The 2021 Honda Ridgeline is set to launch early next year with a bold redesign that reflects its rugged and versatile pickup truck capabilities. Equally at home on dirt and mud-strewn trails as it is on the highway or twisting mountain roads, the 2021 Ridgeline features standard V6 power, class-leading ride and handling, the segment’s largest interior for passengers and gear, a brilliantly versatile bed, and the best standard AWD model payload capacity.
“Truck enthusiasts have long recognized Ridgeline as an incredibly versatile and capable pickup, and now it’s got the rugged looks to match,” said Art St. Cyr, vice president of Auto Operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The Ridgeline signals a new direction for our light-truck designs, one that more effectively communicates all the hard work that goes into making Honda pickups and SUVs such proficient on- and off-road performers.”
The 2021 Ridgeline features all-new sheet metal from the front roof pillars forward. Design changes include a new hood sporting a pronounced power bulge, and new front fenders that emphasize the squared-off nose and more upright grille, flanked by LED headlights updated for better illumination. Atop the grille is a crossbar that bisects the headlight lenses – gloss black on Sport trims and Black edition, chrome on RTL and RTL-E. Below, a new front bumper highlights the toughness of the new Ridgeline’s design and adds broad side vents that route air through the bumper and around the front tires and wheels, creating air curtains to improve aerodynamic performance. The body color is also extended farther down the front bumper, and a prominent skid plate emphasizes Ridgeline’s tough new look. In back, a reshaped bumper exposes aggressive new twin exhaust outlets.
All trims feature tougher looking 18-inch wheels with backspacing reduced 10 mm, increasing track width a total of 20 mm and lending the Ridgeline a broader, more planted stance, bolstered by all-season tires with a new, more aggressive sidewall and shoulder design.
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) answers the call. The new HPD Package adds a unique grille treatment, black fender flares, aggressive bronze-colored wheels, and special HPD graphics on the bed walls. Part of a new group of post-production options (PPO), the package will be available on all Ridgeline trims and is one of four new PPO packages that include Utility, Function and Function+ packages.
The 2021 Ridgeline’s spacious cabin, which offers top-class passenger comfort and rear-seat legroom, receives an updated Display Audio system with crisp new graphics, easier-to-use touchscreen icons, and a physical volume knob. In addition, Ridgelines in Sport trim add new cloth seat inserts, all trims get new contrast stitching on the seats, and Sport, RTL and RTL-E trims have new dash, steering wheel and center console accents. Ridgeline’s flat floor and foldaway 60/40-split rear seat bottoms continue to offer enhanced flexibility for carrying long and tall items in the cabin.
Fully Automatic Torque-Vectoring AWD
Standard on every 2021 Honda Ridgeline is a 280-horsepower, 3.5-liter direct-injected VTEC® V6 backed by a smooth and responsive 9-speed automatic transmission. Available on Sport and RTL, and standard on RTL-E and Black Edition, is Ridgeline’s i-VTM4® torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system, which automatically sends up to 70 percent of the engine’s 262 lb.-ft. of torque to the rear wheels and continuously apportions 100 percent of that torque between the left and right rear wheels based on driving conditions at each wheel. The Intelligent Traction Dynamics System, standard on all Ridgelines, optimizes power delivery and distribution for various conditions including snow and pavement for 2WD models, while Ridgelines equipped with i-VTM4® get additional selectable modes for mud and sand.
Ridgeline-Exclusive Platform Design
Underpinning its extraordinary packaging, hauling and driving character is Ridgeline’s unit-body construction, featuring Honda’s proprietary Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and fully boxed frame members for the body sides and rear tailgate frame with truss-style inner construction, plus a robust fully independent rear suspension. This unique construction pays dividends with uncompromised ride comfort and handling on paved roads, while supporting a best-in-AWD class standard 1,580-pound payload capacity and up to 5,000-pound towing capacity.
Ridgeline’s extra-wide stance enables an extra-wide standard bed, making it the only truck in its class that can flat-carry 4-foot wide items, such as plywood and drywall, between the wheel wells. Based on the packaging efficiency of its unibody construction and independent rear suspension, Ridgeline also comes standard with a washable, lockable In-Bed Trunk®, offering an additional 7.3 cu.-ft. of secure storage space under the bed floor.
Ridgeline’s versatility as a cargo-hauling platform is enhanced by its Dual-Action Tailgate, which opens downward or to the side, making access to cargo and the In-Bed Trunk® a snap. The tailgate can handle dynamic loads of up to 300 pounds, supporting long payloads such as motorcycles and ATVs. Inside the bed are eight standard tie-down cleats rated at 350-pounds each, for securing loads, and the bed is constructed of glass fiber-reinforced SMC composite that resists dents and scratches without the need for a separate bed liner.
An available In-Bed Audio system utilizes four “exciters” to turn Ridgeline’s entire bed into an outdoor speaker (RTL-E and up trims). Combined with its Dual Action Tailgate and In-Bed Trunk, which can do double duty as an ice-filled cooler, Ridgeline is a great tailgating companion.
Safety & Driver-Assistive Technology
Ridgeline comes standard with the Honda Sensing®, featuring Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).
The 2021 Ridgeline targets top-class collision safety ratings from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including an NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score, a GOOD rating in all IIHS collision tests, and a SUPERIOR IIHS rating for front crash prevention.
Design and Manufacturing
The 2021 Honda Ridgeline was designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas in California and Ohio, and is manufactured along with its V6 engine at the Honda plant in Lincoln, Alabama using domestic and globally-sourced parts. For the 4th straight year, the Ridgeline ranked in the top 10 in the 2020 Cars.com American Made Index.
More information about the 2021 Ridgeline, including prices and detailed specifications, will be available closer to its on-sale date early next year.