Home Build & Price Reviews 2020 Honda Ridgeline Review: A Practical Truck from Honda

2020 Honda Ridgeline Review: A Practical Truck from Honda

by Frank

In a market segment with mid-sized trucks starting at $50,000+ it’s reassuring to find a comfortable truck like the 2020 Honda Ridgeline. It’s a bit more tame than other trucks like the Ford Ranger and the Toyota Tacoma, but the Ridgeline has a spacious cabin, abundant standard features and decent styling.

There are four model trims available. The base model Ridgeline is called Sport and the RTL model updates the interior with leather seating. There’s a Black Edition that puts 18-inch wheels and several black accents on the exterior. Perhaps the best model trim for the Ridgeline is the RTL-E. The 2020 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E has advanced safety features, a premium sound system, and variable torque management.

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2020 Honda Ridgeline Exterior Style Cues

The 2020 Honda Ridgeline has a soft jaw, especially for a mid-sized truck. There’s no big, bold front grille. Instead, the Ridgeline borrows make-up from the Honda Pilot to create a smoothed front fascia with angular headlights and a swept back front windshield. The profile is best seen in the Black Edition with larger wheels and gloss black chrome accents. It’s simple and straightforward. After the rear doors, the 2020 Ridgeline seems to remember it’s a pick-up and adopts the modular square box design of nearly all its competitors.

Interior Amenities

There’s more front and rear headroom in the 2020 Ridgeline than the 2020 Toyota Tacoma. It’s got more front and shoulder room than a 2020 Ford Ranger Lariat. All told, there is 109.7 cubic feet of passenger volume in the 2020 Ridgeline.

Occupants in the rear can really stretch out and enjoy the ride. When nobody’s in tow, the rear bench is 60/40 split folding, lifting up for added storage instead of folding down. This adds a crossover-style trunk inside and a conventional truck bed outside to the Ridgeline. All models except the Sport get a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather seats all around and heated front seats.  There’s an available moonroof and the higher Ridgeline trucks get ambient lighting.

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Infotainment

The 2020 Honda Ridgeline is built for the city dwellers who love technology. The center console has enough storage space for a 10-inch tablet or small laptop. There’s a power outlet and USB charging port in there, as well. The Ridgeline doesn’t sport a huge touchscreen display (only 8 inches) and the dashboard controls do seem a bit cluttered. There’s a large section for climate controls that could have probably been slimmed down to just a few buttons.

The Ridgeline gets back in the win column with push button start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as standard features. There’s satellite-linked navigation on the higher trims and a premium 8-speaker sound system both inside the cabin and the truck bed. Lastly, there’s the HondaLink app that helps manage your fuel usage, schedule your vehicle maintenance and track your vehicle’s location.

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2020 Honda Ridgeline Performance Capabilities

There’s only one powertrain option for the 2020 Honda Ridgeline. All model trims get a 3.5 Liter V6 engine that pumps out 280 horsepower and 262 pound feet of torque. It’s managed by a 9-speed automatic transmission and can come outfitted with two-wheel or all-wheel drive. The 2020 Honda Ridgeline gets above average fuel economy. It gets 19 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway with two-wheel drive. The numbers are slightly less with AWD.

The 2020 Honda Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 lbs. when outfitted with all-wheel drive. That’s a bit behind the competition, but it’s due to the Ridgeline’s unibody construction. It’s built more like a crossover SUV than a body built on frame truck. The ride quality is on par with the Honda Pilot. You can manage to put in lots of work with the truck bed though. It can manage a payload of 1,584 pounds.

The 2020 Ridgeline isn’t much of an off-roader. It doesn’t have the solid rear axle, high ride height and leaf springs that will make off-roading easier for a midsized truck. There is a traction management system that comes with the AWD Ridgeline trucks. There are settings for snow, mud, and sand.

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Safety Features

The 2020 Honda Ridgeline has one of the highest safety ratings of any mid-sized truck. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) give the Ridgeline 5-stars and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) echo the recommendation of the government with a Top Safety Pick. That’s largely because all Ridgelines come with Honda Sensing. That’s a comprehensive suite of safety features like lane keeping and lane departure warnings, forward collision warnings and collision mitigation braking.

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The Takeaway

The 2020 Honda Ridgeline isn’t like other pickup trucks. The Ridgeline doesn’t promise to conquer mountains for you. Its smooth 9-speed automatic transmission will ensure that you have enough fuel in the tank to get you to the worksite and back though. It comes with loads of safety features that usually get bundled into expensive packages. High-tech amenities like Apple CarPlay and USB ports also come standard.

There are some shortcomings with the Ridgeline. It’s only a light duty truck. Other pickups have better towing and off-road capabilities. The Ridgeline doesn’t have an overly aggressive style either. Yet, the Ridgeline still manages to compete when you factor in the low entry cost, excellent fuel economy and glorious ride quality. If you aren’t trying to climb mountains in a pickup, then the 2020 Honda Ridgeline is a safe bet for city haulers.

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