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Old 01-22-2019, 08:25 AM   #1
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Default 2019 Honda Ridgeline AWD Black Edition

New year, new competition




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The 2019 Honda Ridgeline marches on in the midsize pickup truck segment that welcomes two new players this yearóthe Ford Ranger and the Jeep Gladiator. How will the Ridgeline stack up? Before we throw it in the ring, we thought it'd be a good idea to get reacquainted with Honda's pickup.

The second-generation Ridgeline hasn't changed much since its introduction in model year 2017. Highlights include new colors, more USB ports, streamlined trim levels (from 12 to nine), and the addition of a moonroof and power-sliding rear window to the midlevel RTL and RTL-T models. We got our hands on a very loaded Ridgeline AWD Black Edition with a hefty $44,465 price tag. That said, the Black Edition is essentially an appearance package for the Ridgeline RTL-E ($42,965), and a decently equipped RTL-T is priced at $39,945. A base, front-drive Ridgeline RT can be had for $31,035.

Honda's ubiquitous 3.5-liter V-6 carries over, sending 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque to a six-speed automatic. Not surprisingly, its straight-line performance numbers are nearly identical to the 2017 Ridgeline AWD RTL-E we last tested, running to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds and the quarter mile in 15.6 seconds (compared to 7.3 and 15.7 seconds).

"A little poky from a stop," road test editor Chris Walton noted about our 2019 Ridgeline tester, though "upshifts at redline are reasonably smooth/fast."

It's quicker than the top-selling 2018 Toyota Tacoma we recently tested (7.6 seconds to 60 mph), but it lags behind the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado and 2019 Ford Ranger, which posted 0-60 times of 6.4 and 6.8 seconds, respectively. Both domestics have stronger engines and gearboxes with more cogs (and shorter first gears), and they aren't much heavier than the Honda. Our Ridgeline tester tipped the scales at 4,475 pounds, just 11 and 75 pounds lighter than the Chevy and Ford.

With an EPA rating of 18/25 mpg city/highway, the Ridgeline AWD barely edges out the Colorado V6 4WD at 17/24 mpg. A drop in the bucket in times of relatively cheap gas. A comparable Tacoma returns 18/22 mpg; the Ranger hasn't been rated as of this writing.

The Ridgeline's unibody chassis remains an outlier among its body-on-frame peers. If you value ride quality above anything else, the Honda can't be beat. It's noticeably smoother around town and on the highway and is much more controlled through corners. "Very different than the others," testing director Kim Reynolds noted after posting a 27.7-second lap around the figure-eight course. "Steering quality is much better including turn-in." That said, the Colorado's and Ranger's handling disadvantages on the figure eight were essentially erased by their stronger powertrains, with the Chevy beating the Honda by 0.1 second and the Ford coming in at a tie.

Part of the Ridgeline's appeal is its ability to combine car-like road manners and its ability to do work that trucks are expected to do. Our tester's max payload rating of 1,499 pounds is right there with the Colorado and Ranger we tested, and almost 300 pounds more than the Tacoma we had on hand (though we should note that payload ratings vary more with the body-on-frame trucks depending on configuration).

Meanwhile, the Ridgeline is capped to tow 5,000 pounds, about 1,400 to 2,500 pounds less than the aforementioned three trucks. Although we didn't do a standardized tow evaluation this time around, we did praise the Ridgeline's ability to tow a 3,000-pound trailer in a previous test.

The Ridgeline's truck bed is a showcase of Honda's clever tricks. The lockable in-bed trunk (with 7.3 cubic feet of cargo) is unique to the segment, and the super handy tailgate swings down and is also side-hinged, giving you closer and easier access to your payload. The available in-bed speaker system is pretty trick, as well, and the bed is also fairly spacious. Though not as deep as its competitors, it does provide 50 inches of space between the wheelhouses, which is about 5 inches more than the Ford and Chevy and 8 inches wider than the Toyota.

Another highlight is the rear passenger area. Not only is the floor completely flat, but the seat bottoms and support frames fold up and away to maximize cargo space. It's simply cavernous compared to its competitors. Unfortunately the Ridgeline appears to be last in line for Honda's infotainment upgrade, so you won't find the sharper and more intuitive interface (nor a volume knob) found in other models.

Interior fit and finish is excellent, storage solutions are scattered throughout, and the front center armrests (straight from the Pilot) are a nice touch. In all, the Ridgeline still charms us with thoughtful engineering, smooth ride, and decent capability. But with new and fresh competition on the way, the Ridgeline could benefit from a few tweaks that'll hopefully make their way to a midcycle refresh soon.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:45 AM   #2
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Only real change was the rear sliding glass and moonroof was added to the RTL and RTL-T trims which it mentions above. Nothing else noteworthy has changed except we figured out the rear doors can be modified to open fully, and there is now an OEM lock available for the tailgate.
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:46 PM   #3
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Front styling and grille are more attractive, havent seen that before. Looks less like the straight carryover from Pilot.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:21 PM   #4
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Meanwhile, the Ridgeline is capped to tow 5,000 pounds, about 1,400 to 2,500 pounds less than the aforementioned three trucks. Although we didn't do a standardized tow evaluation this time around, we did praise the Ridgeline's ability to tow a 3,000-pound trailer in a previous test.
These articles never mention that the Ridgeline has a 30% higher payload rating than the body-on-frame competition.

The Tacoma can haul 1,175lbs payload. If you were to max out the towing to the 6,400lbs that would mean the 640lb tongue weight comes out of the payload, meaning you're left with only 535lbs for passengers. That's gone really quick with a 4 passenger truck.

Lets say you have a 5,000lb boat and your family of 4 to haul, to make it fair... so 500lbs on the tongue of each vehicle and lets say 425lbs of passengers.

The Ridgeline has a payload capacity of 1,580lbs, so that leaves you with 1,080lbs of payload after the trailer and 655lbs of capacity for filling up the bed with camping supplies once you add in the family.

The Tacoma has a payload capacity of 1,175lbs, so that leaves you with 675lbs of payload after the trailer and only 140lbs of capacity for the camping supplies.

Edit: the trick is, now you've gotta load up your camping supplies on your trailer for the Tacoma... but with the Ridgeline you could put a pair of dirtbikes in the bed.

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Old 01-23-2019, 09:29 AM   #5
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These articles never mention that the Ridgeline has a 30% higher payload rating than the body-on-frame competition.

The Tacoma can haul 1,175lbs payload. If you were to max out the towing to the 6,400lbs that would mean the 640lb tongue weight comes out of the payload, meaning you're left with only 535lbs for passengers. That's gone really quick with a 4 passenger truck.

Lets say you have a 5,000lb boat and your family of 4 to haul, to make it fair... so 500lbs on the tongue of each vehicle and lets say 425lbs of passengers.

The Ridgeline has a payload capacity of 1,580lbs, so that leaves you with 1,080lbs of payload after the trailer and 655lbs of capacity for filling up the bed with camping supplies once you add in the family.

The Tacoma has a payload capacity of 1,175lbs, so that leaves you with 675lbs of payload after the trailer and only 140lbs of capacity for the camping supplies.

Edit: the trick is, now you've gotta load up your camping supplies on your trailer for the Tacoma... but with the Ridgeline you could put a pair of dirtbikes in the bed.
How often do you actually see people paying attention to tongue load and gross combined weight ratings for a vehicle? Cheers to you for knowing. In my experience you're among a very small group of vehicle owners.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:12 AM   #6
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I paid $37k for a loaded Colorado 4x4 ZR2 highline crew pickup. So should pay for a minimal Honda? The truck is not selling well so I would expect some discounted special packaged models.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:46 AM   #7
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I looked hard at the Ridgeline, but when the time came to plop down my money, I went with an F150. More of everything (except leather and a moonroof) for the same price as the Black Edition, with a reasonable reduction in MPG. I am a big fan of the Ridgeline though!
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:03 AM   #8
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I looked hard at the Ridgeline, but when the time came to plop down my money, I went with an F150. More of everything (except leather and a moonroof) for the same price as the Black Edition, with a reasonable reduction in MPG. I am a big fan of the Ridgeline though!
If I'm going 1/2 truck, it's a 1/4/5 vin 6mt Frontier; if I'm okay with an auto I'm going F-150/Tundra - you get more truck for your money, especially when considering the easy 10k you can get off the sticker of a Ford.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:24 PM   #9
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I looked hard at the Ridgeline, but when the time came to plop down my money, I went with an F150. More of everything (except leather and a moonroof) for the same price as the Black Edition, with a reasonable reduction in MPG. I am a big fan of the Ridgeline though!
Yeah the upper trims are costly. The RTL AWD is the sweet spot at 34k. To me itís worth every dime of that money with the drivetrain it has. No interest in a full size truck and no use for it.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:32 PM   #10
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I looked hard at the Ridgeline, but when the time came to plop down my money, I went with an F150. More of everything (except leather and a moonroof) for the same price as the Black Edition, with a reasonable reduction in MPG. I am a big fan of the Ridgeline though!
Should have told them youíd buy the truck if the redo the seats in Katzkin leather. Thatís what I did and the Katzkin leather is by far better than ford leather seats.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:53 PM   #11
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Yeah the upper trims are costly. The RTL AWD is the sweet spot at 34k. To me it’s worth every dime of that money with the drivetrain it has.
Totally agree in the RTL AWD. I believe you had I had discussed that very subject via PMs, almost 2 years ago. However, I did have a few nits to pick with the drivetrain of the Ridgeline.

1) No port injection to keep the valves clean.
2) Timing belt instead of chain
3) VCM issues (my friend had issues with his Odyssey at 13k miles)
4) Only 6 forward gears

I largely trust Honda, but those items were addressed with my Ford. I'm sure I'll have some other issue though.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:44 PM   #12
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No machine is without its issues
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Old 01-25-2019, 10:46 AM   #13
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Totally agree in the RTL AWD. I believe you had I had discussed that very subject via PMs, almost 2 years ago. However, I did have a few nits to pick with the drivetrain of the Ridgeline.

1) No port injection to keep the valves clean.
2) Timing belt instead of chain
3) VCM issues (my friend had issues with his Odyssey at 13k miles)
4) Only 6 forward gears

I largely trust Honda, but those items were addressed with my Ford. I'm sure I'll have some other issue though.
1) Same thing on my RS. Italian tuneup, various chemical/liquid products to clean them easily. DI is awesome too, excellent low RPM response
2) Not worried about this. Last gen Ridgeline, which I owned, is known for 300-400k. Lots of high mileage club (not that kind) on that forum. The V6 in it is well proven
3) Hasn't been an issue so so far on this new G2, and there is a defeater that many have purchased and installed
4) This is good. The transmission and the shift points are one of the best points about the truck. The 6 spd is durable (their new 10 spd gear hunts like a mofo)

Only thing wrong with the truck was early assembly issues in 2016.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:21 PM   #14
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Curious, whats the trim and model year to get for a used Gen 1 ridgeline?

How did it do in snow?

How far did you push it off road?

What kind of mpg did you get?
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:25 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by left footed whooten View Post
Pre:

Curious, whats the trim and model year to get for a used Gen 1 ridgeline?

How did it do in snow?

How far did you push it off road?

What kind of mpg did you get?
Not Pre, but:

2010+ Refreshed interior and standard tow package on all trims. Production moved from Canada to Alabama. The only big issue with earlier RLs was a banjo bolt on the trans cooler that would corrode in winter weather. The part was upgraded sometime before 2010, and I would think most of them have probably had the bolt replaced by now (but if the truck is coming from somewhere without much corrosion, it'd be worth looking into). The fact that a single bolt rusting out is one of the biggest issues with the early trucks tells you a lot about what to worry about.

I like the RTL (what I have) for the leather, sunroof, and stock sunroof. The 18s" and extra weight are a bit of a compromise.

The AWD is FWD based and there's a momentary lag before power gets shunted rearward. You can spin the fronts in the dry if you just stand on the throttle from a stop. Driving remotely responsibly in the snow it goes and handles excellently. You can always manually lock the rear diff with the button on the dash while in 1 or R if you're worried about something extra slippery.. but I've never had any issues, despite driving in lots of snow and on loose, steep gravel.

I've never had tires really worthy of off road on mine, only stock-style Michelin LTXs, so off-roading hasn't really interested me. I was really impressed with the approach and clearance while driving down some really crazy National Forest roads on the Olympic Peninsula while hunting for a xmas tree to cut.

Best I ever got was 24mpg on slower freeway trips. I typically got 19 in mixed driving before adding an A.R.E. bed cap. Now I get 18mixed.. but really 16mpg because I rarely use it outside of town anymore.


Re: DougNuts.. the F150 is a great truck. If you live in a HOA where you can't park a truck outside your house, they're a no-go since they won't fit in a typical suburban garage.
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Old 01-26-2019, 03:40 AM   #16
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out of all the trucks, in America, heck in the world...why would anyone choose a Honda Ridgeline is beyond me
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Old 01-26-2019, 10:20 AM   #17
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out of all the trucks, in America, heck in the world...why would anyone choose a Honda Ridgeline is beyond me
Because it's reliable, has great driving dynamics for a truck, gets decent gas mileage, and they don't need to tow 10,000 lbs or go extreme offroading. The people that I have met that owned one love them.

Once you get passed the "it ain't a real truck" machoism and look at what the average users do with trucks, it makes sense. May not be the right choice for you but it is a great choice for many.
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:05 PM   #18
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it's not more reliable than a Toyota, not sure what exactly you're referring to by driving dynamics , but again I'm sure a Taco has it beat there as well, especially with crawl control and also the manual option. Taco has equal gas milage and the Colorado has better MPG and diesel. The Taco looks better and so does every other truck in the entire galaxy. Similarly for offroading it's at the bottom of the list.

I'm not getting caught up on the "it's not a real truck" rhetoric, I just frankly don't see how it's a good option at all. I don't see how it's better than any other truck out there actually in any category...

I mean this Black Edition is more expensive than a TRD Pro lol that's hilarious. It's nothing but an appearance package.

I'd choose an Isuzu D-Max over this any day.

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Old 01-27-2019, 12:12 PM   #19
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Theyre all great trucks, the segment is coming back and offering more good choices. They all even out to great trucks overall with different strengths.
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Old 01-27-2019, 01:39 PM   #20
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it's not more reliable than a Toyota, not sure what exactly you're referring to by driving dynamics , but again I'm sure a Taco has it beat there as well, especially with crawl control and also the manual option. Taco has equal gas milage and the Colorado has better MPG and diesel. The Taco looks better and so does every other truck in the entire galaxy. Similarly for offroading it's at the bottom of the list.

I'm not getting caught up on the "it's not a real truck" rhetoric, I just frankly don't see how it's a good option at all. I don't see how it's better than any other truck out there actually in any category...

I mean this Black Edition is more expensive than a TRD Pro lol that's hilarious. It's nothing but an appearance package.

I'd choose an Isuzu D-Max over this any day.
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:25 PM   #21
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excellent detailed response, I especially liked your thorough argumentation supported by facts and well thought out analogies. You sir are an excellent debater.
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:35 PM   #22
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excellent detailed response, I especially liked your thorough argumentation supported by facts and well thought out analogies. You sir are an excellent debater.
if you dont even know what driving dynamics are, how can there even be a debate?
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Old 01-27-2019, 03:27 PM   #23
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it's not more reliable than a Toyota, not sure what exactly you're referring to by driving dynamics , but again I'm sure a Taco has it beat there as well.....
It means that it drives and handles like a car, which the Tacoma does not. The Tacoma is a GREAT looking truck, but its poor MPG, power and flexible chassis is lacking. My coworker, who has a similar commute as I do, gets about the same MPG as my 470lb-ft 3.5TT gets. The Tacoma is a solid 2-3 MPG behind the Ridgeline, which is 10-15%.
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:48 PM   #24
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it's not more reliable than a Toyota, not sure what exactly you're referring to by driving dynamics , but again I'm sure a Taco has it beat there as well, especially with crawl control and also the manual option. Taco has equal gas milage and the Colorado has better MPG and diesel. The Taco looks better and so does every other truck in the entire galaxy. Similarly for offroading it's at the bottom of the list.

I'm not getting caught up on the "it's not a real truck" rhetoric, I just frankly don't see how it's a good option at all. I don't see how it's better than any other truck out there actually in any category...

I mean this Black Edition is more expensive than a TRD Pro lol that's hilarious. It's nothing but an appearance package.

I'd choose an Isuzu D-Max over this any day.

He never said it was more reliable than a Toyota, he simply said itís just a reliable vehicle. The Toyota rides like ****, gets **** gas mileage and grossly over priced. Sure, the Toyota would put the largest spanking on the Honda when off roading but for people who simply want a small truck for daily road driving and are able to throw planters and misc **** from Home Depot in the bed, itís a great choice.

*Godfather owns a F150 but has enough common sense to see why the Ridgeline is appealing while mcarb seems to struggle with this.*
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:30 PM   #25
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for some reason I can't quote posts from my laptop..

to DougNuts, yes Tacoma doesn't handle like a car because...well, it's a real truck...has 4x4 , has a real locker, doesn't have a joke doughnut spare tire, has different ride height for legit offroad, different size tires etc. etc..
MPG is rated pretty much the same as the Ridgeline. Power? Again it's pretty much the same as the Ridgeline.
Did I mention you can also get the Taco in manual?

to godfather

no I get it, it's basically a city car (Pilot) with a bed. So I get it if you live in NYC, Miami, LA, Chicago or something...but really I just don't get why choose it over the whole truck line up when you can get others that are more versatile and can do the same things and more. Plus, again, it looks hideous. Especially the older models my God. But I'll concede that's subjective. I just don't think it's good value for the money. Tacoma will certainly hold it's value better. Can do all the things a Ridgeline can and more.

Well, I mentioned it's more reliable because just like you're bringing Tacoma's ride quality we're comparing pros and cons.

Severely overpriced? hahahaha have you looked at the price for this "Black Edition" ??? it's just an appearance package for more than a TRD PRO! that's hilarious

So basically the only incentive that you guys are able to bring up is that it just handles and rides better "aka" more like a car. Who would buy a truck just for that? lol

Anyway, to each their own.

Last edited by mcarb002; 01-27-2019 at 09:00 PM.
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