2018 Honda Ridgeline

2018 Honda Ridgeline Crew Cab Review

The 2018 Honda Ridgeline is the roomiest and most comfortable midsize pickup around.
8.6 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Here's all you really need to know: The 2018 Honda Ridgeline is the most well-rounded midsize truck on the market today. Sure, its 5,000-pound tow rating doesn't look as impressive on paper as some competitors', and it can't crawl over desert rock formations as easily as some specially tuned models. But it's comfortable and versatile and offers most of the utility you're looking for. It also avoids most of the drawbacks associated with pickup ownership.

Redesigned and reintroduced just a year ago, the Ridgeline is different than its main midsize competitors. The Ridgeline is built on a unibody design rather than a more traditional body-on-frame setup, plus it gets independent suspension all around. This translates to a better ride quality and handling that's more like a car's than a truck's. It also has a highly versatile cargo bed. There's a big in-bed trunk that you can use to store various items, and the bed can hold full 4-by-8-foot sheets of plywood down flat. Inside the cabin, the Ridgeline has plenty of room for you and your passengers.

While the Ridgeline doesn't have the tough styling or image of other trucks, we think it's the smarter choice for the vast majority of owners. It will get all your truck tasks done, and then some.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Honda Ridgeline as one of Edmunds' Best Pickup Trucks for this year.



What's new for 2018

For 2018, the RTS trim level has been eliminated from the Ridgeline lineup. Its feature content remains available with the Sport trim level. Otherwise, the 2018 Ridgeline is essentially a carryover from last year.

We recommend

Since it's relatively well-equipped but not completely over the top, we recommend the Honda Ridgeline RTL-T trim level. It's available in either front- or all-wheel drive and it has interior creature comforts such as heated and power-adjustable leather seats and a more visually pleasing 8-inch touchscreen audio and navigation system. The 8-inch touchscreen can be frustrating to use, though, so if you use your smartphone for navigation you could save money and choose the RTL or Sport trim level instead.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Honda Ridgeline is a four-door, crew-cab-only midsize pickup that is offered in six trim levels: RT, Sport, RTL, RTL-T, RTL-E and the Black Edition. The RT is available with front-wheel drive only, while the Sport and RTL are available with front- or all-wheel drive. The RTL-E and Black Edition are AWD only. All come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine (280 horsepower, 262 pound-feet of torque) and a six-speed automatic transmission.

The base trim level RT has a decent amount of standard equipment, including 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 dual-action 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 Sport and you'll get foglights, gray-painted alloy wheels, body-color door and tailgate handles, keyless entry, remote engine start, tri-zone automatic climate control and the HomeLink remote system.

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 a noise-reducing windshield.

Our pick is the RTL-T, which adds LED daytime running lights and Honda's LaneWatch blind-spot camera system. It also upgrades to the 8-inch touchscreen audio system that brings along a more powerful seven-speaker audio system, 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, a power-sliding rear window, 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.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. All Ridgelines use the same engine, transmission, suspension and tires, so the differences boil down to interior features and trim. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E Crew Cab (3.5L V6 | 6-speed automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the Ridgeline has received no significant changes. Our findings remain applicable to this year's 2018 Honda Ridgeline.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall8.6 / 10

Driving

9.0 / 10

Acceleration9.0 / 10
Braking9.0 / 10
Steering9.0 / 10
Handling10.0 / 10
Drivability9.5 / 10

Comfort

9.0 / 10

Seat comfort9.0 / 10
Ride comfort10.0 / 10
Noise & vibration8.5 / 10
Climate control8.5 / 10

Interior

9.0 / 10

Ease of use9.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out9.0 / 10
Driving position8.0 / 10
Roominess10.0 / 10
Visibility8.0 / 10
Quality9.0 / 10

Utility

9.5 / 10

Small-item storage9.0 / 10
Cargo space10.0 / 10

Technology

8.0 / 10

Audio & navigation5.0 / 10
Smartphone integration8.5 / 10
Driver aids8.0 / 10
Voice control8.0 / 10

Driving9.0

Among pickups, the Honda Ridgeline stands apart because of its unibody chassis, fully independent suspension and torque-vectoring AWD system that improves stability on all surfaces. We like how the 3.5-liter V6 and the six-speed automatic work together. The catch: Off-road potential is limited.

Acceleration9.0

The V6 engine is smooth, which gives the Ridgeline an effortless feel around town. And it feels punchy when you floor it to make a pass or merge onto the highway. It took our test truck 7 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph at the track, which is tops in the midsize pickup category.

Braking9.0

The brakes are easy to regulate, and the brake pedal maintains a reassuring firmness in routine daily use. There's plenty of stopping power; our test truck traveled 125 feet in our panic-stop test from 60 mph, which is about what we'd expect from a pickup.

Steering9.0

Accurate steering gives a clear sense of what's straight ahead, with effort that ramps up smoothly to provide a reassuring sense of where the truck is headed as you guide it into corners. The steering response feels alert without being too sharp, which makes for easy, carlike driving.

Handling10.0

A four-wheel independent suspension and unibody construction give the Ridgeline a settled demeanor that is far more polished than that of any traditional body-on-frame pickup. It feels utterly stable and composed, there isn't much body lean, and it is rock-steady when tackling bumpy corners.

Drivability9.5

The six-speed automatic transmission is simultaneously smooth and decisive and has well-spaced gear ratios. And it works well with the smooth and predictable gas pedal, which delivers response that is neither too touchy nor too lethargic.

Off-road6.0

The Ridgeline's capabilities are like a crossover SUV's, but with an advanced traction management system that can handle snow, sand and dirt. It's fine for most people, but it lacks the underbody clearance, wheel articulation and low-range gearing that other 4WD pickups have for rockier territory.

Comfort9.0

The Ridgeline's ride comfort is second to none as far as pickups go, with a much more settled feel that comes from its crossover SUV underpinnings. These roots help with noise suppression, too. The seats and the climate control layout are comfortable and family-friendly.

Seat comfort9.0

The front seats have a nice shape and thin yet supportive padding that provides long-distance comfort. They're broad enough to accommodate larger folks, and effective bolsters prevent those with narrower frames from sliding around. The comfy rear seats are set at a pleasing angle.

Ride comfort10.0

The Ridgeline is much smoother and composed on a variety of surfaces than the competition because it's the only pickup in its segment with a four-wheel independent suspension. It shrugs off bumps easily, the ride is not harsh, and there's very little head toss or jostling. Carlike indeed.

Noise & vibration8.5

There are admirably low levels of wind noise and engine noise. The triple-sealed doors prevent road noise from entering there, but some noise does resonate up through the floor because it uses a unibody, not a separate body and frame. Overall, the Ridgeline is generally quieter than competitors.

Climate control8.5

All versions except the base-model RT come with tri-zone automatic climate control. Airflow is easy to direct through good-size front vents, and there are backseat air-conditioning vents, too. The controls make good sense and are easy to use. RTL-level trims and above get heated leather seats.

Interior9.0

The Ridgeline is very friendly to the driver and passengers alike. It's easy to climb in and out of, the cab is roomier than that of any other midsize competitor, and it's easy to see out. The attractive interior is well-built from quality materials, and the controls are well thought out.

Ease of use9.0

You'll find useful steering wheel buttons, clear gauges and an informative 4.2-inch data screen inside the Ridgeline. Most other controls are easy to find and use. But note that the touchscreen, discussed in our Technology section, isn't as good.

Getting in/getting out9.0

The step-up height is much lower than in the Toyota Tacoma and even the Colorado, which makes the Ridgeline very manageable for shorter folks and those with limited range of motion. The large front doors open wide, but the rear-seat foot entry clearance is a little tight.

Driving position8.0

All Ridgelines come with a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel that covers a wide range, and the driver's seat is highly adjustable, especially for height. It's easy for just about anyone to find the sweet spot behind the wheel.

Roominess10.0

The Ridgeline easily offers the driver and passengers more space than any other midsize crew-cab truck. The differences are most noticeable in terms of the cabin's interior width at the hip and shoulder and and in head- and legroom in the rear seats.

Visibility8.0

Large windows give a good view out the front and sides, and the blind spot isn't overly large. The mirrors are decent-size and give good coverage, but we're glad the backup camera is standard.

Quality9.0

This is a very nicely trimmed truck interior. The material choices and overall design have a family-friendly sophistication that trucks usually don't even bother to attempt, especially in the midsize arena. It's a cut above the rest.

Utility9.5

The Ridgeline is a solid cargo hauler. Compared to rivals, it has a higher payload rating and is the only one that holds 4-foot-wide plywood sheets, and its crew cab's short bed is longer. It also has a lockable in-bed trunk and a two-way tailgate. Not a towing leader, but 5,000 pounds isn't shabby.

Small-item storage9.0

The multilevel front door pockets are large and offer plenty of options. The rear ones are simpler but are still useful. The center console is deep and has a nice rolltop cover and a sliding phone tray inside. The glove compartment is a good size, and there are plenty of cupholders.

Cargo space10.0

No midsize truck comes close. The Ridgeline's rear-seat bottoms flip up to reveal a broad, flat load floor, but the underseat area can still accommodate a medium golf bag with the seats in use. The crowning jewel is the lockable in-bed trunk, which can hold multiple suitcases or a large ice chest.

Child safety seat accommodation8.0

LATCH anchors and top tether fittings are provided in all three rear-seat positions. Access is fairly straightforward.

Towing7.0

Choose the all-wheel-drive Ridgeline if you plan to tow since it comes fully prepped to tow 5,000 pounds. You'll have to add an aftermarket electric brake controller if your trailer needs one, but the Ridgeline provides plug-and-play pre-wire support. Front-wheel-drive models tow only 3,500 pounds.

Hauling10.0

Surprisingly, the Ridgeline has the highest payload in its class. Moreover, its dent-resistant textured bed is longer than competing crew-cab short beds, and it alone can fit 4-by-8-foot plywood sheets on the deck between the wheelwells. The unique in-bed trunk and two-way tailgate are unmatched.

Technology8.0

The Ridgeline plays well with smartphones, with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto available on higher trims. However, we're not fans of the 8-inch touchscreen audio system because of the poor user-interface experience. A full selection of active driving safety features are available on top-grade models.

Audio & navigation5.0

Its attractive 8-inch touchscreen is paired with an irritating interface. The wonky touch-sensitive volume slider and small touch zones for basic functions are hard to use, especially when moving. The base audio system without nav has knobs and is refreshingly easy.

Smartphone integration8.5

Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity, a USB jack that supports iPod and an auxiliary jack are standard across the board. RTL-T trims and above support Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, add a second USB input up front, and come with two charge-only USB sockets for the back seat.

Driver aids8.0

The Ridgeline offers driver aids (such as adaptive cruise and forward collision alerts) not offered by some rivals, but only on the high-end RTL-E and Black Edition. Thing is, the systems can be very sensitive, and our test car had many inexplicable false alarms.

Voice control8.0

The voice interface can control phone, navigation and audio functions. Commands need to follow certain guidelines, but some plain-language commands do work. Press and hold the voice button to bypass these and get to Siri's much more sophisticated voice commands via your paired iPhone.

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.