Although millions of pickup trucks are sold each year, only a fraction of them actually see an off-road trail or a boat ramp. The rest are daily drivers that make an occasional trip to Home Depot for 2x4s and patio furniture. For those consumers who desire a friendlier pickup that can still handle those occasional jobs, there's the Honda Ridgeline. This four-door ("crew cab") pickup truck has a number of distinctive features and, true to Honda's philosophy, it makes sense for smart consumers.
Current Honda Ridgeline
The Honda Ridgeline pickup is available in just one four-door body style. There are four trim levels: RT, Sport, RTS and RTL. All Ridgelines include a hidden trunk in the cargo bed that doubles as an ice chest, a dent-proof bedliner, a four-wheel independent suspension (for a smoother ride and more agile handling), a trailer hitch and a power-sliding rear window.
Rather than having a separate cab and bed, the Ridgeline's body unites the two. Underneath its skin, the Ridgeline uses an architecture that combines the techniques of both unibody and full-frame construction. Although it shares some of its running gear with the Honda Pilot, fully 90 percent of the Ridgeline is unique and should not just be considered the pickup version of Honda's SUV.
The Ridgeline's sole powertrain is a 250-horsepower V6 mated to a five-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is standard. In all but the most taxing situations, performance is respectable, and on the open highway the Honda Ridgeline is an effortless and quiet cruiser. As such, it is an ideal road trip vehicle, especially when said trip involves carrying bulky items.
Comfortable seats, plenty of storage cubbies, sound ergonomics, smooth, quiet performance and a relatively manageable size make the Honda Ridgeline a viable option as the sole family vehicle. While the cabin provides sedan-like comfort, the cargo bed effortlessly transports things such as camping gear or lawn supplies. On the debit side is the Ridgeline's aversion to off-road adventures, where its lack of a low-range gear and a tendency to bottom out don't help when tackling more rugged trails. Fuel economy and acceleration are also disappointing.
If these shortcomings are meaningful to you, then you'll want to consider a pickup with true truck DNA. But if all you really need is the passenger space of an SUV and the utility of a pickup truck, the Ridgeline is an excellent choice.
Read the most recent 2014 Honda Ridgeline review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Honda Ridgeline page.