Specifications of Honda Ridgeline II 3.5 V6 (280 HP) Automatic
General characteristics of Honda Ridgeline II 3.5 V6 (280 HP) Automatic
The Honda is wider but slightly shorter than the Ford Ranger. Unlike several other trucks on the market, the Honda comes with just one body style and bed size. Key dimensions for the Ridgeline include a length of 210.2 inches, a height of 70.8 inches, and a width of 78.6 inches. All Ridgelines have 7.64 inches of ground clearance, some way off the Ranger which offers up to 9.7 inches of clearance. The approach/breakover/departure angles for the Honda work out to 20.4/19.6/19.6 degrees, again falling short of some key rivals.
With the tailgate up, the bed length measures 64 inches, increasing to 83 inches with the tailgate down. At the wheel wells, the Honda's bed width is 50 inches exactly, increasing to 60 inches when measured at the bed walls. The base Sport has a curb weight of 4,436 pounds, increasing to 4,475 for the RTL. Both the RTL-E and Black Edition weigh the most at 4,510 lbs.
A new Radiant Red metallic color has been added to the Ridgeline's color palette for 2021. This color carries a $395 premium along with Platinum White Pearl on the base model. However, other colors like Lunar Silver metallic and Crystal Black Pearl won't cost anything extra. Moving up to the RTL adds Modern Steel metallic, Obsidian Blue Pearl, and Pacific Pewter metallic ($395). The RTL-E shares the RTL's color palette, but the Black Edition can only be specified in Crystal Black Pearl or Platinum White Pearl ($395). The HPD package avails eye-catching bronze wheels.
The Honda Ridgeline pickup has retained the smooth and responsive 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. This year, though, the previously optional all-wheel-drive system is standard, whereas the 2020 version used FWD by default. Paired with a smooth nine-speed automatic transmission, the Ridgeline will get from 0-60 mph in not much more than seven seconds. Some other trucks are quicker, but the Ridgeline does not feel underpowered. In fact, throttle response is notably crisp and the powertrain always remains smooth, forming a key part of the Honda's car-like appeal. In terms of towing capacity, the Ridgeline can only tow 5,000 lbs. The Ford Ranger can tow 2,500 lbs more, and the Jeep Gladiator even more than that. Together with its less impressive off-road chops, the Ridgeline isn't the most capable truck in its segment, but it's the one you'll want for on-road use.
The 3.5-liter direct-injected VTEC V6 engine may lack turbocharging, but it blends brilliantly with the nine-speed automatic gearbox. Maximum outputs are 280 hp and 262 lb-ft, which is enough for smooth, punchy getaways around town and adequate passing power. There are no qualms with the slick and smooth nine-speed auto in the Ridgeline, either. The shift-by-wire transmission includes paddle shifters as standard across the lineup, although the relaxed Ridgeline feels in its element when shifting through the gears itself.
At lower speeds on tight trails, the engine and transmission handle themselves remarkably well with plenty of torque and a well-rounded electronic traction system. It's easy to forget the Ridgeline has paddle shifters as they're not needed but add to the fun of negotiating back roads with reasonably swift gear changes on command.
By dropping the front-wheel-drive version from the lineup, the base Ridgeline's fuel economy is marginally less impressive than before, but it's still good for a V6-powered AWD truck. According to the EPA, the Ridgeline will return 18/24/21 mpg city/highway/combined. Those numbers are better than the Chevrolet Colorado's 17/24/19 mpg when the Chevy is equipped with 4x4 and a V6 engine, although the Colorado can be had with a more efficient turbodiesel. The Honda nearly matches the Ford Ranger's 20/24/22 mpg when the latter is equipped with 4WD. All Ridgelines are equipped with a 19.5-gallon gas tank, so a combined cruising range of almost 410 miles will be achievable. In fact, we achieved almost 410 miles from a tank after covering a lot of freeway miles as well as local trips out on mountain roads.
Our Honda Ridgeline interior review leaves little to complain about. Honda hasn't made any dramatic changes in the cabin, but this wasn't necessary as the Ridgeline is blessed with one of the nicest interiors in this segment. The combination of a low step-in height, comfortable seats, and premium materials creates a strong impression. There are some small but welcome improvements this year such as the addition of a physical volume knob and new stitching on the seats, but for the most part, it's a reassuringly familiar environment. All models enjoy conveniences like push-button ignition and tri-zone automatic climate control, while higher-spec derivatives enjoy heated front seats, leather upholstery, and a power-adjustable driver's seat.
The Honda Ridgeline has an accommodating interior, even with five people packed inside. Kids and adults alike will appreciate the back with its 36.7 inches of legroom and 38.8 inches of headroom compared to the front's 40.9 inches and 40.1 inches, respectively. The base cloth-covered Sport trim's seats are comfortable and supportive over long stints and rough ground. Forward and side visibility is excellent, but the camera comes in useful for reversing. Topping off the convenience, a low step-in height makes the Ridgeline easy to slip in and out of, and the rear doors have been updated to open wider.
As we found in our 2020 Ridgeline review, a single bed size limits the Honda's appeal, so you'll need to be happy with the standard bed's capacity of 33.9 cubic feet. With the bigger of its two available bed sizes, the Chevy Colorado provides nearly 50 cubes of space, highlighting the gulf between it and the Ridgeline truck in this area. However, the Honda does offer a competitive payload capacity of up to 1,583 lbs. All Honda Ridgeline models offer a handy 7.3 cubes of lockable in-bed storage. There are numerous other useful features like a dual-action tailgate that can open either downwards or to the side, eight truck bed tie-down cleats, and truck bed lights - these lights are LEDs on the top two trims. On these higher-spec versions, a 400-watt truck-bed power outlet is fitted.
Honda has put just as much thought into the cabin. There are 60/40-split rear seats that can be flipped up for more utility space, along with front/rear cupholders, seatback pockets, a dedicated holder for your sunglasses, and a multi-function center console.
Alas, the infotainment system lags behind the rest of the truck, despite the addition of a physical volume knob. The eight-inch screen is clear enough, but it's not as responsive as it could be, and Honda's infotainment system isn't the most user-friendly on the market. That said, all the necessary modern features are there, including Bluetooth, SMS text messaging functionality, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a seven-speaker sound system with sub-woofer, and a USB charging port in the center console as standard. Moving up the trims to RTL-E and Black Edition adds HD Radio, Sirius XM radio, Honda's satellite navigation with voice command system, and an eight-speaker premium sound system. The top two trims also include a truck bed audio system that vibrates the bed panels for outdoor sound.