2021 Honda Ridgeline
- Spring 2021
What to expect
- Restyled front end
- Updated infotainment system
- New packages from Honda Performance Development
- Part of the second Ridgeline generation introduced for 2017
What is the Ridgeline?
The Honda Ridgeline didn't wind up as our top-ranked midsize pickup truck on accident. Its smooth ride, innovative storage options, and quiet, comfortable interior make it stand out in a class full of rough-and-tumble trucks. But other than the exposed bed, the Ridgeline has never really looked like much of a traditional pickup. Its relatively passive styling has run counter to the rugged looks of the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado. And while most truck buyers will never explore the outer reaches of their truck's off-road capability, the Ridgeline didn't look up for adventure in the same way as its rivals. Honda is intent on changing that perception.
While a midcycle refresh is nothing new for most manufacturers, most keep it simple and tweak plastic parts such as bumpers and fascias. But the 2021 Ridgeline is sporting entirely new sheet metal from the windshield forward. The straight bodyline now runs through the length of the redesigned hood, right to the much more vertical nose. The grille has been enlarged and squared off, making the front of the Ridgeline look much like the Tacoma. Early photos show the Ridgeline with an HPD (Honda Performance Development) Appearance package that includes squared-off fender guards, graphics and snazzy gold wheels. Three other HPD packages — named the Protection, Utility and Function packages — will be detailed closer to the Ridgeline's on-sale date.
What's under the Ridgeline's hood?
Everything surrounding the engine bay might be different, but Honda's venerable 3.5-liter V6 continues as the sole powerplant for the Ridgeline — it makes 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft and is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Ridgeline is available in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. When equipped with all-wheel drive, the Ridgeline has a robust payload capacity of 1,580 pounds and is rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds.
How's the Ridgeline's interior?
Only the most eagle-eyed Honda fans will notice the changes to the 2021 Ridgeline's interior. The most obvious of those changes is the updated infotainment system. The size is the same, but this new unit gets sharper graphics, improved icons and, most importantly, an actual volume knob. Other minor changes are new cloth seat inserts for the Sport trim, revised steering wheel and center console accents for Sport, RTL and RTL-E models, and contrasting stitching on the seats.
With a fairly significant restyle, Honda hopes to increase the appeal of its Ridgeline to traditional midsize-truck buyers. Although it may look more rugged than last year's model, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline still offers the most comfortable ride in the segment, a highly functional bed with clever storage options, and a decent tow rating.