After two years of teasers we’ve finally met the 2017 Honda Ridgeline. We don’t have every detail yet, but I have learned that the bed is 64 inches long making it just a little bigger than the standard bed in a four-door Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier or Chevy Colorado.

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Now of course all those other trucks have “long bed” options that are significantly larger than the Honda’s, which is probably why Honda resisted making a “biggest bed” claim part of their Ridgeline introductory presentation.

And while automakers don’t officially share what their sales spread looks like between crew cabs, extended cabs, regular beds and long, the most common configuration I see on the street is “full four-door, short box.”

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That’s also how every press-fleet loaner truck I’ve ever driven has been spec’d.

So if crew cab-short bed is the “default” mid-size pickup truck look, the new Ridgeline eeks out an advantage on a major category of “capability” truck folk get so fired up about in the main vein of the segment.

Here’s a simplified dimensional breakdown of every mid-size truck bed in America:

Bed Size Of Truck (Inches)WidthLength
Honda Ridgeline60.064.0
Nissan Frontier Ext61.473.3
Nissan Frontier 4 Door61.459.5
Toyota Tacoma Ext56.773.7
Toyota Tacoma 4 Door56.760.5
Chevy Colorado Ext57.874.0
Chevy Colorado 4 Door57.861.7

To keep things consistent, these widths are “maximums.” As in; measured at the parts where beds are widest, not between the wheel wells. Without the “true” area we must fall back on an approximation, but unless the Ridgeline’s rear wheels eat into its bed significantly more than its rivals its cargo capacity is looking pretty solid stacked up next to the rest.

Bed Size Of Truck (Inches)Approximate Area
Honda Ridgeline3840.00
Nissan Frontier3653.30
Toyota Tacoma3430.35
Chevy Colorado3566.26

While acknowledging that these “areas” are not exact because they don’t account for the space taken up by wheels, I think it’s safe to use them for comparative purposes and assume wheel wells take up close to the same amount of space on each truck.

And don’t forget about the Honda’s secret-storage “bed trunk,” which is not accounted for here and will add even more inches to its cargo capacity!

Honda has yet to release an official maximum payload capacity for the new Ridgeline, but American Honda’s Executive VP John Mendel asserted it will be “approaching 1,600 pounds” as he introduced the truck at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.

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Compared to the rest of the mid-sized field, that also looks pretty much spot-on.

TruckMax Payload (Pounds)
Honda Ridgeline“Approaching 1,600”
Nissan Frontier1,524
Toyota Tacoma1,620
Chevy Colorado1,590

These numbers don’t reflect the payload capacity of every truck in the range, just the “when properly equipped” maximums. We’ll have to wait and see how the Ridgeline’s spec breaks out by trim level to compare it to the other trucks more completely.

But while the traditional body-on-frame built pickup trucks might be able to tow more (Honda’s official numbers are pending) the new Ridgeline is looking damn competitive on internal cargo space; it’s got the most of all crew-cab short beds.

Don’t write this thing off yet.

Images via Honda


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.