Light-duty trucks fit a great niche for a lot of truck lovers – they give you more power and sophistication than a compact model, without the full-size commitment of a heavy-duty option. Sure you’re not going to lug 20,000 lbs. behind one of these beauties, but that’s not what they’re for. And when it comes to light-duty trucks, there are few as good as the GMC Sierra 1500, but let’s take a look at the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2019 Honda Ridgeline.
It’s worth noting that the Sierra 1500 starts at a higher price point than the Honda Ridgeline, so when comparing them you have to be fair in that respect. Even so, if you look at a Ridgeline that will run you the same price as the starting GMC Sierra 1500, the GMC model still comes out on top in a whole bunch of ways. They’re both good trucks, but the Sierra 1500 simply has more muscle, has more room, and is just a better truck for getting light-duty (and some heavy-duty) jobs done.
But you don’t have to take my word for it, see for yourself…
A More Powerful Engine
While you don’t expect a light-duty truck to have the most powerful engines available, you should still see solid power in them. With that in mind, let’s have a look at what you can get with the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 and the Honda Ridgeline. Keep in mind that we’ll look at all available options, regardless of cost.
The 2019 Honda Ridgeline has a single engine available: a V6 that provides up to 280hp and 262 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s certainly good enough to get a lot of jobs done, and considering the starting price of the Ridgeline, you get quite a lot of power for your dollar. But, here’s the rub: that’s it. There’s only one engine to choose, so even if you have the cash to drop on upgrades for a nicer interior and other features, you’re still stuck at this level of horsepower and torque.
On the other hand, the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 has FOUR different engines available to choose from, and one of them even has a dynamic fuel management variant, so five if you want to get picky. That right there is enough for me (I like options so more options will almost always win in my book), but let’s look at what they have to offer too. The starting engine for the Sierra 1500 is a 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 that offers up to 285hp and 305 lb.-ft. of torque. Just looking at the bare minimum, the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 already gives you more horsepower and much more torque than the Ridgeline.
And it only goes up from there. There’s an available 2.7L Turbo engine that provides up to 310hp and 348 lb.-ft. of torque; as well as an available 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 that gives you up to 355hp and 383 lb.-ft. of torque. If you need unbelievable performance, then you can go all the way up to a 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 that can give you up to 420hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque. No doubt about it, the engines in the Sierra 1500 are just way more powerful.
Greater Towing and Payload Capacity
What does that more powerful engine mean? It means you can get a lot more work done with the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 compared to the Honda Ridgeline. Whether you like to load up the bed of your truck or haul a trailer full of lumber across town, the Sierra 1500 is the better option.
Let’s start with the Ridgeline. At best, the 2019 Honda Ridgeline can handle a payload of up to 1,586 lbs. and that includes you and your passengers. That’s not bad, but I’m sure we can do better. The Ridgeline also has a maximum towing capacity of up to 5,000 lbs. when properly equipped, which is mostly limited by the single engine available in it.
By comparison, there really is no comparison: the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 just blows those numbers away. The maximum payload the Sierra 1500 can handle is 2,160 lbs. That means the Ridgeline can only carry about three-fourths the amount of weight that the Sierra can take. Towing capacity with the Sierra 1500 is also fantastic, particularly for a light-duty truck. When properly equipped, GMC’s truck can haul up to 12,200 lbs. behind it. That’s well over double the maximum weight the Ridgeline can handle – they’re just not even in the same league.
A Longer Truck Bed
Pickup trucks offer one major advantage over other vehicles like SUVs: the truck bed that gives you lots of room for storing items or hauling cargo around with you. Sure, the truck bed might be a curse when you have a friend who needs to move across town, but in general it’s part of why you pick a truck in the first place. With that in mind, let’s have a look at just how large the beds in each of these trucks are.
There is only one option for the bed of the 2019 Honda Ridgeline regardless of what trim level or other options you might choose. The length of the bed is measured at 64 inches with the tailgate up and measures 50 inches wide at the wheel wells. There are no other options for the truck bed, so if you want something larger, then you are out of luck.
Once again, the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 provides not only more options than the Ridgeline, but also better options overall. There are two different truck beds available for the Sierra 1500, depending on the configuration you are interested in. It’s worth mentioning that these two options are only available if you want a crew cab – if you choose a double cab then you can only have the longer of the two.
An available short box for the 2019 GMC Sierra measures at 69.9 inches in length, while the standard box measures 79.4 inches long. As you can see, even the short box is still longer than what you get with the Honda Ridgeline, and the standard box is more than a foot longer. The width of the box does not change, however, and they both measure 50.6 inches long at the wheel wells. So you can see they are the same width, but both are longer, giving you quite a lot more storage room in the bed overall.
More Room for Passengers
So, passenger room is probably not your number one priority when buying a pickup truck. Even with a light-duty truck, you’re likely more concerned with getting some work done and maybe tailgating or camping on the weekend. But at one time or another, you’re probably going to need to have other people in your truck (particularly when that previously mentioned friend needs to move into a new place).
The 2019 Honda Ridgeline has a maximum passenger capacity of up to 5 people. You might be able to squeeze more in there, but prepare yourself for a ticket if any police see it and doing so is just generally unsafe. On the other hand, the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 has room for up to 6 people inside, all of whom can be safely secured within the cab. Maybe not as impressive as the far-more powerful engines available with the Sierra 1500, but it’s a win nonetheless.
If you’re looking for something that will get you from point A to point B then comparing the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2019 Honda Ridgeline may not be best examples since either of these trucks will get you there. If you’re looking to haul or tow anything with some heft to it, you’re going to find that there really is only one option, the Sierra.