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2019 Honda Ridgeline: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 11/29/2018 U.S. News & World Report
a car parked in a field: 2019 Honda Ridgeline© American Honda Motor Co., Inc. 2019 Honda Ridgeline

The 2019 Honda Ridgeline is a top finisher in our compact pickup truck rankings. This Honda does things a little differently than most class rivals, but it delivers one of the best rides and most upscale interiors in the class.

The 2019 Honda Ridgeline is ranked:

Is the Honda Ridgeline a Good Truck?

The Honda Ridgeline is a great truck. However, it stands out from the crowd by putting less emphasis on some traditional truck attributes, like towing capacity. It also offers all-wheel drive instead of four-wheel drive. Still, the Ridgeline features a V6 engine that delivers plenty of power and gets fuel economy ratings on par with rivals' four-cylinder engines. It handles well and has an incredibly smooth ride. Inside, you'll find arguably the most well-appointed cabin in the class and a long list of standard and available features. The Ridgeline's bed also provides more versatility than rivals' beds.

Should I Buy the Honda Ridgeline?

The Ridgeline is one of the best compact trucks, as long as you're OK with the fact that it does things a little differently than class rivals. You'll also have to pay up for the Ridgeline; it has a much higher starting price than most competitors do. Trucks like the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma are better choices if you prioritize things like towing capacity or off-road ability. Most rivals also offer multiple cab and bed configurations, but with this Honda, the one and only configuration is a crew cab with a short bed.

Should I Buy a New or Used Honda Ridgeline?

Honda reintroduced the Ridgeline for the 2017 model year. There was an adjustment to the trim lineup for 2018, but there aren't any notable changes for the 2019 model. You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping used, and you'll get essentially the same truck. If you're interested in a used model, be sure to visit our overviews of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline and 2018 Honda Ridgeline. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

We Did the Research for You: 36 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Ridgeline generation, which runs from 2017 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Honda Ridgeline Cost?

At just under $30,000, the Ridgeline's base price is considerably higher than other trucks in the class. The Ridgeline gets even more expensive if you want one of the higher trims. The RTL trim starts at around $35,000 and might be the best value in the lineup. The RTL-E is loaded with features for around $42,000, and the top-of-the-line Black Edition starts north of $43,000.

It's worth noting that while the Ridgeline's base price is much higher than that of its rivals, it's also better-equipped (due in no small part to the fact that every Ridgeline features a crew cab). When rivals are similarly equipped to the Ridgeline, the price gap narrows considerably.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

Honda Ridgeline Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Honda Ridgeline or Toyota Tacoma?

The Toyota Tacoma is the clear choice in this class if you value off-road ability. But that's not its only advantage over the Ridgeline. The Tacoma can tow more than the Ridgeline, and it comes standard with a touch-screen infotainment system, which costs extra in the Honda. Meanwhile, the Ridgeline has the more upscale cabin, a more versatile bed, and a smoother ride. The Ridgeline is a better all-around truck, but there are still reasons to prefer the Tacoma.

Which Is Better: Honda Ridgeline or Chevrolet Colorado?

The Chevrolet Colorado has a more diverse powertrain lineup than the Ridgeline, offering four-cylinder, V6, and turbodiesel options. The Colorado is also a better truck for towing and hauling than the Honda. The Colorado has a user-friendly infotainment system, but the Ridgeline offers more features and delivers a smoother ride. The Honda is also more upscale. This is another case where the Ridgeline is a little better overall, but the Colorado is still a viable choice, depending on your needs.

Ridgeline Performance

Ridgeline Engine: Get in the Mix With This V6

The Ridgeline features a 280-horsepower V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It provides good acceleration from a stop or at speed, and the Ridgeline doesn't feel underpowered, even on the highway.

Ridgeline Gas Mileage: Good Ratings for a Truck

This Honda compact pickup gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive and 18/25 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive. These are slightly better estimates than most rivals’ V6 engines. However, they lag behind the ratings of rivals’ turbodiesel engines.

Compared to the Chevy Colorado’s V6, you’ll spend about $150 less on fuel each year with the Ridgeline. You'll also spend about $50 less each year in the Ridgeline than in the V6-powered Toyota Tacoma.

Ridgeline Ride and Handling: Smooth and Stable

The Ridgeline differs from its peers in that it comes standard with front-wheel drive instead of rear-wheel drive and offers all-wheel drive instead of four-wheel drive. This Honda's ride is the best in the class, and it handles better than some competitors as well.

Ridgeline Off-Road Performance

While the all-wheel-drive Ridgeline can't keep up with the Tacoma, it can handle mild off-road situations without much trouble. It rides comfortably over uneven terrain, and it offers an Intelligent Traction Management system that lets you select a drive mode to match the terrain you’re on.

Ridgeline Towing Capacity

The Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 pounds and haul up to 1,580 pounds. Many rivals can tow much more, but the Ridgeline's hauling capacity is comparable to the competition. Note that ride quality gets worse while towing and hauling, whereas many rivals ride more smoothly when carrying a load.

Ridgeline Interior

How Many People Does the Ridgeline Seat?

The Ridgeline has one of the most spacious cabins in the class, and it seats five. The front seats are supportive and provide great forward visibility. The rear seats have plenty of room, even for adult passengers. Unlike most rivals, this truck only comes as a crew cab.

Ridgeline and Car Seats

There are three full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the system an Acceptable rating (the second-highest score) for ease of use, but there are a couple issues. The tether anchors are hard to find, and the lower anchors are set a little too deep in the seat.

Ridgeline Interior Quality

Climb inside the Ridgeline, and you'll find arguably the nicest interior in the class. It's quiet and spacious, the controls are well-organized, and there are soft-touch materials throughout.

Ridgeline Cargo Space

This Honda provides ample cabin storage space, including enough room for a set of golf clubs under the rear seats. The rear seats also flip up, providing enough room for larger items. The Ridgeline has a highly versatile bed, featuring an in-bed storage trunk that locks and a dual-action tailgate. The bed is wide enough to fit 4-foot-wide items between the wheel wells. An in-bed audio system and an AC power outlet are available.

Ridgeline Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Ridgeline include push-button start and a seven-speaker audio system with two USB ports, Bluetooth, and a 5-inch center stack display screen.

Available features include a power-sliding rear window, a moonroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, and an 8-inch touch-screen audio system with navigation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Siri Eyes Free.

The Ridgeline's available touch-screen infotainment interface can cause frustration. On the bright side, you can operate the system while wearing gloves, and there are plenty of available smartphone connectivity features.

Ridgeline Reliability

Is the Honda Ridgeline Reliable?

The 2019 Ridgeline is part of a generation that typically earns an above-average predicted reliability rating of at least four out of five from J.D. Power.

Honda Ridgeline Warranty

Honda covers the Ridgeline with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Other compact trucks have similar warranties.

Ridgeline Safety

Ridgeline Crash Test Results

The 2019 Honda Ridgeline earned a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Ridgeline Safety Features

A rearview camera comes standard in this Honda pickup. Available active safety features include Honda LaneWatch (a blind spot camera), blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance technologies, which includes collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control.

Which Honda Ridgeline Model Is Right for Me?

There are six Ridgeline trims to choose from. Every model features a crew cab, a V6 engine, and an automatic transmission. The Ridgeline's starting price is much higher than its class rivals', though it is better-equipped than most.

The RTL is the best choice if you want a few nice features without spending too much money. If your budget is more flexible, then the RTL-E is a great choice. It comes with almost every feature you can get in a Ridgeline, including many driver assistance features not found in most class rivals.

Honda Ridgeline RT

The Ridgeline RT is the base trim, and it has a starting MSRP of $29,990. Standard features include a rearview camera, push-button start, and a seven-speaker audio system with two USB ports, Bluetooth, and a 5-inch center stack display screen.

The RT offers little beyond the standard features, and it's the only Ridgeline trim not available with all-wheel drive. However, you can add rear parking sensors for $500 and a CD player for $310.

Honda Ridgeline Sport

The Ridgeline Sport starts at $33,390. In addition to the base features, the Sport comes with tri-zone automatic climate control and remote engine start. You can add rear parking sensors and a CD player for the same price as in the RT. The Sport also lets you add a heated steering wheel for $500 and all-wheel drive for $1,900.

Honda Ridgeline RTL

The Ridgeline RTL has a starting MSRP of $34,870. The RTL comes with a moonroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. It has the same available features as the lower trims.

Honda Ridgeline RTL-E

The Ridgeline RTL-E starts at $41,920. Standard features include all-wheel drive, an in-bed audio system, satellite radio, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an 8-inch infotainment touch screen, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, a heated steering wheel, and more.

Between the RTL and RTL-E lies the Ridgeline RTL-T, which starts at $37,000. As you might guess, it has more features than the RTL but not as many as the RTL-E.

Honda Ridgeline Black Edition

The Ridgeline Black Edition tops the lineup. It has a starting price of $43,420 and comes with the same features as the RTL-E trim. However, the Black Edition offers styling touches like black exterior trim, black alloy wheels, and special edition leather seats that are unavailable in other trims.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

The Final Call

Like the previous two model years, the 2019 Honda Ridgeline finishes near the top of our class rankings. The Ridgeline's capable performance and high-quality interior make it a great choice for almost any compact pickup shopper.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2019 Honda Ridgeline review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.

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