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.
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.
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.
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.