Is the Honda Pilot the Best Honda Ridgeline?

The Honda Ridgeline has long been the brand’s only pickup truck. Based on the Honda Pilot, it has the underpinnings of an SUV, while offering the utility of a truck bed. Although the Ridgeline is practical and delivers some exciting features, it usually takes last place in the mid-size truck segment. Because of that, maybe the Pilot is the best version of the Ridgeline. 

Is the Honda Ridgeline the same as the Honda Pilot?

The Ridgeline does ride on the same platform as the Pilot SUV, meaning the two vehicles are fairly similar at the core level. Currently, the 2023 Honda Pilot is legitimately different because it was just given a full redesign. This three-row SUV is now in its fourth generation, while the Ridgeline is still a third-gen truck. 

A dark-gray 2023 Honda Ridgeline midsize pickup truck model driving over snow as the sun shines over a hill
2023 Honda Ridgeline | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

In the past, both vehicles utilized the same powertrain. And, looking at them from the front, it is hard to tell the difference. On a side-by-side comparison, it is clear that the Honda Ridgeline is a Honda Pilot with a pickup truck bed. 

The 2023 Honda Pilot beats the 2022 Ridgeline in one key area

Although a redesigned Ridgeline is likely on the way, the 2023 Pilot has already been announced. And frankly, it does seem to offer a leg up on the aging mid-size pickup. Honda’s three-row SUV now comes with an optional off-road-focused trim known as the TrailSport. 

A blue 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport.
2023 Honda Pilot | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Pilot TrailSport comes outfitted with all-terrain tires, a more rugged suspension, and other off-road goodies. Although the Pilot will not be as capable as something like the Jeep Wrangler, Honda has clearly noticed that consumers enjoy an adventure-focused vehicle. 

Other changes to the 2023 Pilot TrailSport include the addition of skid plates, a 1.0-inch lift, and a trail driving mode. You probably shouldn’t take this SUV rock crawling, but according to Car and Driver, it can handle some moderately difficult terrain.

What’s new for the 2023 Pilot?

The Honda Pilot is all-new for the 2023 model year. It is now more in-line with Honda’s current design language that is seen in the Civic and the CR-V. Along with all of the changes, the Pilot has seen a price increase. It has an MSRP of $39,150, which will likely push it over the $40k mark. 

As a three-row SUV, the Pilot will rival popular models like the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, and Subaru Ascent. The world of SUVs is fairly competitive, so it will be interesting to see how the 2023 Pilot lands with consumers. 

Notably missing from this SUV is a hybrid or plug-in hybrid model. Every Pilot will still come with the 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 285 horsepower. It is the same engine that is found in the 2022 Honda Ridgeline. 

It’s time for Honda to update the Ridgeline

Now that a new generation of Pilot is here, it’s time for the next-gen Ridgeline pickup. If Honda gave the 2024 Ridgeline a TrailSport trim, it could make the mid-size truck more of a competitor. Currently, Honda’s truck is not known for its off-road prowess. And that might be what’s hurting it in terms of sales.