The Honda Ridgeline is constructed with a strong and highly rigid unibody, which together with the fully independent suspension and torque vectoring all-wheel drive (now standard on the 2021 model) gives it superior on- and off-road handling, and a quiet and comfortable ride. The critics have long given the Ridgeline a good ranking in the midsize truck category for the ride and handling and for its cabin, but it has also garnered a nearly equal amount of criticism because it looked more like a minivan with a pickup bed than it did a pickup truck and it doesn’t have the off-road capability and true truck-like features of its body-on-frame contenders in the midsize pickup segment.
For 2021, the Ridgeline received substantial styling changes to give it a more squared-off and a more rugged look that better matches its truck capabilities, which include the fact that Ridgeline has a payload capacity of 1,509 to 1,583 pounds and the largest standard bed in its segment. Everything in front of the A-pillar is new, including a taller hood, a larger grille and redesigned headlights. At the rear is a new bumper design with a dual exhaust. To further toughen up the looks Honda, has brought out a HPD (Honda Performance Development) appearance package, a $2,800 add-on that gives you squared-off fender guards, special graphics and bronze-colored wheels.
All the things that people like about the Ridgeline remain—lots of standard tech features, a dual-hinged tailgate that swings both down and out, a bed with lockable in-bed 7.3 cubic-feet storage compartment that can carry 4-foot-wide objects between the wheel wells, and a 60/40-split rear seat base that flips up so you can stow things on the flat cabin floor. It also retains a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine putting out 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque with a 9-speed automatic transmission, rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds or 5,000 pounds with upgrades including AWD. The Ridgeline starts at $37,655 and you can spend up to $43,920 for the Black Edition.