Full 2007 Honda Ridgeline Review
What's New for 2007
Only minor changes occur to the 2007 Honda Ridgeline. There's a new RTX trim level, and the RTL trim level now has a standard sunroof.
Ever tried to take home a load of paving stones from a building supply store or move your teenager's belongings up to college without a truck or SUV? Not so fun. But for a lot of people, owning a truck for those occasional times when it is needed just isn't worth it. That is where the 2007 Honda Ridgeline comes in. For normal use, it pretty much drives like a regular car. When you need to haul stuff, it works pretty well as a pickup, too.
Developed specifically for the U.S. market, the Ridgeline crew cab pickup is based on a heavily modified version of the platform used for the Honda Pilot SUV. Unlike a regular pickup and its traditional "three box" (engine compartment, cab, cargo box) design, the Ridgeline's cabin and bed are fully integrated for better body stiffness. This, along with the fully independent suspension, provides excellent on-road handling and ride comfort.
In terms of utility, there are a number of innovative features. The bed is 5 feet long (about the same as a compact pickup's short bed) and more than 4 feet wide, so it can swallow a standard 4x8-foot sheet of plywood with the tailgate down. The tailgate can opened down or swung out sideways, and underneath the load floor is a hidden 8.5-cubic-foot locking trunk.
There are some downsides. The Ridgeline doesn't take to off-roading very kindly, and its towing and payload capacities aren't quite as high as those of many midsize pickups. Like the Ford Explorer SportTrac, its closest competitor, the 2007 Honda Ridgeline is a good sport-utility vehicle -- and an average truck. On one hand it gives you plenty of passenger space, a very functional interior and enough cargo room to get by on the weekend. It's more comfortable to drive than other midsize trucks and won't dent your wallet as deeply as a full size. If you're realistic about your towing and hauling needs, and can do without the sound of a big V8 or real off-road ability, you'll find the Ridgeline worth the price.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The five-passenger 2007 Honda Ridgeline is a midsize crew cab pickup. Honda offers the Ridgeline in one body style and four trim levels: RT, RTX, RTS and RTL. On the RT you'll find cruise control, powered accessories, keyless entry, air-conditioning and a CD player. The RTX is equipped similarly but has a chrome grille, alloy wheels and a trailer hitch. The RTS adds a power driver seat and an in-dash six-disc CD changer. The top-line Ridgeline RTL features a sunroof, heated outside mirrors, heated front seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio and HomeLink. The RTL is also the only trim level on which Honda offers the optional navigation system with an integrated MP3 auxiliary audio input.
Powertrains and Performance
The Ridgeline draws power from Honda's 3.5-liter single-overhead-cam V6. In this application, it makes 247 horsepower and 245 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic with a transmission cooler is standard. An all-wheel-drive system (dubbed VTM-4 for Variable Torque Management four-wheel drive) is also standard. Towing capacity is 5000 pounds, and the Ridgeline can haul 1550-pound payloads in its bed.
Standard equipment includes four-wheel antilock disc brakes with brake assist, seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants, and full-length side curtain airbags. Traction control and stability control are also standard. In NHTSA crash tests, the Honda Ridgeline earned five out of five stars for its protection of occupants in both frontal and side-impact crashes.
Interior Design and Special Features
The front bucket seats are firm, well-shaped and comfortable, but some drivers might find the lack of a telescoping steering wheel to be an annoyance. Rear legroom is better than what's available in many midsize pickups, but comfort is marginal. There are plenty of interior storage compartments, and the 60/40-split rear seat can be flipped up to provide additional cargo space. The Ridgeline's bed is 5 feet long and has a useful hidden lockable trunk that can also serve as a cooler, thanks to a drain plug. One downside, however, is that the spare tire is located inside the trunk, so you'll need to unload the bed and trunk if you ever get a flat.
The 2007 Honda Ridgeline is comfortable, quiet and pretty easy to drive. Steering is tight, with just the right amount of resistance and feedback, and the ride is very soft and carlike. The only major annoyance is poor outward visibility. On-road handling is very responsive for a pickup, but off-road trail runs are not the Ridgeline's forte. Likewise, the V6 is smooth, with plenty of power for cruising, but lacks the low-end grunt needed for bigger hauling jobs.