2013 Honda Ridgeline Review
Though it isn’t a conventional compact pickup truck, reviewers say the 2013 Honda Ridgeline’s comfortable ride, strong reliability rating and refined drivetrain make it a worthy competitor.
Test drivers say the Ridgeline delivers adequate performance with its standard V6 engine, five-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. While auto writers can’t agree whether or not the powertrain is up to the task of meeting the 5,000-pound towing capacity without feeling strained, nearly all agree that the Ridgeline offers one of the most refined rides in the segment, thanks to its unibody construction. This isn’t to say that the 2013 Ridgeline is totally without truck-like handling characteristics. Auto reviewers say the steering is sometimes too light and that it tends to bounce over road imperfections, but it drives more comfortably than most competitors. Some test drivers are somewhat disappointed, however, that the mildly-powered Ridgeline doesn’t either have a little more power or better fuel economy. The Ridgeline also has above-average safety and reliability scores for the class.
While test drivers say that everything in the Ridgeline's interior is functional and appears to be well-assembled, many reviewers are let down by the overall material quality, citing lots of hard, drab plastics and a somewhat bland design. However, they also note that the five-seat, crew cab Ridgeline has comfortable front seats. Those in back may not be as comfortable as those in front. The Ridgeline is equipped with standard features found more often on midsize SUVs than other compact pickup trucks, including power windows, door locks and mirrors, as well as a six-speaker CD stereo. Most critics are enamored with the Ridgeline’s lockable in-bed trunk and dual-action tailgate, which are features not found on conventional trucks.
- "The 2013 Honda Ridgeline continues the original Ridgeline's success, with features consumers want in a package that is the only vehicle of its kind in the segment." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "It won't win any contests that test strength or beauty, but Ridgeline more than makes up for it with truly innovative features, such as the lockable in-bed ‘trunk’ and two-mode tailgate." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Ridgeline's appeal lies in its ability to cruise the middle ground between a car's comfort and a pickup's versatility." -- Edmunds (2012)
- "The Honda Ridgeline is the perfect utility vehicle for a soccer dad. It's smart, active-minded and extremely safety-conscious. The pickup truck offers ingenious storage options, a high-tech drivetrain and unique chassis construction. The Ridgeline's styling is unique and hotly debatable. What's not in question are the Ridgeline's comfortable ride, precise handling, and limited, but always spirited, performance." -- Cars.com (2011)
Other Pickup Trucks to Consider
If you need a longer cargo bed or greater towing capacity but don’t want a full-size pickup, the Toyota Tacoma is worth a look. It is the only compact pickup available with a crew cab and a full-size bed, which makes it more useful as a people hauler that can also carry plenty of cargo. The Tacoma is also available with a more fuel-friendly four-cylinder engine, though the optional V6 (less powerful than the Ridgeline’s V6) is the stronger choice if you plan to do any serious hauling or towing.
With a rear suspension that is unique for a full-size truck, the Ram 1500 offers one of the most comfortable rides in its segment. Critics like the Ram 1500’s high-quality interior and spacious seats, especially with the crew cab. The Ram 1500 also has much higher towing and hauling ratings, thanks to its larger size and available V8 engines. Plus, with a new, more powerful standard V6 engine and eight-speed automatic, the Ram 1500 gets better fuel economy than the Ridgeline, even with four-wheel drive. And although it lacks the Honda’s lockable in-bed trunk, the Ram is available with lockable compartments in the bed’s sidewalls, called RamBox, which serve the same purpose.
Details: 2013 Honda Ridgeline
The 2013 Honda Ridgeline is a crew-cab, short-bed pickup truck built on a car-like unibody platform similar to the one on the Honda Pilot. It comes standard with a V6 engine, five-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The five-seat Ridgeline comes in four trim levels: RT, Sport, RTS and RTL. Aside from a backup camera becoming standard equipment on all trims this year, the Ridgeline is mostly unchanged since it debuted in 2006, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from model years 2008 through 2013.