As the compact and midsize truck markets heat up again, it’s time to take a look at the best year yet for Honda’s Ridgeline.
The truck market has always been incredibly competitive. Ford reportedly sells an average of just over 100 F-150 pickup trucks per hour. That’s an incredible number to get you thinking, but it’s also important to keep in mind how often a full-size truck really gets used to its full potential. It was clear that Honda had this in mind when they created the Ridgeline midsize van.
Originally launched in 2006, the Ridgeline is built on a unibody platform. This is in stark contrast to the full-size body-on-frame trucks that most people are accustomed to.
Early reviews from truck purists claimed that the Ridgeline was just built off a modified minivan platform. While that’s not entirely true, the Ridgeline has more in common with Honda’s Odyssey than the average Ford F-150.
So does that mean the Ridgeline is too weak to compete in the truck market? Or has Honda found a magic concoction with the Ridgeline that’s just “truck enough” for most buyers’ needs?
Let’s take a quick tour of its two generations and look at the Honda Ridgeline’s best year.
Honda Ridgeline first generation (2006-2014)
The first-generation Ridgeline has definitely made waves in the automotive market. While rivals Toyota and Nissan had already developed their own trucks, Honda was better known for passenger cars and motorcycles. That changed in 2004 when Honda introduced the Honda Sport Utility Truck Concept.
The production Ridgeline stuck to this concept when it went on sale in 2006. It came with a five-foot bed that could extend to 6.5 feet with the tailgate open. Therefore, it was large enough to carry bicycles, motorcycles, and other active lifestyle items.
The overall feel of the interior is definitely more car-like, with more emphasis on driver comfort than many other pickup trucks at the time. You can even get a Ridgeline with front-wheel drive (or optional all-wheel drive) that outperforms traditional trucks.
Additionally, despite some early criticism, the first-generation Ridgeline only shared a small percentage of its parts with other Hondas.
To select the best Honda Ridgeline model year, we must quickly navigate through the different model years of the Ridgeline. Once we track the Honda truck changes and price ranges, we’ll pick a winner.
2006 Honda Ridgeline
The first 2006 Ridgeline came with a few new features, including a bed “trunk.” Truck owners usually have to choose between storing their loose, unsecured items in the bed or keeping things in the cab for safekeeping.
The Ridgeline offers an interesting solution to this problem, with an 8.5-cubic-foot lockable trunk built into the bed.
The 2006 Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter single-overhead-cam V-6 engine that develops 255 horsepower and 252 pound-feet. of torque
Honda kept it simple with a single bed size and a single double cab layout. You can choose from three well-equipped trim levels: base RT, mid-level RTS, and leather-wrapped RTL. Prices start at $8,688 – $11,985 (Kelley Blue Book Fair Market Range used).
2007 Honda Ridgeline
For 2007, Honda followed up with a new RTX trim level, and the RTL trim level now has a standard moonroof. Curiously, the power goes from 255 horses to 247 horses. Prices range from $9,269 to $13,128.
2008 Honda Ridgeline
New items for 2008 included fabric updates, and RTS and RTL models received new machine-finished alloy wheels. Prices range from $9,077 to$13,775.
2009 Honda Ridgeline
Highlights for the 2009 model year include a standard trailer hitch on all trim levels, a key ingredient for any truck. Power increases slightly to 250 horsepower.
High-end RTL models now come with a navigation system that now comes with Bluetooth and a rearview camera. Honda also added active head restraints to the front seats of all models. Prices range from $10,101 to$15,647.
2010 Honda Ridgeline
For the 2010 model year, the Ridgeline remained unchanged, except for a few new color options. Equipment levels remained consistent with RT, RTS, and RTL. Prices range from $11,226 to $16,493.
2011 Honda Ridgeline
Likewise, there were no major changes for the 2011 model year. Prices range from $10,689 to $16,368.
2012 Honda Ridgeline
However, in 2012, the Ridgeline received a refreshed front end, including a new grille design and several aerodynamic improvements. The engine upgrades even added a total of +1 mpg.
The Sport trim level is new for 2012 and offers exciting features such as a model-specific black grille, matching 18-inch black alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, as well as lighting upgrades including fog lights and light housings. black front and rear. It sits between the RT and RTS versions, while the RTL remains the top of the line. Prices range from $13,102 to$19,441.
2013 Honda Ridgeline
For the 2013 model year, the Ridgeline has a standard rearview camera on all trim levels. Prices range from $15,340 to $20,638.
2014 Honda Ridgeline
2014 was the last model year of the first generation and the Ridgeline gained a new First Special Edition (SE) trim level that was added on top of the RTL trim. The SE came with everything from the RTL, plus 18-inch wheels with specific finish, unique exterior badging,
SE interior trim, plus a navigation system with voice recognition capability and Bluetooth connectivity. Prices range from $18,932 to $25,540.
So the first-generation Ridgeline established itself as the truck that doesn’t look like a truck. They range in price from just over $9,000 for a base 2006 model to more than $25,500 for a top-of-the-line 2014 SE model, and there are plenty of features and options available throughout those years, as well as the intermediate years.
Honda Ridgeline second generation (2017-present)
After an absence from the market for the 2015 and 2016 model years, Honda took a big step forward with the updated second-generation Ridgeline for 2017. As good as the original was, it was derided for being too slab and not particularly attractive. . .
For the second-generation Ridgeline, Honda grafted a familiar corporate face onto its truck. It’s certainly sleeker and more aerodynamic, and the changes didn’t stop at the exterior.
It is powered by a more powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine rated at 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. of torque Again you have the trunk in the bed to store your valuables on a camping trip or simply shopping.
Honda also added a cool dual-action tailgate and in-bed audio system, both of which should help make your next tailgating event even more fun. The updated Ridgeline is also larger and more capable, with Honda updating several key components to bolster its off-road capabilities as well as its towing capabilities (5,000 pounds). Let’s take a look at each model year before determining the best year for the Honda Ridgeline.
2017 Honda Ridgeline
The 2017 update for the Ridgeline was quite substantial. There are now seven trim levels, including RT, RTS, Sport, RTL, RTL-T, RTL-E and Black Edition.
Even the base 2017 RT is well equipped, with standard features like a trailer hitch, 18-inch alloy wheels, push-button start, and a power locking system that also includes the tailgate.
Inside, you’ll get a 4.2-inch driver information display, Bluetooth, a seven-speaker audio system, and a five-inch infotainment touchscreen that displays the rearview camera. Prices range from $23,329 to $34,972.
2018 Honda Ridgeline
Following the debut of the all-new Ridgeline last year, there were only minimal changes to exterior color options for 2018. Prices range from $25,824 to $36,748.
2019 Honda Ridgeline
For the 2019 model year, Honda updated several trim levels. The RT, Sport, and RTL versions now include another USB port (2 in total). Additionally, Honda added a power sliding rear window, as well as a sunroof, to the RTL and RTL-T trim levels. Prices range from $26,809 to $41,642.
2020 Honda Ridgeline
New for 2020 was an updated nine-speed automatic transmission (replacing the six-speed), as well as “Honda Sensing,” which has become standard on all trim levels. Equipment levels have been reduced to the new base Sport model, as well as the RTL, RTL-E, and Black Edition versions. Prices range from $33,900 to $43,520.
2021 Honda Ridgeline
After making the Ridgeline look a little more like an SUV, Honda has changed course for 2021, adding new sheet metal to the front to make it look more like a truck. There’s also a new package available, the Ridgeline HPD (Honda Performance Development), which also makes the Ridgeline a little more rugged. You can add it to all four trim levels and you’ll get a unique grille, black wheel arch cladding, super cool bronze-painted wheels, and HPD decals on the side of the truck.
Inside, Honda updated some materials and added a volume knob to the infotainment system at the customer’s request. Prices range from $36,490 to $43,920.
The second-generation Ridgeline continues to impress, and with prices starting at just over $23,000 for a 2017 model, there’s a lot to like. Obviously, when you get into the newer iterations, the price goes up considerably.
Which model year Honda Ridgeline is better?
So we have come to the end of our virtual tour of the different generations and model years of the Honda Ridgeline. You’ll notice that the Ridgeline went through an identity crisis. It has to look “truck-like enough” for hardcore truck buyers, while it needs to be “car-like enough” for Honda buyers who want or need the practicality of a truck platform.
The style went from blocky to sleek, and now it seems to be coming back the other way. The Ridgeline isn’t as off-road adept as some larger trucks, and its 5,000 pounds of towing capacity and about 1,500 pounds of payload capacity aren’t exactly the best in the truck world.
However, if you need the practicality of a truck, but want a more comfortable and affordable option, the Ridgeline is fantastic.
That brings us to the winner, there can only be one, and that is the 2017 Honda Ridgeline. You can still get a lot of good things in the 2017 model for a much cheaper price. This is the first Ridgeline of the latest generation, with new exterior and interior styling.
Plus, with most of the same powertrain as newer Honda trucks, you’ll get a similar on-road driving experience. Whichever Ridgeline you choose, you’ll get what you pay for.