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A red 2021 Honda Ridgeline drives through a dusty vineyard after leaving a Honda Ridgeline dealer.

How the Honda Ridgeline Holds Its Value

Since its first year of production back in 2006, the Honda Ridgeline has been both praised for its performance and criticized for its appearance. However, one point that is not in contention is that the Ridgeline holds up to the traditional Honda standard of reliability on top of its other praise-worthy qualities. Because of its controversy, buyers may wonder if the Ridgeline holds its value over time, but consistent JD Power awards across the Ridgeline model years say that it most certainly does. This fact alone may be enough to get some buyers to head to their Honda Ridgeline dealer and for good reason. The JD Power awards demonstrate that the Honda Ridgeline holds its value in its reliability, quality, and performance, which means it holds a high resale value for years.

From 2006 to 2020, the Ridgeline has always held a position in the top four of the Top Ten Consumer Rated Trucks from JD Power, and as often as not, it has held first place in that lineup. On top of that, if you check out the overall ratings for resale, quality, and reliability, the Ridgeline always scores in the “great” category – the highest it can achieve. While it helps to hear overall ratings for a model, here we will take a look at how these numbers break down in each model year of the Honda Ridgeline from 2006 to 2020 so you know which years are the best to buy according to JD Power. Each of the categories will also be described to understand how a vehicle achieves the award.

JD Power Awards Explained

A silver 2021 Honda Ridgeline is parked outside at night.

JD Power gives awards in a few different ways, but it is possible to achieve distinction in several categories when a model receives an award. Before explaining each of the categories, it’s worth mentioning that the way JD Power operates is to conduct research on vehicles through customer surveys. After certain periods of time go by in a customer’s ownership, they are eligible to complete a survey in which they rank specific aspects of the vehicle they own. Because the research is based directly on customer experience with each vehicle, the surveys are considered valuable information, especially to car manufacturers who can utilize this feedback to improve their vehicles.

First, a vehicle earns a numerical score based on the data returned through the surveys, a score from 0-100. This boils down to mean that out of every 100 people, the average number who agreed about a particular category becomes the numerical score. The four categories include Quality and Reliability, Driving Experience, Resale, and Dealership Experience. This can apply to an overall brand or just a single model, like the Honda Ridgeline. Every year, a vehicle earns a score out of 100 for each category as a rating from vehicle owners.

Awards are given to vehicles that achieve the highest ratings in four categories, which are slightly different than the rating categories. When a vehicle is given a JD Power award, it earns the distinction of Dependability, Quality, Performance, and Dealership Experience. These are similar to the rating categories but not quite the same. When a vehicle is rated out of 100 for quality and dependability, this number “measures the level of defects, malfunctions and design flaws experienced by vehicle owners,” as quoted from the JD Power website. It takes into account the entire vehicle. Being given an award for dependability means a vehicle has been reported to show the fewest problems per 100 owners of three-year-old vehicles.

Finally, a vehicle’s ranking shows up in a Top Ten Consumer Rated category. This list includes only the top ten highest rankings within a segment or for brands that are categorized and compete against each other in the same market. Some segments are loaded with vehicles, like the crossover SUV market, while others have few competitors to rank. Thus, when being ranked as one of the Top Ten, this distinction can be a high honor if a large number of competitors are selling vehicles in the same segment.

How the Ridgeline Rates Over Time

A grey 2021 Honda Ridgeline is driving down a dirt road with a bed full of camping gear.

When looking first at the rankings out of 100, the Honda Ridgeline consistently ranks high in two specific categories: Resale, and Quality and Reliability. For every year the Ridgeline was available for sale, the Honda truck scored “great” in both of these categories, which is the highest score awarded to a vehicle. This means a score of at least 80 out of every 100 people agreed that the Ridgeline deserved a high rating in each of these categories. Most often, the score was closest to 85 out of 100 every year.

The category of quality and dependability was already described, but to achieve high ratings for resale, a vehicle is ranked in terms of its overall depreciation over three years of ownership. Vehicles that retain their value the best score the highest. These are fairly good categories for a vehicle to gain high scores, and they demonstrate that a vehicle like the Ridgeline both holds value over time and is a good quality truck that runs reliably. This shouldn’t be a surprise coming from Honda. Awards, on the other hand, are another story. Most recently, JD Power awarded the Ridgeline the Performance award in 2020. But there are many awards the Ridgeline has earned over the years.

Three awards have been given to the Honda Ridgeline in a number of years, specifically the dependability, quality, and performance awards. In fact, it’s easier to say there are only three years in which the Ridgeline didn’t receive an award: 2019, 2013, and 2010. Some years were heavily awarded, with the truck sweeping all three awards in the 2014 and 2011 model years. Other model years generally picked up one or two awards across the categories. Another good year for the Ridgeline was 2018, when it received the APEAL Power Circle Rating of five out of five. The APEAL rating is awarded for owner satisfaction, and the Ridgeline topped the midsize truck segment.

Finally, we reach the Top Ten list. As was mentioned already, Honda has managed to keep the Ridgeline on the Top Ten Consumer Rated Truck list for every single year that it has been manufactured. Overall, the Ridgeline has held the #1 spot seven times and has never dropped below #4. That’s actually astonishing for a vehicle to remain so highly ranked over time. If you ever wondered whether or not the Ridgeline is a reliable, quality vehicle that can retain its value, JD Power’s ratings deserve consideration.

What Does JD Power Say About the Honda Ridgeline?

Even in its first year, the Honda Ridgeline was recognized with a performance award, and it achieved first place in the Top Ten list from JD Power. On its sister site, the NADA guide to vehicle histories, the Ridgeline is described as an “unorthodox entrant in the mid-sized truck category.” Be that as it may, more recent years have updated the styling to be more truck-like. The Ridgeline continues to rank high for its performance due to an independent rear suspension, excellent all-wheel drive, and interior comfort. Any buyers considering the purchase of a Honda Ridgeline, whether new or used, can rest assured that with the high JD Power ratings since its first year of production, you will be getting a midsize truck that will hold its value over time.