In the context of pickup trucks, the redesigned 2017 Honda Ridgeline offers unheard-of levels of ride smoothness, handling sophistication and overall comfort. In fact, it gives away very little to top-rated family SUVs. Much of this is due to largely invisible design choices such as unibody construction and a four-wheel independent suspension. More obvious is the handsome interior, which borrows most of its parts, features and technology from the highly rated Honda Pilot SUV.
With its two-way tailgate and lockable in-bed trunk, the Honda Ridgeline boasts the segment's most innovative cargo bed; it also happens to be longer, wider and rated to carry the most payload among midsize crew-cab trucks. But the Ridgeline's crossover roots do impose a couple of restrictions that might rankle those who push a truck's limits. Towing capacity tops out at a modest 5,000 pounds. And while the all-wheel-drive system is expert at managing traction, it lacks the low-range gearing and clearance to follow a Toyota Tacoma into the rocks.
- Superior ride and handling thanks to independent rear suspension
- Has unique two-way tailgate and large lockable in-bed truck
- Sophisticated all-wheel-drive system provides multisurface traction
- Spacious crew cab is comfortable and handsomely finished
- Maddening touchscreen audio and navigation interface
- Lacks the low-range gearing and underbody clearance of typical trucks
- 5,000-pound maximum tow rating drops to 3,500 pounds on front-drive version