2024 Honda Ridgeline TrailSport

The 2024 Honda Ridgeline is a comfortable and capable midsize pickup. It’s like a Pilot with a cargo bed. While it can’t tow and haul as much as some rivals, it’s a well-rounded offering with good driving dynamics, an upscale cabin and lots of standard and available features.

Base Price: $44,980
As Tested: $46,830
Horsepower: 280
Mileage: 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway/20 mpg combined

Unlike most pickups that have body-on-frame construction, the Ridgeline has unibody construction and independent rear suspension which provides more refined handling than other trucks. The Ridgeline handles much like a crossover instead of a truck.

The Ridgeline got redesigned for the 2017 model year after a two-year absence from the Honda line-up. Several updates have been made since then. For 2024, the off-road oriented TrailSport trim is added to the lineup. All Ridgeline models get a new digital instrument panel display, a larger nine-inch touchscreen, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and some exterior tweaks.

The 2024 Ridgeline comes in four trims: Sport, RTL, the new TrailSport, and Black Edition. Starting prices range from $39,750 to $46,350. Four-wheel drive is standard on all trims. There’s room for five passengers in two rows of seating.

Unlike other pickups that offer a variety of cab and bed sizes, all trims of the Ridgeline have the same crew cab with room for five passengers, and a bed size of 5’4”.

While the Ridgeline is not meant for serious off-roading, the TrailSport is ready for outdoor adventures with an off-road-tuned suspension, all-terrain tires and steel underbody protection. The cabin gets orange ambient lighting, orange contrast stitching on the steering wheel, seats and door panels, and the TrailSport logo on the front seat headrests and rubber floor mats.

All trims come with the same powertrain: a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque.

As mentioned above, the Ridgeline has crossover-like handling thanks to its unibody construction. The ride is smooth and comfortable. There’s plenty of power for everyday driving. Acceleration is peppy from a stop, and the Ridgeline easily speeds up for merging and passing at freeway speeds. The nine-speed shifts smoothly and quickly and always seems to find the right gear. The suspension absorbs bumps and rough roads, and the Ridgeline stays planted when cornering. Visibility is great all the way around.

When properly equipped, the Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 pounds. It can accommodate a payload of up to 1,583 pounds, depending on the trim. This is less than many other compact pickups, but you can tow a small trailer or boat, and you’ll have plenty of room for camping gear and most of those trips to the home improvement store.

Fuel economy is what you’d expect for a small pickup. EPA ratings for my TrailSport tester are 18 mpg city and 23 mpg city with a combined rating of 20. I got 21 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. All of the other trims get slightly better mileage at 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and a combined rating of 21 mpg.

The interior is functional and attractive. There are some hard plastics but most materials look and feel good. Seats in both rows are roomy and comfortable with good leg- and headroom. Two adults will be comfortable in the second row. The new larger nine-inch touchscreen dominates the dash.

Standard features include hands-free entry, push-button start, multi-view rearview camera, three zone climate control, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, seven-inch driver display, infotainment system with nine-inch touchscreen, 215-watt audio system with seven-speakers, Bluetooth, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, USB ports, wireless device charging,12-volt power outlets, interior air filtration, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Available features include leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, ventilated front seats, driver’s seat with 10-way power adjustment, front passenger seat with four-way power adjustment, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated steering wheel, rear outboard heated seats, 540-watt premium audio system with eight speakers, satellite-linked navigation system, satellite radio, HD Radio, power sliding rear window, HomeLink universal garage door opener, power moonroof, truck bed lights, dual-action tailgate, and 150-watt/400-watt truck bed power outlet.

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot warning.

Available driver assistance technologies include rear cross traffic alert, and two front and two rear parking sensors.

The infotainment system is improved, thanks to the larger nine-inch touchscreen and quicker response times. The system is easy to use and responds quickly to touch and voice commands. However, the system still lags behind those in many other new vehicles.

The composite bed is highly scratch and dent resistant without a liner and can accommodate four-foot-wide building materials flat on the bed floor. The dual-action tailgate can open downward or to the side, providing flexibility in loading and unloading your cargo. There’s also lots of storage inside the vehicle, including 2.9 cubic feet under the second row. The seats can flip up to make room for large and long items with a flat floor and foldaway 60/40-split rear seat bottoms. And the 2024 Ridgeline gets a new center-console storage bin that can fit a full-size tablet.

The good:

Easy to drive with crossover-like handling

Smooth ride

Peppy performance

Many standard and available features and tech

Standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

The not-so-good:

Infotainment system could still use updating

Not as capable as some rivals

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $44,980. Sonic Gray paint is $455. Destination fee is $1,395 bringing the grand total to $46,830.

Bottom line:

The 2024 Honda Ridgeline is a well-rounded, family-friendly midsize pickup for those who want a comfortable daily driver that can also handle those “honey do” jobs on the weekend. No, it doesn’t have the capabilities of a full-size pickup, but is easy to drive and more fuel-efficient. And with the TrailSport trim, the family can enjoy some light off-roading.

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