Honda Pilot vs Honda Ridgeline

Family of 4: DH, DW, plus two early-teenage boys. DH needs a new vehicle because his was totalled (not his fault). DH’s stipulations are a new (not-preowned) vehicle, it must have 5,000-lb towing capacity, and he strongly prefers Hondas.

DH is looking at getting a Honda Ridgeline, which is a 5-seater truck with a bed. The advantages of a truck would be that he could haul stuff like gravel in the bed, the bed would be useful during deer hunting, he could haul his pop-up ice-fishing shelter in the bed, and he feels it gives him flexibility to haul tall items in the bed, because there’s no roof limiting height of objects.

The only other vehicle in our family is small and cannot tow, so DW’s concern is that the Ridgeline would be used during travel for frequent camping (3+hour drive) and other family trips requiring luggage/cargo. The back seat doesn’t have as much legroom as the middle row of a Pilot or Highlander. The only interior cargo space we would have would be at our feet, and under the backseats (they’re sort of like airplane seats, where there’s space underneath). There’s no other interior cargo area, none behind the back seats. The rest of the gear would have to go either in the bed under a tonneau cover, or in our open-bed trailer if we take the trailer. Also, the back window is directly behind the backseat headrests. While the Ridgeline receives good crash test ratings, that makes DW nervous.

DW thinks the trailer already offers DH the ability to haul tall things, making the truck bed a little redundant. DW is worried about lack of interior cargo space, and a cramped ride for the teenagers (we’re a tall family).

Do you think a 5-seater truck is realistic for a family of 4, or would a Pilot make more sense? We know there’s no right or wrong answer, just interested in others’ opinions or if there’s stuff we haven’t thought of.

I think the Pilot would work better day to day, you may end up needing that third row for kids friends, and more secure/convenient for luggage etc. when travelling with the family.

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Happy DW, happy Dlife.


Have DH sit in the back seat of the Ridgeline, see if thinks he could do it for 3+ hours.

Your 2 early-teenage boys are going to grow and may not be able to sit comfortably in those seats in a couple years.