Trucks & SUVs

2020 Honda CR-V vs. Honda Ridgeline – Do You Really Need a Truck?

Although it may be an unusual comparison, the Honda CR-V and the Honda Ridgeline both have a lot to offer — so much so, in fact, that it may be difficult to choose between them. If you’re struggling to decide between the pickup truck and the compact SUV, here’s what you should know about these two highly rated vehicles.

Pros and cons of the Honda CR-V

Ranked as No. 1 in Compact SUVs by U.S. News, the 2020 Honda CR-V is an excellent everyday vehicle. It gets 190 hp, with an impressive fuel economy of 28 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway. The Honda Sensing safety suite now comes standard on the 2020 model, and it includes lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control.

Additionally, the Honda CR-V is very roomy despite its compact size, with plenty of space for passengers and a spacious cargo for bags. It handles smoothly, and the cabin is full of high-quality materials that give it an upscale feel. In fact, U.S. News lists this vehicle as the 2020 Best Compact SUV for the Money.

Where the Honda CR-V really falls flat, though, is its standard tech. The base trim comes with a 5-inch infotainment display, four speakers, a USB port, and Bluetooth. While more features are available, this bumps up the price. Additionally, the infotainment system can be frustrating and unintuitive — it lacks physical controls, and the touch screen has a tendency to lag.

Pros and cons of the Honda Ridgeline

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The Ridgeline is ranked as No. 1 in Compact Pickup Trucks on U.S. News, with an overall critics’ rating of 8.3/10. It gets 280 hp, but lags behind the CR-V in its gas mileage— it gets 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway.

Similar to the CR-V, the Ridgeline offers an upscale, comfortable cabin. Its seats are well-cushioned and supportive, and it handles incredibly well. In fact, U.S. News places the Ridgeline’s ride quality near the top of its class, stating that this compact pickup offers a smooth driving experience even on rough pavement. The Ridgeline can also manage off-road driving, although there are other pickups better suited to this particular need.

This vehicle’s greatest detriment is its towing capacity. It can tow up to 5,000 pounds, giving it the lowest max tow rating in its class. It is also fairly expensive, with a base price of $33,900. And for all that money, you still don’t get a great infotainment system; like the Honda CR-V, the Ridgeline’s touchscreen isn’t very responsive.

Which should you choose?

Whether you choose the Honda CR-V or the Honda Ridgeline depends on what exactly your needs are. Car and Driver describes the CR-V as perfect for anyone looking for a “refined, capable, and practical small SUV.” If you need more utility, however, the Ridgeline “transcends pickup-truck tropes” to create a comfortable driving experience.

The Honda CR-V is certainly more affordable, with a starting price of $26,170. It also has a slightly higher performance rating on U.S. News: 8.1/10 as opposed to the Ridgeline’s 7.8/10. If you’re looking for a daily driver with a classy, comfortable interior, excellent fuel economy, and an affordable price tag, the CR-V is your best bet.

If, on the other hand, you really do need the extra utility offered by a pickup truck, the Ridgeline is a great choice. While it may not have the best towing capacity, it handles better than most other pickup options and offers an overall pleasant driving experience.

With their phenomenal ratings, both vehicles have plenty to offer, so you can rest easy — you won’t go wrong no matter which you choose.