The Honda Ridgeline is a midsize pickup truck. While it may not be the first name to come to mind when someone mentions pickup trucks, the Ridgeline offers consumers a comfortable ride and many comfort features. Truck purists may lean towards its more rugged competitors, but those looking for the convenience of an SUV and the power of a truck should consider the Ridgeline as a viable option.
Honda Ridgeline Origins
The Honda Ridgeline was released in March 2005 as Honda’s first true truck. Previous Honda trucks were built on an SUV platform. Despite some criticisms for the body structure from truck enthusiasts, the Ridgeline has enjoyed successful sales and has won a number of awards over the years, including Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year 2006, and consistently enjoys at least moderately high sales in North America.
About the Honda Ridgeline
The Honda Ridgeline is known for its combination of reliability and affordability, much like the Honda brand itself. However, the primary criticism of the Ridgeline comes from the unitized body construction, which differs from other trucks in its class and some claim makes the frame less solid. However, this construction provides more interior and loading room, and Honda claims it actually makes the vehicle stronger. Because of the Honda Ridgeline’s unique design, drivers enjoy a smoother, quieter ride than one would normally expect from a truck. Also, the seats are ergonomic and comfortable, making the Ridgeline an excellent vehicle for road trips.
Honda Ridgeline Features
The Honda Ridgeline is in the midsize pickup truck class. It is a four-door, five passenger truck sporting a unitized body construction instead of the body-on-frame design which is found in most pickup trucks.
The Ridgeline interior looks spacious, with as much room as many full-size pickups. The driver’s seat is height adjustable and the rear bench seats fold down for additional cargo space. Interior color options are the standard black, gray, and beige cloth. The Sport model comes with all-weather floor mats, a black leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, auxiliary input jacks, and power-sliding darkened rear privacy glass.
The exterior of the Ridgeline shows a slight redesign with a more aerodynamic look. The RT, RTS, and RTL models have a new grille designed to reduce wind resistance and help fuel economy. It features a five-foot cargo bed with tie down locations in eight places. The tailgate can open from the top down like traditional trucks, or from the side. Four cargo lights improve visibility. The later models have a trailer hitch and a large center console and a hidden storage area in the cargo bed that doubles as an ice chest.
The standard model comes with a 24-valve 3.5-liter SOHC V-6 with variable valve timing, which produces 250 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. The five-speed automatic transmission with the Grade Logic Control and automatic Variable Torque Management four-wheel drive on the Sport model offers a smoother ride as well improves traction and towing ability. It gets an estimated 15/21 mpg city/highway, which is better than many trucks in its class.
All Ridgeline models feature standard driver and front passenger airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, active head restraints for the front seats, rollover sensors, tire pressure monitoring, daytime running lights, and an electronic stability control system.
The Ridgeline weighs 6050 pounds and can tow up to 5000 pounds, with a maximum payload of 1546 pounds.
Honda Ridgeline Evolution
The Honda Ridgeline debuted in 2005 as a 2006 model and has remained quite recognizable due to its unique body structure. It remains in its first generation. Some of the Ridgeline’s changes include the availability of additional models, such as a Sport model, and a slightly upgraded engine, though the platform has remained much the same throughout the years. The first model was available in three trims: RT, RTS, and RTL, followed by the chrome-accented RTX in 2007. In 2009 the RTX trim was dropped and the exterior and interior styling was updated. Since then Honda has also added an updated grille and Sport trim level.