How Much Weight Can A Honda Ridgeline Carry?

The Ridgeline is Honda's lone flag bearer in the pickup truck category. However, many truck enthusiasts doubt the performance of this relatively young nameplate. So how much weight can a Honda Ridgeline carry? We've done the research for your convenience.

Although payload capacities slightly vary across different Honda Ridgeline trim generations, they all hover around the 1,500-pound mark. For the 2023 model year, the Ridgeline trims offer payload capacities ranging from 1,509 pounds to 1,583 pounds.

Would you also like to learn more about the other performance aspects of the Honda Ridgeline? If so, then you've come to the right place. Do read on as we examine this truck closer.

Honda Ridgeline rides on the road. - How Much Weight Can A Honda Ridgeline Carry?

2023 Honda Ridgeline Payload Capacity

Since its introduction in late 2005, the Honda Ridgeline has received many raised eyebrows from truck aficionados. Because of its unibody construction, the Ridgeline lacked the off-road and towing capabilities that more popular body-on-frame trucks offered.

Payload capacity, however, is not among Ridgeline's drawbacks.

The 2023 Ridgeline, which belongs to the nameplate's second generation, has a payload capacity that rivals many of its mid-size competitors.

The Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and the Nissan Frontier all have average payload capacities of approximately 1,500 pounds.

Below are the payload capacities of the different 2023 Honda Ridgeline trims:

  • Sport - 1,583 lbs
  • RTL - 1,544 lbs
  • RTL-E - 1,509 lbs
  • Black Edition - 1,509 lbs

Although Honda provided the Ridgeline's safe payload capacity, some owners claim that this underrated truck is capable of much more.

Honda Ridgeline truck at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), one of the most influential car shows in the world each year.

Of course, we do not recommend pushing any vehicle beyond its manufacturer ratings. However, it's interesting to see how the Ridgeline fares in real-world situations. Check out this video below on how a Ridgeline hauled over 2,000 pounds of timber.

What Does Payload Capacity Include?

To promote safer driving for new pickup truck buyers, we would like to define what payload capacity is. In a nutshell, the payload is everything that a vehicle carries, including its driver.

Many people misunderstand what payload means for pickup trucks. Although it's easy to think that a truck's payload capacity refers to how much weight you can load on the truck bed, this assumption is incorrect.

A truck's payload capacity includes its passengers and cargo in the cabin as well as on the truck bed. We hope that this little reminder can help you avoid any instances of overloading in the future.

How Much Can A Honda Ridgeline Safely Tow?

Honda Ridgeline on display at the Orange County International Auto Show.

For many pickup truck buyers, the shopping process for trucks almost always involves tow ratings. As a traditional workhorse vehicle, pickup trucks should be able to haul as well as tow heavy loads. So, in addition to payload capacity, what is Ridgeline's towing capacity?

According to the Honda USA website, all 2023 Honda Ridgeline trims have a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. Furthermore, every trim comes standard with a 7-pin trailer connector and a Class III trailer hitch.

Because of the standard towing equipment of all the current Ridgeline trims, customers do not need to pay for any additional towing package to reach the 5,000-pound tow rating.

However, 2021 and older Honda Ridgeline models may have different towing capacities depending on the trim. Two-wheel-drive (2WD) trims have lower towing capacities since the Ridgeline's drivewheels are upfront.

  • 2WD Ridgeline Sport - 3,500 pounds 
  • AWD Ridgeline Sport - 5,000 pounds 
  • 2WD Ridgeline RTL - 3,500 pounds 
  • AWD Ridgeline RTL -  5,000 pounds
  • AWD Ridgeline RTL-E - 5,000 pounds
  • AWD Ridgeline Black Edition - 5,000 pounds

Although the Ridgeline has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, we highly recommend that you stay under this limit, especially for frequent towing. Moreover, this towing capacity applies only to braked trailers, or those with their own independent braking system.

For unbraked towing, it is best to stay under 1,000 pounds for safety as well as legal purposes.

What Kind Of Engine Does A Honda Ridgeline Have?

 HONDA repair car engine parts, honda editorial.

The 2022 Honda Ridgeline shares the same 3.5-liter V6 SOHC i-VTEC gasoline engine that powers its SUV brothers, the Pilot and the Passport. This powerplant connects to a 9-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and shift-by-wire technology.

Below are the other juicy engine specifications for our beloved petrolhead readers.

  • Displacement - 3,471 cc
  • Power - 280 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque - 262 lb.-ft. @ 4,700 rpm
  • Redline - 6,900 rpm
  • Compression ratio - 11.5:1
  • 0 to 60 mph - 6.3 seconds

The Ridgeline's engine also comes with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology as well as the renowned Intelligent Variable Torque Management (iVTM-4) AWD system.

What Is The Benefit Of The i-VTM4 System?

The Honda i-VTM4 is a leading-edge AWD system that uses torque vectoring to direct power to the rear wheels. This revolutionary AWD system debuted in 2015 with the introduction of the third-generation Pilot. Eventually, i-VTM4 became available in the Passport and the Ridgeline.

The Honda iVTM-4 system is the product of the convergence of two other technologies from the same automaker: the Active Torque Transfer System (ATTS) and the variable torque management 4-wheel-drive (VTM-4) system.

The VTM-4 system managed power automatically between the front and rear wheels. In turn, the ATTS allocated the power between wheels rotating on the same axle. Together, the ATTS and the VTM-4 systems comprised the framework for today's modern torque vectoring.

What Is i-VTM4 Torque Vectoring?

Honda's i-VTM4 system is mechanically similar to another AWD system from Honda's luxury brand, Acura. This is the Acura Super Handling AWD (SH-AWD) system, which is the first active torque vectoring-equipped AWD system in the world.

The iVTM-4 system can divert up to 70% of the 3.5-liter V6 engine's torque to the vehicle's rear wheels.  In turn, the active torque vectoring component can allocate up to 100% of that rear-diverted torque to the left or the right wheel.  

So how does the system give Honda owners a benefit over other non-torque vectoring AWD systems?  There are two good scenarios that can illustrate this.

First, during off-road driving, the iVTM-4 system can help you get your Ridgeline out of a ditch - literally. Even if only one of your truck's rear wheels has sufficient ground traction, the iVTM-4 system can deliver 70% of your engine's torque output to that wheel. 

With enough traction and good technique, even one driven rear wheel can get your Ridgeline out of a pit.

Secondly, the Honda i-VTM4 system also improves vehicle steering and overall handling during high-speed driving and inclement weather.

Check out this video that demonstrates the benefits of both the SH-AWD and the i-VTM4 systems.  

What Kind Of Gas Mileage Does A Honda Ridgeline Truck Get?

In terms of fuel consumption, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave the 2021 Ridgeline a combined rating of 21 miles per gallon (mpg). The Ridgeline gets 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on highways.

Some automotive reviews consider the Ridgeline's engine to be the most fuel-efficient V6 in its class. However, when compared to 4-cylinder midsize truck competitors, the V6 Ridgeline understandably lags in fuel economy.

Which Is Better Body-on-frame Or Unibody?

As mentioned earlier in this article, the Honda Ridgeline still suffers from some discrimination among truck enthusiasts. Aside from their desire for more powerful V8s or turbodiesel engines, these aficionados also believe that real trucks should have body-on-frame construction.

The Honda Ridgeline is loosely based on the Honda Pilot's architecture. Like all other Honda automobile models, the Ridgeline and the pilot use the unibody construction.

So what exactly is a unibody? Here's a short video explaining the differences, advantages, and disadvantages.

Without delving too much into scientific terms, we can summarize that the Ridgeline's unibody construction allows it to handle more like a car and not a truck. This means that the ride quality is more comfortable, but the truck is still quite capable.

On the other hand, the unibody design also limits the Honda Ridgeline's towing capacity as well as off-road capability. Other mid-size competitors with tougher ladder-type frames, higher ground clearances, and better suspension systems can fare better during rugged activities.

Whether truck enthusiasts like or dislike the Honda Ridgeline, no one can deny that this unibody truck has already established its position in the market.

For 2021, over 40,000 Ridgelines rolled off Honda's American showrooms. This volume was roughly equal to the combined unit sales of the GMC Canyon, Ford Maverick, and the Hyundai Santa Cruz in the U.S.

How Much Is A Honda Ridgeline?

Car keys and money on table with man using calculator. Buyer counting savings and gas cost or salesman calculating sales price, vehicle value or road taxes.

For your window-shopping convenience, we've listed the starting prices of the 2022 Honda Ridgeline trims below.

  • Sport - $ 38,140
  • RTL - $ 41,120
  • RTL-E - $ 44,070
  • Black Edition - $ 45,570

These prices are accurate as of August 2022.

Wrapping Up

The 2022 and 2023 model years of the Honda Ridgeline have payload capacities ranging from 1,509 to 1,583 pounds. Although the Ridgeline has a unibody construction, its payload capacity competes well against those of its mid-size truck competitors.

Thank you very much for reading. We hope we were able to help you appreciate the Honda Ridgeline's payload capacity as well as its other features and capabilities.

For more interesting automotive reads, you may also check out these great articles below.

Largest Tire Size For Honda Ridgeline – Can You Go Bigger?

What Trucks Can Tow 15,000 lbs?

Why Does My Truck Start On The Second Try But Not The First Try?