off-road capability, the unibody Ridgeline offers only medium performance
relative to its nearest body-on-frame competitors, like the Toyota
Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. The
Ridgeline’s long wheelbase and independent
rear suspension - that
gives it its awesome in-bed trunk and excellent road manners - hinders
it from traversing anything tougher than a fire road or having a breakover
angle greater than 21-degrees.
Ridgelines are available the following trims: RT, RTX, RTS and RTL.
top of the line RTL trim level I drove had monotone leather seating
surfaces, a standard power moonroof, standard XM Satellite Radio, HomeLink
remote system, an interior compass in the rearview mirror, heated front
seats, and the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice
recognition and MP3/ auxiliary input jack. If you want to save a little
money, the step below RTS trim level adds alloy wheels, a seven-speaker
160-watt audio system with subwoofer and six-disc, in-dash audio system
with steering wheel-mounted controls, dual-zone automatic climate control
and an eight-way power driver's seat.
easy-to-read meters and gauges were simple to figure out without having
to dig through the manual. The interior air and seats heated up in
seconds on frosty mornings. I fell in love with the Navigation system
because of how easy it was to use on the fly. You don't have to be
computer-savvy to figure this one out. In fact, you don't even have
to stop driving (although Honda recommends you do).
row seating is re-configurable for people and/or cargo, and
does so easily. Combine all the excellent space with the GPS, and you
could go garage sale hopping, off-roading with friends and equipment,
and dining at a new-to-you restaurant, all in one day – no extra
maps, no extra space, no planning necessary.
like the Honda Ridgeline walks a fine line in true-trucking circles,
between being innovative and strange. The Ridgeline mostly being the
former. Honda hasn’t
held back in putting its own unique stamp on what a pickup should be,
and in doing so Honda has likely brought new, non-traditional truck buyers
into the segment. It’s moderately
popular. Almost 40,000 Ridgelines have sold year-to-date in 2007.
had a distaste for the uneven and untraditional body lines and proportions.
But after living with the truck for a week, my only lingering design
criticism is a hope for bigger headlights that wrap around the sides
of the vehicle, to balance out the bulk – just
another aesthetic improvement.
All in all,
the Ridgeline is a surprisingly sporty drive. It certainly had those
fun Honda qualities and genetics. It’s versatile in the
sense of its multi-purpose abilities, but not in the sense of its engine
and trim options when compared to other vehicles in its class. But then
again, the cargo handling accessory list is extensive. You could package
this vehicle with options to package anything.
The Ridgeline doesn’t have to worry about what it is and it isn’t – a
platform of innovation, car-like smoothness, and functionality sells