2013 Honda Ridgeline Sport new car reviews

Better than: Chevy Avalanche
But not as good as: Our loaded Ridgeline
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 78.42

Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi have built pickup trucks, but Honda? Honda’s first real attempt was the Ridgeline, first released for the 2006 model year, and it definitely offered something different, from its independent front and rear suspension to its unibody construction.

Was it too soft for real truck buyers? Too hardcore for the rank and file?

In true disclosure, we bought one of those early Ridgelines. Verdict: We love it. It’s perfect around town, comfortable on the highway, and loaded with neat features—like the bed’s lockable trunk. It can also tow our Trailerworld aluminum trailer. No, the Ridgeline isn’t going to drag a fifth wheel up the Alps, but ours has towed Triumphs, MINIs, Miatas and more up and down the East Coast. And it’s covered more than 150,000 miles to date. We still love it.

Since that first Ridgeline, well, not much has happened. The Ridgeline has picked up a little more power and received a mild styling refresh, but the product cycle has been long—nothing like this since the S2000.

We recently drove a 2013 Ridgeline Sport. It’s not the most stripped-down model, but it’s a little less equipped than ours—no navigation or satellite radio.

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Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

For years, we have heard the cries: The Ridgeline isn't a real truck! It can't tow 15,000 pounds and doesn't have a real frame.

Know what? We have been kicking the crap out of ours for years, and it's still doing just fine. It will tow a car on an open trailer and carry a bunch of stuff. Perhaps best of all, it does those jobs without making you suffer. The Ridgeline drives more or less like a minivan--easy to park, easy to drive, easy to get into. Plus ours is aging very, very well.

Whenever we sample a larger domestic truck, we wonder how people can use one as a daily driver. Sure, they tow nicely, but in the real world they just seem too much like a bull in a china shop. If you're only towing moderate-sized loads, do you need all that bulk?

One request: Please, Honda, don't drop the Ridgeline from the model line. Yes, we realize it's getting old, but please give us a follow-up.

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View comments on the GRM forums
Osvolant None
1/15/14 4:21 p.m.

We have a 2012 AWD Pilot, which is the SUV version of this vehicle. It tows my 911 on a flatbed Aluma trailer to DE's just fine. Mileage drops from 19-20 to 15 when towing. We recently had a rental Tahoe which was a pig compared to the Pilot.

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