Review: 2024 Honda Ridgeline

I realized that the Honda Ridgeline is different when I received the third or fourth complement on it on day two of driving it.

Having driven a lot of pickup trucks, it’s easy to fall into the habit of comparing them to one another instead of thinking about what consumers buy them. I was broken out of that “trucks are trucks” mindset with this Honda Ridgeline.

I realized that the Honda Ridgeline is different when I received the third or fourth complement on the Ridgeline on day two of driving it. The people doing the complimenting weren’t the demographics most pickup trucks aim for. They were people who are more likely to drive a crossover, SUV, or similar. People who might consider a truck if trucks weren’t so.. well truck.

To be frank, if you think of a pickup truck and immediately want to know it’s towing capacity and ground clearance, the 2024 Honda Ridgeline is not for you. If you want to know fuel economy numbers and useful daily ergonomics, the Ridgeline is likely your style.

Midsized trucks in today’s market are mostly about off-roading, looking like trucks, and being large and capable. That appeals to a lot of buyers, given how well that segment is selling. But there are a lot of people who want the convenience and usefulness of a pickup, but not the tall step-in height, the uncomfortable road dynamics, or the heavy off-road gimmickry of most trucks. That’s where the Ridgeline fits perfectly.

The Honda Ridgeline is a car-based pickup truck in the midsized category. It’s larger than the little Hyundai Santa Fe and Ford Maverick. It has a larger cargo bed, bigger back seats, and more storage room. But it’s not a full-sized truck like a Ford F-150 or Ram 1500. It’s a car that happens to have a truck bed and about 5,000 pounds of towing. Plus a big lockable trunk underneath the truck bed so it’s useful when shopping around town, tailgating at the game, or camping.

The 2024 Ridgeline has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that outputs 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. That goes to a nine-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive. If this sound familiar, that’s what’s also in the Honda Pilot sport utility. The Ridgeline shares a lot with that popular crossover.

The Ridgeline comes in four trim levels, the new TrailSport being added this year. The TrailSport is the more rugged-appearing, off-road(ish) version of the Ridgeline. While it’s OK for most light-duty off-road going, it’s not really an off-road vehicle. Driving the Ridgeline TrailSport for a week, we liked its looks a lot, but decided it’s not really where we’d land were we the ones buying. The mid-trim RTL seems more useful, with a bunch of niceties and no noisy all-terrain tires or lower fuel economy that comes with them. Our test of the Ridgeline TrailSport, when compared to the Ridgeline Black Edition we drove earlier, showed about 1.5 mpg lower in highway returns. Most of that was probably those knobbier tires.

What every Honda Ridgeline has, no matter the trim, is a lot of useful utility and comfort. The rear tailgate opens down, in standard fashion, and sideways (to the left, away from the curb) as well. This makes loading and unloading really easy. Underneath the rear portion (closest to the tailgate) of the bed is a large, lockable storage bin.

Lifting the lid on this waterproof container reveals a space about as large as most car trunks. With a drain plug in the bottom. This can be filled with grocieries, shopping, ice and drinks.. whatever. It’s inaccessible when the tailgate is up and can be locked separately. Also under there, forward of the bin, are the spare tire and jack, in a protected space that doesn’t get weather or road slush all over it.

The sidewalls on the Ridgeline’s bed are low enough that most people can reach over and touch the bed without much of a stretch. Making getting things in and out from the sides an easy task.

Inside the 2024 Ridgeline, the interior is very similar to the Honda Pilot, with SUV-like seating and ergonomic controls. Storage is plentiful as well.

There are a lot of reasons to think of the 2024 Honda Ridgeline as a great choice. It’s great for those who want the convenience and usefulness of a pickup truck, but don’t want the downsides of a traditional truck. The Ridgeline is comfortable, drives and feels like a car, and has the versatility of a midsized SUV and the usefulness of a pickup.

This review originally published on

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at