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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 655 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

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."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Very functional and practical.

By on Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"This car is super useful for me. I can fold up back seats to take my two 100lb labs to the park. I keep my kids' smelly sports equipment in the separate under bed trunk so it doesn't stink up the cab. The truck bed is great for household use. I have rental properties and can load up all my landscaping equipment in the back. Finally- the truck drives very well on wet/icy roads and feels very safe. In ice storm last January I was able to go where ever I wanted without using the VTM. Cons- gas mileage, turn radius is not great."

14 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Best Vehicle I Have EVER Owned

By on Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,500

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Twoway tailgate; power rear wndw; GREAT body lines"

Cons: "15 mpg avg"

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

"After six different Jeep models, a Blazer, a Cadi SRX, a Cadi CTS, an Explorer and more, this is by far the BEST new vehicle I have ever owned. It is four years old and is still as QUIET as the day I drove it off the lot. The lines are a lot like the Avalanche, but this pickup is much more conducive to my lifestyle. There are ore aftermarket products available for this vehicle that I had thought including rims, side steps, grill guards, etc. My truck turns heads wherever we go. SUPER reliable with low maintenance costs. It does go through more gas that I would like, averaging only about 15+ mpg, but I absolutely LOVE this vehicle and don't understand why I don';t see more of them out there."

26 people out of 45 found this review helpful

more reliable than other pickups I have owned

By on Saturday, December 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "tailgate option, fold up back seats"

Cons: "short wheelbase, low gas miles"

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

"Have not had a problem since new in June 2005. Gas mileage on trips w/cruise control over 20mpg. Around town lucky to see 15. The short wheelbase has me running over curbs when turning right. Could use a hand grab over driver's door. Tailgate opening sideways is a real convenient idea. The back seats make this a 5 passenger vehicle."

10 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Owned many cars, Ridgeline by far the best!!!

By on Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfortable ride, handles like a nice car."

Cons: "none, absolutely no complaints."

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

"I've owned many cars, both foreign and domestic, Chevy's, Ford's, Mazda's, Toyota's, Honda's, Hyundai's. In my opinion the Ridgeline is by far the best vehicle I ever owned. Hauling capability of a truck that drives and handles like a nice car. Bought the Sport version because that is what the dealer had on the lot. Already thinking about trading next year to get the high end version and not even considering looking at anything else."

9 people out of 17 found this review helpful

VERY GOOD IN THE SNOW AND ICE. SMOOTH RIDING

By on Thursday, November 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,688

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "BEST RIDING TRUCK AROUND. EASY ON BUMPS. SNOW,OK."

Cons: "SEATS DONT HOLD UP. MPG POOR. UNDER POWERED 4 SZ"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"VEHICLE NEEDS MORE POWER FOR ITS SIZE . DRIVERS SEAT AND DOOR WEATHER STRIPPING SHOT. PAINT ON HOOD HAS SPIDER CRACKS. AS DID OUR 2OO4 ACCORD. MPG IS POOR. CANT REMOVE STAINS FROM SEATS. BED NEEDS TO BE LONGER."

16 people out of 24 found this review helpful

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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

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