Pickup truck segment is poised for massive growth in 2018 and this trend is likely to continue- say the automobile industry veterans. Not only the top players like GM and Toyota but other carmakers are also launching new models or sprucing up existing contenders. Honda which has not been very successful in this sector is not sitting idle. The revamped 2019 Honda Ridgeline is now available and the responses are mostly positive.
Based originally on Honda Pilot, the truck was earlier criticized for being less of a pickup and more like a crossover. The new Ridgeline is not like the rugged, muscle flexing, off-road ready pickups either but the changes are hard to overlook. More importantly, Honda has come up with a good blend of functionality and performance in the 2019 Ridgeline.
What’s so new?
The new Ridgeline offers a different take on midsized pickup trucks and that works as its USP. It lacks the excellent off-roading prowess of rivals like Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro or the venerable Ford Raptor F-150 but in comfort and functionality emerges a winner. This comes as a unique and enticing proposition for the midsized truck buyers looking for a versatile and capable vehicle. The engine may not be the most powerful in this class and towing capacity is average but the functional bed and excellent ride quality cannot be overlooked. One trim is less in 2019 and two new exterior colors are there too. These are Lunar Silver Metallic and White Diamond Pearl.
Some portals have announced that we can expect 2019 Ridgeline Type R version also. However, this is unconfirmed information.
2019 Honda Ridgeline Design
The 2019 Ridgeline is sold in 6 trim levels but in single body style aka crew cab. The design is enticing though not as captivating as that of new Nissan Titan XD. The Grille is replicated from new Honda SUVs. The pickup bed is integrated with the cabin still. High strength steel used in the body of this truck ensures durability is not compromised.
The dual-action tailgate is ideal for loading different sized objects in the bed. It can also be useful during loading and unloading objects in cramped parking spaces. In top trims like 2019 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition and the RTL-E you get 120-volt outlets in bed and some additional features too. The bed is pretty hardy, thanks to the usage of UV-stabilized plastic. A trunk is there under the bed which can serve as cooler. You can keep drinks with ice and also store wet clothes for a while- which is handy. The bed is just 5.3 feet long though.
The cabin of 2019 Honda Ridgeline is stylish and functional. The comfort factor is there. You will love the back seats which may be the most spacious ones in this segment. The positioning of controls and storage bins and cubicles are just perfect. The materials are good but on close inspection, you will find bits of hard plastic in the cabin. The Black Edition trim gets top quality materials- bordering on lavish. In terms of ergonomics, everything is spot on and every passenger gets enough leg and shoulder room.
2019 Honda Ridgeline Engine Options
Unlike most rivals, the 2019 Ridgeline has only one engine and no hybrid version is on the cards. However, this should not exactly come as a downer. The 3.5-liter V6 engine makes an output of 280 HP and it is fast. RWD and AWD are both available. Ride quality is impressive and it is better suited for urban usage than long highway journeys or tackling rough terrains. Bouncing and grip on roads are the areas where it excels over the majority of rivals. However, the towing capacity is only 5000 pounds- way below what the rivals from stables of Toyota and GM offer. Fuel economy is decent for this segment.
2019 Honda Ridgeline Spec
The 2019 Ridgeline is sold in these trims- RT, RTL, RTL-T, Sport, RTL-E and the top-notch Black Edition. The trims are quite well equipped- both in terms of safety and amenities.
The base RT trim gets cruise control, remote keyless entry, Bluetooth, 18-inch alloy wheels and multi-angle rearview camera. The 2019 Honda Ridgeline Sport trim brings 3-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, remote start, etc. In RTL trim, you get features like leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and heated front seats.
In the RTL-T trim, you get HD radio, 8.0-inch touchscreen display, navigation, auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED daytime running lights and Honda LaneWatch system. It also gets AWD as standard. RTL- E trim brings all-wheel drive, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, rear parking sensors and adaptive high beams. RTL-E trim also adds heated steering wheel, truck bed speakers, LED headlights, One-Touch Power Moonroof, ambient interior lighting. The Black Edition adds perforated leather seats, 18-Inch Black Alloy Wheels, Contrasting Red Stitching, and Red Ambient LED Lighting.
While the amenities are good – the HondaLink infotainment system is the downer. The setup is still not as polished as what you find in trucks made by FCA and Toyota. It is sluggish and not very user-friendly. A few customization choices are available for some trims. The safety features are good and sensor-based features also work very well.
More reviews about this kind of vehicles you can read at Pickup Trucks 2018.
2019 Honda Ridgeline Price and availability
The new 2019 Honda Ridgeline is available in the US dealerships at the price of $29,990 for the basic 2WD RT version. Here is the price for other 2WD versions:
Sport – $33,390,
RTL – $34,870,
RTL-T – $37,000.
On this prices, you must add $1,900 if you want AWD. The RTL-E and Black Edition models are available only with AWD at the price of $41,920 for the 2019 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E and $43,420 for the Black Edition model.
Summing it up
There are a lot of things for you to like about the new 2019 Honda Ridgeline. The pickup is a unique contender in midsized pickup sector. The styling is decent and the cabin is quite functional. The new model gets new exterior hues too. You get enough trim choices and the Black edition is quite lavish. The engine choice is limited but it is no slouch- as it is. Its bed may not be big in size but it is versatile for user needs and the build quality is great. While safety features are quite impressive, the truck is somewhat let down by the average performing infotainment setup. The pricing needs to be done right for the truck to emerge as a category winner.