2018 Nissan Frontier Vs. 2018 Honda Ridgeline

split screen photo comparing 2018 nissan frontier to 2018 honda ridgeline

When you want a versatile ride that gives you the towing/hauling capabilities of a pickup truck, with the efficiency and agility of a smaller vehicle, you want a light truck. Vehicles in this class give drivers the best of all worlds, compact design for nimble turns/handling and a utility-driven body that can go off-roading or carry the things you need carried.

In this class, the Nissan Frontier has been a fixture for years, allowing drivers the ability to use their truck for both jobsite workday loads and weekend recreation alike. The Frontier is configurable, comfortable and capable, a veteran of the class that doesn’t compromise on anything its asked to do. Going up against the 2018 Nissan Frontier today is the 2018 Honda Ridgeline. Rather than a traditional body-on-frame construction, the Ridgeline employs a unibody build, but can this unique feature compete with the Frontier? Let’s see!

2018 Nissan Frontier


2018 Honda Ridgeline

$18,990 (S 4x2 King Cab 125.9 in. wheelbase) Base MSRP $29,730 (RT FWD)
2 / 2 Cab sizes / bed lengths 1 / 1
2 Engine options 1
RWD Standard drive configuration FWD
6,500 lbs. Maximum towing weight 5,000 lbs.
281 lb-ft. @ 4,000 RPM Maximum torque 262 lb-ft. @ 4,700 RPM

Frontier Advantages Vs. Honda Ridgeline

Looking strictly at the specs above reveals a pretty disparate couple of trucks. The Frontier is versatile and configurable, allowing drivers to choose multiple cab size, bed length and engine options while the 2018 Honda Ridgeline gives drivers only 1.

It follows then, that the 2018 Nissan Frontier has a much lower starting price point. Whether you’re looking for fleet services, or simply want an inexpensive truck for utility jobs, the 2018 Nissan Frontier’s base S model delivers the capability and interior refinement of the Nissan Frontier line under $20,000.

Pricing their offering way out of fleet purchasers’ price range, Honda is content to have their base model RT priced up with their higher end SUVs and sedans. When you near the top of each truck’s trim levels is where you see that the Frontier has clear advantages over the Ridgeline.

The Frontier’s higher trim levels benefit from the a V6 engine that can tow 30% more than the Ridgeline. The Frontier’s rugged, body-on-frame truck construction also lends itself to off-roading prowess, a feat that’s not recommended for Honda.

In its base drive configuration, the Frontier takes advantage of all the utility benefits of RWD. The Ridgeline, on the other hand, handles like a car with its clunky AWD configuration. Upgrading the drive sees the 2018 Nissan Frontier receive real 4x4 while the Ridgeline gets an intelligent-AWD system that isn’t as adept at minimizing traction as the conventional 4-wheel drive in the Frontier.

Ultimately, these trucks are built differently and for seemingly different shoppers. Lacking true 4x4 and the flexible body-on-frame construction, the 2018 Honda Ridgeline is a pickup that is meant to always have pavement beneath it. Its unibody engineering means it handles well and has a softer ride than conventional pickup trucks.

On the other hand, the available configurations and conventional truck construction of the 2018 Nissan Frontier make it the perfect companion for adventures whose paths go far beyond the line where the road ends and the trail begins. Its improved towing capacity also means you’ll be able to take more with you on these adventures, while its significantly-lower price means they won’t cost as much.

For more information on the 2018 Nissan Frontier or to schedule a test drive, contact us today!