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.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Honda Ridgeline is a five-passenger, four-door crew-cab midsize pickup that is offered in no fewer than seven trim levels: RT, RTS, Sport, RTL, RTL-T, RTL-E and the Black Edition. The first five are available in your choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, but the top two are strictly AWD only.
All of them come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine (280 horsepower, 262 pound-feet of torque) and a six-speed automatic transmission. In typical Honda fashion, there are no options that bridge between the trim levels.
The RT starts off strong with 18-inch alloy wheels, a tow hitch, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, push-button start and a power lock system that includes the tailgate. There's a 4.2-inch information screen between the gauges, Bluetooth connectivity, and a seven-speaker sound system that includes a USB port and a 5-inch screen interface that also displays the rearview camera.
Step up to the RTS and you'll get foglights, body-color door and tailgate handles, keyless entry, remote engine start, tri-zone automatic climate control and the HomeLink remote system.
The Sport is essentially the same as the RTS except that it has gray-painted alloy wheels, black exterior trim and red interior footwell lighting.
Next up is the RTL, which has leather seating. The front seats are heated, with an armrest and eight-way power adjustments for the driver and four-way power adjustments for the passenger. All-wheel-drive versions have heated outside mirrors and an acoustic windshield.
Our pick is the RTL-T, which is much the same except for LED daytime running lights and Honda's LaneWatch blind-spot camera system. The big difference is the 8-inch touchscreen audio system that brings along navigation, HD radio, satellite radio, three more USB ports, and Apple CarPlay and Android Audio smartphone integration.
Move up to the RTL-E if you want advanced safety gear such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automated emergency braking, lane departure warning and intervention, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Functional differences include a sunroof, LED headlights, driver-seat memory settings, a heated steering wheel, front passenger armrest, power-sliding rear windows, parking sensors, and a two-prong power outlet and LED cargo lights in the bed. It also has an upgraded sound system (with a unique truck-bed speaker system).
Finally there's the Black Edition, which is essentially an RTL-E with black paint, black-painted wheels, black trim, a black headliner and red-accented black leather seats.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
child safety seat accomodation
audio & navigation
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.