First Generation (2005-2014)
The Honda Ridgeline is a sport utility truck produced by Honda. It has a unibody construction and a dual-action tailgate, unlike most pickup trucks.
It has a Variable Torque Management Four-Wheel Drive (VMT-4) system. Under normal dry-pavement conditions, it provides a Front Wheel Drivetrain, and when needed, engages the all-wheel drive (AWD) to improve stability or maneuverability and supports medium duty off-road use. The differential can be manually locked to help the truck better handle adverse terrain or become unstuck.
This SUT utilizes a steel reinforced unibody frame with a rear suspension design that provides space for a storage area below the bed. This allowed engineers to build the “industry’s first” lockable, watertight, and drainable 8.5 cu ft In-Bed Trunk at the rear of the bed. The bed itself is designed to hold up to 1,100 lbs and 6 or 8 (depending on the model year) tie down cleats in a high/low configuration, rated at 350 lbs each with special guides build into the bed to help accommodate multiple off-road motorcycles. Honda has the tow capacity listed at 5,000 lbs.
The Ridgeline is powered by a transverse mounted, 245 hp, 3.5L 24-Valve V6 mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and a 22 gallon tank. No powertrain variations were offered.
It came equipped with features such as:
– Front and rear tow hooks
– Power door locks, side view mirrors, and windows including rear-glass window, automatic up/down driver’s window, and child window lock
– Multi-function center console with a telescoping armrest and a two-tiered expandable storage organizer as well as rear-facing air vents, 12V/10A DC outlet, and grocery bag hooks
– Two telescoping sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors
– Large damped and illuminated glove box
– Large dashboard-integrated storage tray (above the glove box) with dividers
– Digital multilingual (English, French and Spanish) information display
– Tire-pressure monitoring system
– Cruise control
– Tilt steering wheel with integrated cruise control interface
– Pioneer 100W audio system with an AM and stereo FM radio receiver, CD player –PCM, MP3, and WMA capable–, four full-rang 6.7 in speakers, and two 1.5 in tweeters
– Split 60/40 fold-up rear bench seat with fold-down center armrest that contains two integrated cup holders and activity tray, LATCH system for up to three child safety seats, and three adjustable head restraints
The US Market offered six trim levels through its lifetime: RT, RTX, Sport, RTS, RTL, and SE. These offered additional options such as a sunroof, navigation, power driver’s seat, Bluetooth, and a rearview camera to name a few.
Second Generation (2017-present)
The new Ridgeline has a more conventional truck design, but the vehicle will retain some of the unique features from the first generation. The dual-action tailgate, in-bed trunk, flat bed, and the same rear 60/40 split bench seat with flat load floor to name a few.
A 3.5L direct injection i-VTEC V6 will provide the new Ridgeline with 247hp, and a few more miles per gallon. The front-wheel drivetrain will achieve 19 mpg city and 26 highway. Step up to all-wheel drive and you only lose 1 mpg in each category. This is hot on the heels of the Honda Pilot, with which it shares most of the same parts.
Some new and unique features will be available on Honda’s SUT, such as a hidden 540W in-bed speaker system where the bed walls are turned into audio speakers using six hidden “exciters” spread around the bed, which is wider and longer than the previous generation.
Expect to see them on the road any day now, as availability is projected for the spring of 2016.