Despite the fact that Honda is one of the biggest carmakers in the world, it definitely isn’t famous for pickups.
Its pickup truck pedigree is pretty modest. Moreover, there is just one model in the current lineup – the Ridgeline. The first generation of this truck appeared in 2005 and it was in production for almost a decade. It was finally replaced in 2015, due to declining sales.
The second generation came with tons of improvements and it marks great sales results, above all expectations.
Honda Pickup Truck Philosophy – Simpler is Better
Honda didn’t pay too much attention to the big competition in the segment, as well as on things like different configurations, engine options, equipment groups diversity and other things that are typical for its main rivals.
The Ridgeline is rather simple. It comes in just one configuration, with Crew Cab layout and just one 3.5-liter transverse V6 engine. This is a clear indicator that Honda doesn’t intend to compete with other truck makers directly, with companies that have built their reputation on the production of truck models.
Despite all this, the 2018 Honda Ridgeline pickup was chosen for the best mid-size truck of the year by many experts.
Purists may say that this is not a “real” truck and from the perspective of a tradition truck driver, it may have some logic. Still, there is no doubt it has all the necessary features. It may feature lower towing capacity than rivals, but it comes with super-convenient double-hinged bed design, which is definitely the best in class. Also, the max towing capacity of 5.000 pounds is more than enough for an average truck driver. After all, those who need more would probably go for a full-size pickup.
In terms of comfort and convenience, the Ridgeline dominates the class. It offers the most spacious cabin in the segment, as well as superior ride quality, which is on par with modern crossovers. The cabin is super-quiet, while all materials feature lots of hi-quality materials and great overall quality. The thing that many people like most about this truck is a very spacious second row of seats, which makes Ridgeline perfect for families and long journeys.
2020 Honda Ridgeline towing capacity
As we already mentioned, this is probably the weakest point of the truck. It can tow up to 5.000 pounds, which are below-average numbers for the class. Some rivals, like Chevy Colorado, can tow up to 7.700 pounds. On the other side, things are pretty much okay when it comes to payload capacity, which goes up to 1580 pounds, which are pretty average numbers for the class.
How the Honda Ridgeline became king of pickup trucks?
Thanks to the unibody platform, this Honda pickup deliver comfort that is literally on par with sedans and other passenger cars. Moreover, there is plenty of space for five adult passengers.
The price definitely doesn’t sound affordable, as the base model goes around 30.000 dollars. For comparison, GMC Canyon features starting price of around 21.500 dollars. Still, keep in mind that Honda’s pickup comes in Crew Cab layout, with a powerful V6 engine and with the amount of standard equipment that is typical for mid-range trim levels of rival pickups.
A powerful V6 engine is one of the main reasons for Ridgeline’s high starting price. However, it also has an important role in making Ridgeline the most driveable pickup around. With a max output of 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, you can count on pretty good driving dynamics, with strong acceleration, smooth ride and great overall driving experience. Moreover, fuel economy is also pretty good for the class. You can count on something like 22 mpg in a combined ride.
Even the most basic versions come with standard features like alloy wheels, cruise control, air conditioning, push-button start, Bluetooth, USB, 7-speaker audio system and many more. Of course, higher trims are even more generous.
Also, unique storage solutions from this Honda pickup truck seem interesting for many buyers. For example, the bed has another storage compartment under the floor that can be locked, as well as a drain. As we already mentioned, there is also a double-hinged tailgate, which can be open either from the back or from the side.
The bed by itself is quite spacious, as it measures 5.3 feet in length
We can make a conclusion that Honda Ridgeline stands out from the crowd for many reasons.
What are the new features of the 2020 Honda Ridgeline pickup?
According to current information we have, Honda has decided to change nothing on its pickup in the next year. Although this pickup has been named as the truck of the year by many experts, there is enough room for improvements. In the past few months, we’ve been hearing various reports about potential novelties. Most of them we about the new hybrid powertrain.
Although some sources suggested that the Ridgeline will get a hybrid powertrain, latest reports claim it definitely won’t happen.
Details about this powertrain have never been announced. Various reports were suggesting different configurations. For most of them, the Accords super-efficient hybrid system seems insufficient in terms of power. So, a familiar V6 based hybrid from the Acura MDX seemed like a better solution. This one combines 3.0-liter V6 engine with three electric motors for a total output of 321 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque.
Unfortunately, we won’t see any of these two.
Also, some sources speculated about the possibility to see a hi-performance version, under the famous Type R badge. This version would come with tons of upgrades compared to standard models. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is the engine. We’ve been seeing reports that suggested some crazy numbers like 450 horsepower or so. Additionally, this version would also come with various chassis upgrades, including new suspension, brakes, chassis reinforcement and more. All these modifications would provide a lower center of gravity, which in practice means better cornerings, acceleration, braking and more.
Finally, this version would come with tons of distinctive visual details. New bodywork would include things like new bumpers, as well as new wheels, grille and more. Interior modifications would be notable as well.
However, this remains just a speculation for now and we definitely won’t see it in the next year.
Can we expect Honda off-road pickup in 2020?
The answer is no. Still, keep in mind that the Japanese manufacturer presented an off-road concept called ROAV. It is a pretty rugged off-road vehicle, some kind of an open-air pickup truck that looks more like some UTV. In practice, it borrows so many parts from the Ridgeline, starting from the engine and chassis. Moreover, even some interior parts are directly borrowed from this pickup. For example, the dashboard looks pretty much the same.
Therefore, we may expect that Honda will use these design solutions in the future, probably for some off-road version of the current- or next-generation Ridgeline.
Our Predictions for 2020 Honda Pickup Truck
Unfortunately, our expectations are that Honda may count on a little bit slower sales in the next year of the Ridgeline, despite all the distinctive features this truck possesses. Of course, there is always a price issue, as the tag of 30.000 dollars sounds too much for many potential buyers.
Also, the next year is bringing two extremely strong competitors, which will definitely have a bad effect on Ridgeline’s total sales. The first one is the Ford Ranger, which is coming back to the U.S. market after several years of absence.
Also, keep in mind that a brand-new Jeep Gladiator is coming. The Wrangler-based pickup truck will definitely draw a lot of attention, not only because of the attractive look. The company also promises amazing performances, including class-leading towing capacity.
All these things are pretty big reasons why we believe that the 2020 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck will probably have slightly lower sales results compared to the previous year.