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Compare the2022 Nissan FrontierVS 2021 Honda Ridgeline

2022 Nissan Frontier
2021 Honda Ridgeline

Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Frontier have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Honda Ridgeline doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Frontier are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Ridgeline doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Nissan Frontier has standard driver and front passenger side knee airbags mounted low on the dashboard. These airbags helps prevent the driver and front passenger from sliding under their seatbelts or the main frontal airbags; this keeps them better positioned during a collision for maximum protection. Knee airbags also help keep the legs from striking the dashboard, preventing knee and leg injuries in the case of a serious frontal collision. The Ridgeline doesn’t offer knee airbags.

The Frontier has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Ridgeline doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Frontier offers optional Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Ridgeline doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Frontier PRO-XPRO-4X offers an optional Around View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Ridgeline only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Frontier’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Ridgeline doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Frontier PRO-XPRO-4X has standard NissanConnect Services, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Ridgeline doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Frontier and the Ridgeline have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, rearview cameras, available four-wheel drive, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Frontier has a standard 185-amp alternator. The Ridgeline’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2021 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2021 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 21st in reliability. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 27th.

Engine

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The Frontier’s 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 30 more horsepower (310 vs. 280) and 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (281 vs. 262) than the Ridgeline’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Frontier has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Ridgeline (21 vs. 19.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Frontier’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Ridgeline are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Frontier has larger tires than the Ridgeline (265/70R16 vs. 245/60R18).

The Nissan Frontier’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Honda Ridgeline only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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The Frontier Crew Cab PRO-4X’s has front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Ridgeline’s suspension doesn’t offer front gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Frontier King Cab’s wheelbase is .8 inches longer than on the Ridgeline (126 inches vs. 125.2 inches). The Frontier LWB Crew Cab’s wheelbase is 14.6 inches longer than on the Ridgeline (139.8 inches vs. 125.2 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Frontier King Cab 4x4’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Ridgeline’s (42.4 feet vs. 43.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Frontier SV King Cab has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Ridgeline (8.6 vs. 7.64 inches), allowing the Frontier to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Frontier PRO-4X Crew Cab’s minimum ground clearance is 1.76 inches higher than on the Ridgeline (9.4 vs. 7.64 inches).

Cargo Capacity

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The Frontier Crew Cab shortbed has a much larger cargo box than the Ridgeline shortbed (40.1 vs. 33.9 cubic feet).

The Nissan Frontier has a standard tailgate assist feature, which prevents the heavy tailgate from falling with a crash and causing injury. It allows adults and children to easily open and close the tailgate with one hand to better facilitate loading and unloading. The Honda Ridgeline doesn’t offer a tailgate assist.

Towing

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The Frontier’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Ridgeline’s (6370 vs. 5000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Frontier is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Ridgeline. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The Frontier’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Ridgeline does not have an oil pressure gauge.

Model Availability

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The Nissan Frontier comes in extended cab and crew cab bodystyles; the Honda Ridgeline isn’t available as an extended cab.

The Frontier is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Ridgeline doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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