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2021 Honda Ridgeline Luggage Test | A truck with a trunk



Well duh, all those bags are obviously going to fit in the bed of a 2021 Honda Ridgeline. But they may get wet in the process. Or stolen. Normally, to prevent this from happening in a pickup, you could put the bags in the cab. But what if those bags come attached to passengers? Sure, you could get a bed-covering tonneau cover, but that costs money and perhaps it wouldn’t be worth the expense (or room in the garage to store the thing) if you’re not routinely faced with this scenario. As such, maybe a tarp and some bungies are the best bet?

Perhaps, but in the Ridgeline at least, there’s an alternative. It’s a truck with a trunk. A 7.9-cubic-foot trunk, according to the specs, which is somewhere north of sports car range in terms of volume. 

Access to the trunk is made possible by the Ridgeline’s other innovation, the Dual-Action Tailgate that drops down and swings out. You need to swing out to get to the trunk. 

Here it is. Besides keeping luggage dry and secure, the trunk has a drain plug in the bottom, allowing you to fill it with ice to keep beverages cool, or fish fresh or whatever. It takes a lot of ice to fill it, though. I mean, A LOT. 

Now, let’s get to the bags. As in every luggage test I do, I use two midsize roller suitcases that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also include my wife’s fancy overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).

That would be the three medium-sized roller bags. You can also fit one of the bigger bags on its side and the fancy bag. 

Of course, I haven’t tested the trunks of other trucks since they don’t exist, so let’s just say this amount is great!

The remaining three bags, including the biggest and smallest ones, fit behind the driver seat set for an average-height person. If they were taller, as I am, the bags would have to go on the passenger side. 

Now, as the above pair of smaller photos shows, the Ridgeline has a 60/40-split back seat like those offered by other trucks not named Ranger. This means you can still maintain some people space while making room for luggage. These same bags would’ve clearly fit by raising the 40 portion, but I just didn’t feel like taking out the 1,000-pound convertible child seat that was parked over there to take the picture. Sorry. 

The design of the flip-up back seat is awfully similar to what you’ll find in the Honda HR-V and dearly departed Honda Fit where it’s dubbed the “Magic Seat.” 

Besides luggage, I was also able to fit my folded Thule Spring stroller in the trunk. This makes the Ridgeline make even more sense for families relative other midsize trucks (or even full-size ones). You don’t need to put the stroller in the cab, which is good for all sorts of reasons. Dirty wheels on interior surfaces, giant heavy thing flopping around inside, all five seats still get to be used, and since I live in Oregon, no wet stroller in dry interior. or risk getting it wet/stolen in the bed. And again, the trunk is better than the stroller getting wet or stolen in the bed. 

These bed-related features are key reasons why the Ridgeline might make more sense to buyers than a traditional truck (the new Hyundai Santa Cruz has a trunk too, though not a similar dual-function tailgate). However, there is a downside to the Ridgeline’s trunk and the crossover construction that makes it possible.

See up there? That’s a space-saver spare tire, which is likely to be considered weak sauce for a pickup. Especially one like this test truck with the HPD package that’s supposedly more off-road ready. And no, I didn’t check to see if the space saver is also gold. Just assume “no.” 

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