2020 Honda Ridgeline vs. 2020 Ford Ranger

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/24

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Ridgeline deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Ridgeline’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Ranger’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

Full-time four-wheel drive is optional on the Ridgeline. Full-time four-wheel drive gives added traction for safety in all conditions, not just off-road, like the only system available on the Ranger.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Ridgeline uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Ranger uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Ridgeline and the Ranger have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Ridgeline the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 106 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Ranger has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

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The engine in the Ridgeline has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the Ranger has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 4 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/24

The Ridgeline’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 10 more horsepower (280 vs. 270) than the Ranger’s 2.3 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Ridgeline’s fuel efficiency. The Ranger doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Ridgeline has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Ranger (19.5 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/24

For better stopping power the Ridgeline’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Ranger:

Ridgeline

Ranger

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.1 inches

The Ridgeline stops much shorter than the Ranger:

Ridgeline

Ranger

70 to 0 MPH

181 feet

193 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

134 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

150 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/24

The Ridgeline’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Ranger’s standard 70 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Ridgeline has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Ranger.

The Ridgeline has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Ranger doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Honda Ridgeline has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Ford Ranger has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The Ridgeline has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Ridgeline flat and controlled during cornering. The Ranger’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The front and rear suspension of the Ridgeline uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Ranger, which uses leaf springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

The Ridgeline has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Ranger doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Ridgeline is 4.8 inches wider in the front and 4.8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Ranger.

The Ridgeline Black Edition handles at .80 G’s, while the Ranger XLT SuperCrew 4WD pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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Unibody construction makes the Ridgeline’s chassis much stiffer, which contributes to better handling, and enables softer springs to be used for a better ride. Unibody construction’s stiffness also contributes to better durability and less body squeaks and rattles. The Ranger doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

The Ridgeline uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Ranger doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Ridgeline has 12.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Ranger SuperCrew (109.7 vs. 97.6).

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the Ridgeline RTL-E/Black Edition, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Ranger doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Ridgeline RTL-E/Black Edition’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Ranger doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Ridgeline’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Ranger’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Ridgeline the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Ranger can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Smart Entry standard on the Ridgeline allows you to unlock the driver’s door, tailgate and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading cargo, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Ford Ranger’s available Intelligent Access doesn’t unlock the tailgate.

The Ridgeline’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Ranger’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Ridgeline has standard power remote mirrors. The Ranger only comes with remote mirrors at extra cost. Without them the driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

When the Ridgeline RTL-E/Black Edition is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Ranger’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

On extremely cold winter days, the Ridgeline RTL-E/Black Edition’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Ranger doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the Ridgeline and the Ranger offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Ridgeline has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Ranger doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Ridgeline, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Ranger.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/24

Insurance will cost less for the Ridgeline owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Ridgeline will cost $340 less than the Ranger over a five-year period.

The Ridgeline will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Ridgeline will retain 58.64% to 59.99% of its original price after five years, while the Ranger only retains 48.71% to 54.99%.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/24

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Honda Ridgeline and the Ford Ranger, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its May 2019 issue and they ranked the Honda Ridgeline RTL-E two places higher than the Ford Ranger XLT SuperCrew 4WD.

The Ridgeline was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 3 years. The Ranger has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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