Motor Trend has named Honda’s ‘square peg in a round hole’ Ridgeline as its 2006 Truck of the Year. And though the critic’s darling has yet to really make a name for itself on sales charts (it’s expected to fall short of its 50,000 unit/year target in 2005), the automaker has high hopes that the coveted ‘Golden Caliper’ will not only win its genre-defying truck some respect, but sales as well.

First-in-class features like the Ridgeline’s much ballyhooed in-bed trunk and double-jointed tailgate have impressed would-be consumers, but the truck’s polarizing looks, a lack of a traditional V8 powerplant, and pricier high-end model mix may be keeping consumers out of dealerships. The call tag on the Ridgeline for pundits and buyers alike seems to be: ‘To drive it is to love it.’

The Ridgeline joins Motor Trend’s 2006 Car of the Year, the Honda Civic and the Sport Utility Vehicle of the Year, Nissan’s Xterra, for a Japanese sweep of the awards this year. This marks the second year in a row that Truck of the Year honors have been awarded to a Japanese vehicle (Toyota’s Tacoma took home the prize in 2005).

[Source: Mainichi Daily News]


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