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By Mike Levine
September 8, 2009
Vehicle Overview 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 2010 Honda is making only marginal changes to the Ridgeline pickup for 2010 after last year's styling refresh. Three new exterior colors are available: Alabaster Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl and Polished Metal Metallic.
Exterior 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.
Integrated trailer hitch with seven-pin trailer wiring
Bed has a total of eight tie-downs
Daytime running lights
Optional 18-inch wheels
Interior 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.
Power-sliding rear window
Optional heated front seats
Optional seven-speaker, six-CD changer sound system
Optional leather seating
Under the Hood
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
Safety 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.
All-disc antilock brakes
Side-impact airbags for the front seats
Front-seat active head restraints
Backup camera included with optional navigation system