2018 Honda Ridgeline Review

Proof that a pickup can be practical and comfortable.

Transcending pickup-truck tropes, the Ridgeline tosses tradition to the wind with unconventional comfort and ingenious features. Looking for a quintessential crossover? It has a comfortable cabin and refined road manners. Yet its towing capability and its innovative cargo box, which has an in-bed trunk as well as an available audio system, exploit and enhance truck tradition. A speedy 280-hp V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission comprise the sole powertrain; front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. Honda’s pickup not only compares with class competitors, it excels with exclusively available features such as automated emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Although it’s only built as a crew cab with a 5.3-foot bed, the Ridgeline caters to and satisfies a wider society than its rivals—a key

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s New for 2018?

The Ridgeline lineup is subtly reshuffled for 2018, with one less trim, different all-wheel-drive availability, and two new exterior paint colors. Gone is the RTS trim that slotted between the base RT and Sport models. The RT is now front-wheel drive only. This means a Ridgeline Sport with all-wheel drive starts at $36,010—that’s $3695 more than a 2017 RT AWD. At least the Sport trim is no longer available only in black exterior paint—White Diamond Pearl and Lunar Silver Metallic are new choices.

 

Engine and Transmission

2018 Honda Ridgeline | Engine and Transmission Review

Honda thinks Ridgeline owners will be happy with a single powertrain choice, and fortunately, it’s a good one. The stout V-6 and sturdy six-speed automatic can do everything the competition can and more, except when it comes to towing.

What’s New for 2018? Although the powertrain is unchanged for 2018, the entry-level Ridgeline RT is now only available with front-wheel drive.

2017 Honda Ridgeline;

The lone powertrain is a 280-hp 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 262 lb-ft of torque with its six-speed automatic. We found this combination to be more than suitable. The engine feels smooth, and throttle response is especially receptive when you call for hard acceleration. Only the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon are more powerful; the Nissan Frontier’s V-6 also pumps more torque. Nevertheless, the all-wheel-drive Ridgeline was competitive in the zero-to-60-mph run.

 

Fuel Economy

2018 Honda Ridgeline | Fuel Economy Review

Fuel Economy Rating:

Oftentimes, fast doesn’t equate to fuel efficient. Except for the Ridgeline, which offers class-leading fuel economy and can scoot to boot.

What’s New for 2018? The Ridgeline’s one-size-fits-all powertrain remains the same for 2018, and we don’t expect its estimated fuel-economy figures to change, either.

2017 Honda Ridgeline;

The 3.5-liter V-6 in the Ridgeline is the most fuel-efficient six-cylinder engine in its class, regardless of whether it’s outfitted with front- or all-wheel drive.  Fuel Economy Ratings Compared: Honda Ridgeline 3.5L V-6, FW

 

Interior;

The Ridgeline’s interior is tops in its class in terms of practicality and comfort. Expertly laid out and extremely functional, the cabin also claims the most spacious rear seat.

What’s New for 2018? Honda chose not to change anything inside the Ridgeline, leaving its comfortable and practical interior as is—wonderful.

2017 Honda Ridgeline;

Despite statistically smaller dimensions than its competitors, the front-seat area felt wide open for even our largest drivers, with a low-profile center console and controls that are all within reach of the driver. Like most other mid-sizers, the Ridgeline features hard plastics below the dash level. Otherwise, the materials are above average. While it will never be considered luxurious, the Honda ranks highly compared with its rivals. Rear-seat passengers will enjoy the most space of all mid-size pickups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exterior;

It’s not a pickup unless it looks like a pickup, right? The Ridgeline has relinquished the previous generation’s odd exterior elements in favor of a more traditional pickup profile. However, Honda’s designers still managed to mix in unique and useful features to make it stand out from the crowd.

What’s New for 2018? Those who wanted a 2017 Ridgeline Sport with any paint color other than black (the only choice) will be happy—or annoyed—to learn that White Diamond Pearl and Lunar Silver Metallic are available for 2018.

2017 Honda Ridgeline;

Although the Ridgeline continues to use a unibody construction, the designers ditched the flying buttresses, squared off the roofline, and inserted a fake gap between the cab and the rear fenders to make it look like a truck. Still, the front end appears disjointed from the rest of the body, with a setup that resembles the Honda Pilot crossover. Those hoping to wheel the Honda off road will need to be conscious of its 7.9 inches of ground clearance, the lowest by far among its rivals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safety and Driver Assistance;

The Ridgeline boasts the most high-tech driver assists in its class and is the only pickup truck that’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick+.

What’s New for 2018? There are no changes to the Ridgeline’s crash-test ratings or safety equipment.

2017 Honda Ridgeline;

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the nonprofit, independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) evaluate vehicles for crashworthiness in the United States. NHTSA assigns cars an overall rating out of 5 stars. IIHS uses a different set of tests, grades cars on a scale of Good to Poor, and awards the vehicles that perform best across its tests with Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ honors, the latter of which requires that the subject’s automated forward-collision-braking system performs well.

Airbags, Child Seats, and Spare Tire Location

Among its class, the Ridgeline is one of the easiest vehicles in which to install a child seat. The LATCH anchor points at the bottom of the rear seat are very accessible; the tethers require removing the rear-seat headrests.

 

Active Safety Features;

With the most available active-safety features in its class, the Ridgeline offers equipment that its competitors do not, such as adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking. The trouble is that only the top-tier RTL-E and Black Edition offer these advanced assists. Honda’s LaneWatch (a camera in the passenger’s-side mirror that displays a wide-angle rear-facing view of that lane) only comes on the RTL-T in place of a blind-spot monitor. A multi-angle backup camera is standard on all Ridgeline models and has three selectable viewing modes: wide angle, narrow angle, and a maneuvering view.

 

 

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Spacious interior, superb ride and handling, full of clever features.

 

Cons:

  • Frustrating infotainment system, feeble towing capability, subpar braking ability.


New for 2018

  • Crossover comfort and pickup-truck capability converge on the best mid-size pickup money can buy

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