Pop quiz: where can you find the power of a pickup with the creature comforts of a minivan? Honda redesigned its 2021 Ridgeline to offer just that. The refreshed Ridgeline, which arrives February 2nd, looks and feels like a rugged truck, but buyers should pay close attention to the details.
2021 Honda Ridgeline: Engine & Powertrain
Honda fitted the Ridgeline with a 3.5-liter V6 with 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft. of torque. The engine is attached to a nine-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard, which Honda dubs as its i-VTM4 torque-vectoring system. This allows the Ridgeline to send up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels and continuously apportions 100 percent of that torque between the left and right rear wheels based on driving conditions at each wheel.
Reviewers report it’s peppy, quick, and in the words of a Car and Driver reviewer, Honda built the Ridgeline to “accelerate quickly, consume fuel efficiently, provide a competitive payload rating, and drive with unrivaled agility and refinement.”
EPA fuel economy ratings come it at 18/24 city/highway and 21 combined.
Towing & Payload Capacity
The 2021 Honda Ridgeline isn’t a powerhouse when it comes to its max tow rating of 5,000 lbs. The Chevy Colorado, when properly equipped, can tow up 7,700 lbs. That’s quite a difference, some of which stems from the Colorado’s available diesel powertrain and body-on-frame design, versus the unibody style of the Ridgeline.
However, the new Ridgeline has a strong max payload rating of 1,600 lbs. That’s on par with the 1,550 lbs. payload capabilities of the 2021 Chevy Colorado fitted with the V6 engine.
Styling & Design
For what it’s worth, the Ridgeline looks the part of a tough pickup. That’s thanks in large part to the all-new sheet metal from the front roof pillars forward. The hood has a pronounced power bulge, and the nose is squared off; there is an upright grille and bold front fenders.
The Ridgeline is really built for cabin comfort, though. Honda reports the refreshed pickup has the segment’s largest interior for passengers and gear, wireless phone charging, flat and foldaway 60/40 split rear seats, and various trims with plentiful extras. The bed is versatile, too, with a multi-function tailgate and lockage storage.
All 2021 Honda Ridgelines come standard with the Honda Sensing suite of safety technologies. The package includes a Collision Mitigation Braking System with Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System, Road Departure Mitigation with Lane Departure Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control.
Honda also reveals the 2021 Ridgeline is targeting top-class collision safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Every new Honda comes with a bumper-to-bumper warranty of three years or 36,000 miles and a powertrain warranty of five years or 60,000 miles. Depending on how much you drive each year, extending your Honda warranty may be of benefit to you. This comprehensive guide will help you determine if you need additional coverage.
2021 Honda Ridgeline: Trim Levels & Packages
The starting MSRP of the new Ridgeline is $36,490 plus a $1,175 destination charge. Trim levels include the Sport, RTL, RTL-E, and Black Edition. The Black Edition Ridgeline, which is at the top of the range, starts at $45,095 (with destination).
A new HPD Package was created in collaboration with Honda Performance Development (HPD), Honda’s U.S.-based racing company. The package adds a unique grille, an HPD emblem, black fender flares, bronze-colored wheels, and special HPD graphics on the side of the bed. MSRP for the package is $2,800.
Additional packages include the Utility ($1,465), Function ($270), and Function+ ($1,315).
If you are in the market for a new Ridgeline, this free and easy search tool* will help you find the best price. Depending on local incentives and inventory in your area, you may be able to purchase well below MSRP.
Nancy Dunham is a life-long journalist whose work appears in many national automotive and general interest magazines and accompanying websites. Her dad was an executive with Western Auto Supply Co. (sold to Sears), so the smell of tires still brings back a flood of childhood memories. She lives in Austin, Texas with her cat Prudence.
Photos & Source: Honda North America.
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