2006 Honda RidgelinePosted on September 21st, 2006
A hidden trunk and so much more
By Nina Russin
Honda‘s new Ridgeline is the first pickup truck to feature a lockable trunk in the cargo bed. The standard crew cab also has a storage area under the rear seats. Standard four-wheel drive, and towing capability up to 5,000 pounds make the Ridgeline a great choice for families with active lifestyles.
The Ridgeline has crisp, responsive handling, much like the manufacturer’s passenger sedans. All models come with a 255-horsepower V-6 engine and 5-speed automatic transmission. Standard vehicle stability assist integrates antilock braking and traction control systems.
While the Ridgeline lacks the two-speed transfer case necessary for extreme off-road driving, it is well-suited for unimproved roads and moderate trails. Standard four-wheel drive automatically transfers engine power to the wheels with the best traction.
The powertrain has excellent low-end torque for merging into high speed traffic. Visibility is excellent to the front and sides of the truck. Standard heated windshield wipers should appeal to buyers living in the snow belt.
Two large pillars in the rear limit visibility , but well-designed side-view mirrors do a good job of minimizing the blind spots. The Ridgeline is small enough to park in a standard parking spot. Honda engineers focused on maximizing the vehicle’s torsional strength; as a result steering response is excellent.
Driving the Ridgeline around Phoenix for a week proved that the pickup is as practical as it is fun to drive. The standard center console has cup holders large enough for water bottles, and a bin that can hold a small tote bag. A second storage tray on the floor is large enough for backpacks. There is also a three-part storage tray on the passenger side above the glove box.
Lumbar support for both front seating positions is excellent. Rear seat passengers have better-than average legroom. The 60/40 split rear seats also lift up to create a load space large enough to hold a mountain bike. There are two, twelve-volt power outlets: one in the instrument panel, and one in the rear.
The five-foot long cargo bed includes six tie-down cleats and four bed lights. The lockable trunk can stowe camping equipment, coolers and duffle bags.
A dealer-installed roof rack with wheel-mounted bike attachment holds up to two bicycles. Its cost, including installation is about $427.
The Ridgeline comes in three trim levels: base prices range from $27,700 to $31,490, plus a $650 destination charge.
Likes: Lockable trunk in cargo bed holds secures items outside the crew cab. Flip-up rear seats create a large enough space to hold a mountain bike.
Dislikes: Large rear pillars restrict visibility to the rear.
Base price: $27,700
Horsepower: 255 @ 5750 r.p.m.
Torque: 252 lbs.-ft. @ 4500 r.p.m.
Fuel economy:16/21 mpg
Side curtain airbags:Yes
First aid kit:No
Bicycle friendly: Yes
Fuel economy:16/21 mpg
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