2024 Honda Ridgeline Review: What You See Is What You Get

Putting practicality above all else, the Honda Ridgeline doesn’t really care what people think of it.

byJerry Perez|
Honda Ridgeline photo
Jerry Perez


People are often drawn to the typically controversial views of someone who "calls it as they see it"—a politician, a news anchor, a celebrity. Whether it's the desire to be different or perhaps a quest for an unfiltered truth, being true to one's convictions is usually a good thing; even if you may not agree with or like the things being said, at least they're honest in where they stand. In many ways, the 2024 Honda Ridgeline midsize pickup truck calls it as it sees it.

Since 2006, the Ridgeline has been out here doing its thing without ever caring too much about the opinions of others. It's got tons of loyal followers and even more haters; its spec sheet is a manifesto for practical and sensible truck ownership.

Jerry Perez

The 2024 Ridgeline continues to preach what Honda still believes most Americans actually need from a truck. SUV-like appearance? Check. Truck-like features? Check. Car-like handling? Check. Minivan-levels of comfort and family-friendly amenities? Checkity check.

The Basics

The aging Ridgeline continues to offer a tidy package that'll appeal to most people who need an SUV six days a week but a truck on the seventh. Mostly unchanged for 2024, it sports a few tweaks to help freshen it up, such as a new seven-inch digital instrument panel (a physical speedo remains), a new nine-inch infotainment touchscreen with a faster processor, and a newly-designed center console with expanded storage.

There are enough cubbies, cupholders, and other smart features to make the cabin enjoyable. There's a wireless smartphone charger, two USB-C, and one USB-A charging port, so every member of the family is guaranteed to have juice while on the road.

The exterior remains relatively neutral, boasting a combination of sportiness and ruggedness that tries its best not to push away potential buyers. Even the new TrailSport trim, which offers a slightly more off-roady look with its unique fascia, 18-inch trim-specific wheels, and General Grabber all-terrain tires, is nowhere near as aggro as its biggest competitor, the Toyota Tacoma.

Measuring five feet, four inches long, and four feet wide, the Ridgeline's bed is perfect for weekending. Take advantage of the cutouts at the end of the bed to throw a dirtbike or two up there, and the eight tie-downs capable of handling up to 350 pounds each help secure them in place. Not into bikes? Drop the tailgate and extend the bed to more than seven feet for a quick run to Home Depot, and use the alternate latch to swing the tailgate open sideways to make loading stuff even easier.

Driving the Honda Ridgeline TrailSport

I like the TrailSport trim for many reasons; primarily because it adds a touch of personality to the Ridgeline without making it look or feel like a brodozer, but also because the wheel-and-tire package makes the ride more enjoyable. Cruising around town, the 245/60R18 all-terrains offer enough meat to keep things cushy. But unlike the Passport TrailSport I recently drove, you don't get any of that floatiness or vagueness at the wheel—likely due to the Ridgeline's wider and longer wheelbase.

At its core, though, it's a Pilot. Not the newest Pilot but the previous gen. The Ridgeline offers the quiet and comfortable driving experience you'd expect from one of America's best-selling SUVs. Visibility is fantastic and ride height is high enough to feel slightly more elevated than the average compact crossover but not as high as something like a Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado. Steering feel is also adequate. It doesn't get any praise for being super responsive, but it's no slouch while driving in the city or on the highway. It's fine.

Not much more can be said about Honda's proven 3.5-liter V6 engine that hasn't already been said, which in the Ridgeline pumps out 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Hooked up to a nine-speed automatic transmission, it has an adequate motor and adequate power for what most people will do with this truck. You'll never feel underpowered when passing or merging. It won't light up the tires, of course—not even in loose dirt, ask me how I know—but that's mostly because its all-wheel-drive system is doing its job. Yes, even with traction control off.

Like previous-gen Accords, the brakes are quite grabby and it takes a bit to get used to them, so your passengers might give you an angry look for the first couple of days. The actual braking performance is strong—and once you get used to the pedal, it's fairly easy to modulate their bite.

The Highs and Lows

Whether you need to haul kids, pets, adventure gear, or maybe even a boat, jetskis, or a camper, chances are, the Ridgeline is all the truck you need. My favorite feature is still one of its oldest: the built-in trunk. You can fill it up with ice to keep your drinks cold (and then pop the drain plug to empty it afterward) or keep stuff safe and out of sight. Or you can do what I did a few years back and throw your luggage in there so it doesn't get wet during a road trip.

There isn't one big, bad thing with the Ridgeline but a few little things that hold it back. The infotainment system and overall tech experience are below average. Sure, it may have gotten a new, partially digital gauge cluster and larger infotainment screen this year, but it still looks and feels outdated compared to its rivals. There's also its 5,000-pound towing capacity, which is still more than fine for most people, but the new Tacoma is turning up the heat with 6,800 pounds. Lastly, the Honda Ridgeline ain't cheap.

Honda Ridgeline Features, Options, and Competition

The Ridgeline starts at $41,145 for a base Sport model but the TrailSport tested begins at $46,375. My tester's only option was the $455 Radiant Red Metallic paint. The TrailSport trim is the second-highest in a lineup of four, and its standard equipment includes all-wheel drive, off-road tuned suspension, all-terrain tires, a skid plate, dual-action tailgate, integrated trailer hitch, leather-trimmed interior, ambient lighting, a moonroof, tri-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, heated front seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a wireless phone charger. Tech and safety features include collision braking and road departure mitigation systems, blind-spot alert, parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control.

The Ridgeline competes with more traditional trucks like the Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, and Ford Ranger. The differences between the Honda and those three are vast, but they're still midsize trucks at the end of the day. The new Tacoma, which now feels more like a smaller Tundra, will set you back around $45,000 comparably equipped. You get more truck for your coin with the Toyota, including a longer bed, higher towing capacity, and a turbo-four with 278 hp, though some comfort and tech features aren't standard. The Colorado Z71, meanwhile, offers a competitive and frankly, better-looking package at $46,280. Lastly, a Ford Ranger Lariat balloons up to $49,000 when similarly equipped.

Fuel Economy

The Honda Ridgeline TrailSport is rated at 18 mpg in the city, 23 mpg on the highway, and 20 mpg combined, a slight decrease from the 18/24/21 of the regular AWD Ridgeline. The V6 is punchy and offers loads of low-end torque, which combined with A/T tires doesn't make for the most fuel-efficient package—something shared across the midsize truck segment.


Value and Verdict

Honda's midsize pickup has been a tough value proposition since it first appeared on the scene back in 2006. It's typically pricier than its flashier and often more powerful, capable rivals, but it attempts to offset that with good old Honda reliability and other key comfort features.

The Ridgeline calls it as it sees it, and much like the folks known for being that way, it's not for everyone. Favoring the perception of Japanese reliability and higher resale values over a juicy spec sheet can be a tall order for buyers. At the end of the day, the 2024 Honda Ridgeline TrailSport is as good and practical as it gets, but it ain't everyone's cup of tea.

2024 Honda Ridgeline Specs
Base Price (TrailSport as tested)$41,145 ($46,830)
Powertrain3.5-liter V6 | 9-speed automatic | all-wheel drive
Horsepower280 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque262 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm
Seating Capacity5
Curb Weight4,495 pounds
Bed Cargo Volume33.9 cubic feet | 7.3 cubic foot in-bed trunk
Towing Capacity5,000 pounds
Ground Clearance7.64 inches
EPA Fuel Economy18 mpg city | 23 highway | 20 combined
Quick TakeThe truck you need—but is it the truck you want?

Email the author at jerry@thedrive.com

Honda ReviewsHonda Ridgeline