A Sneaky Potential Reason the Honda Ridgeline Is More Popular Than the Ford Ranger
The 2023 Honda Ridgeline is a versatile unibody pickup with car-like comfort and convenience. With strong capability and a smooth ride, the Ridgeline bridges the gap between off-road and street performance. On the other hand, the 2023 Ford Ranger pickup uses traditional body-on-frame construction for rugged utility in challenging conditions. For those who want a solid truck feel and modern features, the Ranger is a good pick.
Year to date, the Ridgeline is slightly more popular than the Ranger. That’s a surprise since the roles were reversed just a year ago. In fact, the Ranger had a healthy lead over the Ridgeline back then.
What could be the reason(s) for the change? Let’s take a closer look at both trucks.
Honda Ridgeline vs. Ford Ranger: sales comparisons
Since the start of 2023, Honda Ridgeline sales outpace the Ford Ranger.
• Honda Ridgeline: 22,752 units
• Ford Ranger: 19,703 units
But at the same point in 2022, the Ford Ranger held a substantial advantage over the Ridgeline.
Here’s the data from GoodCarBadCar:
• Ford Ranger: 28,732 units
• Honda Ridgeline: 16,837 units
That’s a substantial difference year-to-year.
While don’t know the exact reasons for the change, we have several ideas.
Why does the 2023 Honda Ridgeline outsell the 2023 Ford Ranger?
The current-generation Ford Ranger is a solid design. With a 270-hp turbo four-cylinder and available 4WD, the Ranger has ample power and traction. And an optional SuperCrew cabin has room to spare.
But the new Ford Maverick brings additional competition.
With a low MSRP of $22,595, the Maverick costs substantially less than the $27,400 Ranger. And even though the Ranger sits higher in the Ford lineup, some may prefer the compact Maverick’s usability and fuel efficiency.
Ford has sold 35,026 Mavericks so far in 2023. That’s nearly the same as a year ago. But could the Maverick be stealing sales from the Ranger? For value-minded customers, that’s a definite possibility.
Additionally, there’s a redesigned 2024 Ford Ranger on the horizon. Set for release in late summer 2023, the new Ranger receives heavy updates all around. Bold, boxy styling looks like a mini-F-150. A 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine turns up the power. And a Raptor edition has off-road chops for the most challenging terrain.
Drivers who want the latest tech may hold out for the 2024 Ranger instead of settling for the current edition.
The 2023 Honda Ridgeline brings total versatility
Pickups are undeniably cool. With a raised suspension, 4WD, and strong style, they’re as capable as they are good-looking. But sometimes, they’re not the best daily drivers.
Big tires with thick sidewalls mean sloppy handling around town. Elevated cabins can be a pain to get into. Thirsty powerplants mean more trips to the gas station, but the Honda Ridgeline blends car convenience with truck utility.
The Honda Ridgeline’s unibody platform gives it superior ride quality compared to body-on-frame pickups. At the same time, it has a roomy bed to store plenty of gear, and standard AWD means it can go almost anywhere.
The Honda Ridgeline is off to a strong 2023, with sales eclipsing the Ford Ranger. While the new Maverick may take away from ’23 Ranger sales, we aren’t sure of the exact reasons. Still, the Honda Ridgeline’s all-around performance makes it a great pick and could be why it outsells the Ranger. But with the new 2024 Ford Ranger set for release, the Ridgeline’s lead could slip or disappear.