Honda releases 2008 Ridgeline details

If you're looking to buy a Honda Ridgeline, you might want to grab one of the remaining '07s on the lot. Honda has released the details on the 2008 models, and though not much on the award-winning truck has changed, the price on all trims goes up a little bit.

According to Honda's press release, the only thing different on 2008 Ridgelines is a wheel upgrade choice. Instead of chrome alloy wheels on the RTS and RTL tiers, customers get machine finished alloys.

The RT and RTX models get a $200 bump in price to $28,000 and $28,500. Honda adds $150 to the price of the RTS, $30,425; RTL, $33,090; and the RTL with navigation, $35,090.

The destination and handling fee also goes up, to $635, a $40 increase over the 2007 fee. EPA's new rules give the Ridgeline a slightly worse fuel economy rating, at 15/20 instead of 2007's 16/21.

Full press release after the jump, see our gallery for more photos.

As a unique entrant in the half-ton pickup truck segment, the mid-sized Honda Ridgeline provides a number of innovative and industry-exclusive features with its 8.5 cubic-foot In-Bed Trunk™, a smooth and responsive four-wheel independent suspension, and standard safety equipment that includes side-curtain airbags and Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®).

For 2008, a new wheel design with "machined styling" appears on the Ridgeline RTS and RTL, and the fabric interiors on the Ridgeline RT, RTX and RTS change from dual-tone styling to a contemporary single tone style.

"The Honda Ridgeline places a high priority on refinement, packaging and the everyday needs of pickup truck users," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Innovative functionality combined with a long list of standard equipment puts the Ridgeline in a class of its own."

The four-door, five-passenger Ridgeline is built on a closed-box unit-body frame that combines the strength characteristics of a ladder frame with the handling and packaging advantages of a unit-body design. Powertrain highlights include a 247-horsepower 3.5-liter VTEC® V-6 engine, a 5-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission and a Variable Torque Management® 4-wheel drive system (VTM-4®) - all as standard equipment. Maximum towing capacity is rated at 5,000 pounds when properly equipped, and all Ridgelines are ready-to-tow with the addition of an available accessory trailer hitch (standard on the Ridgeline RTX). Additionally, all models come equipped with standard transmission and oil coolers, heavy duty brakes, dual radiator fans and pre-wiring for 4- and 7-pin trailer hook up (wired on RTX).

A 5-foot composite cargo bed provides half-ton payload capacity and features six heavy duty tie-down cleats and four integrated bed lights. A dual-action tailgate opens down or to the side for ease-of-access to the lockable In-Bed Trunk, which has enough space for a large 72-quart cooler or three golf bags.

Standard comfort and convenience features on the Ridgeline RT include air conditioning; tilt steering wheel; power windows and door locks, power sliding rear window; cruise control; keyless entry; automatic heated wiper zone; six-speaker, 100-watt audio system with CD player; 60/40 split lift-up rear seat with underseat storage; and all-weather floor mats. Based on the Ridgeline RT, the Ridgeline RTX exclusively provides a standard trailer hitch and 4- and 7-pin trailer wiring, along with alloy wheels, an accessory grille and body-color painted door handles.

The Ridgeline RTS adds a seven-speaker 160-watt audio system with subwoofer and six-disc, in-dash audio system with steering wheel-mounted controls, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver's seat and alloy wheels.

The RTL adds a leather-trimmed interior with heated front seats, moonroof, XM® Satellite Radio, HomeLink® remote system, and an interior compass in the rearview mirror. A Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System® with voice recognition and MP3/ auxiliary input jack is available (and replaces the rear-view mirror interior compass).

The Ridgeline was the first-ever 4-door pickup to receive federal government's top 5-star safety rating, the highest safety rating possible, for both frontal and side impacts . In keeping with the Honda "Safety for Everyone" initiative, all Ridgeline trucks are equipped with standard anti-lock brakes; Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®), also known as electronic stability control; brake assist; advanced dual-stage, dual-threshold driver's and front passenger's SRS airbags; front side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System(OPDS); and two-row side-curtain airbags with rollover sensor. A tire pressure monitoring system is also standard.

The closed box unit-body architecture delivers vastly superior rigidity compared to traditional body-on-frame designs and provides the foundation for the Ridgeline's spacious interior cabin and bed, outstanding safety performance and class-leading ride and handling performance.

The all-aluminum, 60-degree, SOHC 3.5-liter VTEC engine produces 247-horsepower at 5700 rpm and 245 lb-ft. of torque at 4500 rpm. Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) enhances low rpm torque while extending high rpm horsepower. The result is a broad torque curve that starts early at low rpms while still delivering top-end horsepower.

The fully-automatic VTM-4 system provides confident, decision-free operation in rain, snow, ice, sand and mud, while also improving on-road and towing performance by distributing torque to all four wheels as needed. The system provides front-wheel drive for dry-pavement cruising conditions and engages all-wheel drive when needed. The VSA system can apply braking force to a wheel with low traction and direct driving force to the wheel with more traction. For the rear differential, a "VTM-4" lock button located on the instrument panel allows the driver to temporarily hold engagement of both rear wheels to aid traction while in gears "1" and "2."

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