2021 Honda Ridgeline Gets Rugged
The 2021 Honda Ridgeline has arrived with rugged new styling, something it had desperately needed to appeal to those for whom function matters more than form. The Ridgeline now looks like a proper truck, though it has always been a proper truck — one with exclusive unibody construction, fully independent suspension, and a one-size-fits-all philosophy that sets it apart in the segment.
Indeed, unlike its competitors, the Honda Ridgeline isn’t offered with a dozen different bed sizes, cabs style, and myriad configurations. You get a single bed size, a crew cab, and a V6 engine — but not just any V6 engine: the most efficient one in its class.
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Lack of customization might worry you, but it shouldn’t. The standard crew cab is roomier than any of the Ridgeline’s competitors, and on paper, the bed is smaller. Wait, smaller? Yes, on paper. But with 50 inches separating the rear wheel wells, it’s the only one that can accommodate 4-by-8-foot building materials flat on the floor.
Better yet, the bed features a weather-proof, locking bed trunk with 7.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity. And inside the cab, the 60/40 split-folding seats provide room for a full-size bicycle. The Ridgeline is a fine example of clever packaging, and why specs without context don’t always tell the full story.
Its towing capacity maxes out at 3,500 pounds for FWD models and 5,000 pounds for AWD models, and its performance on the road feels good. For a pickup, the Ridgeline is surprisingly well mannered and responsive, with minimal body roll and strong acceleration.
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Back inside, the Ridgeline’s interior is a welcome sight. The materials are above average, seating comfort is excellent, and the Display Audio system — updated to be easier to use — comes with a slick 8-inch touch screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard as well, making it easier for you to blast your favorite tunes on the in-bed audio system while you go camping or tailgating…is tailgating even a thing anymore in 2020?
If you’re in the market for a midsize pickup truck, the Honda Ridgeline has always been a solid offering. Now, it even looks the part.
Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.