Honda Ridgeline Made Up: A More Masculine Look


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The 2021 Honda Ridgeline is not as tough and capable as other mid-size vans, despite a masculine attitude. But instead, the only Honda with a cargo bed is a one-dimensional alternative to conventional pickup trucks. Although the Ridgeline range does not include an off-road model or an optional diesel engine, it has a standard crew cabin that is larger and more comfortable than its competitors. Its minivan -based infrastructure and V-6 powertrain do not allow it to pull too much at 2300 kg. But it allows the Ridgeline to accelerate quickly, consume fuel efficiently and drive with unrivaled agility and refinement. Standard driver supports and innovative features such as the in-bed luggage and multi-function tailgate further reinforce the truck equivalent status of a Swiss army knife of the 2021 Ridgeline.

What's New for the Honda Ridgeline in 2021?

Before model year 2021, people would say the Ridgeline looked like many things. But the analogy of endurance was not one of them. We're not sure the makeover of the mid-size truck featuring a new design from the front roof pillars forward will silence all criticism, but it definitely looks bolder than before. Enhancing this new aesthetic is a new package from Honda Performance Development (HPD) that is available in all trim levels and adds black fenders, a distinctive blackened grille, HPD graphics on the bearing walls and cool looking bronze wheels. Non-HPD models feature a standard newly designed 18-inch wheel set with more aggressive off-road tires and reduced rear clearance, giving the Ridgeline a wider track and a wider stance. There are small changes inside, however, the biggest update is the revised infotainment system. There are improved graphics and on-screen icons, which Honda says are easier to use. Besides these, Ridgeline now comes with a physical volume knob that handles our years of complaints.

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This mid-size truck segment has been oversaturated with traditional overhead pickups that provide plenty of towing and capable off-road driving. However, Ridgeline appeals to those who want a more comfortable and fuel-efficient alternative. While the most expensive models have the best features, we think the RTL has the best mix of equipment and value desired. We recommend adding the optional all-wheel drive system as it makes Honda all-season handy and allows it to pull up to 2300kg. Similarly, the Ridgeline RTL gets better standard features from the lower Sport trim level. These include heated front seats, a leather-upholstered interior and electrically adjustable front seats.

The powertrain alone is a 280 hp 3.5-liter V-6 that generates 262 lb-ft of torque and is coupled to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The engine feels soft and the throttle response responds especially when you want hard acceleration. An unusual pickup in many ways, the Ridgeline surprises from behind the wheel. On the road, it gives a good-natured and extremely smooth ride. The coil spring independent rear suspension contributes to a car-like ride quality with the leaf springs used by competition, not found on the rigid axle layouts. Body inclination is minimal at the corners and small protrusions are hardly noticeable. The electric power steering looks appropriate. Ridgeline's braking performance alone stands out as its dynamic flaw.

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