2023 Honda Ridgeline

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2023 Honda Ridgeline Review: An Accomplished Outsider

by Michael Butler

Park the Honda Ridgeline next to competitors like the Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma, and you'd think they're more or less the same thing, but the Ridgeline hides a dirty little secret: it's a unibody truck. Whereas other, more traditional competitors place their bodies on a simple frame (which is great for off-roading), the Ridgeline shares its unified body and frame design with the humble Honda Pilot. This construction gives it a pleasant SUV-like ride but limits its towing capacities. For this reason, the Ridgeline has often been overlooked by off-road truckers, but this truck still has a lot to offer, including a smooth 280-horsepower V6 engine, a practical cargo bed, legendary Honda build quality, and standard intelligent all-wheel drive. By blending comfortable crossover-like dynamics with some of the ruggedness of a traditional pickup, the Ridgeline actually suits the needs of more shoppers than it is given credit for.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2023 Honda Ridgeline Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Ridgeline?

The Honda Ridgeline we review here is essentially the one we assessed last year. That's because Honda hasn't made any changes to the 2023 model in the USA following a more extensive facelift for the 2021 model year.

Pros and Cons

  • Neat styling
  • Smooth, refined ride
  • Comfortable and spacious cabin
  • Responsive V6 engine
  • User-friendly cargo bed
  • It's not a hardcore off-roader
  • Only one engine option available
  • Mediocre towing capacity

What's the Price of the 2023 Honda Ridgeline?

The price of the Honda Ridgeline starts at $38,800 for the Sport. Filling the gap between the entry- and top-level trims, the RTL asks for $41,780 and the RTL-E $44,730. The Black Edition will set you back by $46,230 before any additional packages are tacked on. These prices are MSRP and do not include the $1,295 destination charge.

Best Deals on 2023 Honda Ridgeline

2023 Honda Ridgeline Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Black Edition
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Honda Ridgeline Trims and Specs

2023 Honda Ridgeline Handling And Driving Impressions

The 2023 Honda Ridgeline is a truck that doesn't drive like you'd expect when judging its looks. The Ridgeline looks every bit as much like a truck as its competitors, but in certain ways, it has the edge over its more traditional rivals. The Honda Ridgeline features a coil-sprung independent rear suspension instead of the more conventional leaf-sprung, solid-axle setup used by many of its competitors. That contributes substantially to the Ridgeline's smooth, absorbent ride that is more akin to a crossover. The 280-horsepower V6 contributes to the pleasing driving experience with smooth power delivery, an appealing soundtrack when pushed, and excellent responsiveness. When pressing on, the Ridgeline remains relatively flat through the corners and the steering makes it easy to position the truck. Quite simply, this is the most enjoyable pickup to drive in its class.

Off-road, the all-wheel-drive Ridgeline offers decent capability, and the independent rear suspension keeps those in the back nice and comfy over undulating terrain, but don't expect any miracles. Underbody clearance isn't all that special for a truck and the limited wheel articulation will limit what it can do over rocky terrain. The Honda Ridgeline's braking system is one of its weaker points; the pedal feels soft, and independently tested stopping times were not impressive.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Honda Ridgeline A Good Truck?

America is the trucking nation of the world and manufacturers have been following the same recipe for decades: a body-on-frame design with a solid rear axle in the rear is all it takes to convince most, but that's exactly what makes the new Honda Ridgeline pickup truck so different, and so good. This unibody truck manages to deliver on two fronts; it's a an exceptionally comfortable vehicle that doesn't feel truck-like behind the wheel thanks to its clever chassis and suspension layout, but it still offers many of the benefits of a mid-size truck and has a very configurable load bed. The V6 engine might be the only option, but it's a good one and serves up more than enough power, even when the Ridgeline is fully loaded. The interior is plush and comfortable, and there are many standard driver and safety features on hand. The Ridgeline might not be able to contend with more traditional offerings when it comes to off-road capability or towing, but everywhere else, it shines.

What Honda Ridgeline Model Should I Buy?

The base-level Ridgeline is an amazing vehicle, which comes with all the features you are likely to need on a daily basis. That said, the RTL, with its leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, and power moonroof is quite the tempting offer. Beyond that, it just seems overly excessive to us, though the added safety and infotainment features on the RTL-E will definitely appeal to those who can afford it. There really is no reason to buy the Black Edition unless you have money to burn and can't live without the extra black finish trimmings. In our review, the RTL is probably the best bet for a car you want to live with for years to come.

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