The pickup truck market has evolved from primarily focusing on heavy-duty options to now offering more versatile models for a diverse group of consumers. Now it seems like there is a pickup for just about everyone. Two pickups that exemplify just how widespread the truck market has become is the 2020 Nissan Frontier and the 2020 Honda Ridgeline. These two models are among the most popular options in the compact truck class. Which one best suits you?
Performance and capability
Some enthusiasts are still not completely sold on the Honda Ridgeline but it’s a great option. The Ridgeline is ideal for those who want a truck that drives like a car. This truck’s car-like quality makes for an extremely smooth and comfortable ride. The Ridgeline gets its power from a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces a 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It can tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. Overall, the Ridgeline feels peppy and energetic, even when its pulling heavy cargo.
If you are looking for a compact pickup that’s practical and has a bit more towing capacity the Nissan Frontier fits the bill. The Frontier is what is considered as a bona fide worker truck which can haul up to 6,500 pounds. This truck now features a brand new 310-hp V6 and has 281 pound-feet of torque. The Frontier accelerates well and offers satisfying power.
As far as fuel-efficiency goes, the Ridgeline has slightly higher ratings than the Frontier does. What’s also interesting here is that the Ridgeline is the truck that comes with front-wheel-drive. The Frontier is more traditional in the sense that it offers part four-wheel drive as an option. Both trucks are available of course with all-wheel drive.
The Ridgeline is a far better option when it comes to comfort. This is mostly because the Ridgeline relies on car-like qualities here too. Its seats are plush, its trimmings are high-quality, and there’s plenty of space throughout the cabin. The Ridgeline’s crew cab body style seats up to five.
Oppositely, the Frontier is available as a four-seat king cab as well as a five-seat crew cab. Its interior is pretty solid and comfortable, but it’s not as spacious as other models in its class. The Frontier’s back row is pretty tight and its cabin materials are outdated.
The Frontier doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as the Ridgeline does. On the Ridgeline, standard infotainment features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, neither of which are available on the Frontier. The Frontier also comes with less advanced driver-assist features compared to almost every other competitor in its class. It doesn’t offer any advanced safety features but the Ridgeline comes with forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning－ just to name a few.
The final verdict
Both the Frontier and Ridgeline are good compact truck options but for completely different things. If you want a simple and pragmatic truck that’s comfortable and capable, go for the Frontier. However, if you can sacrifice on towing capacity, the Ridgeline is a more attractive and well-rounded choice.