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- Clever, useful truck bed
- Excellent road manners
- Comfortable cabin
- Traditional truck looks
- High-quality cabin
- Safety tech walled off in expensive trims
- A front-wheel drive...truck?
- Ground clearance can limit off-road utility
- Expensive compared to rivals
- Wonky infotainment
The 2018 Honda Ridgeline is the most comfortable truck you can drive today. It has the capability that many casual buyers want, but it’s not the choice for heavy duty users.
Many buyers choose a truck based on their most extreme, occasional needs. They often end up with massive full-size pickups with lots of capability but also big price tags and clumsy handling. Some get mid-size pickups that come at less cost but still have bouncy, truck-like ride and handling. One truck can be a smarter buy for shoppers who don’t need all that capability.
The 2018 Honda Ridgeline is the lone pickup that is built on a car- or crossover-type unibody platform, while all others get a more rugged body-on-frame chassis. That gives it superior ride and handling to any rival, and its interior is also crossover friendly. With these strengths, we rate the Ridgeline highly, giving it a 7.5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The second-generation Ridgeline was introduced last year, and this year it gets no changes other than new colors for the Sport trim for 2018.
Honda bases the Ridgeline on the unibody platform of the Pilot crossover SUV. While the profile is now that of a traditional crew cab pickup, the look from the rear doors forward is very influenced by the Pilot. Same goes for the interior, and that’s a good thing for buyers. The Ridgeline’s cabin is better appointed and more comfortable than anything you’ll get from a rival mid-size pickup, wonky infotainment system aside.
The driving character is also superior to the rest of the class. The Ridgeline sits lower, rides more smoothly, and feels more controlled than its bouncier competitors. Its 3.5-liter V-6/6-speed automatic combination is also smooth and responsive.
The trade-off is some ultimate towing and off-road capability. The Ridgeline has some modes that deal with different terrain through electronics but it doesn’t sit high enough or offer knobby tires, off-road shocks, low-range gearing, or tight approach and departure angles to make it an off-road warrior. And while it can tow a decent 5,000 pounds, that’s 2,000 pounds short of the competition.
Fuel economy is decent at 21 or 22 mpg combined, but that’s not really better than the class average and Honda makes no hybrid or diesel option available.
Unlike most rivals, the Ridgeline does crash well and it offers a nice spate of active safety features. However, Honda makes buyers pony up more than $40,000 to get those features.