Three Safety Ratings That Make the 2021 Honda Ridgeline a Better Pick Than the 2021 Ford Ranger

The 2021 Ford Ranger is a spacious, comfortable, compact pickup truck with a good tow rating. And yet the 2021 Honda Ridgeline is blowing it away in nearly every category, including safety. Here’s a look at three Consumer Reports ratings that make the 2021 Honda Ridgeline a better pick than the 2021 Ford Ranger. 

A silver 2021 Honda Ridgeline splashes through a puddle. Consumer Reports ratings for the Ridgeline are excellent.
2021 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

The Consumer Reports road test ratings are better 

Consumer Reports uses a combination of its own safety tests as well as those done by the IIHS and NHTSA. The exact vehicles chosen for Consumer Reports’ tests are the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Crew Cab RTL V6-Cyl 9-Speed Automatic and the 2021 Ford Ranger Crew Cab XLT 4-Cyl 10-Speed Automatic. These tests show what makes the 2021 Honda Ridgeline a better pick than the 2021 Ford Ranger.

Consumer Reports conducts more than 50 tests on cars they’ve purchased at their Connecticut facility. These include emergency handling, braking, and acceleration.

The Honda Ridgeline scored an 83 out of 100 on the Consumer Reports road test, with a three out of five for emergency handling. The brakes on the 2021 Honda Ridgeline scored a four out of five, with a braking from 60 MPH on dry pavement distance of 134 feet and a wet pavement distance of 142 feet. The Honda Ridgeline scored a four for its acceleration, reaching a quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds.

On the other hand, the 2021 Ford Ranger only scored a 55 out of 100 on the Consumer Reports road test. The Ford Ranger scored a two out of five for emergency handling. Its max speed for avoidance maneuver was 47 MPH, compared to the Honda Ridgeline’s max speed of 53.5 MPH.

The brakes on the 2021 Ford Ranger weren’t quite as good as the 2021 Honda Ridgeline either, scoring a three out of five. When tested on dry pavement, the Ford Ranger took 143 feet to stop, and 150 feet on wet pavement. Acceleration on the Ranger was identical to the Ridgeline, reaching a quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds.

The NHTSA crash test ratings are better

A 2021 Ford Ranger climbs a dirt hill.
2021 Ford Ranger | Ford

RELATED: Car Buying: What Safety Ratings Should You Care About?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) puts all of the vehicles it tests through a battery of tests designed to simulate real world accidents. These tests are broken down into categories which can help you see just how safe that pickup truck you’re considering is. 

The overall crash test rating for the 2021 Honda Ridgeline is excellent, at five out of five stars. On the other hand, the 2021 Ford Ranger only scored a four out of five stars. The overall frontal-crash, passenger crash test rating was better on the Honda Ridgeline as well, at five stars compared to the Ford Ranger’s four. The overall frontal-crash, driver test simulates a full frontal head-on collision between two similarly sized vehicles. Both the 2021 Honda Ridgeline and the 2021 Ford Ranger scored five out of five stars on this test.

The Honda Ridgeline’s NHTSA rollover risk is slightly less

A blue Ford Ranger at a car show.
A Ford Ranger | Manfred Schmid via Getty Images

The NHTSA rollover rating is calculated based on the Static Stability Factor, which determines how top-heavy a vehicle is. This is combined with the results of a test to see how likely a vehicle is to tip over during a severe maneuver. The NHTSA breaks the rollover rating into two categories: 2WD and 4WD. 

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline scored a four out of five stars in both the 2WD and 4WD categories. On the other hand, the 2021 Ford Ranger scored only three stars in both categories. 

The 2021 Ford Ranger is a nice truck, but the 2021 Honda Ridgeline is the safer choice

A red 2021 Honda Ridgeline races down a dirt road. Consumer Reports ratings make the Ridgeline a great choice.
2021 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

With so much to love about both pickup trucks, it can be tough to choose between them. The Consumer Reports ratings can solve that problem. When safety is your number one priority though, it’s clear that the 2021 Honda Ridgeline is the safer choice.