Honda Unveils Redesigned Ridgeline

Oct 8, 2020

Honda is set to launch the redesigned Ridgeline pickup truck early next year, the manufacturer announced.

The 2021 Ridgeline features standard V6 power, a larger interior for passengers and gear, a versatile bed and standard AWD model payload capacity.

“Truck enthusiasts have long recognized Ridgeline as an incredibly versatile and capable pickup, and now it’s got the rugged looks to match,” said Art St. Cyr, vice president of Auto Operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The Ridgeline signals a new direction for our light-truck designs, one that more effectively communicates all the hard work that goes into making Honda pickups and SUVs such proficient on- and off-road performers.”

The 2021 Ridgeline features all-new sheet metal from the front roof pillars forward. Design changes include a new hood sporting a pronounced power bulge, and new front fenders that emphasize the squared-off nose and more upright grille, flanked by LED headlights updated for better illumination. Atop the grille is a crossbar that bisects the headlight lenses – gloss black on Sport trims and Black edition, chrome on RTL and RTL-E. Below, a new front bumper highlights the toughness of the new Ridgeline’s design and adds broadside vents that route air through the bumper and around the front tires and wheels, creating air curtains to improve aerodynamic performance. The body color is also extended farther down the front bumper, and a prominent skid plate emphasizes Ridgeline’s new look. In back, a reshaped bumper exposes new twin exhaust outlets.

All trims feature 18-inch wheels with backspacing reduced 10 mm, increasing track width a total of 20 mm and lending the Ridgeline a broader, more planted stance, bolstered by all-season tires with a new sidewall and shoulder design.

The new Honda Performance Development (HPD) Package adds a unique grille treatment, black fender flares, aggressive bronze-colored wheels and special HPD graphics on the bed walls. Part of a new group of post-production options (PPO), the package will be available on all Ridgeline trims and is one of four new PPO packages that include Utility, Function and Function+ packages.

The 2021 Ridgeline’s cabin receives an updated Display Audio system with new graphics, easier-to-use touchscreen icons and a physical volume knob. In addition, Ridgelines in Sport trim add new cloth seat inserts, all trims get new contrast stitching on the seats and Sport, RTL and RTL-E trims have new dash, steering wheel and center console accents. The Ridgeline maintains the flat floor and foldaway 60/40-split rear seat.

Standard on every 2021 Honda Ridgeline is a 280-horsepower, 3.5-liter direct-injected VTEC V6 paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Available on Sport and RTL, and standard on RTL-E and Black Edition, is Ridgeline’s i-VTM4 torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system, which automatically sends up to 70 percent of the engine’s 262 lb.-ft. of torque to the rear wheels and continuously apportions 100 percent of that torque between the left and right rear wheels based on driving conditions at each wheel. The Intelligent Traction Dynamics System, standard on all Ridgelines, optimizes power delivery and distribution for various conditions including snow and pavement for 2WD models, while Ridgelines equipped with i-VTM4 get additional selectable modes for mud and sand.

Underpinning its hauling and driving character is Ridgeline’s unit-body construction, featuring Honda’s proprietary Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure and fully boxed frame members for the body sides and rear tailgate frame with truss-style inner construction, plus a robust fully independent rear suspension. This construction allows for a 1,580-pound payload capacity and up to 5,000-pound towing capacity, Honda says, as well as an extra-wide standard bed.

Based on the packaging of its unibody construction and independent rear suspension, Ridgeline also comes standard with a washable, lockable In-Bed Trunk, offering an additional 7.3 cu.-ft. of secure storage space under the bed floor.

Ridgeline’s versatility as a cargo-hauling platform is enhanced by its Dual-Action Tailgate, which opens downward or to the side, making access to cargo and the In-Bed Trunk a snap. The tailgate can handle dynamic loads of up to 300 pounds, supporting long payloads such as motorcycles and ATVs. Inside the bed are eight standard tie-down cleats rated at 350-pounds each, for securing loads, and the bed is constructed of glass fiber-reinforced SMC composite that resists dents and scratches without the need for a separate bed liner.

An available In-Bed Audio system utilizes four “exciters” to turn Ridgeline’s entire bed into an outdoor speaker (RTL-E and up trims).

Ridgeline comes standard with the Honda Sensing, featuring collision mitigation braking system with forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist system, road departure mitigation with lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.