Despite the rumors, the longstanding Ridgeline refuses to quit; for 2014 a new top-hauling SE version temps buyers with oodles of standard features.
Keeping the Ridgeline running is a 250-horsepower V6 that’s common to a number of Honda products, also standard is a five-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive with locking rear differential.
For the time being, meaning at least for the 2014 model year, this Swiss Army Knife of a truck will stick to its current guise. The one-piece body/cargo hold is affixed to a ladder-type frame that’s unlike that of most other pickups where separate passenger and pickup bed modules are bolted to a frame. The Ridgeline also features a smooth-riding fully independent rear suspension, a tailgate that can drop down or swing to the side, and a large lockable storage bin located beneath the five-foot-long cargo bed, or what Honda calls an in-bed trunk. The spare tire is located beneath the load floor, which begs the question: how do you get your cold ones out of the cooler and the spare tire out when you have a load of rocks, lumber or motorcycles in the back? The bed is short at just five feet and payload is rated at a reasonable 1,100 pounds. The tailgate can support more weight than any other in the industry and the bed is a dent- and corrosion-resistant steel-reinforced molded composite unit. Along with a 250-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and five-speed automatic transmission, the base model (there are a total of four trim levels) comes with all-wheel-drive, traction control, side-curtain airbags and standard stability control to keep this nifty rig pointing where the driver intends. The optional towing package is built to trailer up to 5,000 pounds. To help cope with that kind of load, Ridgeline comes with transmission and oil coolers, heavy-duty brakes, two radiator fans and pre-wiring for most trailers. Eight tie-down cleats help keep the payload secure. For 2014 a new lineup-topping SE shows up with a standard leather interior, navigation system and its own set of unique 18-inch rims (17-inchers are standard).
Base price (incl. destination): $30,400
Type: Four-door pickup
Engine (hp): 3.5-liter SOHC V6 (250)
Layout: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive
Transmission: Five-speed automatic
MPG (city/hwy): 16/22 (est.)
Safety: Front airbags; side-impact airbags; side-curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; stability control; traction control
Weight (lb.): 4,500