In a world where pickup trucks compete against each other on towing prowess and stump-pulling power, the Ridgeline is something of a counter-revolutionary. It doesn’t have a V-8, and its maximum towing load is 5000 pounds — respectable, but not remarkable. For those who want carlike comfort with the convenience of an open bed, though, the Ridgeline is a no-brainer. It’s the only mid-size pickup with unibody construction, so its body is rigid, like a car’s. This helps provide a squeakfree interior and superb ride and handling. Inside, the cabin is less luxurious than that of some other Honda products but has plenty of storage space along with seating for five. Out back, the two-way tailgate swings down or pivots sideways, yielding easy access to the five-foot bed. Under the bed is a weatherproof, locking trunk that holds 8.5 cubic feet of tools, groceries, luggage, or whatever else you might want to keep dry and safe. All Ridgelines have four-wheel drive. The Ridgeline has now been on the market for six years and has never been a hot seller, which may be explained by the way it looks. Mating the front half of a Pilot sport-utility vehicle to a stubby pickup bed with slanted sides doesn’t make for a pretty truck, but there is beauty beneath its skin. Honda reliability comes standard, of course.
Trim Levels: RT, RTS, RTL, Sport
Body style: Pickup, 5-passenger
Engine: 3.5L V-6, 250 hp, 247 lb-ft
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Passenger volume: 112.0 cu ft
Capacities: Towing 5000 lb; payload 1486–1546 lb
The Ridgeline receives some minor front styling changes and other tweaks to improve highway fuel economy, including a new grille design. There’s also a new model, the Ridgeline Sport, which slots above the RT and gets black eighteen-inch aluminum wheels, a blacked-out grille, foglights, black head- and taillight housings, and black mirrors and door handles.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are antilock brakes, traction and stability control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
All: 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway
- Carlike handling
- Lockable in-bed trunk
- Seating for five
- No V-8 available
- Funky styling
The antipickup pickup truck.
- Chevrolet Colorado
- GMC Canyon
- Nissan Frontier
- Toyota Tacoma