Japanese automaker Honda first stepped into the U.S. truck-making game with the Honda Ridgeline, which originally appeared in 2005 as a 2006 model. The Ridgeline is a mid- to full-size sporty-utility truck and continues to be the only truck offered by the company in the North American market. Honda's truck-making didn't begin with the Ridgeline in general, however. In fact, Honda's first production vehicle was the T360 mini pick-up truck in 1963. The Ridgeline is/was Honda's first light-duty ... (full review continues below)
Japanese automaker Honda first stepped into the U.S. truck-making game with the Honda Ridgeline, which originally appeared in 2005 as a 2006 model. The Ridgeline is a mid- to full-size sporty-utility truck and continues to be the only truck offered by the company in the North American market. Honda's truck-making didn't begin with the Ridgeline in general, however. In fact, Honda's first production vehicle was the T360 mini pick-up truck in 1963. The Ridgeline is/was Honda's first light-duty uni-body pickup truck, and was both engineered and designed primarily in North America for that market to compete with popular American trucks from Chevrolet, Ford, and GMC. Specifically, the Ridgeline competes against the Toyota Tundra, the Ford F-150, the Nissan Frontier, and the Chevrolet Silverado. Though initial sales of the Ridgeline were slow, they have been steadily improving as the truck's price, which was once thought of as inflated, has continued to decrease.
The Honda Ridgeline truck is built on the Acura MDX platform (as is the Honda Pilot). It was first show as a concept in 2004, and was built in Canada along with several other Honda and Acura models until 2009. The Ridgeline is still in its first generation, and has a starting price this year of $29,250. It gets up to 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway and comes in four trim levels: RT, Sport, RTS, and RTL. The prices range from the base price (previously listed) to the RTL's starting price of $34,830.
The Ridgeline truck has many distinct standard features, including 18-inch alloy wheels (on the RTL and Sport trims), a dual-action tailgate, manly exterior lines, and a Lockable In-Bed Trunk (an auto industry first). Each Ridgeline comes with a Class II trailer hitch, an integrated closed-box frame featuring unit-body construction, and an SRC (Steel-Reinforced Composite) cargo bed. Inside, features and options include a moonroof, twelve-volt power outlets, Hands-Free Bluetooth, an MP3/Auxiliary Input jack, a Satellite-Linked Navigation System featuring a rearview camera and voice recognition, 60/40 split rear seats, heated front seats, and a lockable in-bed trunk.
The Ridgeline is known for its incredible safety features, which include traction control and Vehicle Stability Assist, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Brake Assist and EBD for its four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, at least six airbags, and a standard rollover sensor. These safety features are backed up several Honda warranties, including: a 3-Year New Vehicle Warranty, a 5-Year Powertrain Warranty, an Accessory Limited Warranty, a Limited Warranty for replacement parts, and a 5-Year/Unlimited-Mile Corrosion Warranty. The Ridgeline provides a comfortable, fun ride with its independent rear suspension, while its trunk (the first for a pickup in the auto industry) provides families with plenty of cargo space. The Ridgeline's dual action tailgate, which was first seen in Ford station wagons in the late 1960s, allows the driver flexibility and comfortable, easy cargo loading. Overall, we think the Ridgeline deserves a bit more attention from the auto community, though it might not have the power of American trucks, it has the versatility to do almost anything its driver desires.