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A red 2022 Honda Ridgeline Sport is shown driving on a dirt road after leaving a Honda dealer.

All About the Honda Ridgeline: The Mid-Size Truck That’s Been Here All Along

There are many pickup trucks available around the world. There are the overseas legends, like the Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Amarok, alongside American classics, like the Chevy Silverado and Ford F-Series. We have SUVs that outsize the trucks, and trucks specifically designed for off-roading, hauling, and even racing. But one often-overlooked truck is waiting for you at your Honda dealer: the Ridgeline.

The Ridgeline has been around since 2006, and it’s done a lot of growing since then. It started out with flying buttresses connecting the cab and bed, which was just as unique as the truck’s unibody frame construction and fully independent suspension. Today’s Ridgeline has matured in appearance to combine elements of “rugged” and “sleek” to create a bold silhouette, and continues to pair the unibody construction with independent suspension and standard all-wheel drive—to provide an unparalleled driving experience, regardless of the surface. Let’s take a look at why the Honda Ridgeline might be the best little truck you hadn’t thought about yet.

The Honda Ridgeline: It’s Absolutely a Honda

Honda vehicles tend to have a certain reputation to keep running until they simply cannot stay on the road any longer. The veracity of this ideal depends a great deal on the individual vehicle and driver, particularly in combination; as they say, “Your mileage may vary.”

The Ridgeline is no exception to this notoriety. Under the hood is a traditional 3.5-L V6 engine that provides 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. According to EPA ratings, it delivers 18 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway.

The 2022 Ridgeline is also equipped with a feature known as i-VTM4 AWD. This stands for “intelligent variable torque management all-wheel drive,” a system designed to place torque where it’s needed while driving on slippery or sloppy terrain. Drivers can select a variety of pre-set traction modes, including Normal, Snow, Sand, and Mud to help them navigate less-than-ideal pathways, as well.

Another great addition to the Ridgeline’s overall value is the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assistance technology. That means that each Ridgeline, regardless of trim, receives the same standard equipment, including Honda’s Collision Mitigation Braking System and Forward Collision Warning, Road Departure Mitigation System with Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist System, and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Those who opt for higher trims also unlock additional features, such as the Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Monitor and automatic high beam headlamps. Dependable and designed to keep everyone safe, the 2022 Honda Ridgeline excels in all of the areas that help vehicles retain their value for many years to come.

A man is shown driving in a 2022 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E with friends.

It’s Definitely a Truck, Too

If you get a chance to talk to a driver about their Ridgeline, it’s likely that you’ll tell you it drives just like an SUV. And for good reason, too; the Ridgeline and Pilot share a similar chassis. In fact, the unibody construction is actually pretty unique to mid-size trucks.

There are some who feel that this type of chassis sacrifices performance for a smoother, more pleasant ride, but “performance” is a subjective topic. The Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 lbs when properly equipped, and can handle a payload of up to 1583 lbs, depending on which trim you select.

The bed has room for up to 33.9 cu.ft. of tools, furniture, adventure equipment, and more. In fact, the bed is one of the highlights of the Honda Ridgeline. When the vehicle arrived on the scene in 2006, it came with a bunch of odd-ball features, such as the aforementioned flying buttresses. But it also included a rare but much-appreciated Dual Action Tailgate, which not only opens downward, but also swings open from the passenger side of the vehicle.

Another cherished bed feature is the in-bed trunk, which has also been around since the brand’s introduction. Built into the floor of the Ridgeline, the in-bed truck provides lockable storage for your necessities. It also includes a drain plug, allowing you to use it for your messiest gear—or even as a cooler. If that’s not enough space, check out the storage space under the rear seats.

Is the Honda Ridgeline your typical heavy-duty truck? Not at all. But for those who like the driving comfort of an SUV with a nice-sized bed, plus trunk, and hauling power? The Ridgeline manages to check off plenty of the right boxes.

It’s Also More Popular Than You Might Think

The Honda Ridgeline is a bit of a superstar in its own right. As a matter of fact, it has the distinction of holding one of the most lengthy, heavily detailed, and accurate Wikipedia pages among current production automobiles—thanks to its dedicated fan base.

The Ridgeline has also earned accolades for being a driver-friendly truck. In 2017, it was the first truck to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) TOP SAFETY PICK+ designation, a tradition which it has continued in the years since. Furthermore, it has consistently ranked highly among real-world driver reviews.

Perhaps part of the success is due to the Honda Ridgeline’s impressive assortment of standard features. The base Sport model comes with useful equipment, including bed lights, an integrated trailer hitch with 7-pin connector, the keyless Smart Entry system with Walk Away Auto Lock, and a fully-loaded infotainment system that includes Bluetooth connectivity—as well as compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Naturally, moving up the trims adds some top-shelf features to the already well-considered package. The RTL Ridgeline is decked out with a leather-trimmed interior that includes heated front seats and a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support. A power sliding rear window and one-touch moonroof are also breezy and enjoyable. The RTL-E takes things up yet another notch with a satellite-based navigation system, chrome fittings, and features you might not have known you need, like a sound system integrated into the truck bed.

At the top of the lineup is the Black Edition. The Black Edition includes all of the fascinating technology and applied features in the RTL-E, but adds its own twist on appearance. As the name implies, this version of the Ridgeline includes black-painted 18” wheels, black leather-trimmed seats, and black chrome exterior accents. Emphasizing the dark palette, the interior features red contrast under-fabric and stitching, as well as red ambient LED lighting.

A blue 2022 Honda Ridgeline is shown from the rear as a man loads plants into the bed.

It’s Time to Think About the Honda Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline received a major refresh in 2021. While the 2022 version doesn’t shake things up too much, it continues in the highly successful and lauded tire tracks of the previous year’s model. In fact, drivers and experts are already speculating as to what the next step for the Ridgeline might be.

Comparing the Ridgeline to its closest competitors is a bit difficult because of its unique formula. Using the unibody chassis as well as independent suspension keeps the Ridgeline driving smoothly and comfortably. For drivers who don’t necessarily need to haul heavy-duty loads—and appreciate the versatility of a pickup bed as well as the manners of an SUV—the Ridgeline simply has no equal.

While it’s not necessarily the most rugged or powerful truck, it can certainly hold its own. It’s well-equipped across the board, from performance to safety, and from convenience to cool points. In short, the Honda Ridgeline is a capable, dependable, and above all enjoyable pickup truck that hits the “just right” spot for many drivers.