2017 to Present: Honda Ridgeline
The second-generation Honda Ridgeline is a midsize pickup truck launched for the 2017 model year. Honda’s second take on the forward-thinking Ridgeline shares its drivetrain and underpinnings of the highly praised Honda Pilot, but is designed to be considerably stronger for legitimate hauling and occasional off-road adventures.
Whether front- or all-wheel drive, all Ridgelines are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The new version is more powerful than the engine found in the outgoing model. However, the engine retains its reputation as a smooth and compliant power plant that gets the job done without fuss.
Honda’s approach to the interior centers around a spacious, amenity-filled cabin that seats five passengers comfortably. Plenty of dry cargo space is available beyond the truck’s bed. A flip-up rear seat features enough space underneath for a set of golf clubs. Of course you don’t have to be a golfer to appreciate the space; groceries, book bags and backpacks are equally at home. Unique to the Ridgeline is a lockable in-bed trunk that provides additional dry storage to complement the truck’s bed.
The Honda Ridgeline comes standard with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, an upscale soft-touch interior, 18-inch alloy wheels, push-button start, a Class III towing hitch and more. A standard rearview camera adds to the safety features. Moving into higher grades can bring in features like an upgraded infotainment system, satellite radio, leather upholstery and a heated steering wheel. An available truck bed audio system can also turn the Ridgeline into the perfect tailgate vehicle.
The Honda Ridgeline is a top contender in the midsize pickup truck segment competing with longtime sales favorites that include the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and Nissan Frontier.
Earlier Honda Ridgeline Models
The first-generation Honda Ridgeline was launched for the 2006 model year and was offered until 2014. The original Ridgeline was powered by a 247-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. Later models would feature a slightly more powerful version of the V6 engine.
Standard equipment on the base Ridgeline RT includes air conditioning, cruise control, a power sliding rear window and a 100-watt audio system. Higher trim levels add leather seating, a power moonroof, XM radio, heated front seats and more.
With the original Ridgeline, Honda took an unorthodox approach to the midsize pickup. Unlike the traditional body-on-frame design found elsewhere, the Ridgeline’s unibody construction and standard all-wheel drive set the pickup apart from the crowd. The first-generation Ridgeline was also immediately identifiable by its unique slanted cab design and SUV-inspired style.
While towing and hauling is not up to the standards that many of the Ridgeline’s competitors provide, the truck’s carlike driving dynamics and versatile interior make it a great alternative for families who need the utility of a pickup but want the comfort of a crossover.