• (4.7) 25 reviews
  • Available Prices: $19,858–$33,074
  • Body Style: Truck
  • Combined MPG: 17
  • Engine: 250-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: 4x4
  • Towing Capacity: 5,000 lbs.
2014 Honda Ridgeline

Our Take on the Latest Model 2014 Honda Ridgeline

What We Don't Like

  • Completely outdated electronics and interior
  • Drives like a minivan without pickup visibility
  • Engine design biased for horsepower, not torque
  • Awkward bed styling impedes rear visibility

Notable Features

  • New Special Edition model
  • Standard backup camera
  • Crew-cab only body style
  • In-bed trunk
  • Standard all-wheel drive

2014 Honda Ridgeline Reviews

Cars.com Expert Reviews

Offering some pickup truck utility with the ride, handling and fuel economy of a minivan, the Honda Ridgeline sounds like it should be a hit, but its awkward styling and an embarrassingly outdated interior have kept it from being one.

A Honda pickup truck always sounded like an oxymoron, like something that couldn't or shouldn't exist. But the Ridgeline has been around since 2006, a boxy, four-door crew cab that's always seemed like the answer to a question nobody asked: What if Honda built a pickup? The truck itself is built off Honda's minivan/SUV platform — it's essentially a beefed-up Odyssey underneath, with standard all-wheel drive and a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The company has announced that 2014 will be the last model year for the Ridgeline as we know it, with the truck taking a brief hiatus for 2015 and returning as a totally redesigned 2016 model. The changes from 2013 to 2014 are minor and include the addition of a Special Edition model with blacked-out trim similar to the Sport model; see the changes yourself here. With the current Ridgeline run coming to a close, a quick evaluation of the truck seemed in order. Has it aged well? Is it still too quirky for mainstream America, or has familiarity bred acceptance?

Exterior & Styling
Approaching the Ridgeline, one has to admit that it looks like nothing else on the road. Even eight years into its model run, it has a distinctive shape to it — but that may just be other automakers intentionally not making anything that looks like this. A boxy front end — with headlights and grille that both look too small — runs back to fenders that seem out of proportion with the rest of the truck. Then there's the issue that the front and rear fenders are completely different shapes, and that the cargo bed's side walls slope from the rear of the crew cab toward the tailgate … it looked odd when it arrived in the market, and it still looks odd today.

My test truck was an RTL model, a well-equipped "luxury" version that features a chrome grille, 18-inch wheels with all-season tires and fog lights. The Sport trim level looks more menacing, with its blacked-out trim and mesh grille, while a Special Edition model tops the line for 2014 with different wheels, tires and trim. To view our most recent video review, click here.

How It Drives
The Ridgeline may be awkward to look at, but it drives surprisingly well on pavement. My time with the truck included significant highway mileage, city commuting, blizzards and ice storms, and the Ridgeline soldiered through all of it. The only powertrain available is a 250-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. It's an aging powertrain, as these days most engines this size make upward of 300 hp, and six-speed transmissions are now commonplace. It is smooth, however, with reasonable torque for most situations and undeniably refined operation. Acceleration and passing maneuvers are quick and free of drama, with the engine providing a muted soundtrack when pressed, as long as you're not carrying a heavy load.

As you might expect, ride and handling are fantastic when compared with a conventional ladder-frame pickup. No bucking, no choppiness, no discomfort — again, when there's nothing in the bed and you're on well-maintained roads. It rides and handles like a midsize SUV or minivan, because that's basically what it is. The Ridgeline took the cratered asphalt of Detroit's urban streets with ease, and highway behavior was also smooth and controlled. It's main nemeses are choppy dirt roads, where the four-wheel independent suspension is not able to handle rapid-fire inputs. Steering feel is a bit numb and heavily boosted, but it's still worlds better than most pickups we've driven. Another minor complaint is wind noise, especially around the top of the windshield and the base of the windows. The Ridgeline roars at highway speeds, making for an interior din that can be louder than desired.

The Ridgeline features a full-time all-wheel-drive system with a locking rear differential. A differential to lock the front and rear axles is not available, contributing to the Ridgeline's "soft-roader only" credentials. It spends most of its time in front-wheel-drive mode, transferring torque to the rear wheels if it detects slippage. Maximum tractive force can be had by shifting the transmission into 1st, 2nd or Reverse gear and pushing the VTM-4 button on the dashboard. Below speeds of 6 mph, as much as 70 percent of available engine torque can go to the locked rear wheels. As speeds increase (presumably meaning you're out of trouble), less torque is sent to the rear wheels; once speeds exceed 18 mph or you manually shift out of those gears, the locking differential is disabled and the all-wheel-drive system defaults to a normal setting. This type of technology is good for getting out of unplowed driveways or muddy ruts, but the lack of a locking center differential or a low-range gear, plus the speed-limited operation, mean the Ridgeline isn't really suited for any difficult terrain. Think of it as a good all-weather vehicle, but not a good trail vehicle.

Honda makes the argument that the Ridgeline's fuel economy is one of its strongest assets, but since the truck was introduced significant improvements in full-size pickup truck fuel economy have been realized. The Ridgeline is rated 15/21/17 mpg city/highway/combined. During my week with one, we netted an average of 18 mpg, including considerable highway duty from Detroit to Chicago and back. That's decidedly mediocre, given that every other competitive pickup on the market (and we'd classify the Ridgeline as a midsize, rather than a traditional half-ton truck) gets the same or better fuel economy. In fact, the Ram 1500 gets an estimated 16/23/19 mpg with four-wheel drive and the company's 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, while the Chevrolet Silverado does equally well, with 17/22/19 mpg. You can even get a much more powerful Ford F-150 with a twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 and still achieve the same fuel economy as the Ridgeline — 15/21/17 mpg — but with mountains more torque and horsepower. Even when compared with its more direct truck competitors, the Ridgeline has no advantage in fuel economy, matching the Nissan Frontier 4.0-liter V-6's ratings and coming in slightly worse than the Toyota Tacoma V-6's 16/21/18 mpg rating.

The Ridgeline was introduced in 2006, and while the exterior got a mild update in 2009, the interior looks unchanged from the day it was born. The plastics are hard, the knobs are soft, the seams are sharp and primitive, and the electronics are several generations out of date. The interior design is unique — just as boxy as the exterior — but it's also chunky and butch in a way that matches the truck's overall design aesthetic. It almost feels retro-Japanese, like something out of the 1980s. The transmission lever is a column shifter, something that has almost disappeared in the modern day. It's unusual, but not bad to use, and its location on the steering column allows for considerable storage in the adjustable center console.

From a comfort standpoint, the Ridgeline does quite well. The seats are big and relatively supportive over long distances, with a decent amount of room in front and back for five occupants. The rear seat bottoms fold up in a 60/40 split to allow for bulky items like suitcases or groceries in back. Visibility to the front and sides is quite good, but rear sight lines suffer considerably from the downward slant of the cargo bed's side walls, which obscure obstacles like parking meters quite thoroughly, making parallel parking a nightmare.

Ergonomics & Electronics
It's a good thing this is the Ridgeline's last year in this iteration, as it is glaringly obsolete in terms of electronics design, function and connectivity, especially compared with other Honda models. What the Ridgeline doesn't have reflects its age more than what it does: My test car lacked automatic headlights, any parking sensors, blind spot detection, automatic door locking, keyless entry or start, a USB port, iPod integration, Bluetooth streaming audio, a telescoping steering wheel — the list goes on. Want to play music from your iPhone? You'll need a cord to connect the headphone output to the Honda's aux jack. It's like stepping into a brand-new, 8-year-old car; it's state-of-the-art 2006. On the plus side, there isn't much to distract you from the duties of driving.

My test vehicle featured a small touch-screen navigation system that, like the rest of the electronics, features graphics that are woefully out of date — almost embarrassingly so. When the navigation system isn't being used, the big display switches to a clock — your choice of an analog-style clock face or a digital-style clock radio, rendered in graphics that are barely one step more advanced than an original Nintendo.

Cargo & Storage
From the rear doors forward, the Ridgeline is just another SUV, not all that different from Honda's own Pilot. From the doors back however, it's truly unique. The cargo bed is a steel-reinforced plastic tub with some unique properties. The tailgate can either open down conventionally or swing to the side, allowing easier access to a recessed, waterproof, lockable well that's located aft of the rear axle. It's a deep well, and was useful when filled with a load of frozen goods from Costco, kept nice and cold in there due to ambient winter temperatures.

The Honda Ridgeline has never been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has tested it, giving it a rating of good in every test but stopping short of calling it a Top Safety Pick due to the lack of collision-warning systems. The Ridgeline features six airbags and a standard stability control system, but none of the additional electronic safety systems that have filtered into the market this decade. See a list of the Ridgeline's safety features here.

Value in Its Class
The Ridgeline spans a decent price spectrum, starting at $30,405 for a base model with steel wheels, standard all-wheel drive, cloth interior and not much else. My test model was an RTL, featuring leather upholstery, heated seats, a moonroof, satellite radio and power, heated folding mirrors. It came in at $38,210, but you can option a Ridgeline up past $40,000. Select your own options here.

Ridgeline competitors are scarce, given the novelty of the truck. There are no other minivan-based pickups on the market, at least not in the U.S. The Toyota Tacoma may come closest in size and mission, as a midsize pickup on a traditional rear-wheel-drive frame that features an optional 4.0-liter V-6, but with a much more conventional four-wheel-drive system and a choice of two bed lengths. A comparable model would be the Tacoma's 4x4 double cab with the V-6 and short wheelbase, which starts at $27,865. Nissan offers its own aging compact pickup, the Frontier, with an even more powerful 4.0-liter V-6 and similar setup for cabs and lengths, starting at $34,720 for a comparable 4x4 crew-cab SL. Compare the Ridgeline with the Toyota and Nissan trucks here. Comparing the Ridgeline with popular full-size domestic pickups like the Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150 just doesn't make sense, as it is such a different animal in every respect.

The idea behind the Ridgeline isn't a bad one — provide a high-riding, cargo-hauling, light-duty utility vehicle that's much more pleasant, reasonably sized and fuel-efficient than a traditional pickup truck for people who only sometimes need a pickup truck. The problem is that the Ridgeline just doesn't do the things that pickup buyers need them to do, and its uncompetitive fuel economy, dated technology and awkward styling make choosing one a difficult proposition. Here's hoping the 2016 version makes a better case for its existence.


Consumer Reviews


Average based on 25 reviews

Write a Review

Other than milage best car i have had

by mike64 from Ellijay, GA on November 27, 2017

very roomy easy to drive handles great drives dirt roads really well I have a very steep Driveway with the all wheel drive it takes the gravel road very well like it better than my Subaru imreza

Read All Consumer Reviews

5 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2014 Honda Ridgeline trim comparison will help you decide.

Honda Ridgeline Articles

2014 Honda Ridgeline Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Honda Ridgeline RT

Head Restraints and Seats
Moderate overlap front
Roof Strength

IIHS Ratings

Based on Honda Ridgeline RT

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
Overall Rear
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry

Moderate overlap front

Left Leg/Foot
Overall Front
Right Leg/Foot
Structure/safety cage


Roof Strength


Driver Head Protection
Driver Head and Neck
Driver Pelvis/Leg
Driver Torso
Overall Side
Rear Passenger Head Protection
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
Rear Passenger Torso
Structure/safety cage
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.


There is currently 1 recall for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $2,200 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage





What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years