Honda Ridgeline: The Car Connection's Best Pickup Truck to Buy 2018

November 13, 2017

The 2018 Honda Ridgeline lives in the world most of us would recognize, where we don't drop cinder blocks from high-rises, scramble heavy equipment up a mountainside, or tow Saturn Vs on a Tuesday.

Daily uses for the 2018 Honda Ridgeline include hauling more than 1,400 pounds in the bed (it's wise to mulch, you know), comfortably seating four adults, or towing up to 5,000 pounds—you know, the tasks that most people actually have. You didn't want that rocket in your backyard anyway.

Many pickups on the market are locked in a perpetual struggle for other-worldly superlatives that inflate bottom lines, sink fuel economy, and leave average shoppers on the sidelines. Because it lives comfortably in the real world, the 2018 Honda Ridgeline is our Best Pickup Truck to Buy 2018.

MORE: Read all about our Best Car To Buy 2018 awards

The Ridgeline succeeds because it covers a large number of uses under it's bell curve of capability. It's powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, shuttled to the front or all four wheels through a 6-speed automatic. That the Ridgeline shares a structure with the Honda Pilot crossover is ultimately a boon; Honda's pickup rides more confidently and smoothly than its competitors, and it's far more maneuverable around town. At 21 or 22 mpg combined, it's on par with other mid-size pickups for fuel economy.

Inside, the Ridgeline succeeds because of its family-car roots. As the lone unibody pickup on the market, the Ridgeline shares its interior fittings with the Pilot and they include comfortable seating and a quiet cabin. Available only as a four-door pickup (buyers prefer that body style anyway), the Ridgeline sits lower and wider than other trucks with leg room for four adults or five in a pinch. We like the wide-open view out front and the wide seat bottoms that swaddle a variety of rumps.

In back, the Ridgeline offers a reinforced bed that skips a traditional bedliner in favor of a UV-treated plastic material that's durable and washable. Eight tie-downs offer flexibility to secure myriad kinds of gear, and the seven-pin connector on the tow hitch makes lugging up to a 22-foot boat a breeze.

DON'T MISS: Read our first drive review of the new Honda Ridgeline

Numerous very capable and comfortable full-size pickups are on the road—including heavy-duty models. But as their prices shoot skyward and their capabilities leave us mortals behind, we're left with a good mid-size class that's starting to seem like better tools for the jobs most of us have. The Honda Ridgeline lives in that 90-percent, normal-use area, offering the comfort of a crossover and the capability of a truck that most of us need.

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