Car Review: 2021 Honda Ridgeline AWD Sport
By Larry Lark, contributor
The Honda Ridgeline is the perfect vehicle for anyone looking for light-duty truck versatility and off-road capability while maintaining unparalleled ride quality and handling.
My tester was the 2021 Honda Ridgeline AWD Sport, which seats up to five adults, delivers almost 25 miles per gallon on the highway, and includes a swing tailgate or a flip-up tailgate.
Ridgeline’s four foot wide composite bed is scratch and dent resistant, and wide enough for sheets of plywood or drywall to be transported flat. It also includes a bed box and a spare set of tiles that slide out for easy access and use as a workstation.
The Ridgeline is offered in a choice of four trim levels: Sport, RTL, RTL-E and Black Edition.
Powered by a 3.5-liter VTEC V6 engine with variable cylinders mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, Ridgeline generates 280 horsepower with a payload capacity of 1,583 pounds and a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.
New standard for 2021, Ridgeline’s i-VTM4 torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system improves controllability and traction management by automatically sending up to 70% of the engine’s 262 lb-ft. of torque to the rear wheels and continuously distributing 100 percent of that torque between the left and right rear wheels according to the driving conditions at each wheel.
“Truck enthusiasts have long recognized the Ridgeline as an incredibly versatile and capable pickup, and now it has the rugged appearance to match,” said Art St. Cyr, vice president of automotive operations for American Honda Motor. Co., Inc. “The Ridgeline signals a new direction for our light truck designs, one that more effectively communicates all of the hard work that is required to make Honda pickup trucks and SUVs such performant on and off the road.
For those looking to take Ridgeline’s dynamic new styling to the next level, a new package created in collaboration with Honda Performance Development (HPD) is answering the call. The new HPD package ($ 2,800) adds unique grille treatment, black fender flares, aggressive bronze-colored wheels, and special HPD graphics on the bed walls.
Inside, Ridgeline adds a physical volume button for the audio system and available wireless phone charging. All Ridgeline upholstery receives new contrast stitching on the seats; Sport trim adds new fabric seat inserts; and Sport, RTL and RTL-E trims have new accents on the instrument panel, steering wheel and center console. The Ridgeline’s spacious cabin provides top-notch passenger comfort and rear legroom, with a flat floor and 60/40 split-folding rear seats, providing increased flexibility for carrying long and tall items in and out. the cabin.
Creature comforts abound, including a premium sound system with seven speakers, multi-view rear camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, USB ports, tri-zone climate control, steering wheel controls, a push button start and a down central rear seat armrest.
My tester also included an integrated trailer hitch and hardness, LED fog lights, LED headlights with automatic high beams, smart entry with security system, private rear window, 18 inch alloy wheels and automatic locking on foot.
And what puts Ridgeline above in the light truck category is its Honda-Sensing Driver Assistance and Safety Suite. Honda adds adaptive cruise control, anti-collision braking system,
Lane Keeping Assist System and Lane Departure Mitigation Safety Functions at no additional cost.
And with a base price of $ 36,490 (no destination fees), the Ridgeline Sport offers value for your hard-earned dollar.
The 2021 Honda Ridgeline was designed and developed by Honda R&D America in California and Ohio, and is manufactured, with its V6 engine, at its facility in Lincoln, Alabama, using domestic and global parts. For the 4th year in a row, the Ridgeline ranked in the top 10 of the 2020 Cars.com American-Made Index.
Base price: $ 37,665
Price as determined: $ 40,860
Destination charges are included in the base price. The vehicles are supplied by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealers.