The Honda Ridgeline challenged pickup conventions, ranking as the best compact truck we have ever tested. Based on a beefed-up version of the same platform found in the Honda Pilot, the Ridgeline drives more like a good sedan than a lumbering beast of burden. The ride is supple and steady and handling is quite agile. Innovations included a tailgate that can open either vertically or horizontally, and a clever, weatherproof, lockable trunk beneath the bed. The standard 3.5-liter V6 engine is quiet, smooth, and responsive. But at 15 mpg overall, it's no more efficient than more capable full-size trucks. A 2009 updated added more torque. Road noise is pronounced. Roomy and nicely detailed, the crew cab is easy to access, but the lack of a telescoping steering wheel hurts the driving position. The five-foot-long cargo bed is on the short side, but is made from a composite plastic material and has no wheel arch intrusion. While not designed for serious off-roading, it proved capable in most off-road conditions. Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds and payload is 1,500 pounds. Stability control and curtain airbags were standard. With few changes over the a long model run, later years have rather dated factory audio systems.