Honda Ridgeline Vs. Nissan Frontier

By Justin Cupler | April 4th, 2019

Midsize pickups have changed a lot over the years, but their key focus remains to offer light-duty hauling with a small footprint. The 2019 Honda Ridgeline and 2019 Nissan Frontier do that and more for our Rochester area buyers. Which suits you better? Find out below.

Exterior

Having debuted its second generation in 2017, the 2019 Honda Ridgeline is one of the freshest midsize pickups available. Honda based the Ridgeline on the Pilot crossover, giving is a unique-looking front end while retaining a traditional truck bed. Speaking of that bed; it features a dual-action tailgate that opens downward or swings outward, depending on your needs. This bed also has a standard in-bed trunk that doubles as a cooler and an optional audio system for tailgating.

The Nissan Frontier is nothing new — literally. It looks almost the same it did way back in 2005. Yes, it has been 14 years since the Frontier has seen a redesign, which is one reason it is the cheapest pickup truck available. While its basic styling may turn off some buyers, plenty of  buyers will find its simple looks refreshing.

One added benefit of the 2019 Frontier over the Ridgeline is it has multiple cab formats and bed lengths to suit every buyer. Plus, its PRO-4X model adds extra ride height for off-road driving.

 

Measurement 2019 Honda Ridgeline 2019 Nissan Frontier Difference
Length 210 inches 205.5 to  219.4 inches -9.4 to +5 inches
Width 78.6 inches 72.8 inches +5.8 inches
Height 70.2 to 70.8 inches 68.7 to 73.9 inches -3.1 to +1.5 inches
Wheelbase 125.2 inches 125.9 to 139.9 inches -0.7 to -14.7 inches
Ground Clearance 7.28 to 7.87 inches 7.6 to 8.9 inches -1.62 to +0.27 inches
Curb weight 4,235 to 4,508 pounds 3,781 to 4,624 pounds -389 to -116 pounds

 

Advantage: 2019 Honda Ridgeline

  • Smaller footprint
  • Unique look

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Frontier

  • Old-school look appeals to some
  • More cab and bed options
  • Much more ground clearance

Interior

Inside, the 2019 Honda Ridgeline’s connection to the Pilot crossover remains as the cabin design is virtually identical to its crossover cousin. This relationship between the two also makes the Ridgeline’s interior among the quietest and most comfortable in the midsize pickup segment. There are also loads of standard features, including a 200-watt audio system with seven speakers, a 2.5-amp USB charging port, Bluetooth audio streaming, and more. Moving further up the trim-level food chain adds tons more premium goodies.

The 2019 Nissan Frontier’s cabin looks ripped straight from the mid-2000s because it was ripped straight from 2005. Sure, there have been some updates to it over the years, including a standard 7-inch touchscreen and a cleaner center stack, but its base styling is essentially unchanged. Some buyers may be turned off by its simplicity, but those looking for a simple truck will find the Frontier is the perfect fit.

The Ridgeline comes in just one four-door format with loads of rear seating room. The 2019 Frontier has a King Cab setup with cramped rear seats and a Crew Cab with a more tolerable back seats, but neither can match the Ridgeline’s roominess.

 

Measurement 2019 Honda Ridgeline 2019 Nissan Frontier Difference
Front headroom 40.1 inches 39.7 to 39.9 inches +0.2 to +0.4 inches
Front legroom 40.9 inches 42.4 inches 1.5 inches
Front shoulder room 62 inches 58.3 inches +3.7 inches
Front hip room 59.1 inches 55.6 to 55.8 inches +3.3 to +3.5
Rear headroom 38.8 inches 36.6 to 38.6 inches +0.2 to +2.2
Rear legroom 36.7 inches 25.4 to 33.6 inches +3.1 to +11.3 inches
Rear shoulder room 61.5 inches 54.9 to 58.3 inches +3.2 to +6.6 inches
Rear hip room 56.6 inches 55 to 58 inches -1.4 to +1.6 inches

 

Advantage: 2019 Honda Ridgeline

  • Roomier rear seats
  • Quieter cabin
  • More upscale features

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Frontier

  • Roomier front seats
  • Larger standard touchscreen

Performance

Under its hood, the 2019 Honda Ridgeline comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 powerplant that cranks out 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This pairs to a standard nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. This results in a 3,500-pound towing rating with front-wheel drive and a 5,000-pound rating with all-wheel drive.

The 2019 Nissan Frontier comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic. There is also an optional 4.0-liter V-6 engine that produces 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. With this engine, the 2019 Frontier can tow up to 6,640 pounds, but the four-pot tops out at 3,810 pounds.

Being based on a crossover, the 2019 Ridgeline delivers a more satisfying and comfortable drive in town. The Frontier drives just like an old-school body-on-frame pickup.  

 

2019 Honda Ridgeline 2019 Nissan Frontier Difference
Engine 3.5-liter V-6 2.5-liter 4-cyl
Horsepower 280 hp at 6,000 rpm 152 hp at 5,200 rpm +128 hp
Torque 262 lb-ft at 4,700 rpm 171 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm +91 lb-ft
Standard transmission 6-spd automatic 5-spd manual
Optional transmission
5-spd automatic
Driveline FWD (std.)/AWD (opt.) RWD
0-60 time 6.6 seconds
Towing capacity 3,500 to 5,000 pounds 3,790 to 3,810 pounds -290 to +1,190
MPG City 18 to 19 mpg* 17 to 19 mpg +1 to +2 mpg
MPG Highway 25 to 26 mpg* 22 to 23 mpg +2 to +4 mpg
MPG Combined 21 to 22 mpg* 19 to 21 mpg 0 to +3 mpg
Optional engine
4.0-liter V-6
Horsepower
261 hp at 5,600 rpm +19 hp
Torque
281 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm -19 lb-ft
Standard transmission
6-spd manual
Optional transmission
5-spd automatic
Driveline
RWD (std)./4WD (opt.)
0-60 time
7.3 seconds -0.7 seconds
Towing capacity 6,250 to 6,640 pounds -3,140 to -1,250 pounds
MPG City
15 to 16 mpg +2 to +4 mpg
MPG Highway
21 to 23 mpg +2 to +4 mpg
MPG Combined
17 to 19 mpg +2 to +5 mpg

 

Advantage: 2019 Honda Ridgeline

  • Smoother ride
  • Quicker acceleration
  • More standard towing capacity
  • Better fuel economy

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Frontier

  • Available manual transmission
  • Higher maximum towing
  • Off-road-friendly powertrain

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Honda Ridgeline has a whopping six trim levels — RT, Sport, RTL, RTL-T, RTL-E, Black Edition — and their starting prices range from $29,990 to $43,420.

 

The 2019 Nissan Frontier matches the Ridgeline’s six trim levels: S, SV, Desert Runner, PRO-4X, Midnight Edition, and SL. Their starting prices range from $18,990 to $34,010.   

2019 Honda Ridgeline Key Features and Pricing by Trim

RT: $29,990**

  • 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes
  • Brake assist
  • Eco Assist system
  • Active noise cancellation
  • Hill-start assist
  • Electric power steering
  • 16-inch silver-painted alloy wheels
  • Daytime running lights
  • Multireflector halogen headlights with auto-on/off
  • Dual-action tailgate
  • In-bed trunk
  • Eight in-bed tie-down cleats
  • Tinted rear glass
  • LED taillights
  • Class-III trailer hitch with seven-pin prewire
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Bed lights
  • Remote entry
  • Black, power mirrors
  • Black door handles
  • Sunglasses holder
  • Push-button start
  • Power windows with one-touch-up/down front glass
  • Power door locks
  • Cruise control
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Multifunction center-console storage
  • Rear-seat heat ducts
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Floor mats
  • Front and center console 12-volt power outlets
  • 60/40 split-flip-up rear seat with underseat storage
  • 5-inch color infotainment screen
  • 200-watt, seven-speaker audio system
  • Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio
  • MP3 compatibility
  • 1-amp front USB port
  • 2.5-amp center console USB port
  • 4.2-inch color multi-information screen
  • Multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines

 

Sport: $33,390**

  • All RT features, plus
  • Remote engine start
  • 18-inch gray-painted alloy wheels
  • Body-color mirrors
  • Body-color door handle
  • Smart entry
  • Fog lights
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • HomeLink Remote System
  • Exterior temperature display

 

RTL: $34,870**

  • All Sport features, plus
  • Exclusive 18-inch machine-finish wheels
  • Acoustic windshield
  • Power moonroof
  • Power-sliding rear window
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • Four-way power passenger’s seat
  • Leather interior
  • Heated front seats

 

RTL-T: $37,000**

  • All RTL features, plus
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Walk-away auto lock
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • 225-watt, seven-speaker audio system
  • 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • HondaLink
  • SMS text messaging
  • SiriusXM
  • HD Radio
  • Pandora Radio
  • Satellite-linked navigation
  • 1.5-amp USB port in front console
  • Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Blind-spot camera

 

RTL-E: $41,920**

  • All RTL-T features, plus
  • All-wheel drive
  • Snow, Sand, and Mud traction modes
  • LED bed lights
  • LED low-beam headlights with auto-on/off
  • In-bed power outlet
  • LED map lights
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Conversation mirror
  • Courtesy door-handle lights
  • Blue LED ambient lighting
  • Two-position driver’s seat memory
  • 540-watt, eight-speaker premium audio system
  • In-bed audio system
  • Heated mirrors with memory
  • Chrome door handles
  • Heavy-duty transmission cooler
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Road-departure mitigation
  • Forward-collision warning
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Front and rear parking sensors

 

Black Edition: $43,420**

  • All RTL-E features, plus
  • Black-painted 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Body-color door handles
  • Red LED ambient lighting

2019 Nissan Frontier Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $18,990

  • King Cab body
  • 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Five-speed manual transmission
  • Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes
  • 15-inch, six-spoke steel wheels
  • Chrome grille
  • Body-color upper bumper
  • Black lower bumper
  • Body-color rear bumpers
  • Black door handles
  • Black mirrors
  • Rear-hinged rear doors
  • Tinted rear glass
  • Cargo bed light
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Hands-free text messaging
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Air conditioning
  • Cruise control
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Front map lights
  • Two 12-volt power outlets
  • Second-row underseat storage
  • Overhead console with sunglasses storage
  • Four-way manual front seats
  • Rear flip-up seats
  • Cloth seating
  • Four-speaker AM/FM audio system
  • USB port
  • Rearview camera

 

SV: $23,860

  • All S features, plus
  • 16-inch six-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Body-color front bumper
  • Chrome rear bumper
  • Power mirrors
  • Sliding rear window
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Power door locks
  • Power windows with one-touch-down driver’s glass
  • Tilt steering wheel

 

Desert Runner: $26,300

  • All SV features, plus
  • 4.0-liter V-6 engine
  • Five-speed automatic transmission
  • Larger disc brakes
  • Bilstein off-road performance shocks
  • Fog lights
  • Satin-chrome grille
  • Body-color rear bumper
  • Bed rail caps
  • Eight-way manual driver’s seat
  • “Frontier” embroidered cloth seats
  • White contrast stitching
  • White-faced gauges with satin-chrome bezels

 

PRO-4X: $33,430

  • All Desert Runner features, plus
  • Four-wheel drive
  • Dana 44 rear axle
  • Two-speed transfer case
  • Electronic-locking rear differential
  • Hill-descent control
  • Hill-start assist
  • Oil pan, fuel tank, and transfer case skid plates
  • Automatic-on/off headlights
  • Front tow hook
  • Splash guards
  • Black door handles
  • Body-color mirrors
  • Utili-Track channel tie-down cleats
  • Spray-on bed liner
  • NissanConnect infotainment system
  • 5.8-inch touchscreen
  • NissanConnect mobile apps
  • Navigation
  • Voice recognition
  • SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Digital compass
  • First-aid kit
  • “PRO-4X” embroidered cloth seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Chrome vent accents
  • Six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system
  • MP3 and WMA playback capability
  • SiriusXM
  • Security system

 

Midnight Edition: $29,635

  • All SV features, plus
  • Crew Cab body
  • 4.0-liter V-6 engine
  • Larger disc brakes
  • Midnight Edition black 18-inch wheels
  • Fog lights
  • Black step rails
  • Black front grille
  • Body-color rear bumper
  • Black “Midnight Edition badging
  • Class-IV tow hitch
  • Utili-Track channel system with four adjustable tie-down cleats
  • Spray-on bed liner
  • Bed rail caps
  • Sliding bed extender
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • 60/40 split flip-up rear bench seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Six-speaker AM/FM audio system
  • Security system
  • Rear parking sensors

 

SL: $34,010

  • All SV features, plus
  • Crew Cab body
  • 4.0-liter V-6 engine
  • Five-speed automatic transmission
  • Larger disc brakes
  • Automatic-on/off headlights
  • Fog lights
  • Step rails
  • Body-color side molding
  • Chrome front bumper
  • Chrome door handles and outside mirrors
  • Heated mirrors
  • Power-sliding moonroof
  • Utili-Track channel system with four tie-down cleats
  • Spray-on bed liner
  • Bed rail caps
  • NissanConnect 5.8-inch infotainment system
  • Navigation
  • NissanConnect mobile apps
  • Nissan voice recognition
  • SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • HomeLink universal home remote
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • First-aid kit
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Four-way power passenger’s seat
  • 60/40 split-fold-up rear seats
  • Rear fold-down center armrest
  • Leather seating
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Chrome vent accents
  • Satin-chrome gauge bezels
  • 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system
  • MP3/WMA playback
  • SiriusXM
  • Security system
  • Rear parking sensor

Who Should Buy the 2019 Honda Ridgeline?

Want to combine the smooth ride and premium features of a crossover with the hauling abilities of a pickup? The 2019 Honda Ridgeline is right for you. And with its in-bed cooler and audio system, it is a great buy for the frequent tailgater.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Nissan Frontier?

The Frontier is the cheapest pickup on the market for a reason: it’s simple. It is a great option for buyers who want a truck and nothing more but do not want to blow a lot of money.

 

Whether you have to pick up the kids from school in Rochester or grab home improvement supplies in Pittsford, the 2019 Ridgeline can get the job done. Come see for yourself by scheduling a test drive at Garber Honda serving the Henrietta area. Can’t make in to Rochester for a test drive today? Swing over to our online inventory page to see what 2019 Ridgeline models we have in stock and schedule a test drive later.

 

* 19 city/26 highway/22 combined mpg rating for 2WD trims. 18 city/25 highway/21 combined mpg rating for AWD trims. Use for comparison purposes only. Based on 2019 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.

 

** MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $1,045.00 destination charge and options. Dealers set own prices.