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Buying a new midsize truck can be a challenging task. It’s one of the busiest vehicle segments, with many factors to consider. One of the most popular models is the Honda Ridgeline. It has a luxurious, upscale interior that makes many drivers fall in love. However, some trim levels are much better than others. There are a few reasons to buy the Ridgeline base model over any other version of the Honda pickup. What’s so good about the 2023 Honda Ridgeline Sport trim?

The 2023 Honda Ridgeline has one engine

reasons to buy a dark-gray 2023 Honda Ridgeline midsize pickup truck base model
2023 Honda Ridgeline | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The engine is the first reason to buy a 2023 Honda Ridgeline base model. Every trim in the Honda midsize truck’s lineup uses the same engine under its hood. Starting with the base Sport model, you’re paying thousands of dollars less for the same power output and fuel economy as a range-topping model. Thankfully, it’s a 3.5-liter V6 capable of making 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Although it isn’t the fastest or most potent engine around, the Ridgeline provides a respectable amount of power for a midsize truck, beating four-cylinder rivals.

Additionally, the standard engine provides surprisingly good fuel economy. Upon discovering it has a V6, most readers would assume the Ridgeline is terrible on gas. However, it averages an EPA-estimated 18 city and 24 highway mpg, beating other V6-equipped midsize trucks. For example, Edmunds says it’s better than the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Silverado but falls short of the four-cylinder Ford Ranger. The publication’s testing determined a 23 mpg combined estimate, beating the EPA’s 21 mpg.

Standard features and all-wheel drive

A 2023 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition parked outside, is it worth it?
2023 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition | Honda

Next, a reason to buy the 2023 Honda Ridgeline base model is the many standard features, including all-wheel drive. Many trucks do not have standard AWD, but you can’t buy a Honda pickup without it. Additionally, even for just $40,095, the Ridgeline Sport is well-equipped. 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, truck bed lights, keyless entry/ignition, automatic tri-zone climate control, an eight-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a seven-speaker sound system, a Class III trailer hitch with a seven-pin connector, and the Honda Sensing safety suite.

The safety suite features include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and forward collision mitigation. Other safety-oriented features enter the lineup for higher trims—for example, blind-spot warning, front/rear parking sensors, and automatic high-beam headlights.

2023 Honda Ridgeline optional packages for all trims

Finally, many automakers only provide optional packages to some models in their most costly forms. Buying the range-topping model often unlocks access to more packages to get even more features. However, the 2023 Honda Ridgeline has three optional packages available for all trims. That means the Sport base model can get even better without spending so much on other trim levels.

First, the Function+ package is perfect for owners who will frequently use their cargo bed. It adds in-bed trunk dividers, an in-bed cargo net, a first-aid kit, and a tonneau cover. Next, the Honda Performance Development (HPD) package contains bronze- or black-colored wheels, fender flares, HPD emblems/decals, and a unique front grille. Lastly, the Utility package includes a few simple items to enhance the Honda pickup: roof rails with crossbars and running boards.

Buy the 2023 Honda Ridgeline base model

In conclusion, there are a few reasons to buy the 2023 Honda Ridgeline base model over other options. The Sport trim is more barebones than other Ridgeline trims but still provides many amenities. Plus, all-wheel drive and a potent V6 engine are standard across the board, along with surprisingly good fuel economy. Finally, the optional packages are available for all trims, including the base model. That means buyers can upgrade their Ridgeline without breaking the bank.


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