The mid-size Honda Ridgeline vies for the title of most innovative pickup. Honda's best attributes are here in a pickup truck: refinement, fit-and-finish, and innovation the Honda way. The Ridgeline features an easy-to-reach, locking storage box under its bed that no other pickup can match.
The Ridgeline received a mild sytling update and more equipment last year. For 2010, it carries over virtually unchanged.
The differences between Ridgeline and more conventional pickups go all the way to the core. The Honda Ridgeline was 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 unibody 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. Honda claims the Ridgeline is 20 times more resistant to twisting than any other pickup truck, and 3.5 times more resistant to bending.
We've found the Honda 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.
Ridgeline cannot do the work of a full-size pickup, but its 1,550-pound payload and 5,000-pound towing capacity are enough for many buyers.
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.
The 2010 Honda Ridgeline is sold in three different trim levels, with each model adding more standard equipment. There are no exterior badges to distinguish models.
All Ridgelines are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, generating 250 horsepower, with a five-speed automatic transmission and Honda's VTM-4 all-wheel-drive system. This full-time all-wheel-drive normally proportions 60 percent of the power to the front wheels, but if conditions indicate it will automatically send as much as 70 percent of the engine torque to the rear wheels. Ridgeline also incorporates a limited-slip differential with lock feature.
The Ridgeline RT ($28,450) is the base model. It comes standard with black door handles; steel wheels; manually adjusted front seats; air conditioning; power windows and locks; cruise control; reading lights; trailer hitch; and a 100-watt, six-speaker, XM-ready stereo with CD.
The Honda Ridgeline RTS ($31,555) adds 8-way power front seats with lumbar support; a160-watt, seven-speaker stereo with six-CD changer and steering-wheel mounted controls; dual-zone automatic climate control; a security system; and new machine-finish alloy wheels.
The Ridgeline RTL ($34,430) adds still more standard features, including leather upholstery, heated front seats, power moonroof, compass, and HomeLink remote integrated into the rear-view mirror, heated side mirrors, and all the hardware for XM Satellite Radio. The RTL can be equipped with Ridgeline's only factory installed option: Honda's DVD-based navigation system with voice recognition ($2,350).
Safety equipment is comprehensive. It includes multi-stage front airbags and side-impact airbags for front passengers, front and rear side curtain airbags for head protection, and LATCH child-seat anchors for the three rear seats. Anti-lock brakes, traction control, vehicle stability assist, front seat head restraints, and a tire-pressure monitoring system are also standard.