2022 Ford Maverick vs. 2021 Honda Ridgeline: Does size really matter?

Unibody pickups were once seen as crossovers with beds masquerading as trucks but it appears the trend has caught on. With the arrival of the 2022 Ford Maverick, there are now three trucks that use a unibody construction. The original, however, was the Honda Ridgeline and it has stuck with that formula. With that said, what’s the difference between the newest truck on the block and the refreshed 2021 Honda Ridgeline? Let’s take a look at the spec sheet and see.

2022 Ford Maverick vs. 2021 Honda Ridgeline exterior

The most obvious difference between the 2022 Ford Maverick and 2021 Honda Ridgeline is size. Being a midsize truck, the latter is 10.5 inches longer, 2.1 inches taller, and 6.0 inches wider. Surprisingly, the Ridgeline’s wheelbase is only 4.1 inches longer than the Maverick’s at 125.2 inches.

In terms of design, the Maverick is boxier and more upright, giving it a more traditional look. The front fascia evokes design cues from other Ford trucks and utility vehicles including the F-150 to tie it in with the rest of the family. Ford doesn’t even try to hide the Maverick’s unibody underpinnings because the bed is connected with the cab. The Ridgeline, on the other hand, has a faux separation between the bed and the cab.

Honda recently refreshed the Ridgeline, toughening up its appearance to give it more separation from its crossover sibling. However, it remains clear that the Ridgeline is related to the Pilot and Odyssey because the front fascia is still reminiscent of those two despite the new grille and angular new look.

At 64.0 inches long, the Ridgeline’s bed is 9.6 inches longer than the Maverick’s. It also has a tailgate that can swing sideways in addition to folding down the traditional way. In addition to the usual tie-downs and places to strap your gear in, the Ridgeline’s composite bed hides a deep trunk that can double as a cooler since it has a drain plug. Certain trims also get a built-in audio system in the bed for your tailgate parties. The Maverick has the same tie-downs, hooks, and places to strap your gear in but it also adds slots where you can put 2x4s or 2x6s to create separation within the bed. Its tailgate also has two positions, allowing it to support long items that end up hanging out the back.

2022 Ford Maverick vs. 2021 Honda Ridgeline interior and tech features

Both the 2022 Ford Maverick and 2021 Honda Ridgeline are offered only as a crew cab. Luckily, their interiors are both well-packaged and have a lot of places to put your mobile devices and other small items. The Maverick’s door pockets are wide enough to hold laptops, tablets, and big water bottles, and it also has a sizable center console cubby for your smartphone. Two more storage areas are found next to and behind the main display. The Ridgeline, on the other hand, benefits from being related to the Pilot and Odyssey. You get a massive center console bin, big door pockets, and generously sized door pockets. Both trucks also get a folding rear seat bench with storage underneath, allowing you to use the cabin for extra cargo.

The cabin layout on the Maverick and Ridgeline are more conventional, featuring physical knobs and buttons. Both get an 8.0-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration; however, the Ridgeline uses an older Honda interface that’s not as responsive as the Maverick’s SYNC 4.

Where the Ridgeline wins back points is in driver assistance features. Every trim gets the Honda Sensing suite as standard and the only optional safety tech are blind-spot monitoring, automatic high beams, and rear cross-traffic alert. The Maverick gets automatic high beams, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking as standard. However, if you want the full driver assistance suite, you must pay for an extra package on all trims.

2022 Ford Maverick vs. 2021 Honda Ridgeline powertrain and capability

The 2022 Ford Maverick comes out of the gate strong thanks to its standard hybrid powertrain. It couples a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, and an electronically-controlled CVT for a combined output of 191 hp. Although it’s FWD only, Ford could easily add AWD since it’s available in the mechanically related Escape Hybrid. Ford is targeting 40 mpg in the city and 37 mpg combined in the Maverick Hybrid.

The only way to get AWD with the Maverick is to forgo electrification and get the optional 2.0-liter turbo-four. Paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission, this unit makes 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. The maximum payload capacity is 1,500 pounds while towing tops out at 4,000 pounds. However, in order to get that towing capability, you must get the 2.0-liter turbo-four with the 4K Tow package.

Currently, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline is only available with a 3.5-liter V6 making 280 hp and 262 lb-ft. With its standard AWD and nine-speed automatic transmission, it’s EPA-rated at 19/24/21 mpg city/highway/combined. There’s no word yet on whether Honda intends to add electrification to the next-generation Ridgeline. In its current iteration, the Ridgeline has a total payload capacity of 1,509 to 1,583 pounds depending on the trim. The maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds regardless of which version you get.

2022 Ford Maverick vs. 2021 Honda Ridgeline pricing

Starting at $21,490, the 2022 Ford Maverick will be one of the most affordable trucks on the market. Even when you load it up, the truck checks in between $33,000 to $35,000 depending on the powertrain you chose. Just don’t go crazy with the accessories because you’ll easily price the Maverick into the midsize truck range.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline starts at $37,665 for a generously equipped Sport trim, which is its base variant. A loaded Black Edition will set you back $4,5095. This puts the Ridgeline neatly above the Maverick in terms of price, further showing that it’s one size above.

2022 Ford Maverick vs. 2021 Honda Ridgeline summary

With the arrival of the 2022 Ford Maverick, there’s now a choice for consumers who want the flexibility of a truck but want one that’s easy to maneuver on narrow roads. The Maverick, along with the Hyundai Santa Cruz, slots right below the Honda Ridgeline, giving the pragmatic buyer two utility options that offer the benefits of a crossover and a truck all at once. However, if you’re looking for an electrified powertrain, the Ford Maverick and the full-size F-150, are the only games in town.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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