The Honda Ridgeline is the perfect utility vehicle for a soccer dad. It's smart, active-minded and extremely safety-conscious. The pickup truck offers ingenious storage options, a high-tech drivetrain and unique chassis construction. The Ridgeline's styling is unique and hotly debatable. What's not in question are the Ridgeline's comfortable ride, precise handling, and limited, but always spirited, performance. Honda's quality controls are not disputed, either. The Ridgeline features a unibody frame, all-wheel drive and four-wheel independent suspension. It comes in three trim levels: RT, RTS and RTL.
New for 2011
There are no significant changes for the 2011 model year.
Aesthetics aside, there are some problems with the Ridgeline's styling and design: A traditional bed cap or bed-mounted crossover toolbox won't fit, there's a limited selection of tonneau covers, and visibility is tough with some angles. While the composite bedliner maintains a fresh look and is wide enough to swallow 4-by-8 construction materials, it doesn't have slots for two-tier loading or vertical dividers for cargo control. The 5-foot cargo bed's highlights, of course, are the lockable in-bed trunk (8.5-cubic-foot capacity), four cargo-area lights and a dual-action tailgate that opens up and down to support long items or from the side for easier access to items at the bed's front.
Exterior features include:
- Integrated trailer hitch with seven-pin trailer wiring
- Bed has a total of eight tie-downs
- Daytime running lights
- Optional 18-inch wheels
The interior has many minivan cues, but it's a clean, practical design. The front seats are supportive and the rear split-bench seat folds up neatly to allow storage of large items in the cab.
Interior features include:
- Power-sliding rear window
- Optional heated front seats
- Optional seven-speaker, six-CD changer sound system
- Optional leather seating
Under the Hood
Mechanical features include:
- 3.5-liter V-6, aluminum block/cylinder head, single overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder
- Rated at 250 horsepower, 247 pounds-feet of torque
- Five-speed automatic transmission
- Heavy-duty transmission cooler, heavy-duty radiator with two 160-watt fans
- Variable Torque Management four-wheel-drive system that runs mostly in front-wheel drive until traction demands torque be sent to the rear wheels
- Locking rear differential
Honda's forward-thinking on safety technology is evident throughout the Ridgeline. There are side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor, electronic brake distribution (adjusts brake pressure between front and rear wheels depending on cargo load), brake assist and an electronic stability system with traction control.
Safety features include:
- All-disc antilock brakes
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Front-seat active head restraints
- Backup camera included with optional navigation system
Of interest to truck owners
- Gross vehicle weight rating: 6,050 pounds
- Payload: 1,546 pounds (RT, RTS), 1,497 pounds (RTL), 1,486 pounds (RTL with navigation)
- Maximum towing capacity: 5,000 pounds
- Axle ratio: 4.53:1
- Minimum ground clearance: 8.2 inches
- Approach angle: 25 degrees
- Departure angle: 22 degrees
- Cargo floor length: 60 inches (tailgate up), 79 inches (tailgate down)
- Cargo floor width at wheel well: 49.5 inches