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2011 Honda Ridgeline

Overview
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2011 Honda Ridgeline Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.7

It is to Honda's credit that, when the decision was made to enter the truck market in the U.S., they began with a clean sheet of paper, and subsequently came up with a clean sheet approach. The Ridgeline is wholly unique in the U.S. pickup segment, and has more in common (at least conceptually) with car-based El Caminos and Rancheros of the past than body-on-frame Silverados and F-150s of today. Its unit body, all-independent suspension, transversely mounted V6 engine and in-bed trunk all run counter to typical U.S. truck spec, yet its load and towing capabilities are perfect for weekend warriors and - more relevantly - those that own Honda's own motorcycles and ATVs.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for an open bed to occasionally haul stuff, but don't require significant towing capability (or the perceived baggage that comes with driving a pickup), the Ridgeline is - at this point - the only game in town. Its accommodation, comfort and on-road composure are first-rate, and its all-season capability works in both Yakima (WA) and Yuma (AZ).

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need a pickup to be a TRUCK, with hauling and towing capabilities appropriate to that descriptive, the 2011 Honda Ridgeline may not fully meet your needs. And while its 4WD system is standard - and capable of sending up to 70 percent of available power to the rear wheels - it does not offer a low range; for boulder hopping you'll need to go elsewhere.

What's Significant About This Car?

Still fresh from its redesign in 2009, the 2011 Honda Ridgeline carries on with no major changes. Of note, not even its press release was changed...

Driving the Ridgeline

Driving Impressions With its unit body, reinforced frame and an all-independent suspension, the operative word for the Ridgeline's handling is solid. Curb weight is 4,500 pounds, and while Honda's 3.5-liter engine is...

reasonably efficient, an EPA rating of 15/20 is some 15 percent beneath that of Ford's new F-Series V6. It is - in short - not a relaxed power delivery, and that comes through in more over-the-road mechanical intrusiveness. The unit construction and all-independent suspension do contribute to a more car-like feel when compared to conventional trucks, but in the Ridgeline it's a "big car" feel - the biggest of any American-spec Honda.

Variable Torque Management (VTM-4) 4WD
For today's confident explorer, few things maintain that confidence better than 4WD. And despite its lack of a low range, VTM-4 does an admirable job of navigating the logging trail, winter snow or seasonal downpour. And in diverting up to 70 percent of available power to the rear wheels, power goes exactly where it should go when towing a trailer.

In-bed Trunk
If more trucks offered independent rear suspension (rather than a live axle), we'd hope more trucks would offer an in-bed trunk. It's an absolutely great idea that expands the utility of the Ridgeline almost exponentially. You have miscellaneous gear? Put it back there! (Noisy children riding with you? Put 'em back there!)

2011 Honda Ridgeline Details
Interior

We'll channel Mr. McGuire's one-word piece of advice to Dustin Hoffman's Benjamin Braddock - "Plastics" - because the Ridgeline interior is absolutely full of them. To be sure, most cars and trucks in 2011 are 'plastic', but the Ridgeline's use of same seemingly dates back a whole generation in car and truck design. The Honda's hard plastic dash has an almost industrial look, although (to its credit) industrial use of plastic makes for generous storage bins throughout the interior. Additional utility is provided by a rear seat that will fold up and out of the way, accommodating one mountain bike or - hypothetically - two unicycles. The utility is excellent, but the design execution is more "utility closet."

Exterior
2011 Honda Ridgeline photo

Choose any angle - front three-quarter, rear three-quarter or in profile - and you'll find the Ridgeline significantly different from anything else in the U.S. market. With the redesign for 2009 the Ridgeline's skin - shared (to a degree) with Honda's Pilot - became more angular. While outward visibility is good, the B and C pillars are overtly thick, and give the Ridgeline - in profile - a somewhat bulky appearance. The bed, although but five feet long, can accommodate dirt bikes on top - and riding gear (via the in-bed trunk) down below. In both proportion and sheetmetal, however, the Ridgeline is beginning to look like a product with a set-to-expire freshness date.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

For activity-oriented adults with an outward bound sense of adventure, Honda Variable Torque Management 4WD (VTM-4) is the most significant embellishment on the Ridgeline's standard menu. Comfort and convenience amenities, of course, are also included in the window sticker, even on the base RT. Additional standard equipment includes A/C, cruise control, an integrated trailer hitch(!), power windows and door locks, power sliding rear window and six-speaker, 100-watt audio system.

Optional Equipment

Honda - as is customary - keeps it simple with but three trim levels: Base RT, mid-level RTS and up-market RTL. The RTS adds alloy wheels, 160 watts of audio, dual zone climate control and an eight-way power driver's seat. The RTL provides you with leather seating, 18-inch alloys, moonroof, XM Satellite Radio and HomeLink remote. On the RTL navigation with voice recognition is available. And there are dozens of available dealer-installed accessories.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Honda Ridgeline's 3.5-liter V6 offers ample horsepower (250), but that power is relatively high - 5700 rpm - on the tach. And at a time when Chrysler's Ram truck brand is offering its Hemi V8 as a no-cost option, the Honda's well-regarded V6 might seem somewhat inadequate. Over the road, however, you'll enjoy the V6's car-like refinement and oh-so-reliable longevity.

3.5-liter V6
250 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
247 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20

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2011 Honda Ridgeline Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 662 Ratings for the 2006 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Great compromise between truck and automobile

By on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great features for the price"

Cons: "limited hauling capability"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I traded in my 2008 Ford 150 Lariat for a 2014 Honda Ridgeline RTL. The positives are that the vehicle was about 15000 less than a comparably equipped 2014 Ford F 150 Lariat. To date we have put 5800 miles on the Ridgeline and so far so good. The vehicle is not as spacious as the F 150 but we never really hauled anything in our previous vehicle. Real world mileage for the Ridgeline is 15 to 16 in town with up to 20 to 21 on the highway. Considering it is part time four wheel drive that is not too bad. The Ridgeline drives great and I think it will hold its resale value. My only complaint would be the controls for the air/heat,etc which look very dated. That being said if you are looking for a truck for occasional light hauling the Ridgeline is a great choice. If you are looking for a truck for heavy duty carrying the Ridgeline would not be my choice. Overall a great suburban truck!!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great, bulletproof, all-weather capable vehicle

By on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Flawless AWD, Great transmission, in-bed trunk"

Cons: "Fuel Economy, Polarizing styling"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love my 2007 Ridgeline RTL. As of this time I have over 108,000 miles on it and have just done normal maintenance oil changes, VTM, Transmission chnages, Tires at 55-60K, brakes at 60K, and kept up with the 100,000 mile service. My Ridgeline still runs like new. Styling is somewhat polarizing - love it or hate it I cannot beat the utility of the truck. I use the in-bed trunk all the time, and work on top of a mountain. I have make my way to work regardless of the weather and have many times driven by typical 4WD trucks stuck in ditches etc. I love the automatic functions of the AWD system and having it primarily FWD works better in my opinion for folks that don't tow very often. The only low-point with the vehicle is fuel economy. I'm averaging 17-18 MPG in Spring through Fall. With Winter blended fuels, I get 15 MPG. After an accident, I had a loaner Chevy Silverado that got 20 MPG. In my opinion Honda has got to get this truck to 25 MPG to be successful in the next generation. I am waiting on the next-gen, hoping Honda hears many of us and gets it right."

10 years of driving this vehicle this month.

By on Saturday, April 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "safety,drive, space, a real pleasure to drive."

Cons: "would prefer greater mileage, but its not that bad"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Purchased in April 2005, have almost 100,000 miles. Excellent condition. Extreme safety features, great for trips, lots of space and storage. Very comfortable ride. Gas mileage very reasonable 14-23mpg. Interstate driving gives the best mileage even at 60mph. Gave up our 2nd vehicle because wife would not drive it, if the Ridgeline was in the drive way."

9 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Nice ride, easy to drive, looks good

By on Saturday, April 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Good looking truck & very reliable"

Cons: "The only engine made lacks power and is noisey."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"A goodlooking truck that still looks up to date in style even after six years. Truck is fun to drive. The extras are great. One of its best features is unique trunk under the bed. Truck handles well and is a joy to drive, although the engine is somewhat noisy and lacks power.Tires lasted for 62,000 miles. I've had no mechanical problems whatsoever."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

I like it a lot.

By on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Under bed trunk is nice and holds a lot."

Cons: "steering wheel not very adjustable."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"The only real complaints I have are, 1 The steering colum needs to be more adjustable. 2 Needs to get better gas milage. I get an average 17.5 just running around. Best ever, all highway on a trip was 24.5 mpg. Very nice light duty pickup."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

My second Ridgeline. Improved over my 2006.

By on Sunday, February 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great driver, decent milage"

Cons: "If you want a work truck, this ain't it."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Like a big sedan with a bed for hauling odd stuff. Great traction and braking. Much quieter than my 2006."

10 people out of 20 found this review helpful

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