- Apr 21, 2005
2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL: In The Autoblog Garage Day 1
It wasn't a big surprise that the new Honda Ridgeline that pulled up for a week in the Autoblog Garage was silver. It seems every Honda is silver. So why not their first ever truck. Color aside, the Ridgeline looks no different in person than it does in press materials or TV. The edges and shapes are so extreme they seem almost cartoonish in real life. It feels like you're driving a concept vehicle and not something that is being mass-produced. To me that is actually a very appealing sensation.
My first impressions after a few drives around town are very mixed. There are some things I love about the Ridgeline and quite a few that are extremely negative. One plus is the ride, handling and power. They?re all great. The Ridgeline feels like a truck in the right ways. It is big but drives like a dream. Steering is crisp, power comes quickly and bumps barely jostle you. Add a quiet and really spacious cabin and people will think this is the perfect truck.
But then you notice some things. The grey gauges are really hard to read. In sunlight (bottom picture) it is tough to see anything. Plus, all the warning indicators are visible when inactive. That makes for a busy layout and one where it?s difficult to see what gear you?re in or if the blinker is on. While the Ridgeline feels big and heavy when driving, the doors are light as air and offer little thud when closed shut. I like the big dials for everything but the plastic is hard to grasp and Honda could?ve given them a very utilitarian rubber coating like GM does.
It?s nice to have more than a day to give opinions because there are so many interesting details to the Ridgeline. You could spend a day or two gushing and then another nitpicking depending on where you look. We?ll do both the next few days. Hit us with questions to answer below.
Note: There was no sticker provided but the Honda website says a Ridgeline RTL with moonroof and Nav starts at $34,640.