2019 Honda Ridgeline vs The Competition
Pickup trucks have surged in popularity as daily drivers, since more and more people who don’t need a dedicated work truck still want the occasional utility that these vehicles offer. The ability to occasionally haul supplies back from the home improvement store for weekend projects without borrowing a friend’s truck is a real need for some. The Honda Ridgeline has fit that need since its 2006 debut, combining light-truck utility with carlike features, from safety to connectivity. As the only midsized truck with unibody construction, it feels more like a crossover than a work truck, making it a wonderful all-in-one: a vehicle you can commute in during the week and count on for more demanding tasks – transporting garden mulch or pulling a boat – on Saturday and Sunday.
But the Ridgeline has a lot of competition in the segment, starting with all of the domestic offerings: the Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, and Chevy Colorado. Its closest comparison in smooth ride, cabin comfort, and standard features is the Toyota Tacoma; the Nissan Frontier gives it a little competition, too. Honda’s only pickup rises above with its generous interior space, ride-smoothing four-wheel independent suspension, and additional connectivity and safety features. Let’s look in more depth at how the Ridgeline stacks up against these other quarter-ton pickups.
Pricing and Standard Features
Since the Ridgeline contains more standard features than its rivals, comparing their starting MSRPs could not exactly be considered apples to apples. It’s the only member of its class to come standard with a six-cylinder engine and crew cab configuration – expensive add-ons on the competing trucks. And since it’s based on the Honda Pilot, its default drivetrain is front-wheel drive (with all-wheel drive optional on all but the base trim), whereas the other trucks are rear-wheel drive with a four-wheel drive option. And, if you like all of the bells and whistles, you’ll want to note that a fully loaded Ridgeline has a smaller price tag than a loaded Canyon or Tacoma. As for warranties, the manufacturers in this segment are neck and neck, offering three years or 36,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and five years or 60,000 miles on the powertrain.
Similar to Toyota and Mazda, Honda offers a 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty, plus a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty; only Hyundai and Kia offer a 10-Year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Honda also offers 24-hour emergency road service, Honda Care Maintenance, and a 5-year unlimited-miles corrosion limited warranty.
Performance and Fuel Economy
The 2019 Honda Ridgeline is the only vehicle in its class with a standard six-cylinder engine. Its 3.5-liter V6 makes 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque. The competing pickups all have a four-cylinder base engine; some are naturally aspirated and others are turbocharged. The GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado have the same powerplant making 200 hp and 191 lb.-ft. of torque, but the lowest-priced Tacoma engine makes a mere 159 hp and 180 lb.-ft. of torque. The Ford Ranger gives the Ridgeline a run for its money with its four-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost engine, which churns out 270 hp and 310 lb.-ft. of torque.
As far as fuel economy goes, there’s not much variation across this group of vehicles, and therefore there’s really no efficiency standout. The range for maximum towing capacity is wider, with the Ridgeline topping out at 5,000 pounds and the other trucks able to take on a little more (up to 7,500 with the Ranger), albeit with a downgrade in ride quality compared to the Ridgeline. Honda has also designed a user-friendly truck bed with a dual-action tailgate and locking storage trunk.
*Based on 2019 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition and other factors.
*NHTSA 5-Star Safety Ratings
Model tested with standard side airbags (SAB). Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov).