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Honda Ridgeline
2006 Honda Ridgeline RTS
Manufacturer Honda
Production 2005–present
Assembly Alliston, Ontario, Canada
Lincoln, Alabama, United States
Class Mid-size/Full-size Sport Utility Truck
Body style(s) 4-door truck
Layout Transversely-mounted front engine, four-wheel drive
Engine(s) 3.5 L 250 hp V6
Transmission(s) 5 speed automatic
Wheelbase 122 in (3099 mm)
Length 2006-08: 206.8 in (5253 mm)
2009-: 207 in (5258 mm)
Width 77.8 in (1976 mm)
Height 70.3 in (1786 mm)
Fuel capacity 22 US gallons (83.3 L/18.3 imp gal)
Related Acura MDX
Acura TL
Honda Pilot
Honda Accord
Honda Odyssey

The Honda Ridgeline is a mid to full size sport utility truck produced by the Japanese automaker Honda. The Ridgeline was released in March 2005 as a 2006 model and is Honda's intended first foray into the North American pickup truck market. Until 2009, the Ridgeline was built in Alliston, Ontario, Canada alongside the Acura MDX, Honda Civic, Honda Civic Si, and Acura CSX. The Ridgeline was awarded Motor Trend's Truck of the Year for 2006. The Ridgeline is currently the only car-based pickup in the United States and Canada. The Ridgeline was shown in concept form as the Honda SUT in 2004.

First Generation (2006-present)

Unibody architecture

The Honda Ridgeline uses unibody architecture ladder frame/unibody hybrid chassis. Honda claims this design gives it 2.5 times more bending rigidity and 20 times the torsional rigidity than the standard ladder frame only type of chassis construction, while retaining the load carrying capacity of the traditional ladder frame.

Independent rear suspension

The truck also boasts four-wheel independent suspension which, coupled with the unibody design, provides a new level of stable and sure handling under load well beyond that which could be achieved with older platforms.

A pickup with a trunk

Another advantage of the independent suspension is that it opened up enough space for Honda to create the first pickup truck to include a storage trunk below the bed, which can be locked to secure contents such as a tool chest. This creates the unfortunate problem of having to remove most of the bed contents (a serious problem when hauling top soil or other granular materials) to change a flat tire, as the spare is located in this trunk though an adapter to fit the spare tire to the sidewall of the truck bed is available. This removes the spare tire from the trunk. The bed also comes standard with a composite liner that resists dents, corrosion, and can easily be hosed clean. The trunk has drainage holes to allow wash water to flow out.

Dual action tailgate

It became clear to designers that a lowered tailgate created too long a reach for a consumer to get into the trunk. However, the relatively short bed was built with a lowered tailgate acting as an extension in mind, so a purely conventional tailgate action was not dismissible. Engineers met this challenge with the first dual action tailgate in a pickup. This design was first used by 1966 model Ford station wagons, and became nearly universal in the U.S. industry. The tailgate opens conventionally in a downward motion that can handle a load in the horizontal open position, but can also be swung to the side like an door, allowing a consumer to stand straight up at the rear bumper and reach down into the trunk.

The bed is integrated with the body, similar to the Chevrolet Avalanche. It is rated as having a 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) towing capacity (with dealer-installed or aftermarket hitch) and a 1,500 lb (680 kg) bed capacity

Honda says that as a result of market research they concluded that a truck with robust yet medium-duty off-road capability was most consistent with the needs of the customer.


2007-2008 Honda Ridgeline RTX

2009 Honda Ridgeline

Anti-lock brakes, heated windshield, four wheel drive locking mode, and VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) with off switch (for off- road use), and side-curtain airbags are standard equipment. The Ridgeline also has a large rear seat with the ability to fold-up creating a floor to ceiling cargo space. Four trim levels are available: basic RT, RTX, sport RTS and premium RTL (with optional moonroof or moonroof and GPS Navigation).

The RTX, introduced with the 2007 model, adds gray-painted alloy wheels, an alternate grille, body-colored door handles, and factory tow package. The RTS offers different upholstery material and adds a 6-CD changer, subwoofer, body-colored mirrors, silver-painted alloy wheels, and dual zone climate control system. The RTL adds leather trimmed upholstery, and for the 2007 model year, a moonroof and XM radio are standard on the RTL.

The Ridgeline has received a facelift for the 2009 model year.

Consumer Confidence

While embracing the driveability and design of the Ridgeline, earlier models were not devoid of design flaws. Some owners of 2006 Ridgelines experienced the third brake light assembly panel blowing off of the cabin at highway speeds. However this was usually caused by mechanics reusing the single-use fasteners after installing accessories to the truck.

Honda's 4WD traction system

The Ridgeline is powered by a transversely mounted J35A91, (2006–2008) J35Z5, (2009-present) 3.5 L V6 with a five speed automatic transmission.

The all-wheel drive system operates in front-wheel drive mode under normal conditions and automatically transfers power to either rear wheel via a locking differential when it senses a loss of traction in the front. The VTM-4 system can be locked in first, second or reverse gears at speeds under 18 mph (29 km/h).

The VTM-4 lock (rear diff lock) works in full rear power mode up until 6 mph (9.7 km/h) then it gradually transitions to power to the front and releases the VTM-4 lock at 18 mph (29 km/h)[1] .[2]

The all-wheel drive system has been tested on and has completed the following obstacle course by Honda engineers: 28-degree dirt hill, Sand hill, Water pit, Rock roads, Embedded log course, Step-up, step-down, Sand drag strip, Gully course, Ground contact course, Washboard road, Frame twister, Power hop hill (23-degree slope with rippled surface), Gravel road, Startable grade.

The Honda Ridgeline Won the Baja 1000 in the Stock Mini Class. All vehicles in the Stock Mini Class compete with a stock engine, transmission and 4WD system.[3]


  • Motor Trend truck of the year 2006
  • North American Truck of the year 2006
  • Detroit News truck of the year 2006
  • Consumer Reports top rated truck
  • J.D. Power & Associates 2005 APEAL award for the Honda Ridgeline
  • Autobytel 2006 Editors' Choice Award: Truck of the year 2006
  • Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) Best New Pickup 2006
  • On Wheels Incorporated: Ridgeline 2006 Urban Wheel Award for the Urban Truck of the Year
  • Strategic Vision's coveted "Most Delightful" compact pickup award
  • Best rollover resistance rating of any pickup tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety, Administration (NHTSA)
  • First-ever 4-door pickup to earn a 5-star safety rating for both front and side impact crash, test performance from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Society of Plastic Engineers 2005 Grand Award (composite embed trunk)
  • Car And Driver Rates Honda Ridgeline #1 Pickup, AutoWeek Editors' Choice Award as the 'Most Significant' new vehicle in the show
  • Maxim Truck Of The Year 2006
  • 2007 Automobile Magazine All Star award Top 10 cars for 2007

Marketing and sales

Although the Ridgeline is more aptly classified as a sport utility truck, this recently-introduced category is not well known with consumers, with the only other rivals being the Chevrolet Avalanche and Ford Explorer Sport Trac. Honda decided instead to advertise the Ridgeline as an alternative to traditional 1/2 ton full-size pickups such as the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, and Toyota Tundra, all of which had standard V8 engines. This likely harmed Ridgeline sales, as some cited its weak V6 engine (Honda has never developed a V8 for passenger vehicles[4]) and lack of ruggedness due to its unibody construction, while its relatively short cargo bed compared to a standard pickup truck made it unsuitable for contractors. Unlike other crew cabs, the Honda Ridgeline lacks the option of 6-passenger seating, as it only offers bucket seats and not bench seating in the front.

Sales were initially slow, partly because it was considered over-priced. Consequently, dealers have been discounting the truck, and the average selling price has come down steadily according to J.D. Power,[5] as well as sales.


Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Honda Ridgeline. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia

  1. "Full Test: 2006 Honda Ridgeline". (2005-03-30). Retrieved on 2010-10-17.
  2. "Variable Torque Management VTM-4 Explanation". Ridgeline Owners Club. Retrieved on 2010-10-17.
  3. "Backstretch Motorsports". Backstretch Motorsports. Retrieved on 2009-05-10.
  4. Greimel, Hans (2008-11-01). "When Honda thinks hybrids, it thinks small | The San Diego Union-Tribune". Retrieved on 2009-05-10.
  5. Peterson, Thane (2006-04-26). "Ridgeline's Uphill Climb". Retrieved on 2009-05-10.

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