Honda must really believe in the Ridgeline because it just increased the list price substantially for 2020. Through some trim package changes the base price has increased by $4,000 when you include the destination charge. So, unless you can find a base 2019 Ridgeline sitting on a lot you’ll pay $35,000 for a new 2020 Ridgeline.
Those trim changes mean the base Ridgeline has a bunch of standard features that were previously options, so there’s that. Now the eight-inch infotainment system comes with the base package which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Honda Sensing safety package also comes on all Ridgelines now. It includes adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist.
You can choose either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. AWD will cost you $2,240 extra with the Sport trim, which is now the base Ridgeline trim package. The RT has been eliminated, so now there is Sport, RTL, RTL-E, and Black Edition.
Big 2020 Ridgeline news is the new nine-speed automatic
The big news for 2020 is the new nine-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment which replaces the six-speed automatic. This makes sense because the previous automatic was only used in the Ridgeline. The new nine-speed migrates over from the Passport, and Ridgeline sibling Pilot.
Nothing else changes which means the 3.5-liter V6 is still the only engine available in the Ridgeline. It cranks out 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Surprisingly, the nine-speed should help give better fuel economy numbers than for 2019, but they stay virtually the same. With two-wheel-drive, the figures are 19 mpg City and 26 MPG Highway, while the all-wheel-drive rates 19 mpg City and 24 mpg Highway.
This is the second-gen version of the Ridgeline. Many thought Honda would drop the Ridgeline after 2015 but this version made its debut in June 2016 as a 2017 model. Sales have stayed surprisingly good at over 30,000 a year. It doesn’t best some of the first version’s early numbers, but it hasn’t dropped year-to-year at all. We think that 2019 maybe its best year yet but we won’t know for a few more weeks.
Ridgeline holds a unique position within the truck segment
The Ridgeline holds a unique position in the truck segment as the only unibody and only front-wheel-drive truck. All others have body-on-frame platforms with drive axles in the rear. This means it has this whole subsection of the pickup market to itself. It appears not to be a huge market but Honda didn’t need to tool up a completely unique vehicle.
Sharing a lot of its components with the Pilot SUV meant not having to spend so much on development and tooling. So it was a cheaper gamble for Honda than what it first might appear to be.
Soon it will see some competition with the Hyundai Santa Fe which will also be unibody and front-wheel-drive. It will be slightly smaller than the Ridgeline, and will probably be marketed more as a sporty lifestyle vehicle rather than as a pickup. For all of those differences, it too may be creating a new sub-segment rather than chipping into the Ridgeline. We’ll know more toward the end of next year.