can still pull its weight for most people.

The previously mentioned in-bed storage locks and unlocks with the remote, but the actual tailgate doesn’t have a lock, surprisingly (third party option appears available).

With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities as well as an available Truck-Bed Audio system, the Ridgeline takes tailgate parties quite seriously. The Truck-Bed Audio uses interesting technology to bring the audio sound to the tailgate fans.

Honda Sensing technologies are integrated into the top trim of the Ridgeline to making driving safer – such as the Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control. Other active and passive safety features include automatic tire pressure monitoring, hill start assist and auto high beam as well as six standard airbags.

Performance

The Ridgeline offers a 3.5-litre, direct engine i-VTEC V6 engine with 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, again borrowed straight from the Honda Pilot. This is enhanced with Honda’s Intelligent Variable Torque Management (i-VTM4) AWD system, which makes the Ridgeline handle more like an SUV than a truck. Paired with that is a 6-speed automatic with Grade Logic Control. Since all of Ridgeline’s competitors have part time 4WD (where you have to manually shift into 4WD on slippery surfaces only), the full-time AWD in Honda’s truck is truly unique in the industry.

What sets the Ridgeline apart from other competitors is the unibody chassis and fully independent front and rear suspension system that allows the pickup to navigate through all kinds of roads. There is a traction management system that allows you to choose between Normal, Snow, Mud or Sand to allow you to travel safely on any terrain. Fuel economy for the Honda Ridgeline is 12.8/9.5/11.3 L/100 kilometres for city/highway/combined, with an optional ECON drive mode setting.

In terms of general road feel, there is nothing that comes close to Honda’s road manners. The Ridgeline steers straight as an arrow, turns on a dime, and provides a silky smooth ride that no trucks can match. It does feel less “truck like,” but I would assume that most people – even diehard truck fans – would prefer the Ridgeline’s refined ride and handling over its competitors’ rough characters.

Summary

The Ridgeline is available in 4 trim levels including the Sport, EX-L, Touring and Black Edition. Moving to the EX-L provides mainly cosmetic and comfort additions, while upgrading to the Touring will add many more practical and “luxury” options including blue ambient lighting and an 150W/400W in-bed power outlet. The black edition is exactly what one would assume – everything is in black theme with the exception of stylish red ambient lighting throughout. The Honda Ridgeline Sport starts from $40,790 and increases to $49,790 MSRP for the Black edition.

Competitors include the Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado GMC Canyon, and most recently the Ford Ranger. In summary, the Ridgeline has the comfort and refined spirit of an SUV, with the practicality and cargo of a pickup truck. With an excellent fuel economy and best in-class safety ratings as well as innovative features, the Honda Ridgeline is not a truck to be messed with. Now if only traditional truck buyers would give this vehicle a chance…

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today!

– written by David Chao

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

2019 Honda Ridgeline changes the truck market

2019 Honda Ridgeline changes the truck market

Just Posted

A Nova Scotia court has overturned the conviction of a man with ties to Maple Ridge. (Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck)
Conviction thrown out for supposed leader of Maple Ridge cannabis smuggling conspiracy

A Nova Scotia appeals court found there wasn’t enough evidence and quashed a four-year sentence

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Darryl Mazor share a photo of his 78-year-old mother, Rena Mazor, singing to her 45-year-old cockatoo, Sassie. (Special to The News)
PHOTOS: Only one Fab Senior could win…

But there were more than a dozen worthy seniors who were entered in the photo contest

During a recent late afternoon, with a nice breeze blowing through her Maple Ridge backyard, Zoe Bell caught pictures of a hummingbird visiting her garden, then about 30 minutes later a “beautiful butterfly” arrived to help the boths, bees, and other insects pollinate. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Searching blooms for sweet nectar

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Fraser Health registered nurse Kai Kayibadi draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
LETTER: Writer questions spread of variant and timing of vaccinations

Will there ever be a return to normal, or will people need to invest in respirators?

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 following an assault. (File photo)
Trial underway in February 2020 death of White Rock senior

Ross Banner charged with manslaughter following Five Corners altercation

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Most Read