2012 Honda Ridgeline Review

Pros & Cons

  • Above-average ride and handling
  • roomy and comfortable cabin
  • dent-resistant bed with innovative trunk compartment and two-way tailgate.
  • Modest off-road and towing capabilities
  • lackluster power and fuel economy
  • only one body style available
  • longish braking distances.
List Price Estimate
$10,500 - $14,953

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2012 Honda Ridgeline doesn't have the muscle that serious truck buyers demand, but its combination of a carlike ride and pickup utility makes it all the pickup many buyers will ever need.

Vehicle overview

Trucks were created to provide serious utility, but these days there are probably just as many to be found lounging in the parking lot at Home Depot as there are doing hard time on construction sites. For shoppers seeking a truly domesticated take on the pickup truck, there's the 2012 Honda Ridgeline.

The Ridgeline's appeal lies in its ability to cruise the middle ground between a car's comfort and a pickup's versatility. With its unibody structure and independent front and rear suspensions, it can honestly claim sedan-like handling and ride dynamics. Open the door and you're greeted by a cabin that's comfortable in every measure, with spacious dimensions and ample storage opportunities. And while the suburban do-it-yourselfers who comprise the bulk of the Ridgeline's demographic have more modest hauling needs than the traditional pickup buyer, this Honda's 5-foot, dent-resistant bed -- with its nifty, lockable trunk located just underneath -- is rugged enough to provide stalwart service when needed.

Traditionalists will grumble that since the 2012 Honda Ridgeline is offered only in crew-cab configuration, it offers less flexibility in body styles compared to the typical pickup. The Ridgeline's powertrain could also be a disappointment. While the V6 delivers adequate thrust, the engine is less peppy (and is rated for less towing capacity) than V6 powertrains found in serious trucks. Also, with no low-range gearing and a lightweight suspension, the Ridgeline is more about all-weather capability, not all-terrain mobility.

If these shortcomings are meaningful to you, then you'll want to consider a choice with true truck DNA. In the midsize category, the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma are equally smart choices. For a full-size truck, the Ram 1500 stands out for its ride comfort and nicely trimmed interior, while the Ford F-150 is surprisingly fuel-efficient with its optional turbocharged engine. Overall, though, we imagine that many shoppers in this segment would be well served by the Ridgeline's thoughtful mix of features.

2012 Honda Ridgeline models

The 2012 Honda Ridgeline midsize pickup truck is offered in a single four-door crew-cab body style with seating for five. There are four available trim levels: RT, Sport, RTS and top-of-the-line RTL.

The entry-level RT is reasonably well equipped with standard features that include 17-inch steel wheels, a power-sliding rear window, air-conditioning, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat (with under-seat storage), full power accessories, cruise control, a trip computer and a six-speaker CD/MP3 stereo.

The Sport adds 18-inch black alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, foglights, a unique black mesh grille, black headlight and taillight housings, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and an auxiliary audio jack.

With the RTS, you get everything in the RT, along with 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat and an upgraded seven-speaker audio system with a six-CD changer.

Spring for the top-of-the-line RTL and you get 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a sunroof, leather upholstery, ambient console lighting, heated front seats, a 115-volt AC power outlet and satellite radio.

The Ridgeline's factory options list is limited to a Navigation System package that includes Bluetooth hands-free cell phone compatibility and a back-up camera. Only the RTL model is eligible for this package.

2012 Highlights

The 2012 Honda Ridgeline features a new grille design and aerodynamic improvements, along with engine tweaks that improve its highway mileage by 1 mpg. A new trim level, the Ridgeline Sport, slots in between the RT and RTS trims.

Performance & mpg

The 2012 Honda Ridgeline offers only one engine choice, a 3.5-liter V6 generating 250 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. Power flows through a five-speed automatic transmission and a standard all-wheel-drive system. In testing, we recorded a sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in 8.3 seconds, which is a little slower than most competing trucks.

EPA estimated fuel economy is 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined, which is mediocre considering the truck's modest power. The Ridgeline can handle payloads up to 1,546 pounds (1,497 in RTL models and 1,486 in RTL Ridgelines with navi) and tow trailers up to 5,000 pounds. Both payload and towing capacity are a little below average relative to those of other V6-powered midsize pickups.


Every Ridgeline comes standard with antilock brakes, stability control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags (with rollover sensor) and front seat active head restraints.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Ridgeline received the organization's highest "Good" rating in both frontal-offset and side-impact crashes. The Ridgeline required 133 feet to stop from 60 mph, a little long for a midsize pickup.


Relative to most other pickups, the 2012 Honda Ridgeline offers a pleasant driving experience. Though its suspension isn't rugged enough for the most punishing off-road duty, it acquits itself well on pavement, facilitating decent handling and a smooth ride. The V6 presents refinement and adequate power for everyday travels. However, it lacks low-end torque and generally feels less lively than rival V6s, let alone the big V8s available in full-size trucks.


"Big" is the name of the game when it comes to the controls and surfaces within the 2012 Honda Ridgeline. Control knobs are king-size, as are the puffy, square control pads for the electronic controls on the steering wheel. Of course, their large size serves a practical function, as these controls can be easily used while wearing work gloves. Overall, there's something charming in the Ridgeline's comfortable yet rugged cabin that seems eager to please.

You also won't lack for storage space since useful nooks and bins abound within. There's a 60/40-split rear seat that folds to make room for large items you'd rather not leave in the bed. An 8.5-cubic-foot lockable trunk under the bed is big enough to hold most golf clubs, and features drain plugs in the bottom that allow it to serve double duty as a supersized cooler for tailgate parties.

The Ridgeline's unique bed design comes with one drawback: It places the spare tire under the floor. This means you may be faced with the prospect of unloading your cargo to access the spare if you have a flat.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2012 Honda Ridgeline.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Second Ridgeline
I traded a 2006 Ridgeline on a 2010 CRV to downsize and save fuel. That will be my last 4 cylinder in a SUV. The tweaks from 2006 to 2012 are noticable. It's quieter and peppier. I took six months to purchase a vehicle, test driving many SUV vehicles. The CX-9 was a top contender. But, at 6-02, it lacked enough headroom. Do not compare the Ridgeline to heavy duty pickups. That not what it is. I use it for hiking, camping, biking, trips to Lowes....etc. If I could describe it, using only one word, it would be smooth. I hope Honda does not kill the Ridgeline but updates it.
Great Used Hauler
Tim McConnell,02/08/2016
RTL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
I purchased this truck about a year ago with 100k miles and I've driven it as a daily commuter. I replaced an old Dodge V8 truck, which I loved, and although I sometimes miss that rowdy V8 exhaust rumble and the engine torque, that truck doesn't at all compare to this one. The Ridgeline has performed fantastic in the snow, mud, and rain. It has a ride that's very comfortable and a powertrain that suits the vehicle. It sits high enough to feel like a proper truck and it has been very durable. My buddies at work make fun of me but they appreciate the truck's functionality. Recently I had to drive a couple of days in freezing snow and I never felt the truck lose traction. I would buy this truck again.
Kissed my Ridgeline Goodby
Jerry Copeland,09/05/2018
RTL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB w/Navigation (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
Gas mileage isn’t great and towing isn’t great, but the rest of the truck is great. It had so many things going for it that I would still be driving it if not for a need for a trailer.
Very high maintenance costs and unreliable
John K,12/21/2015
RTS 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
Very disappointed is several areas. There is always something breaking. -After 2 years the third brake light assembly broke off the truck on the highway. It was out of warranty. Honda USA was no help even though it is a pretty well documented problem on forums. Quote from the dealer $800. Radio never worked well, but found out the antenna was located in the third brake light assembly. - brakes are paper. I do highway driving. 3 sets of brakes in 3 years. I know it's operator influenced, but I've never had this in any other vehicle. - left front axle blew out after 3 years. - timing belt on a truck? really. My bad for not researching more thoroughly. $900 along with spark plugs and valve adjustment due at the same time for an additional $600. - virtually every oil change at is accompanied by either differential, transmission, or coolant change. Why are other vehicles rated for 60-100K between fluid changes? Seats are very rigid and uncomfortable for moderate to long rides. The interior design is perplexing. Why put the Aux cord input in the dash on the passenger side? Also, the space below the middle console is wasted space. You can't get to it without having everything from the top space fall into it. Interior seat material scratches very easily. Would not recommend this truck. I'm sure the value is going to drop through the floor once they introduce the new model.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2012 Honda Ridgeline features & specs 


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover14.3%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2012 Honda Ridgeline

Used 2012 Honda Ridgeline Overview

The Used 2012 Honda Ridgeline is offered in the following submodels: Ridgeline Crew Cab. Available styles include RTL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (3.5L 6cyl 5A), RTS 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (3.5L 6cyl 5A), Sport 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (3.5L 6cyl 5A), RT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (3.5L 6cyl 5A), and RTL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB w/Navigation (3.5L 6cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2012 Honda Ridgeline?

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Which used 2012 Honda Ridgelines are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Honda Ridgeline for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2012 Honda Ridgeline.

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Should I lease or buy a 2012 Honda Ridgeline?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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