• Apr 21, 2005

Honda Ridgeline AG
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.

Ridgeline AG
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.

Ridgeline Gauges AG
Ridgeline Gauges AG

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.



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  • 39 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      I love my Ridgeline. I drove everything before I bought and was definitly getting an 05 Tacoma, but the ridgeline was just a month away from release, so I waited. I'm so glad I did because I'd be kicking myself big time. After researching and test driving ad nauseum, nothing in this class compares. I work this truck, but spend most of my time on the road, and hands down this is one sweet ride. I've had it off road in deep sandy conditions, and VSA only kicked on occassionally. Compared to the full size Chevy Silverado I'm used to on this off road trail, this truck rides like a cloud off road and delivered us to our destination without the usual whip lash. I went shopping yesterday and the in bed trunk swallowed a heaping cart full of goceries with room to spare. This is one great feature. I can't wait to throw my first 4x8 piece of plywood in the bed and have it lay flat for once. Dual climate control is one of our favorite features and our marriage has improved already. I definitly feel this truck can be worked hard after living with it for the last 1,600 miles. I really have piece of mind sending my wife out in the Ridgeline knowing it will take care of her with AWD and VSA traction control, side airbags and other safety features. As far as hard to read gauges, I have no idea what your talking about. that must have been one hec of a bright day you had there.
      • 9 Years Ago
      madMike, Im so glad you got it right and called it the best "car" that you have ever owned.
      • 9 Years Ago
      RE: the hard to read dash, just turn the dash lighting up. It's the little dial on the left side of the dash up toward the top. The dash will light up like a xmas tree and I think you'll see it all. I think Black is much better looking than that silver one you got. Take a look at mine. http://carazed.com/carazed_dot_com_article.php?mkid=14&lid=6 My Ridgeline is the best car I've ever owned. Yes... there are small things I don't like but all in all Honda did an amazing job.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The Ridgeline is not supposed to replace your full-sized offroading truck capable of hauling a 40 foot five-ton yacht over boulders and logs (c.f. H1a). The Ridgeline is a truck designed for the metrosexual who needs a little more macho image when he goes to Home Depot to buy lightbulbs. In other words, the Ridgeline is engineered to handle typical pickup duty.
      • 9 Years Ago
      All I have to say is that is FRONT Wheel drive. Next the 4 wheel drive disengages after 18mph. Anyone in the mountains that have to climb hills in the snow know that less than 18 maybe a bad idea if you are trying to get to the top. All in all I was wanting to see how it would turn out. Not to impressed.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The front chrome that houses the honda logo looks like a heating element from a turkey cooker or something.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I definitly was an early critic of the styling, so much that I ruled it out of my truck choices after just seeing the pictures, but after seeing it in person, it really grew on me fast. After owning it for more than a month, I think the styling is just perfect. The function and utility of this vehicle far out weighs any styling concerns one might have.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #7 Holden/GM does make an El Camino like vehicle.. the Holden Ute http://www.holden.com.au/www-holden/action/modeloverview?modelid=15000
      • 9 Years Ago
      Do you like the hidden compartment in the truck bed that contains the spare?
      • 9 Years Ago
      If I needed a truck (and I don't) I'd probably get a Ridgeline. Bought an '04 Accord EX-L 4 cyl. sedan 20 months ago--silver, of course--and it's a fantastic car. Never had a Honda until now and it's clear to me that there's a reason why there are so many Honda loyalists out there: the vehicles are superb.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I saw one on the road the other day here in California. I don't know...I prefer the "traditional" look of a Dodge Ram or even a Tacoma. I'm waiting for someone to replace the Honda with a Decepticon badge and paint the car purple and green. Never mind....
      • 9 Years Ago
      According to Honda's website you can load a Ridgeline RTL up to $43,425 with accesories.
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