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2011 Honda Ridgeline

Overview
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2011 Honda Ridgeline Review

By

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.
Favorite Features

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 616 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

I will buy another one (2006 owner)

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfort and power"

Cons: "gas mileage and maneuvering"

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

"I find it is the perfect truck for someone who likes comfort but also wants power and toughness. It is a truck that has SUV comfort with plenty of room in the rear seat for traveling. Great torque for towing up to 5,000 lbs. which is key for me as I pull a travel trailer across country every year. Gas mileage is not great but certainly better than your bigger trucks. Overall, I have been very happy with the Ridgeline (almost nine years as an owner) and will seriously consider replacing this one with a new Ridgeline when it is time. Of course that time may be a few years away because this truck is very reliable and does not show signs of wearing down."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

I will buy another one (2006 owner)

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfort and power"

Cons: "gas mileage and maneuvering"

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

"I find it is the perfect truck for someone who likes comfort but also wants power and toughness. It is a truck that has SUV comfort with plenty of room in the rear seat for traveling. Great torque for towing up to 5,000 lbs. which is key for me as I pull a travel trailer across country every year. Gas mileage is not great but certainly better than your bigger trucks. Overall, I have been very happy with the Ridgeline (almost nine years as an owner) and will seriously consider replacing this one with a new Ridgeline when it is time. Of course that time may be a few years away because this truck is very reliable and does not show signs of wearing down."

I will buy another one (2006 owner)

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfort and power"

Cons: "gas mileage and maneuvering"

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

"I find it is the perfect truck for someone who likes comfort but also wants power and toughness. It is a truck that has SUV comfort with plenty of room in the rear seat for traveling. Great torque for towing up to 5,000 lbs. which is key for me as I pull a travel trailer across country every year. Gas mileage is not great but certainly better than your bigger trucks. Overall, I have been very happy with the Ridgeline (almost nine years as an owner) and will seriously consider replacing this one with a new Ridgeline when it is time. Of course that time may be a few years away because this truck is very reliable and does not show signs of wearing down."

I will buy another one (2006 owner)

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfort and power"

Cons: "gas mileage and maneuvering"

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

"I find it is the perfect truck for someone who likes comfort but also wants power and toughness. It is a truck that has SUV comfort with plenty of room in the rear seat for traveling. Great torque for towing up to 5,000 lbs. which is key for me as I pull a travel trailer across country every year. Gas mileage is not great but certainly better than your bigger trucks. Overall, I have been very happy with the Ridgeline (almost nine years as an owner) and will seriously consider replacing this one with a new Ridgeline when it is time. Of course that time may be a few years away because this truck is very reliable and does not show signs of wearing down."

I will buy another one (2006 owner)

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfort and power"

Cons: "gas mileage and maneuvering"

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

"I find it is the perfect truck for someone who likes comfort but also wants power and toughness. It is a truck that has SUV comfort with plenty of room in the rear seat for traveling. Great torque for towing up to 5,000 lbs. which is key for me as I pull a travel trailer across country every year. Gas mileage is not great but certainly better than your bigger trucks. Overall, I have been very happy with the Ridgeline (almost nine years as an owner) and will seriously consider replacing this one with a new Ridgeline when it is time. Of course that time may be a few years away because this truck is very reliable and does not show signs of wearing down."

9 years and counting. Excellent safety/comfort.

By on Thursday, April 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 157,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "To many to list."

Cons: "Turning radius/mileage."

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

"Very few negatives to the truck. Not suited as a heavy work truck but the safety, convenience, comfort is far above any other similar vehicle to me."

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?