Trucks & SUVs

The Honda Ridgeline Doesn’t Need a Truck Skeleton

If you ever compare the Honda Ridgeline to the Toyota Tacoma, one of the biggest differences you’ll find is the skeleton or internal platform of these pickups. And, while the Toyota Tacoma may be a bit more off-road capable, the Honda Ridgeline is no slouch. Plus, it offers an incredible daily driving experience. In fact, its road manners are likely the best of all the pickup trucks on the road. Additionally, the 2020 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition adds some unexpected edgy style. It’s a crossover pickup truck and that’s totally OK.

Due to the crossover appeal of its unibody formation, others are picking up on the trend. The Hyundai Santa Cruz will be a crossover pickup truck, and we’ve also heard about others rumored to be not he way like the Ford Maverick and a Subaru pickup truck. The Honda Ridgeline shows that in terms of a rigid unibody as opposed to a more flexible truck skeleton, the proof is in the pudding––as long as you aren’t doing anything seriously heavy duty.

How much can the Honda Ridgeline Tow?

The Ridgeline is a smaller truck, therefore we can’t expect it to haul a load as heavy as others like the Ford Ranger. Still, it’s towing capacity compares well to most SUVs. In fact, the Honda Ridgeline tows up to 5,000 pounds––according to US News and World Report. The Toyota Tacoma tows up to 6,800 pounds according to Toyota. However, the other trucks are consistently dogged for their bumpy ride quality and truck-like cabin experience.

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro refresh parked in desert
2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro refresh | Toyota

The Honda Ridgeline may not be the beefiest towing machine but it will still haul a trailer with a small boat or ATV. Plus, you can easily load recreational vehicles like bicycles or dirt bikes into the bed. The Honda Ridgeline also has a unique pickup bed.

A Hyundai Santa Cruz on display at an auto show.
Hyundai Santa Cruz | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

RELATED: The Honda Ridgeline Is the Longest Lasting Truck

Though it’s a little shorter than the competition, it still has enough width for easy hauling plywood that’s 4 feet wide. Plus, there is a power outlet and an audio system back there. You’ll even find 7.3 cubic feet of additional storage in the trunk bed floor. This nifty hatch features a drain plug in case it’s filled with ice or something. There’s also a sweet dual-action tailgate that opens like a regular gate or swings open to the side.

Is the Honda Ridgeline 4WD?

The 2020 Honda Ridgeline comes standard with a front-wheel drive system. For a fee of $2,240 all-wheel drive is available. Adding all-wheel drive to the Honda Ridgeline will increase its capability off the pavement as well as in inclement weather conditions.

A Honda Ridgeline on display at an auto show.
Honda Ridgeline | Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Is it a good pickup truck?

Yes, it’s a good pickup truck. It proves that unless you need specific capabilities outside of the Ridgeline wheelhouse, it doesn’t need a truck skeleton to be a good truck. The unibody that serves other like the Honda Pilot and the Honda Odyssey also serves the Honda pickup truck.

Consumer Reports gives the Ridgeline generally high reliability scores, and US News and World Report writes that the 2020 Honda Ridgeline has “above average” reliability. Some die-hard ‘truckists’ may hate the ridgeline for its lack of a body-on-frame platform. However, it gets the job done even without the traditional truck skeleton.

A custom white Honda Ridgeline has had some offroad upgrades, like fender flares, a roof rack, and a lift kit.
Custom 2017 Honda Rubicon TRX500 | Fox Marketing

RELATED: 5 Reasons Honda Is Better Than Toyota

Honda Ridgeline Black Edition

2019 Honda Ridgeline driving down country road
2020 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

According to Car and Driver, the 2020 Honda Ridgeline starts at $34,995. Therefore it is on the expensive side for its class. The range-topping Honda Ridgeline Black Edition starts at $44,615. It is also worth noting that the 2020 Honda Ridgeline features the largest rear seat in its class. Additionally, this crossover pickup truck earned a five-star rating from NHTSA as well as receiving a Top Safety Pick title from the IIHS.

RELATED: Does the Honda Ridgeline’s Unibody Make it a Better Truck?