I love the Honda Ridgeline… a lot. I just wish it looked a little cooler though.
One week later…
The Honda Ridgeline is one of the most innovative, & clever trucks out there. And I can’t believe that Honda had to come in here, and show the established truck manufacturers (Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota) what they’re doing wrong.
The storage unit within the bed of the Honda Ridgeline is a game changer! For those who don’t already know, the Ridgeline has an impressively-sized trunk inside of the bed itself. It’s… kind of… hard… to figure out… where they found all the space for it actually (*as I look under the car to see if it’s an illusion). The trunk is waterproof! It has a drain plug, and it locks/unlocks with the car doors. In practical use, it brings so much convenience to the standard pick-up lifestyle. You can keep gear/groceries OUT of the wind, rain, & elements (no Honda pun intended). But even better, you can also keep all that crap OUT of your interior. No matter what your hobby/sport is, odds are, it includes sweaty/wet/gross clothes & equipment. Take me for example… I mountain bike daily. The Ridgeline holds my bike in the bed, no problem. BUT – it can also hold all my sweaty/muddy bike gear in the trunk… so that stuff never has to come inside the cabin. You could carry (and lock) power tools in the trunk if you’re a contractor, and operate them straight from the outlet in the bed of the truck. If you’re a botanist, you could put delicate/exotic flowers in there, and they’ll be safe from wind damage. Hell if you’re a millionaire, you could keep a million dollars back there… and no one would ever be the wiser.
The tailgate on the Honda Ridgeline opens in the standard ‘flip-down’ fashion. But – it also SWINGS open from the side. Again, this is the kind of feature where you don’t realize how valuable it is… until you’ve had it. At which point, going back to a regular tailgate is totally dumb. And I can’t BELIEVE it took Honda to come in… and show all you truck companies how to make a dang tailgate.
The bed of the Ridgeline is not actually lined. It’s a composite plastic, which is incredibly resistant to scratching. And if it DOES scratch… well… the scratch is the exact same color underneath. Oh – and it comes with optional speakers in the bed!!
All Wheel Drive
The Honda Ridgeline has an option for all-wheel-drive, which means it’s running the AWD system ALL of the time… which means it’s ready for surprise elements & on-the-fly changes in terrain. Typical ‘4x4’ trucks are cool, but AWD just makes sense in a lot of real world environments.
OK – Now for the Bad
The Ridgeline is an AMAZING truck… stuck in a Ned Flanders sweater.
I wish Honda had put a little more oomph into the release of this Ridgeline. Something to get some buzz going. If I called the shots – I would have made an ‘off-road’ version with a slight lift, some all-terrains, better approach/departure angled bumpers, some aux lighting, and a couple rad color options. I would have simultaneously released an ‘Si’ version that sat slightly lower with some aero, a sportier wheel/tire package, and a performance intake/exhaust. The truck makes a vtec’d 280hp, so there is no lack of power. 0-60 in 6.6 seconds… about a full second faster than the new Tacoma 4x4.
I wish the rear seats had just a little more leg room. I know I know, it’s technically a midsize truck, but I still wish it had a little more room you could boast about.
And if you’re part of the minority of truck owners that actually use their truck to haul heavy equipment, then the Ridgeline probably isn’t for you… and you probably already knew that. It’s not a full size truck. But lighter duty stuff like wave-runners, small cars/boats, etc… the Honda Ridgeline is golden.