This four-door, five-passenger truck breaks away from traditional truck design with its unitized body construction rather than body-on-frame design used by other truck manufacturers. While many avid truck aficionados don't like this type of construction, Honda capitalizes on it by providing extra interior room and cargo space, along with good handling performance from a quiet ride.
The Ridgeline comes in RT, RTS and RTL trim levels, and in 2012, a new Sport model is available. The Sport model is geared toward four-wheel-drive fans and comes with a host of exterior and interior changes, but nothing that actually gives the vehicle better off-road performance other than black alloy 18-inch aluminum wheels.
The Ridgeline's single-overhead-cam 3.5-liter V-6 engine produces 250 horsepower and 247 pounds-feet of torque, and a five-speed automatic transmission features Honda's Grade Logic Control, which keeps the Ridgeline in the appropriate gear to avoid "gear hunting" in uphill and downhill situations.
New for 2012
Honda's pickup truck receives some mileage improvements and a new Sport model for 2012, and all models feature a new grille design, aerodynamic improvements and reduced engine friction, all of which contribute to improve the truck's overall fuel efficiency by 1 mpg on the highway. Everything else on the Ridgeline stays the same as on 2011 models.
Honda's new Sport model adds some features to the RT, including black alloy 18-inch aluminum wheels and a black honeycomb grille with black surround. The headlight and taillight housings are also black, and a set of fog lights are included.
The RT, RTS and RTL models feature a new grille design and slight improvements to the Ridgeline's aerodynamics, allowing it to cut through the wind easier and help improve fuel economy. The 5-foot-long cargo bed features eight tie-down locations. The tailgate can open from the top down, like a traditional tailgate, or from the side, left to right, to access the 8.5-cubic-foot in-bed trunk that allows for storage under the open cargo bed. Exterior features include:
- New RT Sport model
- Improved aerodynamics
- Four cargo area lights
The Ridgeline's interior is spacious and feels like you're in a full-size pickup rather than a midsize. There is a large center console with tray and hidden storage area. Honda goes one step further and creates storage compartments that fit your mobile phone, CDs, water bottles and more. The 60/40-split rear bench seats fold down to create more cargo space inside the vehicle.
The Sport's interior features all-weather floormats and a black leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls for the entertainment system, which also has auxiliary audio input jacks and darkened rear privacy glass. Other interior features carry over from the 2011 models.
Interior features include:
- Great storage compartments for gadgets and gear
- RT Sport model features leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls
- Ergonomic and comfortable driving position
- Rear seats fold down for extra interior cargo space
Under the Hood
The base 24-valve, 3.5-liter SOHC V-6 with variable valve timing produces 250 horsepower and 247 pounds-feet of torque. A standard five-speed automatic transmission with Honda's Grade Logic Control and automatic Variable Torque Management four-wheel-drive system improves traction and towing performance by applying torque to all four wheels when needed.
All Ridgeline models come with standard driver and front-passenger airbags and front side airbags, two-row side curtain airbags and front-seat active head restraints. A rollover sensor and tire pressure monitoring system are included, along with an electronic stability system. The Ridgeline also features daytime running lights.
Of Interest to Truck Owners
Gross vehicle weight rating: 6,050 pounds
Payload capacity 1,546 pounds, 1,491 pounds (RTL), 1,486 pounds (RTL with Navigation)
Towing capacity: 5,000 pounds
Fuel tank capacity: 22 gallons
Axle ratio: 4.53:1
Minimum ground clearance: 8.2 inches