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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 654 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 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."

The most sexy and stylish truck on the planet.

By on Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "People staring and wishing they had one."

Cons: "grab bar blocks vision at times"

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

"My 2012 Ridgeline Sport is the sexiest and most stylish truck ever produced. The all black exterior matched with the rims make for a stunning appearance. Everyone, other owners and non-owners ALWAYS comment on the rims to this truck. All owners wish they had them! The two way tail gate gets me a lot of questions of "what kind of truck is that?" I also love the "hidden" trunk. My only complaint is the front passenger grab bar located on the windshield post. It blocks my side vision at times. The grab handle sticks out and can block the view of small objects that are close by. It functions well for what it is made for but still a nuisance at times."

3 people out of 6 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."

5 people out of 11 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."

6 people out of 10 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."

10 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Does it all from hauling, pulling and touring

By on Thursday, November 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Cons: "No daytime or fog lamps. Issue resolved on newer"

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

"3rd Ridgeline. Saw my first Ridgeline in 2005 at the local auto show and was amazed by the interior room, rear bed storage and MPG. Can pull my 21" boat, go off road and haul my junk to the dump with ease. After a quick wash is a classy vehicle to take out with another couple for dinner. Great ride and better resale values."

5 people out of 8 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

Buying this car?