The mid-size Honda Ridgeline is like no other pickup truck available. Now in its fifth season, it still vies for the title of most innovative pickup.
Honda's best attributes are here in a pickup: refinement, fit-and-finish and innovation. The Ridgeline features an easy-to-reach, locking storage box under its bed.
But the differences between the Ridgeline and more conventional pickups go all the way to the core.
The Ridgeline is the first mainstream pickup with fully independent rear suspension, which improves ride quality considerably. Other pickup trucks have traditionally been built with a separate nose section, cab section, and cargo bed, bolted to a separate ladder frame. Honda's pickup uses both a one-piece unit-body and a steel ladder frame welded together. Its cab and bed are built as one piece, with separate subframes for the engine, front suspension and rear suspension. Ridgeline's rigid design is more resistant to twisting and bending than traditional pickups.
We've found the Ridgeline to be one of the nicest pickups to drive when measured by comfort and ease of use. It's smooth, quiet and very maneuverable, with a load of useful features.
The Ridgeline cannot do the work of a full-size pickup, but its 1500-pound payload and 5000-pound towing capacity are enough for many buyers.
The Ridgeline has been around since 2006, but it was significantly updated for 2009 with a more powerful engine, several equipment upgrades, and freshened styling inside and out. A trailer hitch became standard on all models, and the optional navigation package was expanded to include Bluetooth and a rear-view camera. Other new features included the addition of a 115-volt power outlet on the RTL, an MP3/auxiliary input jack on the RTS and RTL, and MP3/WMA compatibility for all audio systems. Active front seat head restraints and daytime running lights were added to Ridgeline's already long list of safety features, and two more cargo tie-down points (for a total of eight) were added to the pickup bed. In all, Honda claimed to have made 50 significant changes. There have been no further revisions for 2010.
The Honda Ridgeline doesn't look or act like any other pickup truck we've driven, and it shouldn't cost an arm and a leg to own or operate. It makes pleasant, comfortable daily transportation, and it's as much pickup as many drivers will ever need.