When you think of Honda, the first images that most likely pop into your head are probably small cars and maybe even a minivan. However, Honda makes one of the most popular pickup trucks in the world. The new 2020 Honda Ridgeline is the product of over a decade of high ratings and satisfied drivers. Over the last ten years, the Ridgeline has been consistently rated as one of the most reliable trucks on the market compared to its competitors. In fact, people love the Ridgeline so much that these trucks are hard to find on a used car lot. Luckily, the 2020 version is here and ready to come home with you!
Classified as a mid-size truck, the new Honda Ridgeline drives like a car but performs like a pickup. It is offered in four trims and with one powertrain. Every model comes standard with the Honda Sensing suite of safety features, and the starting price is set at $33,9001. It has plenty of room inside the cabin for up to five people, and it has been awarded a 5-star crash test rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.2 Available in seven unique paint colors, you can choose from Crystal Black Pearl, Platinum White Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic, Pacific Pewter Metallic, Obsidian Blue Pearl, and Deep Scarlet Pearl.
As a competent suite of safety features and driving aids, the Honda Sensing package is one of the main reasons why you should consider purchasing a 2020 Honda Ridgeline. It comes standard on every trim level, and it adds the most advanced safety systems in its class. Let’s take a look at what all is included.
The Collision Mitigation Braking System uses front-facing sensors to detect obstacles such as people and other vehicles. If something (or someone) is detected and no action is taken on your part to avoid a collision, the system will take control of the brakes. It will bring the vehicle to a complete stop to avoid impact. This is great for long road trips or avoiding a collision with a deer on the highway.
The next feature that is included in the Honda Sensing package is the Road Departure Mitigation System. This operation monitors the lines on the road. If your Ridgeline begins to drift or change lanes without signaling, the system will take control of steering. It will bring the vehicle gently back into the designated lane, and it can even stop the truck altogether if an accident is imminent.
The Lane-Keeping Assist system works with the Road Departure Mitigation System. It will subtly adjust the steering wheel if the vehicle begins to drift. This can come in handy for weekend adventures, and it can help you avoid side-swiping another vehicle.
Adaptive Cruise Control is another advanced safety feature that most people love. As part of the Honda Sensing package, it comes in quite handy for daily commute or driving during rush hour traffic. As the driver, you will set your desired speed. If the system detects that the vehicles in front of you are slowing down, it will slow the Ridgeline down as well. Once traffic has resumed its normal pace, the system will return the truck to the originally set speed. You don’t have to exhaust yourself by slamming on the brakes every ten feet.
As we briefly mentioned before, the new 2020 Honda Ridgeline is powered by a single engine. You don’t have to comb through a giant list of specs to choose the right powertrain.
The engineers at Honda did that for you! Under the hood rests a robust 3.5-liter V6 motor coupled with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Producing 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, this powertrain has a fuel economy set at 22 MPG combined (19 city/26 highway).3
The payload capacity is within the range of 1,455 to 1,586 pounds, and the truck can tow anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 pounds. Also, keep in mind that FWD is standard for only the Sport and RLT trims. All of the other trim levels are equipped with AWD, which also comes with an Intelligent Traction Management system. This allows you, the driver, to select various driving modes including Normal, Sand, Snow, and Mud.
The truck bed on this new Honda vehicle features a dual-action tailgate that opens down or out to the side. This allows you to get closer to the bed for easier cargo loading. The lockable In-Bed Trunk offers 7.3 cubic feet of covered storage. Featuring a drain plug, you can also use this large compartment as an ice chest or for stowing away wet gear.
There are four available trim levels on the 2020 Honda Ridgeline. First is the base Sport model. This includes standard features such as the Honda Sensing safety suite, the dual-action tailgate, In-Bed Trunk, and HondaLink. Riding on 18-inch gray alloy wheels, it also comes with tri-zone automatic climate control, a touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a rearview camera, and push-button start technology.
Next, the RLT trim adds machine-finished alloy wheels in the same size. It also features an acoustic windshield for noise reduction and a power-sliding rear window. Inside the cabin, you will find heated leather-trimmed seats and a one-touch moonroof. The driver’s seat is power adjustable 10 different ways, and the front passenger seat is power-adjustable 4 ways. Also available as options on this trim level are heated/power-adjustable side mirrors, a heavy-duty transmission cooler, and the AWD system.
One of our personal favorites is the RTL-E trim level. Exterior features include automatic high beams, LED headlights, body-colored front/back parking sensors, a truck-bed audio system, and Smart Entry with Walk Away Auto Lock. This advanced feature will recognize your key fob as you get closer to the truck. It also senses when the key fob is out of range, and the vehicle automatically locks. Added safety systems include blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Slipping behind the wheel, you will notice the added navigation system, upgraded 540-watt stereo, heated/leather-wrapped steering wheel, and dual USB charging ports in the back of the cabin.
Finally, the Black Edition trim comes with everything from the RLT-E trim level plus a few aesthetic changes. Riding on 18-inch Black alloy wheels, this model includes Black exterior accents. It also features Black leather upholstery throughout the cabin and red ambient LED lighting.
As we pointed out before, the 2020 Honda Ridgeline earned a solid 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.3 Subjected to frontal, side, and rollover crashes, this beast of a truck performed beautifully. Let’s look at each elemental to see just well it did.
The frontal crash test rating was gauged at a 5 out of 5 stars.4 Using a barrier as an obstacle, the Ridgeline was driven into it at 35 mph to simulate what would happen if it endured a head-on collision with another vehicle. The front driver and passenger sides earned a 5-star rating.
Next, the overall side star rating is also coming in at a 5.5 This rating is made up of the results from two crash tests. One is done with a pole, and the other is done with a barrier. Simulating a crash with a tree or utility pole, the side pole star rating was ranked as being 5-star. On the other hand, the side barrier crash test is used to simulate an intersection collision between a standing vehicle and another vehicle moving at 38.5 mph. Again, the rating for the driver and all passengers (including the back seat passengers) came out to 5-stars.
Lastly, the rollover resistance test was the final stage. This crash test was designed to measure the vehicle’s risk of rolling over if control of the vehicle is lost. No barriers or poles were involved in this stage of the testing. The Ridgeline scored a 4-star rating, which is very good for a pickup truck.6