2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport

The most impressive truck ever!
By Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
December 26, 2021 Updated: December 26, 2021

Honda Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), enabling it to produce up to 280 horsepower while maintaining fuel efficiency. It’s partnered to a 9-speed automatic transmission, and as a whole its fuel consumption is rated at 24 mpg on the highway and 18 mpg in the city, for a combined average of 21 mpg.

Heavy-Duty Automatic Transmission Cooler and Intelligent Traction Management work in tandem to keep the truck going under challenging conditions, until the job is done.

The Ridgeline has a 64-inch bed. Now that is about a foot shorter than the competition, but the Honda bed is highly versatile. There is no liner, but the bed is constructed from reinforced composite material, with the ability to take all kinds of abuse.

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Truck bed made from reinforced composite material. (Courtesy of Honda)

The bed is wide enough to fit items like sheets of plywood, and it can be quite handy with such features as household-style truck-bed power outlet, available Truck-Bed Audio System, and a 7.3 cubic foot trunk beneath the bed floor.

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Honda’s In-Bed Trunk. (Courtesy of Honda)

The dual-action tailgate can be lowered like that of a regular truck, or it can swing to one side like a car door. The 60/40 Split Rear Lift-Up Seat can provide more storage inside the cabin, by folding the seat cushions up. This provides you a flat-floor space to haul bulky objects such as a bicycle or a TV in the cab.

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60/40 Split Rear Lift-Up Seat. (Courtesy of Honda)

The Ridgeline comes in a five-seat Crew Cab. The base Sport trim is equipped with cloth upholstery, while the higher models get leather seats. The seats are comfortable, and both rows have ample head and leg room for adults. The higher models also enjoy heated, power-adjustable front seats and heated steering wheel.

There are complete sets of LATCH connectors for the Ridgeline’s rear seats. While the overall setups are easy to use, the tethers can be hard to find, and the lower anchors are set deeply in the seats. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave the LATCH system the second-highest rating of “Acceptable,” stating that they are too deep in the seats and difficult to find, but otherwise easy to use.

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The interior. (Courtesy of Honda)

Standard Honda Sensing driver-assist and safety tech suite includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

The standard infotainment presents an 8-inch touchscreen featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two USB ports, Bluetooth, and a seven-speaker output. Unfortunately, SiriusXM Satellite Radio was not active, so I did not listen to much music.

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8.0-inch infotainment system touchscreen. (Courtesy of Honda)

The standard push-button start, Remote Engine Start, proximity keyless entry, and Tri-Zone Automatic-Climate Control provided excellent convenience and comfort. You can even add a moonroof should you choose.

Most trucks have body-on-frame, but Ridgeline opts for unibody.

Ridgeline is capable of some light off-roading thanks to the 7.64-inch ground clearance, i-VTM4 torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system, and Intelligent Traction Management System that lets you shift between Sand, Mud, and Snow drive modes.

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Take the Ridgeline for light off-roading duty. (Courtesy of Honda)

Ridgeline also has a maximum payload capacity of 1,583 pounds, and can tow up to 5,000-pounds.

Ridgeline is manufactured in Lincoln, Alabama and has targeted Toyota Tacoma as the one to surpass in sales. However, currently Tacoma outsells Ridgeline in Texas.

The MSRP for the 2021 Honda Ridgeline starts at $37,715 for the Sport model.

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Honda’s button-style gear selector. (Courtesy of Honda)

Honda covers the truck with a 3-year/36,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty, and a 5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty.

Consumer Reports recently recommended 5 new cars, which included Honda Ridgeline in the 5th place. The report said, “Ridgeline reimagines what a modern truck can be, combining car like driving experience with clever, useful features.”

Length: 210.2 inches
Height: 70.8 inches
Wheelbase: 125.2 inches
Curb Weight: 4,436 to 4,510 pounds
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 6,019 pounds.

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or durhlcaussey@gmail.com.