The R&T staff drives and performance-tests hundreds of new cars every year. Because we don’t have time to give each one the full review treatment, we share select logbook notes here, in a quick, easily-digested format. Unless noted otherwise, each test car is in the office for two weeks and is driven by every member of the editorial staff. Each staffer spends at least one day, but often more, in each car.
Josh Condon, Senior Editor
The thing that strikes you first about the Ridgeline is that it feels decidedly old-school. That is, in an era where the modern pickup truck is awash with a sedan-like array of features and amenities, the Ridgeline greets you with acres of gray plastic and very few shiny tech goodies. Some may think this is a bad thing, but I kind of like it. It’s a truck, and it’s meant to do truck things. It’s comfortable but makes zero effort to coddle.
Plenty of incorporated storage. The 3.5-liter VTEC V6 is just a phenomenal engine, all direct, torquey power and punch.
Interior will be too basic for most. The short, sloped bed frame looks awkward. “Infotainment” so last-gen, it gets quotation marks.
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Robin Warner, Road Test Editor
Driving the Ridgeline reminds me of modern interpretations of Medusa, as there are many alluring qualities to Honda’s truck. The drivetrain operates silky smooth, both ride and handling exceed expectations for a high center-of-gravity vehicle, and the ergonomics are unbeatable. I could feel myself drawing closer and my desire to have one growing stronger. But I don’t dare look at it lest I turn to stone.
Great truck for those looking for heavy amounts of lightweight utility.
It can, and will, turn you to stone.
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Alex Kierstein, Web Editor
The Ridgeline is full of nifty details. It’s also full of slightly befuddling ones. The nifty expanding center console was actually useful—and huge. Likewise, the cool underbed storage compartment. Along with the throaty, fantastic-sounding V6 underhood (who would have expected that?) and the roomy cabin, it seems to cater to its urban audience: the “Sometimes I need a truck, but mostly I need an SUV” crowd. Except it doesn’t do the truck thing all that well. It was great for picking up a new tool chest from Sears, but anything more involved than a trip to your local big-box store is beyond its capabilities. Offered in a single or extended cab configuration with a long bed, this could be a fantastic truck that makes up for its surprising thirst. If you can handle the gas bills, though, the RT-AWD system did handle deep snow without drama. Maybe think of it as the perfect ski vehicle that’s not useless the rest of the year, and it’ll appeal to you. As it is, it’s an awkward compromise that I can’t help but like. I just don’t love it.
Fantastic-sounding, and willing, engine. Who put an NSX in my truck?
Jack of some trades, master of several.
Louisville Kentucky Honda Dealer, Bob Montgomery Honda, http://www.bobmontgomeryhonda.com