Serious pickup enthusiasts who tow big trailers, plow snow, or need a full-sized bed, be forewarned: The Ridgeline is the wrong vehicle for the job. Towing capacity is just 5,000 pounds, the bed is small and shallow, and off-road ability is limited.

But with its manageable size, rustproof and scratch-resistant composite bed, weather-tight and lockable underbed storage, and tailgate that can swing open or flip down, the Ridgeline is a pickup for the rest of us. Best of all, it has a comfortable ride that bests what you’ll find in some luxury SUVs. Handling isn’t particularly agile, but it pilots around corners better than any truck.

Honda’s familiar 3.5-liter V6 gallops to 60 mph in just 7.3 seconds and comes paired with a smooth and responsive six-speed automatic. At 20 mpg overall, the Honda is the most fuel-efficient nondiesel pickup.

The interior is quiet and nicely finished, with pleasant seats and plenty of handy bins. Step-in height is natural, although narrow rear-door openings make entry a squeeze, and knee room in the backseat is modest. Lower trim levels have an easy-to-use radio; higher trims have a temperamental touch screen. Forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking are standard on top versions.

The Ridgeline won’t satisfy hard-core truck lovers, but for a light-duty truck with carlike civility, it’s hard to beat.

Read the complete Honda Ridgeline road test.

A photo from CR's 2017 Honda Ridgeline Review

HIGHS: Ride, quietness, clever in-bed storage, dual-mode tailgate, fuel economy
LOWS: Complex optional radio, low towing capacity for the class, shallow bed, rear access
POWERTRAIN: 280-hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine; 6-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
FUEL: 20 mpg
PRICE AS TESTED: $36,480


Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the March 2017 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.