The mid-size Honda Ridgeline provides the most refined ride and road manners in the class and the interior comes also with the SUV-like design and comfort. Still, the only unibody truck in the US can’t match the towing or off-road capability of the body-on-frame trucks. The Ridgeline was all-new for the 2017 model year but hasn’t proven well on the market since then. The model is fixed at the last potion in the class and behind the aging Nissan Frontier. The same trend continues in the Q1 2019 and despite the sales in the class increased compared to the same period of the previous year, the Ridgeline is about 1 percent down. The Ford Ranger is still gaining momentum.
As for the next 2020 Ridgeline, Honda hasn’t yet revealed what it has in mind. There could be some modest styling updates combined with the upgraded infotainment system and more accessible advanced safety equipment as it was the case with the recently refreshed Pilot SUV. No signs yet that hybrid powertrain will appear for the new model year.
The next Ridgeline will again appear in a four-door, crew cab form only and six trim options. The buyers who skip the base version will get the 2020 Honda Ridgeline Sport with more standard equipment and unique trim details. The Sport version will be available with both front- or all-wheel drive.
2020 Honda Ridgeline Sport: Design
The SUV-based Ridgeline could get similar styling updates as the closely-related Honda Pilot which arrived in the refreshed form for the 2019 model year.
Two models share the platform and the same styling language and for the new model year, the Ridgeline should appear with the revised front design. There won’t be radical surgery up front and model should get upgraded grille and headlights style. The front bumper should also have new details.
The 2020 Honda Ridgeline Sport version will add fog lights in contrast to the base RT trim which comes without them. This version will also get unique, 18-inch gray-painted alloy wheels and details like the body color door and tailgate handles.
Inside the cabin, the Ridgeline will provide SUV-like comfort and features. The model has the same dash design as the Pilot SUV and will come with modern tech and safety equipment.
The new Ridgeline should get upgraded infotainment system and the Sport version could gain larger center display and provide Apple Car Play and Android Auto support. Honda could also expand the availability of advanced safety equipment to lower trims. The systems such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and automatic high-beam feature could become standard equipment.
The Sport version will also offer tri-zone climate control, keyless entry and remote start, unique cloth upholstery, a rearview camera, etc.
2020 Honda Ridgeline Sport: Powertrain
Honda hasn’t also talked about the possible powertrain changes of the 2020 Ridgeline. It’s not clear yet when the hybrid option will appear in the Pilot’s and Ridgeline’s lineup. Some reports suggest also that next Ridgeline could get the nine-speed automatic transmission.
What is sure, a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V-6 engine will be again under the hood of the 2020 Honda Ridgeline Sport. The engine makes 280 horsepower and torque of 262 pound-feet in the current form when paired with the six-speed automatic transmission. If the nine-speed automatic transmission would be available there could be some performance and efficiency benefits.
The Ridgeline Sport will be available with both front- or all-wheel drive. The front-wheel-drive version should achieve 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. When equipped with the all-wheel drive, the model will do the same with 1 mpg less from city and highway ratings.
Thanks to the unibody platform and independent suspension setup, the Ridgeline will have good body control and provide ride quality unmatched by the body-on-frame, mid-size trucks. Still, the unibody design will limit towing capability while modest ride height and lack of the low-range gearing will reduce the model’s off-road competence. The Ridgeline will allow up to 5, 000 pounds of towing.
2020 Honda Ridgeline Sport: Release, Price
The 2020 Honda Ridgeline Sport should reach the market late in the year or early next year. The Ridgeline Sport should be available from around $33, 000.