It wasn't until this past December that I had the opportunity to experience the Honda Ridgeline for model year 2012. Available in four trim levels (RT, SPORT, RTS AND RTL), starting at $29K and some change, the test model was offered only at the $29,995 Sport level, which for model year 2013 is priced at just $200 more! And while that sounds good, chances are, you can probably still find a brand new 2012 model at a substantial savings---I'm just saying...
At the Sport trim level, Ridgeline offers a hot look, especially in black. Standards include a cool set of 18" machined alloy rims, a black honeycomb grill, black encased lights for both heads and tails. So the Ridgeline Sport will definitely turn some heads.
Although the closest I've ever come to owning a truck is an SUV, I'm digin' quite a few things about Ridgeline's exterior. For example, I loved...
- The Dual-Action Tailgate that allows you to swing out or fold down the tailgate in order to access the lighted bed. Imagine how convenient that might be during this season in particular--whether loading wood for the fireplace, spring flowers for the yard, or groceries.
- Beneath the bed of the truck--right at the foot of the tailgate, is a trunk that lifts and locks for storage. Whether you're storing tools or items from a recent shopping trip, it's nice to know that in addition to having four doors to access the back seat for passengers or storage, as well as a flat bed, there's a trunk!
On the interior, Ridgeline Sport is pretty basic to a guy like me who appreciates technology. At this trim level there's no Bluetooth for handsfree talking or to stream music from Pandora or any music storage application on my phone; No navigation with traffic updates and weather forecasts...But to a true trucker, the abundance of storage space within and around the center console with sliding armrest, the abundance of cup holders between the front and rear seating areas, multiple 12-volt power outlets and an air filtration system to help alleviate the pig farmer's fragrant air or the exhaust from the passer-by's emissions---has to be nice. But, to move it on up to the $37K Ridgeline RTL trim level would be the simple solution.
Whichever trim level you're considering, Ridgeline comes with a 250 horsepower, 3.5 liter V6 engine, producing 247 lb. ft of torque and a five speed transmission. It scores a government fuel economy rating of 15 miles per gallon in the city, 21 on the highway, for an average combined rating of 17 miles per gallon overall.
All in all, when I consider how well the Ridgeline handled in terms of it's maneuverability--aided by such advantages as a four wheel drive system with independent suspension, I could do a Ridgeline---RTL, of course. Oh yeah, and I'd definitely be throwing on a set of 20's! lol