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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 659 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

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."

3 people out of 7 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 6 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."

9 people out of 19 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."

17 people out of 33 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."

30 people out of 50 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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