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2019 Honda Ridgeline Review

The 2019 Honda Ridgeline doesn't fit the mold of a typical small pickup. Still, it earns a top spot in our compact truck rankings because of its cushioned ride, top-notch interior, and versatile bed.

Pros & Cons

  • Incredibly smooth ride
  • One of the nicest cabins in the class
  • Extremely versatile bed
  • Long list of active safety features
  • Lower towing capacity than rivals
  • High base price
  • Confusing infotainment system

Rankings & Research

The 2019 Honda Ridgeline ranked #1 in Compact Pickup Trucks. Currently the Honda Ridgeline has a score of 8.3 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 38 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.3
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Honda Ridgeline a Good Truck?

Yes, the Honda Ridgeline is a great compact pickup truck. Acceleration is effortless with this Honda's V6 engine, and fuel economy ratings for this model rival those of four-cylinder-powered competitors. The Ridgeline rides smoothly even over rough pavement, and it has arguably the nicest interior in the class. There are plenty of features, and this Honda's bed can do things that others can't.

So what's the catch? Well, the Ridgeline deemphasizes some traditional truck attributes, such as towing capacity. It can still pull a trailer, but the maximum towing capacities of most rivals are at least 1,500 pounds higher. The Ridgeline is also the only truck that doesn't offer true four-wheel drive, but it offers all-wheel drive instead.

Should I Buy the Honda Ridgeline?

If you're buying a truck for everyday use, the Ridgeline is a fine choice. It doesn't have the highest possible towing capacity – you'll probably want a full-size truck instead of a compact pickup for that – or elite off-road ability. You'll pay for the quality, though, as the Ridgeline's base price far exceeds most rivals' starting price.

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.

Compare the Ridgeline, Colorado, and Tacoma »

2019 Honda Ridgeline Dimensions

  • Length: 17 feet, 6 inches
  • Height: 5 feet, 11 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,235 to 4,508 pounds

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.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Ridgeline »

We Did the Research for You: 38 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 most 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 one of the top choices 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, it's available with a longer bed, and it comes standard with a touch-screen infotainment system, which costs extra in the Honda. Meanwhile, the Ridgeline has the more upscale cabin, more unique bed features, 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. When it comes down to it, the Ridgeline is better overall, but the Colorado is still a viable choice, depending on your needs.

Compare the Ridgeline, Colorado, and Tacoma »

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 $200 less on fuel each year with the Ridgeline. You'll also spend about $100 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.

Read more about performance »

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 Child 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 of issues. The tether anchors are hard to find, and the lower anchors are set a little too deep in the seats.

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.

Read more about interior »

Ridgeline Reliability

Is the Honda Ridgeline Reliable?

The 2019 Ridgeline earns a predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is a slightly above-average rating.

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.

Read more about reliability »

Ridgeline Safety

Ridgeline Crash Test Results

The 2019 Honda Ridgeline earned a five-star (out of five) overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Ridgeline a 2019 Top Safety Pick. It gave the Honda a rating of Good (the highest rating) in five of six tests. It received the second highest rating of Acceptable in the passenger-side small overlap front test. The IIHS also gave the Ridgeline a Good rating for headlights and the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention. 

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.

Read more about safety »

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 Powertrain:

  • Engine: 3.5-liter V6 with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque; starts at $29,990
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic

Honda Ridgeline Appearance Packages:

Honda doesn't offer any appearance packages for the Ridgeline, though you can choose from multiple exterior and interior colors, as well as a few different wheel options.

Honda Ridgeline Work Packages/Options:

Honda doesn't offer any work packages for the Ridgeline, though you can individually add things like roof rails and a bed extender.

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.

Which Ridgeline Cab Style Is Right for Me?

All Ridgeline models come with a crew cab that seats five people. It's one of the most spacious cabs in the class, with ample room for adult occupants in both rows of seats.

Which Ridgeline Bed Length Is Right for Me?

All Ridgeline models come with a bed that's 5 feet, 4 inches long. It's 4 feet, 2 inches wide at the wheel wells and 5 feet wide at the bed walls. With these dimensions, you can fit sheets of plywood in between the wheel wells, which isn't possible in every compact pickup truck. Unlike most other trucks in the class, the Ridgeline does not offer a longer bed. Most rivals offer a bed that's approximately 6-feet-6-inches in length.

The Ridgeline bed features something unique in the compact pickup class: a storage trunk located beneath the floor of the bed. It provides 7.3 cubic feet of storage space.

Which Ridgeline Model Is Best for Towing and Hauling?

When it comes to towing with the Ridgeline, the only thing that affects capability is whether a particular model has front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Beyond that, every trim has the same towing capacity: front-wheel-drive models can tow up to 3,500 pounds, while all-wheel-drive models can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

As for hauling capacities, there are some slight variations from trim to trim, though again, the FWD/AWD issue is the biggest difference-maker. Among front-wheel-drive models, the RTL-T has the lowest capacity, at 1,447 pounds, and the RT and Sport trims have the highest capacity, at 1,465 pounds.

Among all-wheel-drive models, the Sport has the highest payload of 1,580 pounds. The lowest payload comes in the RTL-E and Black Edition trims (both of which only come with AWD), and they can haul 1,499 pounds.

The differences between the trims may not amount to much, but there's still a top choice for somebody who wants the most capable Ridgeline: the Sport trim with AWD. In that configuration, you're getting this Honda's highest towing and hauling capacities.

Some critics note that ride quality gets worse while towing and hauling, whereas many rivals ride more smoothly when carrying a load.

Which Ridgeline Model Is Best for Off-Roading?

Some class rivals, like the Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, and Jeep Gladiator, have trims that specialize in going off road. That's not the case with the Ridgeline. All Ridgeline trims have roughly the same off-road ability, though 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 extremely rocky trails.

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 2019 Honda Ridgeline specs and trims »

The Final Call

Like the previous two model years, the 2019 Honda Ridgeline finishes near the top of our compact pickup truck 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.

  • "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)
  • "No matter how it's outfitted, the Ridgeline is a no-brainer of a truck: unmatched in smoothness and comfort, and full of innovation well beyond its unibody construction. It deserved far more sales than it netted in its inaugural generation. Here's hoping this one realizes its full potential." -- Car and Driver (2017)
  • "The second generation picks up where the first left off: 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)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: December 5, 2019

Warming Sales: The Honda Ridgeline is one of the slowest selling trucks in the compact pickup truck segment. The sales-leading Toyota Tacoma is outselling the Ridgeline almost 8 to 1. However, Honda dealerships have moved 6.7 percent more Ridgeline models to date this year compared to the same period in 2018.

Research more buying advice »
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2019 Honda Ridgeline

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