A brand-new truck might sound really appealing. However, Consumer Reports points out that the U.S.’s most popular trucks – the Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, and Ram 1500 – aren’t the most reliable ones out there. In addition, a used truck can offer buyers lots of value, since new trucks can lose more than a fourth of their value during the first year. One great used truck to consider that has above-average reliability is the Honda Ridgeline. Here’s a look at what a used Honda Ridgeline has to offer.
The Honda Ridgeline
The Ridgeline was Honda’s first North American truck, first produced in 2005 for the 2006 model year. It was later refreshed for 2009 and 2012. After being discontinued in 2014, it returned for the 2017 model year. The first generation, especially from 2009 to 2014, received top marks from Consumer Reports in reliability and owner satisfaction.
The 2009 refresh introduced a number of new features plus new styling. The Ridgeline sported a new, more powerful engine with 250 hp. It also came with a standard trailer hitch and had premium features, like Bluetooth and a backup camera, available with certain trims.
Consumer Reports says that while the Honda Ridgeline isn’t a traditional body-on-frame pickup truck, it still offers drivers a “smooth ride, good handling, comfortable seats, and a versatile bed designed for recreational use.” It’s also able to tow up to 5,000 pounds and come with good fuel efficiency. As a bonus, it features a lockable, watertight in-bed trunk. Plus the dual-action tailgate is able to open either down or to the side.
The most reliable model years
Consumer Reports generates its reliability ratings from its member surveys of owners of vehicles manufactured in about the past 20 years. Owners report on problems they’ve had during the past 12 months across 17 different categories.
Consumer Reports’ surveys of owners found the 2010 to 2014 model years of the Honda Ridgeline to be consistently reliable, with five-out-of-five-star ratings between 2011 and 2014. The Ridgeline earned five stars in 2009 as well as a four out of five for the 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010 models.
Consumer Reports specifically calls out the 2012 model year as one to be recommended. The Honda Ridgeline’s reliability helped it make iSeeCars.com’s list of “Longest-Lasting Cars to Reach 200,000 Miles” at No. 10 and the list of “Longest-Lasting Light-Duty Pickup Trucks” at No. 1.
The second-generation Ridgeline hasn’t been rated as highly for reliability, earning a three out of five in 2017 and 2019 and just a two in 2018. The 2020 model year has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five. For comparison, the Ford F-150’s reliability ratings have stayed between one and three out of five for the past 20 years.
Owner satisfaction ratings
The great reliability of the Honda Ridgeline is reflected in the owner satisfaction scores from Consumer Reports as well. The owner satisfaction rating looks at whether or not owners would buy their vehicle again. The truck earned four out of five for owner satisfaction between 2006 and 2014 as well as in 2017 and 2019.
It was given five out of five in 2018. The predicted owner satisfaction for 2020 is four again. Although it’s America’s best-selling truck, owner satisfaction with the F-150 isn’t quite as strong as it is for the Ridgeline. The F-150’s owner satisfaction has been a three or four out of five since 2008.
While a new, popular truck is appealing, there are good reasons to consider a used pickup truck and, in particular, a Honda Ridgeline. Its price, reliability, and owner satisfaction make buying a Ridgeline from model years 2009 through 2014 a good option.