In one corner, you have the American brand Ford with the updated Ranger pickup that is sure to turn heads. In the other corner, the Japanese brand Honda is giving their best effort in the truck market. In the battle of the 2019 Ford Range vs 2019 Honda Ridgeline, you have a face-off against two mid-sized, entry-level pickup trucks. Both trucks can more than succeed at what they do, but when you put them side by side, there are some glaring differences. If you’re deciding between these two, continue reading because we are going to go in-depth on how these trucks stand apart from one another.
You can expect the same functionality out of these trucks. If you get either of these vehicles in their cheapest, most basic form, you can expect room for passengers and a bed to throw cargo in. You’ll have more ground clearance than a sedan, and you’ll be able to get under the vehicle without needing to put it up on a jacket. That is about all that these trucks have in common. The Ridgeline, on the surface, appears to be geared more towards those looking for a more comfortable ride during long trips with the family. The Ranger on the other hand, is clearly the scrappy workhorse of the bunch. It’ll be hard to compare these two, so let’s look at the facts.
The 2019 Honda Ridgeline is a classy ride that should have no problem proving as a valuable truck. You will, however, be paying for the privilege. Enjoying Honda’s cheapest truck and trim combo will put you back a hair over $30,000. Not exactly ideal if you were planning to use this truck in any commercial capacity, but not necessarily breaking the bank if it’s for personal use. The Honda is powered by a beefy 3.5L V6 at minimum, so at least you can tow up to 5,000Lbs. It looks like you’re going to need the towing capacity as well because the Ridgeline doesn’t have any option to extend the bed. That is because Honda chose to provide all their trucks with full cabs, meaning any truck you buy will comfortably fit five adults. If you’re buying a truck just to drive around with the family in comfort, there is nothing wrong with a Honda Ridgeline.
Some of the Ridgeline’s greatest strengths are also it’s greatest flaws. While the base model could be considered affordable to some, but you want reasonable features like all-wheel drive or heated seats, you better be able to cough up a few grand extra. The large engine is tuned to work under city conditions, but unfortunately, it gets only 19 mpg. The efficiency does begin to climb up to 26mpg as soon as you hit the highway. Not having an extended bed is tough when you’d like to just throw something long in the back, and hopefully, you have a consistent crew riding in the truck with you or else you might not get quite enough value out of the truck.
The 2019 Ford Ranger is a much more traditional truck than the Honda. Ford allows you to pick up their entry-level truck for under $27,000, a much more digestible number regardless of if you plan to drive it for personal or commercial use. When you start at a price that low, it becomes much easier to spring for the options that you want out of a truck. However, you’re going to have to opt for quite a lot of features if you don’t want a bare-bones experience. When you do decide to upgrade, you’ll find that you have a plethora of options to choose from. In fact, you can upgrade your Ranger to allow seating for five and four-wheel drive for about the same price as the entry-level Ridgeline. This truck is also tuned differentially than the Honda, meaning you’ll be able to get 21 mpg in the city and thankfully 26 mpg on the highway. You will most likely see plenty of Ridgeline drivers at the gas station in town, but once you decide to take the highway out of town, the numbers become the same. The Ranger is a wonderful option to get on a budget or if you prefer to customize a truck to your specific needs. You don’t end up paying for things that you don’t want.
The only place where the Ranger comes up short is under the hood. Since Ford wanted to focus more on efficiency this time around, even the most premium Ranger comes with a 2.3L Ecoboost engine that can tow 7,500lbs, but only with the Supercab 4×2 option. There also might be some features that you think should be included, but they aren’t on the base model. Little things like dual-zone temperature control, a power locking tailgate, and voice-activated navigation will cost you a little bit more. Some could potentially see this as nickel and diming the consumer, but ultimately it does give them more flexibility.
Weighing Your Options
Ultimately, which truck you get comes down to which features you plan to utilize most. If you are just looking to enjoy the feel of a truck while driving around town running errands, then the Ridgeline may be the right truck for you. The Ridgeline is also excellent if you plan to take the whole family to sporting events or you just have a tall family. The Ridgeline is not a great choice if you are looking for flexibility or affordability. If you think you can utilize the features of the Ridgeline, then you should be happy with your purchase.
The Ranger, on the other hand, can prove useful to you in a plethora of situations. The Ranger can serve you admirably as both a commuting vehicle with some weekend utility or a weekday workhorse that can pick up the groceries on Sunday. If you want some extra features, you may have to jump through some hoops at the dealership to get exactly what you want, but the option should be available to you. You’re really given the tools to make the right truck for your situation.
In conclusion, we would recommend the Ranger to just about anyone looking for a new truck. The Ranger has much more perceived value over the Honda Ridgeline. To compare the trucks to computers, the Ridgeline is like buying a pre-built system from your local computer store. The Ranger is more akin to purchasing all of the individual parts for your computer and assembling it yourself. Is the former easier? Of course. But is the latter more rewarding, cost-effective and personal? Absolutely. It’s up to you do decide if you want to go through all of the has sles of setting up your truck yourself. If you’re looking for a quick, comfortable ride that probably has some of the features you want, go with Honda’s option. Everyone else should contact their local Ford dealership to begin the process of acquiring their next great truck. Everyone’s Ridgeline will be almost identical. Everyone’s Ranger will be a little unique to them.