2024 Honda Ridgeline TrailSport

This mid-size pickup is designed for light-duty tasks, competing with models such as the Hyundai Santa Cruz, Ford Maverick, and Nissan Frontier.

DESIGN

Choosing the Ridgeline provides a more comfortable option among midsize trucks, prioritizing interior convenience over aggressive styling. Our test vehicle, sporting Sonic Gray Pearl with a sleek black interior, embodies a refined aesthetic.

Inspired by the Honda Pilot, the Ridgeline boasts a prominent badge within a wide grille, accented by boomerang headlights. While most models maintain a boxy profile, the TrailSport variant distinguishes itself with rugged fender flares.

The narrow space between the crew-cab body and the 5-foot bed sets the Ridgeline apart from competitors with wider gaps. Inside, the cabin inherits elements from the old Pilot, featuring a 9.0-inch touchscreen surrounded by an array of buttons and knobs, albeit with fewer upholstery choices compared to rivals like the Toyota Tacoma or Ford Maverick.

PERFORMANCE

Featuring all-wheel drive but lacking a low range for off-roading, the models are not suited for serious terrain. With a slightly improved suspension and all-terrain tires, the new TrailSport aligns more closely with competing midsize trucks.

Powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 and a 9-speed automatic transmission, the vehicle produces 280 hp but feels somewhat sluggish due to fuel-efficient upshifting and peaky engine behavior. The ride quality of the Ridgeline, differing from typical trucks, resembles that of the related Pilot, with its fully independent suspension.

In contrast to leaf-sprung rear axles in other midsize trucks, the Ridgeline’s independent suspension offers a smooth ride and enhanced stability in the bed. Renowned for its superior highway comfort, the Ridgeline outperforms compact rivals in hauling capacity and stability.

With a payload capacity of 1500 pounds and a towing capability of 5,000 pounds, the truck is suitable for towing small utility trailers or boats. For those requiring versatile towing capabilities, the Ridgeline is likely to meet all needs.

VERDICT

Priced at $44,980, the 2024 Honda Ridgeline AWD Trailsport totals $46,830 with destination and handling included.

Competition

Comparable in price to Nissan’s Frontier, the Ridgeline boasts a powerful V-6 engine, contrasting sharply with the Ford Ranger’s technology and towing capabilities.

With a more affordable price tag than the Ridgeline, the Hyundai Santa Fe delivers a comfortable driving experience, while the Ford Maverick stands out as a budget-friendly option with its compact cargo capacity.

For those not in need of an open cargo bed, the Honda Passport presents an attractive value proposition, distinct from the Ridgeline’s emphasis on utility.

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