2007 Ridgeline New Car Test Drive
The Honda Ridgeline is more closely a mid-size pickup than a full-size, but really it's like no other truck available. It vies for the title of most innovative pickup.
Think of Honda's best attributes, then apply them to a pickup truck. We mean qualities like refinement, fit-and-finish and innovation the Honda way. The Ridgeline features an easy-to-reach, locking storage box under its bed that no other pickup can match. Other companies have been building pickups for 100 years, and none of them had thought to try this storage system.
Yet the differences between Ridgeline and more conventional pickups go all the way to the core. Ridgeline is the first mainstream pickup with fully independent rear suspension, which improves ride quality considerably. Other pickup trucks have traditionally been built with a separate nose section, cab section, and cargo bed, bolted to a separate ladder frame. Honda's pickup uses both a one-piece unibody and a steel ladder frame, welded together. Its cab and bed are built as one piece, with separate subframes for the engine, front suspension and rear suspension. Honda claims Ridgeline is 20 times more resistant to twisting than any other pickup truck, and 3.5 times more resistant to bending.
We can't swear by those figures, but we assure you that the Ridgeline is one of the nicest pickups we've driven, measured by comfort and ease of use. It's smooth, quiet and very maneuverable, with a load of useful features. While it can't do the work of some full-size pickups, its 1550-pound payload and 5000-pound towing capacity are more than enough for many buyers.
For 2007, Honda introduces the value-priced Ridgeline RTX model, which adds popular equipment such as alloy wheels and a trailer hitch for a nominal price increase compared to the base RT model. At the high end of the line, the 2007 Ridgeline RTL adds a power moonroof and XM Satellite Radio as standard equipment.
The Honda Ridgeline doesn't look or act like any other pickup truck we've driven, and it shouldn't cost an arm and a leg to own or operate. It makes pleasant, comfortable daily transportation, and it's as much pickup as many drivers will ever need.
What's New for 2007: In its second year of production, the Honda Ridgeline gets a number of changes to its trim packages, including introduction of a new RTX model ($28,300). Beyond equipment included with the base RT model, the Ridgeline RTX adds a standard trailer hitch, gray-painted alloy wheels, an accessory grille and body colored door handles. Additionally, XM Satellite Radio hardware and a power moonroof are now standard on Ridgeline RTL.
The Ridgeline is sold in four different trim levels, with each model adding more standard equipment. Following Honda's new practice, there are no exterior badges to distinguish models.
All Ridgelines are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, generating 247 horsepower, with a five-speed automatic transmission and Honda's VTM-4 all-wheel-drive system. This full-time all-wheel-drive normally proportions 60 percent of the power to the front wheels, but if conditions indicate it will automatically send as much as 70 percent of the engine torque to the rear wheels. Ridgeline also incorporates a limited-slip differential with lock feature.
The Ridgeline RT ($27,800) is the base model. It comes standard with black bumpers, black door handles and steel wheels, manually operated front seats, air conditioning, power windows and locks, cruise control and a 100-watt, six-speaker stereo with CD.
The RTX ($28,300) is new for 2007.
The Ridgeline RTS ($30,275) adds painted bumpers, power front seats with manual lumbar support, a160-watt, seven-speaker stereo with six-CD changer and dual-zone automatic climate control.
The RTL ($32,940) adds still more standard features, including leather upholstery, a power moonroof and XM Satellite Radio hardware. The RTL can be equipped with Ridgeline's only factory installed option: Honda's DVD-based navigation system with voice recognition ($1,550). There are also dozens of dealer-installed accessories available for all Ridgeline models.
Safety equipment is comprehensive. It includes multi-stage front airbags and side-impact airbags for front passengers, front and rear side curtain airbags for head protection and LATCH child-seat anchors for the three rear seats. Anti-lock brakes, traction control, vehicle stability assist and a tire-pressure monitoring system are also standard.