Go

2011 Honda Ridgeline

Overview
Share this page
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?

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.

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

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?

2011 Honda Ridgeline Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 674 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
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

This is a great light truck..

By on Saturday, November 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

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: "Reliability, safety, unbelievable resale..."

Cons: "Gas mileage is lower than anticipated"

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

"My second ridgeline. If you don't need over 5,000 lbs towing capacity or extreme off road chops, this truck is perfect. Great ride, good handling, very low maintenance. 4wd is excellent for on-road snow/wet use. This is not a vehicle meant for off road use."

22 people out of 26 found this review helpful

will have it repainted and keep it til it dies.

By on Saturday, October 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

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

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

"Unlikely it will die, probably my son will end up selling it after a few years of using it out of boredom, I have driven it for 8 years now and still love it. Rear axle alignment is not really a problem as posed in other posts. Mechanic at dealership not worried but if you want a perfect alignment, there is a kit available with dealer. When I look at specs report on alignment I don't worry at all. Otherwise absolutely no issues with truck, except for a torn speaker replaced under warranty. (yes, guilty of cranking it up too much)."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

I can't understand why Honda discontinued it

By on Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Responsive, economical and versatile"

Cons: "If you want a heavy work truck, it's not for you."

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

"I intend to drive it into the ground. It rides like a large sedan and has plenty of power. The bed is short, but with the extender, I can carry most things I need/use. I call it my Costco truck. I can probably load every individual item Costco sells except a couch. I'm convinced it will be a classic. Yeah, it's ugly, but so am I. ;-)"

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Love this thing - bought it brand new.

By on Monday, September 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "EVERYTHING"

Cons: "none"

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

"Shame they stopped makin' em'. I don't think they where very popular. Everyone that rides in mine says it's very comfortable and rides better that most cars. I love the dual opening tail gate - why didn't someone think of that earlier?"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Very comfortable mid-size truck.

By on Thursday, September 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,500

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "handles good, easy to drive anywhere."

Cons: "None"

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

"This truck has ample power yet gets very good gasoline mileage even in the hilly terrain of WV. All around it's one of the best vehicles I have ever owned. I'm waiting for the 2017 models!"

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Vehicle has been great over all for 9yrs

By on Tuesday, September 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 129,191

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good value comfortable to drive feels like a car!"

Cons: "Short turning radius headliner alginment issues"

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

"Other than basic maintenance such as brakes,tires,batteries the vehicle has been more than reliable. Only current draw back is that with the humidity here in Florida the headlining is starting to fall and the paint is starting to peel from the mirrors and there are alignment issues in rear. I recommend mirror covers to prevent this or the paint protection package offered at point of purchase and frequent tire rotations and alignments when due. Has been a great vehicle otherwise, love the trunk and the Rhino-Liner bed. Does have a short turning ratio and needs a full size spare."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
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?


Advertisement