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2012 Honda Ridgeline

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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 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

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