KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/7/2013
Although late with a pickup truck, Honda did it Honda's way, and the 2014 Ridgeline is completely different from the crowd. Instead of a conventional body-on-frame it has unit-construction, is offered in a crew-cab version only, with one bed length and one drivetrain. It's like a mid-size SUV that's been reconfigured into a pickup, and is often described as the perfect truck for folks who have not yet owned a truck. That seems to be fine with its owners, and the Ridgeline fits the niche Honda invented for it. It rides, handles and drives like a car; delivers fuel efficiency roughly equal to a mid-size SUV; and includes numerous innovative features not found elsewhere. The Ridgeline really is like nothing else in the truck market.
You'll Like This Car If...
Occasionally you could use a pickup but are turned off by a truck's roughness, noise, handling and fuel consumption. You don't necessarily haul a lot, but a truck would be handy; you just don't want the harsher side of truck ownership on a daily basis. Hence, the 2014 Honda Ridgeline.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you tow a trailer larger than 4,500 pounds, haul big loads or work a truck hard, you need a full-size pickup with a V8. But you already know that. There are lots of choices in that category; the Ridgeline is not one of them.
What's Significant About This Car?
New for the Ridgeline for 2014 is the addition to the line of the Special Edition model. It includes 18-inch alloy wheels with black-trimmed spokes, Special Edition badging, the black trim package from the Sport model and the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System, with Voice Recognition and Zagat Survey restaurant information.
Unlike all other trucks, the 2014 Ridgeline is built with unit-construction and fully independent suspension, and it pays huge dividends in ride and handling, which is much more like a car than a truck. The ride is smooth and comfortable and soaks up big and little bumps, the handling is rock-steady on the highway and responsive around corners. Even though it weighs around 4,500 pounds, the robust 3.5-liter V6 moves it with ease. The fuel-economy ratings are good but, in view of some of the newer competition in the truck market, not at the top. On occasions we noticed the 5-speed automatic tended to shift a little abruptly, but most folks would likely not notice. In sum, driving the Ridgeline is about as unobtrusive and calm as operating a truck can be. It is certainly the perfect first truck for many buyers.
Favorite Features – Pick two (15-50 words x 2)
Now why didn't we think of that? The Dual-Action Tailgate can swing down, like a conventional tailgate, or swing open, like door. It's clever and convenient and comes in handy in surprising ways.
If more trucks offered independent rear suspension (rather than a live axle), more trucks could offer an in-bed trunk. 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!
For vehicle details and pricing notes…