New 2018 Honda Ridgeline Pickup New 2018
Honda Ridgeline Pickup

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

The 2018 Honda Ridgeline targets truck buyers who need to haul, sometimes tow, but don't want to give up the refinement they've grown accustomed to in their SUV. The specs work in the Ridgeline's favor, with 1,500 pounds of payload capacity and 5,000 pounds of towing ability, along with available all-wheel drive. But it goes a step further than traditional midsize pickups like the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier, with clever features like the In-Bed Trunk, and luxurious and tech-savvy interior refinements. It also looks worlds better than the original Ridgeline. Fine, those competitors offer models with better towing or off-road ability, but for light-duty truck owners, the Ridgeline makes a compelling alternative.

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You'll Like This Pickup If...

If you need a vehicle with a truck bed, but don't want to drive something that, well, drives like a truck, then the 2018 Honda Ridgeline should be on your list. Its interior is far more refined than other midsize trucks, it offers excellent payload capacity, and it drives like an SUV.

You May Not Like This Pickup If...

Unlike traditional trucks, there's only one cab, one bed length, one engine and not a lot of variability. If you're looking for true 4-wheel-drive capability, want a diesel engine for towing big loads, or something with a lower bed for easier access, a traditional truck may be a better choice.

What's New for 2018

Since it was completely redesigned last year, changes to the 2018 Honda Ridgeline are limited to new available colors on the Sport model.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Based on a version of Honda's Global Light Truck platform that underpins the Honda Pilot, the Ridgeline offers a lot of the same ride quality and comfort of that flagship SUV. The accurate steering, cornering ability and interior quiet are all right in line with the best crossover SUVs. Ride comfort is a key advantage, as the independent rear suspension means there's none of the "bed hop" one gets in a traditional truck with its solid rear axle. Since the Ridgeline is lighter than the Pilot, the 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine makes for brisk acceleration. If you don't plan on off-road excursions the front-wheel-drive model should serve you well and offers better fuel economy. Alternatively, Intelligent Traction Management system on all-wheel-drive models offers various driving modes to help tackle difficult terrain like sand and mud, making the Ridgeline more capable off-road than you might think.

Favorite Features

TAILGATE PARTY!
The Ridgeline's In-Bed Trunk comes with a drain, meaning it's also an In-Bed Cooler. Combine that with the 2-way tailgate that either flips down or swings open, in-bed audio, and a 2-pronged AC outlet in the bed, and the Ridgeline is a tailgate party looking for a place to happen.

INTELLIGENT TRACTION MANAGEMENT
Honda's Intelligent Traction Management lets Ridgeline drivers customize the truck's power and traction systems to different kinds of terrain. With the push of a button the Ridgeline is ready to tackle snow, mud and sand, adjusting the throttle, transmission, torque distribution and more to best suit the conditions.

Vehicle Details

Interior

It's easy to mistake the 2018 Ridgeline interior for the Honda Pilot, and that's a good thing. The dash design is essentially the same as the Pilot, featuring the same climate control, infotainment system, gauges, buttons, switches, and so on. It boasts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated seats and a generously sized storage bin between the front seats. It's also quiet and refined, offering up comfortable seating for all five passengers. In back, the rear seats flip up for extra cargo space, opening up enough room for a bicycle or a 55-inch flat-screen TV.

Exterior

More advanced construction techniques have let Honda remove the odd buttress-like structure from the previous Ridgeline's bed, giving it a more traditionally truck-like appearance, and significantly improving the aesthetics. By removing the odd-styling talking point, it allows us to appreciate things like the In-Bed Trunk, the standard composite bed, and the 2-way tailgate without distraction. The tailgate is particularly clever, either folding down like a traditional gate, or opening to the side to make it easier to access that in-bed trunk. One styling note: The seam between the bed and the cab is purely for show, since the two are actually connected.

Notable Standard Equipment

The base Honda Ridgeline RT's list of standard equipment reads more like an SUV. There's the drivetrain, of course, a 3.5-liter V6 connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels. But there's also active noise cancellation, hill-start assist, a rearview camera, power windows with (front) auto-up/down, push-button start, cruise control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, air conditioning with filtration, and a 200-watt audio system with Bluetooth for phone and music streaming, a USB port and a subwoofer. On the truck end of things are the useful dual-action tailgate, eight tie-down cleats, truck bed lights, an in-bed trunk, and Intelligent Traction Management.

Notable Optional Equipment

Every Ridgeline model except the base RT can be ordered with all-wheel drive, and it's standard on RTL-E and Black Edition models. Beyond that, Honda tends to group equipment by model, rather than as stand-alone packages. Leather is available on RTL models, as is an acoustic windshield. RTL-T models add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but it's the RTL-E and Black Edition that are most lavishly equipped, with navigation, truck-bed audio, a 400-watt truck-bed outlet, and the Honda Sensing suite of active-safety features that adds collision-mitigation braking, active cruise control, blind-spot assist, road-departure mitigation, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist.

Under the Hood

The only drivetrain choice you have with the 2018 Honda Ridgeline is whether you want front- or all-wheel drive (FWD, AWD). That's because each Ridgeline comes with the same 3.5-liter V6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. The V6 features direct injection and cylinder deactivation to improve fuel efficiency. FWD is standard on everything but the RTL-E and Black Edition, which get AWD as standard. AWD is available on all models except the base truck. Opt for FWD and you get very good fuel economy -- 19-mpg city, 26 highway -- but your towing capacity gets limited to 3,500 pounds. All-wheel drive docks the new Ridgeline's fuel economy by one mpg -- to 18-mpg city and 25 on the highway -- but towing capacity goes up to 5,000 pounds.

3.5-liter V6
280 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
262 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg (FWD), 18/25 mpg (AWD)

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Pricing Notes

The base-model 2018 Honda Ridgeline RT has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $30,600. A Sport starts at a little more than $34,100, and add $1,900 if you want all-wheel drive with that. On the other end of the spectrum is the Black Edition, which starts at just over $44,000 and includes all-wheel drive. If you want pure truck stuff, the RTL offers the basics plus leather, and with all-wheel drive it's just under $36,800. However, for V6 crew-cab competitors, it's right in the ballpark: The Chevrolet Colorado ranges from $27,000-$38,000, the Toyota Tacoma ranges from about $30,000-$39,000, and the GMC Canyon from $28,000-$44,000. Be sure to check the KBB Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid for their Ridgeline before buying yours, knowing that with resale prices in line with the benchmark Toyota Tacoma, the Ridgeline makes a good investment.

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