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2012 Honda Ridgeline

Overview
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2012 Honda Ridgeline Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

Where Toyota and Nissan decided to jump feet first into the compact/mid-size pickup-truck market, Honda took a decidedly different approach. Rather than trying to bring another body-on-frame pickup to the market, Honda created a crew-cab configuration based on its popular Pilot SUV. The resulting vehicle became the Ridgeline, a 5-passenger truck with a carlike ride, good handling and safety reviews, and fuel efficiency on par with most mid-size SUVs. The 2012 Honda Ridgeline truck also features a very clever mini-trunk beneath the bed's floor, something no other pickup offers. The 2012 Honda Ridgeline continues to add to the original Ridgeline's success, adding more features consumers want while remaining the only vehicle of its kind in the segment.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need the open-bed utility of a pickup truck, but you don't want the rough ride, poor handling and fuel-thirsty engine that usually accompany such trucks, the 2012 Honda Ridgeline truck deserves a good hard look.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If towing more than 5,000 pounds or hauling really heavy loads is a top priority, you may want to look to a full-size V8-powered crew cab. Off-road enthusiasts won't find much to like with the 2012 Honda Ridgeline's standard all-wheel-drive (AWD) setup, which is great in snow and on dirt roads, but is not designed for serious off-road adventuring.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Honda Ridgeline gets a new Sport trim that includes black-painted 18-inch wheels, a black honeycomb grille, foglights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, and more. All 2012 Honda Ridgeline trucks receive a new grille and headlight treatment, as well as a 1-mpg increase in highway fuel economy..

Driving the Ridgeline

Driving Impressions Because its body is welded to form a single unit (as opposed to a separate body attached to a rigid frame), the 2012 Ridgeline can be fitted with a more...

sophisticated independent suspension. The Ridgeline's suspension is the principal reason it drives so well, with excellent steering response, minimal body roll and comfortable, controlled ride. The 2012 Honda Ridgeline's 3.5-liter V6 engine is a proven powerplant that has no problem moving the 4,500-pound truck, although the transmission does hesitate a bit before responding to full-throttle input, and shifts can sometimes feel abrupt. Fuel efficiency is on par with V6-powered trucks from Toyota and Nissan, although we should point out that Ford's newest V6-powered F-Series actually gets slightly better mileage (15/21 vs. 17/22).

Variable Torque Management (VTM-4) 4WD
For today's confident traveler, few things maintain that confidence better than 4WD. And despite its lack of a low range, the 2012 Honda Ridgeline's 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 a cooler full of beverages? Put it back there! Need to conceal valuable items too messy to place in the cab? Put them back there!

2012 Honda Ridgeline Details
Interior

If there is a sore spot to be found with the 2012 Honda Ridgeline truck, it resides inside the vehicle. While the Ridgeline's interior design is logical, the plastics Honda uses are hard and dull, devoid of any feeling of warmth or excitement. The totality of the pieces creates a hard, industrial-feeling car better suited to interior styling from the previous decade. Things warm up a bit when leather seating is added, but you can get it only on the top-of-the-line RTL trim. The 2012 Honda Ridgeline's interior is highly functional, with lots of little storage bins throughout the cabin and a rear seat bottom that can be folded up allowing storage of a mountain bike, antique book case or anything else you don't want to leave exposed in the Ridgeline's bed.

Exterior

No matter what angle you view the 2012 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck, you'll see a vehicle unlike anything on the market. The 2012 Ridgeline's angular skin is shared in part with the Honda Pilot, although the wide, flared C-pillars are unique to the truck. Those same C-pillars, however, join a high bed wall helping to increase the Ridgeline's cargo hauling capacity, but they also create big blind spots for the driver. The 2012 Honda Ridgeline's 5-foot bed can accommodate most dirt bikes or a single ATV, while the clever lockable under-floor trunk can hide a large cooler or a number of small equipment items. Adding to the Ridgeline's flexible bed is a dual-hinged rear tailgate that can either be folded down or be opened to the left.

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 2012 Honda 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 6-speaker, 100-watt audio system.

Optional Equipment

Honda, as is customary, keeps it simple with but four well-equipped trim levels: Base RT, new Sport, mid-level RTS and up-market RTL. The RTS adds alloy wheels, 160 watts of audio, dual-zone climate control and an 8-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. Sadly, features common on most vehicles such as heated side mirrors and a rearview camera are only accessible to those who purchase the most expensive trim level, the RTL.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Honda Ridgeline's 3.5-liter V6 offers ample horsepower (250), but that power is relatively high – 5,700 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 carlike refinement and oh-so-reliable longevity.

3.5-liter V6
250 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
247 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21

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2012 Honda Ridgeline Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 632 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

Best pickup ever!

By on Friday, July 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 712,346

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "perfect cheap and fun"

Cons: "none"

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

"Best Pickup ever for everybody, its comfortable, powerful at 120 and design is ok. high quality pick up with much room to never run out of, and very reliable, (usually). this is a must have!"

Best Vehicle Ever

By on Sunday, July 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

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: "Comfort, reliability, driving, amenities"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

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

"I own a 2008 Honda Ridgeline RTL. We liked this vehicle when they first came out. We bought ours brand new in 2008 and we love it. It is very comfortable and easy to drive. It is very smooth even at very high speeds. I really like some of the special amenities like the hidden waterproof trunk. Even though ours is 6 years old now it is still like brand new. The only negative is the gas mileage. It doesn't bother me because we don't put a lot of miles on it."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

I love this truck. It is amazing.

By on Monday, July 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000

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
10/10

Pros: "Very dependable, stylish looking, versatile,"

Cons: "tires are expensive."

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

"I bought my Ridgeline in2005 when it first came out. I was amazed and delighted with the trunk. I am still very satisfied with the way it drives and the gas milage it gets. This has been the best car/truck I ever owned. We take it on vacation. Long trips are very comfortable with this truck. there is plenty of room for 5 adults and baggage."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Why are there not more of these on the road?

By on Thursday, July 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

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: "Value, aesthetics, trunk, 2-way tailgate"

Cons: "Fuel milage (20ish)"

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

"I have 2008 RTX and it has been PERFECT for me. This truck is not going to haul a 10,000lb trailer. If you purchase with that knowledge, you cannot be disatisfied. I haul a camper regularly, 2 jet skies, and trailers of dirt with ease. If you are thinking of a new truck/vehicle, you owe it to yourself to at least test drive this well engineered package. Nothing bad to say, can't wait to purchase my new one."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Love this little truck!

By on Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,080

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Too Many to List"

Cons: "Turning radius. No auto on/off headlights"

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

"It doesn't replace a full size pick up truck but it the most versatile vehicle I have ever owned. Well thought out design. Rides like a car. In bed truck is awesome. Flip-up rear seats with storage, another great feature. Honda quality & reliability. When this one is ready to be traded I plan to buy another Ridgeline."

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

2012 Honda Ridgeline RTL- Excellent Condition

By on Monday, June 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

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: "Great handling, lots of storage inside, under bed"

Cons: "Nothing- Need longer bed"

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

"This vehicle is the smoothing riding, responsive handling, most maintenance free vehicle I have ever owned. Front wheel drive, all wheel and four wheel dive combined with V-Trac. Color- Gun Metal Grey- no longer made, light gray full leather ventilated seats, heated seats, sunroof, every option they offer except for navigation. Never been off road or mud. Looks as if it came off the lot new."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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