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2020 Honda Ridgeline Review

The 2020 Honda Ridgeline clocks in near the top of our compact pickup truck rankings. The Ridgeline is comfortable, upscale, and loaded with technology, but it doesn’t have the towing ability of most rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Cushioned ride
  • Comfortable, supportive seating
  • Upscale cabin
  • Lots of standard driver assistance features
  • Lower towing and hauling capacities than most rivals
  • Frustrating infotainment system
  • High starting price

New for 2020

  • RT and RTL-T trims dropped
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission now standard
  • New standard infotainment and active safety features

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Honda Ridgeline's #1 ranking is based on its score within the Compact Pickup Trucks category. Currently the Honda Ridgeline has a score of 8.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 37 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 8.1
Safety: 9.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Honda Ridgeline?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Honda Ridgeline a Good Truck?

Yes, the Honda Ridgeline is a good truck. It comes with a powerful V6 engine and has perhaps the most comfortable ride in the compact pickup truck class. The Ridgeline's interior is a step above most other trucks' cabins in terms of quality and passenger space. There are plenty of standard features, and the Ridgeline's bed offers some things you can't get with competitors.

The Ridgeline’s biggest drawback is that it doesn't prioritize towing and hauling as much as rivals do, and thus has lower maximum capacities in both areas than most of the competition. It also has an aggravating infotainment interface.

2020 Honda Ridgeline Dimensions

  • Length: 17 feet, 6 inches
  • Height: 5 feet, 10 inches to 5 feet, 11 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,242 to 4,515 pounds

Should I Buy the Honda Ridgeline?

Though it has a higher starting price than most other compact pickup trucks, the Ridgeline should be one of the top choices for most shoppers considering a small truck. However, as noted above, the Ridgeline doesn't measure up as well in some traditional truck areas, so buyers may also want to consider options like the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado.

Compare the Ridgeline, Tacoma, and Colorado »

Should I Buy a New or Used Honda Ridgeline?

You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used Ridgeline. Going back as far as the 2017 model year will get you essentially the same vehicle as a 2020 Ridgeline. However, there are updates to the new Ridgeline that make it a tempting choice.

For 2020, the lineup now features four trim levels, as Honda drops the RT and RTL-T models. A nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the six-speed automatic from previous models, though fuel economy is essentially unchanged.

There are plenty of new standard features in the new Ridgeline as well, including tri-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and the Honda Sensing suite of driver technology, which includes collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control. In the 2019 model, you had to step up to at least the RTL-E trim to get many of these features.

The current Ridgeline generation began with the truck's reintroduction for the 2017 model year. There was an adjustment to the trim lineup for 2018, but there weren't any notable changes for 2019.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 Ridgeline, 2018 Ridgeline, and 2019 Ridgeline reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Ridgeline »

We Did the Research for You: 37 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This 2020 Ridgeline review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2017.

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?

The Ridgeline carries a base price of $33,900, which is significantly more than every rivals' starting price other than the Jeep Gladiator. The range-topping Ridgeline Black Edition starts at $43,520. That's comparable to many competitors' top-trim prices.

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 isn't as good overall as the Ridgeline, but it does have a couple of notable strengths. First, the Tacoma is one of the top choices in the compact pickup truck class if you value off-road ability. Second, it can tow more than the Ridgeline and is available with a longer bed. The Ridgeline, on the other hand, offers more unique bed features and a smoother ride than the Tacoma, and it has a more upscale cabin.

Which Is Better: Honda Ridgeline or Chevrolet Colorado?

The Chevrolet Colorado is another compact pickup truck that offers some distinct advantages over the Ridgeline, even though it doesn't have the Honda's overall appeal. The Colorado offers a longer bed and more engine options than the Ridgeline, including a four-cylinder, a V6, and a turbodiesel. The Colorado is also a better truck for towing and hauling. 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 inside than the Chevy.

Compare the Ridgeline, Tacoma, and Colorado »

Ridgeline Performance

Ridgeline Engine: A V6 is All You Need

Whereas many compact trucks come standard with a four-cylinder engine and offer a V6, the Ridgeline comes only with a V6. That's all you need. This 3.5-liter engine puts out 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, and it has plenty of muscle whether you're driving around town or on the highway. A nine-speed automatic transmission comes standard.

Ridgeline Gas Mileage: Solid

The Ridgeline gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive and 19/24 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive. Those are good ratings for the class, and they're solidly better than V6-powered rivals' ratings.

Ridgeline Ride and Handling: Among the Best in the Class

Few competitors can match the Ridgeline's handling and ride quality. This truck feels composed and well-mannered on winding roads, much like driving a car. It rides smoothly, even over rough pavement.

Ridgeline Off-Road Performance

This isn't the most beastly off-roader in the class by any means, but the Ridgeline offers all-wheel drive and a traction management system, both of which make it capable of handling mud, snow, and other challenging terrain.

Ridgeline Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 pounds. While still enough to pull a trailer or boat, that's the lowest max tow rating in the class. The Ridgeline's maximum payload is 1,580 pounds. That, too, is less than what rivals can haul.

Read more about performance »

Ridgeline Interior

How Many People Does the Ridgeline Seat?

All Ridgeline models come in a crew cab body style and seat five people. There's plenty of space up front and in the back for adult passengers. The front seats provide plenty of support for long trips, and anyone behind the wheel will appreciate the excellent forward visibility.

Ridgeline and Child Car Seats

There are three full sets of LATCH connectors for the Ridgeline’s rear seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The tether anchors are hard to find, and the lower anchors are set too deep in the seats.

Ridgeline Interior Quality

This Honda features one of the most upscale and spacious cabins in the class. There are soft-touch materials throughout, and the interior remains quiet, even at higher speeds. There are some hard plastics here and there, but that's the case in every compact pickup.

Ridgeline Cargo Space

The Ridgeline only offers one bed length. At 5 feet, 4 inches, its bed is nearly a foot shorter than most rivals' longest bed length. However, there's still plenty to like about this Honda's bed. It's wide enough to easily fit 4 x 8 sheets of plywood, and there are a number of handy in-bed features, including a power outlet, an audio system, and a 7.3-cubic-foot storage trunk below the bed floor that features a built-in drain plug.

Another nifty feature is the Ridgeline’s dual-action tailgate, which can be lowered like most tailgates or swung open to the side.

Ridgeline Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in this Honda include tri-zone automatic climate control and an infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, seven speakers, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Available features include a truck bed audio system, a moonroof, navigation, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and HD Radio.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now come standard in all trims, making it easy to sync your smartphone with the truck. Also newly standard is the 8-inch touch screen. While the screen's easy to see, it's not very responsive, and the infotainment interface isn't as user-friendly as some rivals' systems.

Read more about interior »

Ridgeline Reliability

Is the Honda Ridgeline Reliable?

The 2020 Honda Ridgeline has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 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.

Read more about reliability »

Ridgeline Safety

Ridgeline Crash Test Results

The 2020 Ridgeline earned an overall safety rating of five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Ridgeline received five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover evaluation.

The 2020 Ridgeline was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Ridgeline earned the highest rating of Good in five crash tests and the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the passenger-side small overlap front test. Headlight ratings vary by trim. The RTL-E and Black Edition trims earned a Good rating for how well they illuminate the road ahead, while the Sport and RTL trims received the worst rating of Poor.

The IIHS has a different scale for grading active safety features. Properly equipped Ridgelines earned the top rating of Superior for the effectiveness of their front crash prevention features.

Ridgeline Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control. Some of these features are part of the Honda Sensing suite of driver technology.

Available active safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors.

Read more about safety »

Where Is the Honda Ridgeline Built?

Honda builds the 2020 Ridgeline in Alabama.

Which Honda Ridgeline Model Is Right for Me?

There are four Ridgeline trims to choose from: Sport, RTL, RTL-E, and Black Edition. Every model features a crew cab body configuration, a V6 engine, and an automatic transmission.

The RTL is the best choice if you want a few nice features without spending too much money. If your budget is flexible, then the RTL-E is a great choice. It comes with almost every amenity you can get in a Ridgeline, including many driver assistance features.

Honda Ridgeline Powertrain:

  • Engine: 3.5-liter V6 with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: nine-speed automatic

Honda Ridgeline Appearance Packages:

  • Adventure package (prices start at $3,372; available in Sport, RTL, RTL-E, Black Edition): sport grille, black running board, fender flares, skid plate, 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, black roof rails, and crossbars
  • Outdoor Essentials package (prices start at $2,399; available in Sport, RTL, RTL-E, Black Edition): red door sill trim, black running board, black fender flares, black roof rails, and crossbars

Honda Ridgeline Work Packages/Options:

  • Utility Package I (prices start at $2,074; available in Sport, RTL, RTL-E): black running board, front skid plate, low profile hood air deflector, black roof rails, and crossbars
  • Utility Package II (prices start at $1,591; available in Sport, RTL, RTL-E): running board with lights, front and rear splash guards, silver roof rails, and crossbars

Honda Ridgeline Trims:

Honda Ridgeline Sport

The Ridgeline Sport carries a base price of $33,900. Standard features include tri-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, and an infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, seven speakers, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control. Some of these features are part of the Honda Sensing suite of driver technology.

You can add all-wheel drive for $2,240. A heated steering wheel and rear parking sensors can be had for $500 each.

Honda Ridgeline RTL

The Ridgeline RTL starts at $36,670. In addition to the Sport trim's features, the RTL comes with leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, a power-sliding rear window, and a moonroof.

You can add all-wheel drive for $2,150. A heated steering wheel and rear parking sensors are available for $500 each.

Honda Ridgeline RTL-E

The Ridgeline RTL-E has a starting MSRP of $42,020. The RTL-E comes standard with all-wheel drive, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, an in-bed power outlet, a truck bed audio system, navigation, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and HD Radio.

Honda Ridgeline Black Edition

The Ridgeline Black Edition has a starting price of $43,520. From a features standpoint, this trim is the same as the RTL-E, but the Black Edition also comes with unique styling elements like black exterior trim, black alloy wheels, and special edition leather seats that are unavailable in other trims.

Which Ridgeline Cab Style Is Right for Me?

You only have one cab style with the Ridgeline. All models feature a crew cab configuration and seat five. Few trucks, regardless of cab style, have as much passenger space as the Ridgeline. Both rows of seats can accommodate adult passengers easily.

Which Ridgeline Bed Length Is Right for Me?

The Ridgeline offers only one bed length, and it's 5 feet, 4 inches long. Most rivals have multiple bed lengths, including options that are 6 feet or longer. Still, the Ridgeline's bed provides plenty of utility.

This Honda's bed is 4 feet, 2 inches wide at the wheel wells and 5 feet wide at the bed walls. That's wide enough to fit 4 x 8 sheets of plywood between the wheel wells, which isn't the case in some class rivals. In fact, the wheel wells are less invasive in the bed's floor than in most trucks.

The Ridgeline bed also features something unique in the compact pickup truck class: a storage trunk located beneath the floor of the bed. It provides 7.3 cubic feet of space and has a drain plug, so you could fill it with ice and use it as a cooler.

Which Ridgeline Model Is Best for Towing and Hauling?

Every Ridgeline trim can tow the same amount: up to 3,500 pounds in front-wheel-drive models and up to 5,000 pounds in those with all-wheel drive. It's worth noting that the RLT-E and Black Edition trims only come with all-wheel drive.

Maximum payload varies by trim, though the front-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive split is still the most important factor. The front-wheel-drive RTL trim has the lowest hauling capacity (1,452 pounds) of any Ridgeline, with the front-wheel-drive Sport trim (1,465 pounds) coming in just above it. Every all-wheel-drive model can haul at least 1,499 pounds (the capacity for the RTL-E and Black Edition trims), with the all-wheel-drive Sport trim leading the way with a 1,580-pound capacity.

With only 128 pounds separating the top and bottom payloads, it probably doesn’t matter which trim you pick from a payload perspective. That said, the Sport trim with all-wheel-drive is the most capable Ridgeline. It features the maximum towing and payload capacities that this truck offers.

Which Ridgeline Model Is Best for Off-Roading?

Regardless of which Ridgeline trim you select, you'll get roughly the same level of off-road performance. For the most capability, you'll want to choose a model with all-wheel drive and the available Intelligent Traction Management system to ensure that you're getting the best possible performance. With that setup, this Honda can handle mud, snow, and sand pretty easily. Just don't expect to tackle any extreme trails.

This is another area where the Ridgeline stands apart from other small pickup trucks, as rivals like the Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, and Jeep Gladiator each have trims that specialize in going off road.

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.

See 2020 Honda Ridgeline specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Honda Ridgeline is one of our highest-rated compact pickup trucks. It does things a little differently than most trucks, but the result is a vehicle that should appeal to more than just traditional truck buyers.

The Ridgeline may not be the best off-roader or have the highest towing capacity in the class (in fact, it has the lowest tow rating), but it's more comfortable, more spacious, and more upscale than the rest of the class. Almost every small truck buyer should consider the Ridgeline.

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

  • "With crossover SUVs and pickup trucks more popular than ever, Honda combines the two genres with the innovative 2020 Ridgeline. Sure, it can't tow as much as its mid-size rivals and looks like a minivan with a truck bed bolted on to the rear end. However, the Honda's cabin is better built and more roomy than anything else in its class. Likewise, its cargo bed can handle traditional chores and offers unconventional features thanks to an in-bed trunk and available audio system. It also demonstrates an uncanny athleticism and a superb ride quality that makes it enjoyable during daily use. While the 2020 Ridgeline is often ostracized by pickup purists, it should be glorified by everyone else who wants a truck." -- Car and Driver
  • "The 2018 Honda Ridgeline is the most well-rounded midsize truck on the market today. Sure, its 5,000-pound tow rating doesn't look as impressive on paper as some competitors', and it can't crawl over desert rock formations as easily as some specially tuned models. But it's comfortable and versatile and offers most of the utility you're looking for. It also avoids most of the drawbacks associated with pickup ownership." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "… while still not a typical truck, the new Ridgeline offers the driving comfort and ride quality of an SUV, plus some of the towing and payload capacity of a truck." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: July 24, 2020

Warming Sales: The Honda Ridgeline is one of the slowest selling trucks in the compact pickup truck segment this year, ahead of only the GMC Canyon. To date this year, Honda dealerships have sold 4.9 percent fewer Ridgeline models compared to the same period in 2019. The dominant Toyota Tacoma is currently outselling the Ridgeline nearly 7 to 1. 

Research more buying advice »
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2020 Honda Ridgeline

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