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Truck enthusiasts are all about a pickup’s towing and payload capacity. But pickup trucks are becoming much more popular for families. Today’s trucks certainly feature a softer ride, along with interior comfort and amenities a family desires. This may be why the Honda Ridgeline has climbed the rankings as an unconventional top pick for a family truck. Here’s why.

The Ridgeline is a top safety pick

When it comes to choosing a compact truck for family use, the 2019 Honda Ridgeline earned a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as the highest rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Both helped the truck receive its 2019 Top Safety Pick designation.

For the best in safety, families should consider the Ridgeline’s standard rearview camera system and a slew of optional safety additions:

  • Blindspot camera and blindspot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Road departure mitigation

Honda’s family-friendly features

The 2019 Honda Ridgeline comes standard with a five-inch display but families may prefer the optional eight-inch touch screen infotainment system. The truck has a push-button start, too.

To keep the kids entertained on long trips, the Honda Ridgeline offers options like Bluetooth connectivity, two USB ports, HD radio, Apple connectivity, satellite radio, and an in-bed audio system and power outlet.

Plenty of comfort for families

Traditionally, pickup trucks lack the backseat comfort that accommodates families. But the 2019 Honda Ridgeline actually reduced some of the bed cargo space to make the interior roomy enough for five passengers to ride in comfort.

With only one cab configuration and a moderately high base price of about $29,990, the Ridgeline features 36.7 inches of legroom in the rear and 40.9 inches in the front. For a family truck, you may want to get the upgraded interior with features like illuminated beverage holders, ambient LED lighting, a leather-trimmed interior, and heated front seats.

What about truck enthusiasts?

Some people say, “The Honda Ridgeline isn’t a real truck,” especially when compared to a Chevy or Ram pickup. Truck enthusiasts feel that a real truck is constructed body-on-frame and features rear-wheel- or four-wheel-drive.

The Ridgeline is a unibody frame and has front-wheel- or all-wheel-drive options. However, some argue that it’s nice to have a truck that drives more like an SUV but can still haul cargo.

The best reason why a truck purist may want to take another look at the 2019 Honda Ridgeline is the fact that this truck is getting a reputation for excellent longevity. One study found that “the Honda Ridgeline is the pickup truck that is the second-most likely to hit 200,000 miles, being beaten only by the Toyota Tacoma,” reports AutoTrader.

If that’s enough to satisfy a real truck lover, consider these 2019 Honda Ridgeline features:

  • Four-wheel independent suspension
  • A torque-vectoring system not found on other trucks
  • A 3.5-L V6 engine with a six-speed automatic transmission
  • A high payload that can haul between 1,451 to 1,586 pounds

The ease of getting in and out of the Honda Ridgeline and a truck gate that opens sideways or in the traditional fold-down manner may also convince you. Before you buy your next pickup truck, give the Honda Ridgeline a test drive.