2021 Honda Ridgeline is a tough-looking and smart pickup truck

Updated Apr 08, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

The design finally matches the pickup’s capabilities.    

Honda doesn’t have a pickup in its Philippine model lineup, but in the mainland U.S., it offers the Ridgeline. Currently on its second generation, this midsize truck had an odd reason for being: it was created not to compete with traditional pickups sold in North America, but to give Honda customers who also own pickups ”a chance to make their garages a Honda-only parking area.” Okay.

Ridgeline 1

Honda's midsize pickup finally levels up in the looks department

Anyway, the midsize pickup has earned praise for its car-like attributes and dependability, but criticism has mostly centered on its less-than-rugged looks. The 2021 Ridgeline wants to change that, with a redesigned exterior that’s more in line with its role as a workhorse of sorts.

From the fascia all the way to the A-pillar, the new Ridgeline presents an improvement over the previous model. The bigger, more upright grille rests below a more muscular hood, surrounded by updated LED headlamps. A redesigned front bumper now bulges out a little more prominently underneath, incorporating corner vents that channel the air around the front wheels to create an air curtain for better aerodynamics. An integrated front skid plate gives better confidence when venturing out on the trails. 

Trunk

An in-bed trunk functions as extra storage and even a cooler for bed parties

Bigger squared-off overfenders dominate the wheel arches, leading to a restyled rear bumper housing new twin tailpipes. The cargo bed remains the same at 5.3 feet or 1,615mm, longer than even the PH-spec Ford Ranger’s 1,549mm or the SsangYong Grand Musso’s 1,610mm, although cargo volume is not as impressive at just 962 liters (compared with 1,061 liters on the current Mitsubishi Strada). But the Ridgeline’s ace in the hole in the lockable and watertight in-bed trunk.

>>> Related: Honda Ridgeline: The weirdest Honda ever

Ridgeline interior

The Ridgeline retains its interior space but upgrades the audio head unit

The pickup retains its generous interior space and flexible seating, with a split-fold 60/40 rear bench able to accommodate a full-size bicycle when flipped up. There are new accents on the steering wheel, dashboard, center console, and seat material. The biggest change is the upgraded Display Audio system featuring new graphics, touchscreen icons that are easier to use, and a physical volume knob to address years of complaints.

Engine

A 3.5L Honda V6 packs more horses than even the Ford Ranger Raptor

Its 3.5L VTEC V6 with direct injection has an adequate 355 Nm of torque, but its 280-hp rating handily beats even the 210 horses generated by the Ford Ranger Raptor. And compared to part-time four-wheel drivetrains on conventional pickups, the Honda Ridgeline for sale relies on its i-VTM4 all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring. Even 2WD versions of the Ridgeline are equipped with Intelligent Traction Dynamics System for snow and pavement, with AWD variants getting additional settings for mud and sand.

Ridgeline 4

All-wheel-drive with torque vectoring come standard on the top-spec Ridgeline

For safety, the Ridgeline comes standard with Honda Sensing driver-assist technologies, including Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Honda will release updated information, including pricing and detailed specifications before the new Ridgeline goes on sale in early 2021.

Help yourself to more automotive updates at Philkotse.com.

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Author

Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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