Honda Ridgeline Performance
Reviewers say that the 2013 Honda Ridgeline is a nice all-around driving vehicle, though it is not perfect. Most critics say its standard V6 provides adequate power and fuel economy. One of its strongest traits is its ride and handling, which reviewers deem comfortable and mostly car-like.
- "If you need to tow more than 5,000 pounds or haul really heavy loads, you may want to look to a full-size V8-powered crew cab. The 2013 Honda Ridgeline's standard all-wheel-drive (AWD) setup is not ideal for serious off-road adventuring." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "It absorbs bumps more capably than pretty much every pickup. We did observe some axle hop over freeway moguls with the bed unloaded, but it's much less an issue with this truck than with traditional models." -- Consumer Guide
- "Relative to most other pickups, the 2012 Honda Ridgeline offers a pleasant driving experience." -- Edmunds (2012)
Acceleration and Power
The Ridgeline only comes with one engine, a 250-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6, which is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 15/21 mpg city/highway, which is not outstanding. A full-size Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with a 315-horsepower V8 achieves an identical estimate. With a locking rear differential, the Ridgeline can send up to 70 percent of its power to the rear wheels, which one reviewer points out aids with towing.
Reviewers are generally underwhelmed by the Ridgeline’s powertrain. Most feel that the V6 has adequate power, but lacks the muscle offered by its six- and eight-cylinder rivals. Many also were left uninspired by the five-speed automatic transmission, noting that it could be smoother with its gear changes. Reviewers weren’t overly impressed by the Ridgeline’s fuel economy either, which is bested by some full-size pickups with more powerful engines.
- "Ridgeline moves with sufficient dispatch, though admittedly it's not quicker than other 5- and 6-cylinder compact trucks." -- Consumer Guide
- "Occasionally, the transmission seems to hesitate before responding to full-throttle input, and shifts can sometimes feel abrupt." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The V6 presents refinement and adequate power for everyday travels. However, it lacks low-end torque and generally feels less lively than rival V6s, let alone the big V8s available in full-size trucks." -- Edmunds (2012)
Handling and Braking
Ride and handling are among the Ridgeline’s greatest performance traits. It is built as a unibody vehicle, meaning its construction is more similar to that of a car or most modern compact or midsize SUVs than a conventional pickup, which gives it a smoother, more comfortable ride and fairly nimble handling. Still, the Ridgeline is not a totally flawless handler. Reviewers note that, like most trucks, the Ridgeline suffers from body roll in turns and hops and bounces over road imperfections. Critics also note that the Ridgeline’s steering is a bit too light, but this is common of trucks. One reviewer also says that the Ridgeline has a fairly small turning radius, making it easy to maneuver in tight spaces.
All-wheel drive is standard on the Ridgeline. Reviewers note that this system is good for inspiring stability and confidence on slippery roads, but is not meant to turn the Ridgeline into a rock crawler or desert runner.
- "Ridgeline is still a pickup, suffering from a fair amount of body lean and nose plow in even moderate cornering. The steering is too light, but this truck is remarkably maneuverable in tight spaces. Despite these issues, Ridgeline drives more like a crossover SUV than a truck." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Ridgeline's suspension is the principal reason it drives so well, with excellent steering response, minimal body roll and a comfortable, controlled ride." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Though its suspension isn't rugged enough for the most punishing off-road duty, it acquits itself well on pavement, facilitating decent handling and a smooth ride." -- Edmunds (2012)
The Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 pounds and haul a payload of up to 1,559 pounds. These ratings trail the maximum ratings of competitors, but are fairly good for the class as a whole, and are also comparable with many midsize SUVs. Kelley Blue Book notes that the Ridgeline’s ability to send 70 percent of its power to the rear wheels helps with towing. Still, not all critics are confident that the Ridgeline can meet its maximum towing capacity without straining.
- "Maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds, which is about on-par for the class. Though we've not tried it, we expect the engine to feel taxed when asked to meet that capability." -- Consumer Guide
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