How many of you know Honda makes a pickup truck and its even a crew cab with decent tow capacity.
We continue to be amazed at how many people do not know that and do not consider a Ridgeline when looking for a capable and versatile truck.
We have a neighbor who owns a late model Honda Ridgeline pickup truck who stops over every time we have a new media fleet test truck in our driveway to take a look. Each and every time, he kicks the tires, walks around the competitor truck, goes for a ride and then comments that he likes his Ridgeline better.
Our neighbor is typical of the loyal Ridgeline owners who have purchased almost 13,000 of them in 2013, trending at almost a 30 percent increase over 2012 which was up 31 percent over the prior year.
For 2013, there were two of these uniquely styled mid-sized crew cab pickup trucks in the market. They were the Honda Ridgeline and the Chevrolet Avalanche. Starting the year, Chevrolet announced they were discontinuing the Avalanche after 2013 leaving the Honda Ridgeline as the last truck of its type still available going into 2014.
Responding to that market position and double-digit sales growth in 2013, the versatile Honda Ridgeline returns for 2014 with a the four distinctive Ridgeline models available now: the Ridgeline RT, Ridgeline Sport, Ridgeline RTS and Ridgeline RTL, which is available with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System.
In addition a new, top-of-the-line Special Edition model joins the lineup in November featuring model-exclusive 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels with black-trimmed spokes, special badging and the popular black trim package from the Ridgeline Sport that includes black headlight and brake light housings, black tailgate and black honeycomb grille with black surround.
The new Ridgeline Special Edition also comes standard with Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System featuring Voice Recognition and Zagat Survey restaurant information, and includes XM Radio, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, plus multi-information display and a rearview camera display.
"Honda's commitment to the truck segment is underscored by the new special edition model of the 2014 Honda Ridgeline," said John Mendel, Executive Vice President of Sales at American Honda. "The increased customer interest in Ridgeline this year demonstrates the important role Ridgeline will continue to play in the Honda lineup."
The 2014 Honda Ridgeline features a closed-box, unit-body structure and independent front and rear suspension to deliver a unique combination of truck capability with a spacious five-passenger cabin and car-like ride and handling.
The Ridgeline also delivers a maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds and a half-ton payload rating, all while offering innovative and unique features that include the large In-Bed Trunk and dual-action tailgate for easy access.
Ridgeline remains the only pickup truck on sale in the U.S. to feature a standard rearview camera across the line.
The 2014 Ridgeline models and features available are:
Ridgeline RT - Unique 17-inch steel wheels, integrated trailer hitch, pre-wiring for 7-pin trailer hook up, keyless entry, power windows and door locks, power sliding rear window, air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, trip computer with instantaneous and average fuel economy, 6-speaker 100-watt audio system with CD player and MP3/WMA playback capability, rearview camera, and 60/40 split lift-up rear seat with under-seat storage.
Ridgeline Sport (adds to Ridgeline RT) - Exclusive black 18-inch aluminum wheels, black honeycomb grille with black surround and exclusive sport emblem, black headlight and brake light housings, fog lights, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, auxiliary audio input jack, all-weather floor mats and rear privacy glass.
Ridgeline RTS (adds to Ridgeline RT) - Exclusive 17-inch aluminum wheels, painted inner grille surfaces, body-color painted door handles, 7-pin trailer wiring connector, 8-way power driver's seat with lumbar support, dual-zone automatic climate control, 7-speaker 160-watt audio system with subwoofer, 6-disc in-dash CD system, steering wheel-mounted controls, auxiliary audio input jack, exterior temperature indicator, all-weather floor mats and privacy glass.
Ridgeline RTL (adds to Ridgeline RTS) - Exclusive 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, fog lights, power moon roof, heated side mirrors, leather-trimmed interior with heated front seats, XM Radio, HomeLink remote system, ambient console lighting, 115-volt power outlet and carpeted floor mats.
The Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition and Zagat Survey restaurant information is also available on the Ridgeline RTL. It includes XM Radio, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and a multi-information display. The navigation system includes a rearview camera display, replacing a display in the rearview mirror.
The Ridgeline's all-aluminum, SOHC 3.5-liter VTEC V-6 engine produces 250 horsepower and 247 lb.-ft. of torque. The 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission features Grade Logic Control to help maintain the most appropriate gear when going uphill or downhill to avoid gear "hunting."
Fuel economy ratings for the 2014 Ridgeline are 15/21 MPG City/Highway with an average of 17 MPG.
A fully automatic Variable Torque Management 4-wheel drive system (VTM-4) provides confident operation in rain, snow, ice, sand and mud, while also improving on-road and towing performance by distributing torque to all four wheels as needed.
The system operates normally in front-wheel-drive mode during dry-pavement cruising conditions and continuously proportions torque to the rear wheels during acceleration and low traction situations. A VTM-4 lock button located on the instrument panel is available for the driver to temporarily hold engagement of both rear wheels to aid traction in the first two gears at speeds of up to 18 mph.
The unit-body architecture is designed for superior rigidity compared to traditional body-on-frame designs enabling the Ridgeline's spacious interior crew-type cabin and bed. The solid, one-piece appearance with no separation between the bed and the cab gives the Ridgeline its unique look.
Versatile cargo space is a hallmark of the Ridgeline and starts with the 5-foot-long composite cargo bed with eight tie-down locations providing a payload rating of 1,100 pounds, while four cargo area lights illuminate both the bed and the in-bed trunk.
A dual-action tailgate opens down for traditional access to the cargo area or to the side for ease-of-access to the 8.5 cubic-foot In-Bed Trunk under the bed. The Ridgeline is available with a wide variety of accessories and can conveniently accommodate motorcycles or ATVs with a cargo area measuring 49.5 inches wide between the wheel wells, 20.7 inches deep and 60.0 inches long (79.0 inches with the load-supporting tailgate in the down position).
The Ridgeline, even with its mid-size and garage friendly exterior dimensions, offers full-size interior space.
The driving position provides ergonomically comfortable access to large and easy-to-use controls. Between the front seats, a large multi-function console features a sliding armrest and sliding lower tray – each with a hidden storage area.
Additional console storage areas accommodate large and small items like mobile phones, beverage holders, and portable digital music players.
The 60/40 lift-up rear seats feature a storage area underneath that is large enough to accommodate a golf bag. Plus, the rear seating area can quickly convert for cargo duty by lifting the seating to a full vertical position.
Pricing for the 2014 Honda Ridgeline starts at $29,575 for the RT and runs up to $37,505 for the Ridgeline RTL with Leather and Navi. The new top-of-the-line Ridgeline Special Edition, also with Leather and Navi, will have an MSRP of $37,505 when it arrives in November.