|Assembly||Alliston, Ontario, Canada (HCM) (2005-2008)
Lincoln, Alabama, US (HMA) (2008-present)
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Mid-size/full-size sport utility truck|
|Body style||4-door truck|
|Layout||Transversely-mounted front engine, four-wheel drive|
Honda Odyssey (North America)
|Engine||3.5 L 250 hp 247 lb-ft V6|
|Wheelbase||122 in (3,099 mm)|
|Length||2006-08: 206.8 in (5,253 mm)
2009-2011: 207 in (5,258 mm)
2012-Present: 206.9 in (5,255 mm)
|Width||77.8 in (1,976 mm)|
|Height||70.3 in (1,786 mm)
2012-Present RTL: 71.2 in (1,808 mm)
The Honda Ridgeline is a mid to full size sport utility truck produced by the Japanese automaker Honda. The Ridgeline was released in March 2005 as a 2006 model and is Honda's intended first foray into the North American pickup truck market. Until 2009, the Ridgeline was built in Alliston, Ontario, Canada alongside the Acura MDX, Honda Civic, Honda Civic Si, and Acura CSX. The Ridgeline was awarded Motor Trend's Truck of the Year for 2006. The Ridgeline is based on the Acura MDX platform, alongside the Honda Pilot. The Ridgeline was shown in concept form as the Honda SUT in 2004.
Production of the current Ridgeline will end in mid-2014, and in December 2013, Honda announced that an all-new Ridgeline would arrive within two years.
The Honda Ridgeline uses a ladder frame/unibody hybrid chassis. Honda claims this design gives it 2.5 times more ball rigidity and 20 times the torsional rigidity than the standard ladder frame only type of chassis construction, while retaining the load carrying capacity of the traditional ladder frame. The truck has four-wheel independent suspension. The independent rear suspension provides space for a storage trunk below the bed, which can be locked to secure contents such as a tool chest (the first such pick-up having been the pickup version of the Volkswagen Type 2 (T3)). However, a flat tire repair is difficult if cargo is being carried because the spare tire is stored inside the below the bed trunk. The load bed has a composite liner to resist dents and corrosion. A dual action tailgate is standard, with the first application of such a design in 1966 model Ford station wagons. The tailgate opens conventionally in a downward motion that can handle a load in the horizontal open position, but can also be swung to the side like a door, allowing a consumer to stand straight up at the rear bumper and reach down into the trunk.
The bed is integrated with the body, similar to the Chevrolet Avalanche. The vehicle is rated at 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) towing capacity (with dealer-installed or aftermarket hitch) and 1,500 lb (680 kg) load capacity.
Standard equipment includes anti-lock brakes, heated windshield wiper parking zones, four wheel drive locking mode, and VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) with off switch (for off-road use), and side-curtain airbags. The Ridgeline comes only with bucket front seats, and its fold-up rear seat allows additional cargo space. Four trim levels are available: basic RT, RTX, RTS, and premium RTL (with optional sunroof or moonroof and GPS Navigation).
For 2007 and 2008, an RTX trim version was available. This added gray-painted alloy wheels, an alternate grille, body-colored door handles, and factory tow package. The RTS adds a 6-way power driver's seat, 6-CD changer, subwoofer, body-colored mirrors, silver-painted alloy wheels, and dual zone climate control system. The RTL adds leather trimmed upholstery, and for the 2007 model year, a moonroof and XM radio are standard on the RTL.
The Ridgeline received a facelift for the 2009 model year. A Sport model was released with the 2012 model year with blacked out bezel surrounding the headlights, 18" machine finished black painted alloy wheels, and a black sport grille.
Honda's AWD traction system
The all-wheel drive system operates in front-wheel drive mode under normal conditions and automatically transfers power to either rear wheel via a locking differential when it senses a loss of traction in the front. The VTM-4 system can be locked in first, second or reverse gears at speeds under 18 mph (29 km/h).
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2011)|
- Motor Trend truck of the year 2006 
- North American Truck of the year 2006
- Detroit News truck of the year 2006
- Consumer Reports top rated truck
- J.D. Power & Associates 2005 APEAL award for the Honda Ridgeline
- Autobytel 2006 Editors' Choice Award: Truck of the year 2006
- Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) Best New Pickup 2006
- On Wheels Incorporated: Ridgeline 2006 Urban Wheel Award for the Urban Truck of the Year
- Strategic Vision's coveted "Most Delightful" compact pickup award
- Best rollover resistance rating of any pickup tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety, Administration (NHTSA)
- Society of Plastic Engineers 2005 Grand Award (composite embed trunk)
- Car And Driver Rates Honda Ridgeline #1 Pickup, AutoWeek Editors' Choice Award as the 'Most Significant' new vehicle in the show
- Maxim Truck Of The Year 2006
- 2007 Automobile Magazine All Star award Top 10 cars for 2007
Marketing and sales
The Ridgeline is more aptly classified as a sport utility truck with the only other rivals being the Chevrolet Avalanche and Ford Explorer Sport Trac. Other rivals may include the double cab versions of compact pickups like the Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier, both of which follow the traditional pickup layout.
Honda marketed the Ridgeline as an alternative to traditional full-size pickups such as the Ford F-150, Dodge Ram, Chevrolet Silverado, and Toyota Tundra, all of which had standard V8 engines. In comparison, the Ridgeline's V6 engine powertrain offers insufficient power (Honda has never developed a V8 for passenger vehicles), the lack of ruggedness due to its unibody construction, and its relatively short cargo bed compared to standard pickup trucks, all made it unsuitable for contractors. Unlike the competitor's crew cabs, the Ridgeline also lacks the option of six-passenger seating because a front bench seat is not available.
Sales were initially slow, partly because it was considered over-priced. Consequently, dealers have been discounting the truck, and the average selling price has come down steadily according to J.D. Power.
As of 2013 the Honda Ridgeline is available in the United States, Canada, and Mexico in LHD only.
|Calendar year||US sales|
On July 12, 2013, Honda announced that the Ridgeline will end production after the 2014 model year. A redesigned model will be released sometime in 2016, either as a late 2016 model or as a 2017 model. Its two main competitors, the Chevrolet Avalanche and Ford Sport Trac, have also been discontinued (in Ford's case, the Ford F-Series is now that company's only pickup truck sold in North America after the Ford Ranger was discontinued in 2012), it is not known if the Ridgeline's replacement will be an SUT or a traditional body-on-frame truck.
- "All-new Honda Ridgeline Pickup to Debut Within Two Years" (Press release). Honda.com. 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
- "Full Test: 2006 Honda Ridgeline". Edmunds.com. 2005-03-30. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- "Variable Torque Management VTM-4 Explanation". Ridgeline Owners Club. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- "Backstretch Motorsports". Backstretch Motorsports. Retrieved 2009-05-10.
- "Motor Trend 2006 Truck of The Year: Honda Ridgeline".
- Greimel, Hans (2008-11-01). "When Honda thinks hybrids, it thinks small". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2009-05-10.
- Peterson, Thane (2006-04-26). "Ridgeline's Uphill Climb". Businessweek.com. Retrieved 2009-05-10.
- "Honda Sets All-Time December Sales Record to Earn 2nd Best Annual Sales Total for American Honda; Acura Light Trucks Post Best Year in Brand History" (Press release). Hondanews.com. 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Honda Ridgeline.|
- Official Honda website for Ridgeline
- SCORE Honda Ridgeline
- Not official site Honda Ridgeline
- Honda Ridgeline Owners Club
|Honda road car timeline, North American market, 1980s–present|
|Sport compact||CR-X||CR-X||del Sol||CR-Z|