Skip to main content

Buying a new midsize truck can be a challenging task. It’s one of the busiest vehicle segments, with many factors to consider. One popular model is the 2023 Honda Ridgeline. As the lone truck in Honda’s lineup, there’s much to like about it. However, some trim levels are much better than others. In particular, it’s best to avoid the 2023 Honda Ridgeline base model for a few reasons.

1. 2023 Honda Ridgeline Sport base model is too expensive

Front angle view of red 2023 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck - avoid the base model.
2023 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

First, the 2023 Honda Ridgeline base model is too expensive compared to rivals. For the entry-level trim, the Sport model is quite costly. According to Edmunds, it starts at $40,095, much higher than some of the most popular midsize trucks. For example, the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger have a base model for less than $30,000. The Ridgeline’s cheapest trim is far more expensive than these competitors. The value provided with the Ridgeline is better than rivals, but we don’t think it’s enough to warrant an extra $10,000-$15,000. Additionally, more costly versions of the Ridgeline provide more features without breaking the bank too much.

2. Standard engine and all-wheel drive

A Honda Ridgeline drives through water, it could soon be a hybrid truck.
2023 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

Next, all-wheel drive and a single engine are standard throughout the lineup. No matter which version of the 2023 Honda Ridgeline you choose, it uses a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, all-wheel drive is standard for all Ridgeline models, regardless of price. As a result, we don’t think it’s worth it to pay less for an under-equipped version of the midsize truck. Instead, pay slightly more for equal power, equal fuel economy, all-wheel drive, and more standard features. Surprisingly, the V6’s 18 city and 24 highway mpg are better than most rivals’ V6 options.

3. Ridgeline RTL: More value at a slightly higher price

A 2023 Honda Ridgeline as one of the most reliable and safest.
2023 Honda Ridgeline | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Finally, the last reason to avoid the 2023 Honda Ridgeline base model is that the RTL trim exists. For just $3,000 more, the second-tier trim level provides significantly more value than its predecessor. Starting at $43,075, the most popular Ridgeline trim gains a noise-reducing front windshield, heated mirrors, a sunroof, a power-sliding rear window, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, driver’s seat memory settings, power-adjustable and heated front seats, leather upholstery, satellite radio, and blind-spot monitoring. In addition to the base model’s standard features, the RTL trim’s exclusive items make the Ridgeline a luxurious pickup.

The 2023 Honda Ridgeline’s interior is its best feature

In conclusion, you should avoid the 2023 Honda Ridgeline base model. The Sport trim is fine, but it pales compared to cheaper rivals and its upper trims. Furthermore, the best feature of the Ridgeline is its upscale interior. With the second-tier RTL trim, the Ridgeline’s interior is much better off than the base model. Adding leather upholstery, heated seats, and more makes the Honda pickup feel like a luxury machine. Although a single engine and all-wheel drive are enticing, it’s available throughout the lineup, and V6 engines with AWD are cheaper with other automakers. The best value buy from the Ridgeline lineup is the RTL trim, while the RTL-E is the perfect luxurious midsize truck option.


2020 Honda Pilot vs. Ridgeline – Do You Really Need a Truck Bed?