Car Reviews

2023 Honda Ridgeline Review: It might be all the truck you need

Professionals: Nice on-road trip and dealing with; progressive mattress design; commonplace AWD

Cons: Controversial design; no cheap base fashions; restricted off-road

The Honda Ridgeline introduced one thing completely new and totally different to the pickup section earlier than different unibody vans just like the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick hit the market. Regardless of these different crossover-based vans being on sale now, the 2023 Honda Ridgeline nonetheless provides a singular proposition as the one midsize unibody pickup on the market. Its beautiful street manners could also be matched and bested by the Hyundai, however the bigger Honda provides considerably extra utility and area. Plus, its benefits over others within the highly-competitive midsize truck area stay.

No midsize pickup rides and comports itself higher on the street than the Ridgeline, making it this truck’s greatest promoting level. Most vans give off the rough-and-tumble vibes when cruising round city, however within the Ridgeline, it’s so SUV-like that you could be as nicely be driving a Honda Pilot with a mattress (as a result of that is mainly what it’s). The Ridgeline’s progressive swing-out tailgate tech continues to be a segment-exclusive function — we cherished it on our long-term Ridgeline take a look at truck. Its inside doesn’t attempt to overwhelm with rugged, tough-looking styling. As a substitute, it’s much like the family-oriented SUVs from Honda, remaining pleasantly ergonomic and filled with storage/cubbies. If there’s a low level to be discovered, it’s the tech contained in the Ridgeline. Honda up to date this pickup for 2021, however the infotainment and driver help tech remains to be disappointing at finest. As for the powertrain, we like the usual 3.5-liter V6 for its throaty growl and strong energy, however want it supplied higher gas effectivity. 

For a lot of use circumstances, the Ridgeline and its 5,000-pound towing capability goes to be all of the truck you want. Its all-wheel-drive system is even acceptably succesful off-road, so don’t write it off when the going will get powerful. In most day-to-day use circumstances, you’re going to be grateful to be driving the comfortable, pleasant Ridgeline over different midsize pickups.

Inside & Expertise   |   Passenger & Cargo House   |   Efficiency & Gasoline Financial system

What it is prefer to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Ranges   |   Crash Scores & Security Options

What’s new for 2023?

Honda refreshed the Ridgeline for the 2021 mannequin yr, however there aren’t any main modifications made for the 2023 mannequin yr truck.

What are the Ridgeline’s inside and in-car expertise like?

For higher and for worse, the Ridgeline inside is copied and pasted from the Honda Pilot from the B-pillars ahead. Meaning it isn’t an particularly enticing area, and definitely not one which screams “powerful, enjoyable truck!” That is the “for worse” bit. For higher, the Pilot inside provides distinctive small merchandise storage, and that mainly carries over to the Ridgeline unchanged. The roomy lined heart bin is very helpful for protecting even sizable gadgets away from prying eyes or from flying across the cabin.

However now, again to the more serious bit. The Pilot/Passport/Ridgeline’s infotainment system is the inside’s weakest attribute. Sure, it has a quantity knob now, however that is simply correcting an previous misstep. It does not change the missteps that stay: a convoluted menu construction, rudimentary navigation system (in that case outfitted) and lack of bodily supporting buttons.

2022 Honda Ridgeline Sport dual-action tailgate 2022 Honda Ridgeline Sport in-bed trunk

How massive is the Ridgeline?

On the skin, the Ridgeline is mainly the identical size and peak as different midsize crew cab pickups. Its wheelbase is not fairly as lengthy, and it has much less floor clearance (7.6 inches), but it surely’s notably wider – by a whopping 5.3 inches in comparison with the Ford Ranger. Nevertheless, the Ridgeline’s unibody “crossover” development means these comparable dimensions on the skin don’t translate into comparable measurements inside. Merely put, the Ridgeline cabin is much roomier and extra comfy for passengers. You possibly can see this most by way of rear seat legroom, and all that further width ends in an analogous benefit in shoulder room. There’s additionally the matter of inside peak: There’s extra of it within the Ridgeline, that means the seats may be increased off the bottom (particularly in comparison with the Toyota Tacoma), leading to better consolation even when headroom is analogous.

In contrast to a lot of the different midsize vans, the Ridgeline doesn’t supply a smaller, “prolonged cab” physique model. There’s additionally just one mattress size, 5 ft 4 inches, which is per the quick beds that sometimes come commonplace with the crew cabs of different midsize pickups (it is also for much longer than the cargo areas of midsize SUVs). The Tacoma and Frontier may be paired with an extended mattress; the Ranger and newly-redesigned Colorado can’t.

None of these rivals, nevertheless, provides the distinctive attributes of the Ridgeline’s mattress. That begins with the intelligent Twin Motion tailgate, which drops down like regular or swings out like a door. The latter is useful for climbing into the mattress or leaning in to get one thing, and it additionally supplies entry to the Ridgeline’s different distinctive function: a trunk. This water-tight 7.9-cubic-foot area match three medium-sized items of baggage in our baggage take a look at and has a plug within the backside to allow you to wash it out or fill it with ice to create a big onboard cooler. Simply know that it takes loads of ice to do it. Lastly, the highest two trim ranges function the Truck-Mattress Audio System, which mainly turns the mattress into a large speaker. It is fairly cool.

What are the Ridgeline’s gas economic system and efficiency specs?

The Ridgeline positive retains issues easy by providing just one powertrain and drivetrain mixture: a 3.5-liter V6 that sends 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque via a nine-speed automated to a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. You need rear-wheel drive? Too dangerous, the Ridgeline relies on a front-wheel-drive platform. You need front-wheel drive? No, after all you do not. You are not alone, Honda discontinued that possibility with its 2021 refresh

EPA-estimated gas economic system is eighteen mpg metropolis, 24 mpg freeway and 21 mpg mixed. Contemplating the crossover structure, nine-speed automated and Honda’s popularity, you may most likely be stunned to listen to that mixed estimate is definitely 1 mpg worse than a Ford Ranger 4×4 and the identical as a Ford F-150 4×4 with the two.7-liter turbo V6.

What is the Ridgeline prefer to drive?

The Ridgeline has no doubt the smoothest trip and finest on-road dealing with of any midsize pickup. It even has a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system, which shunts energy to every rear wheel to enhance dealing with and traction. Principally, the Ridgeline drives extra like a crossover than a body-on-frame truck – as a result of that is precisely what it’s. The trip is somewhat firmer than a Pilot or Passport’s, however each Ridgeline is a really civilized pickup to drive.

There are, after all, downsides. Its 7.6 inches of floor clearance is not even excessive for a crossover, and whereas its all-wheel-drive system, off-road driving modes and HPD package deal upgrades make it surprisingly succesful off the crushed path, it could actually’t contact even the extra fundamental variations of the Ranger and Tacoma. Its towing capability of 5,000 kilos can also be fairly weak (the Ranger, Colorado/Canyon, Tacoma and Jeep Gladiator are throughout 7,000), however its payload of 1,583 kilos is similar to all however the best-in-class Ranger.

What different Honda Ridgeline evaluations can I learn?

2021 Honda Ridgeline First Drive

In our first drive of the revised 2021 Ridgeline, we dive extra deeply into the modifications and get an opportunity to drive it off street. 

 

2020 Honda Ridgeline Street Check

We truly use the Ridgeline for a very good, old school truck exercise: hauling mulch. 

 

Lengthy-Time period Honda Ridgeline Check

We examined a Ridgeline for a whole yr, and though there have been some updates since then, our impressions (and fondness for it) stay broadly the identical.

2018 Honda Ridgeline

 

2018 Honda Ridgeline and Airstream Basecamp X | A match made in Michigan

We take our long-term Ridgeline on an extended, chilly weekend journey with a mini Airstream

2019 Airstream Basecamp X adventure

What’s the 2023 Ridgeline’s value?

Pricing begins at $40,095, together with the $1,225 vacation spot cost, for the bottom Sport trim degree. That’s almost $2,000 greater than the 2022 mannequin yr truck’s base value. It’s additionally significantly greater than different midsize pickups, however keep in mind that the Ridgeline comes commonplace with key components which might be elective on different vans: a crew cab, V6 engine and all-wheel drive.

It additionally has extra commonplace gear. This contains 18-inch alloy wheels, the Twin Motion tailgate and mattress trunk, automated LED headlights, LED foglights, mattress lights, rear privateness glass, a multi-angle parking digital camera, a full suite of accident avoidance tech (see Security part), adaptive cruise management, proximity entry and keyless begin, tri-zone automated local weather management, a height-adjustable driver seat, fabric upholstery, a 60/40-split again seat with flip-up seat bottoms, an 8-inch touchscreen, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a seven-speaker sound system.

We have been completely wonderful with this ample quantity of apparatus within the Sport we examined, nevertheless, the RTL’s energy entrance seats, blind-spot warning system, power-sliding rear window and leather-wrapped steering wheel would most likely make the value premium acceptable for a lot of.

The highest two trim ranges are mainly the identical, besides the Black Version fees you $1,500 for blacked out wheels and trim items, and particular inside accents. Notable gear upgrades embody parking sensors, a truck mattress energy outlet, the truck-bed audio system, a heated steering wheel, wi-fi cellphone charging and built-in navigation.

2021 Honda Ridgeline AWD Sport with HPD Package

The HPD (Honda Efficiency Bundle) pictured above in white is obtainable on each trim degree and features a distinctive grille and fender flares, HPD stickers, and 18-inch “bronze alloy wheels” which might be completely extra gold than bronze. If you’d like black wheels, Honda permits you to spec these, too. It prices $2,800. You possibly can see the distinction between it and an everyday Ridgeline under, and browse extra about it in our Ridgeline HPD Bundle Driveway Check.

All costs under embody the vacation spot cost of $1,295.

Sport: $40,095
RTL: $43,075
RTL-E: $46,025
Black Version: $47,525

What are the Ridgeline’s security rankings and driver help options?

Each 2023 Ridgeline contains ahead collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-keeping help, and adaptive cruise management with steering help. Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning are on all however the base Sport. Though it is commendable that these options are commonplace, they’re a few of the oldest and least refined in the marketplace. Adaptive cruise management tends to brake an excessive amount of, accelerates again in control too slowly, and the steering help pales compared to that supplied by different manufacturers.

The Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration gave the Ridgeline 5 out of 5 stars for total, frontal and aspect crash safety. No different midsize truck can match this. The Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security gave it the best-possible ranking of “Good” in all crash checks however the latest small overlap entrance: passenger-side take a look at the place it bought a second-best “Acceptable.” The ahead collision prevention system additionally bought a ranking of fine, however the headlights bought a third-best/second-worst rating of “Marginal.”

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