2014 Honda Ridgeline Review

March 11, 2014
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The 2014 Honda Ridgeline is basically a carryover from the previous model year. See if it’s still the same carlike truck that provides a very comfortable ride, has a serene cabin, and scores good enough in utility.

NEW FOR THE 2014 RIDGELINE

  • Special Edition trim level

UNDER THE HOOD

The 2014 Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 250 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. Power is transmitted to all wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy is 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway/17 mpg combined, not really impressive given the V6’s power. Other pickups in the segment have more powerful engines but are more fuel efficient.

ON THE ROAD

Ridgeline’s ride is quiet and smooth unlike traditional pickups, thanks to the carlike suspension. It is also compliant in corners. Steering is precise and brakes are strong and reliable. In fact, it is more refined than most trucks in the segment.

However, comments on the V6 engine are mixed. Some say it gives the Ridgeline sufficient power while others say it isn’t enough. Another downside of the Honda truck has something to do with its towing and hauling capacities. The Ridgeline can haul up to 1,559 pounds of payload and tow up to 5,000 pounds, less than what many of its rivals can do.

INSIDE THE 2014 RIDGELINE

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There is no question when it comes to the Ridgeline’s roominess. The seats and the cabin itself are wide. The cloth seats can accommodate five people and are very comfortable, something that is not typical of traditional off-roaders. And while access to the rear seats in other midsize trucks is often difficult, entry into the Honda Ridgeline is easy. Storage spaces are also abundant inside the truck.

By looking at the instrument cluster and the controls, you can tell that Honda thought of a typical off-roader driver while crafting the Ridgeline’s cabin. The gauges are very readable and the controls are simple and have large knobs which make easy operation still possible even if you’re wearing gloves. In addition, the tailgate can be lowered down or swung to the side for an easier access to the cargo bed.

But it’s quite disappointing that while almost all vehicles this year have Bluetooth, USB ports and iPod connectivity as standard features, the Ridgeline does not offer them. The Bluetooth is standard, though, only on the most expensive Ridgeline model.

KEY FEATURES

The 2014 Honda Ridgeline is a four-door crew cab that is offered in five models namely, RT, Sport, RTS, RTL and the new SE or Special Edition.

The Ridgeline RT is automatically equipped with a steel-reinforced composite cargo bed, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system, antilock brakes, 60/40 lift-up rear seat with storage underneath, stability and traction controls, rearview camera, tire pressure monitor, and in-bed trunk.

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The Sport model gets MP3 capability, unique grille with Sport badge, auxiliary audio jack, fog lights, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 18-inch alloy wheels, all-weather floor mats, and privacy glass.

The RTS trim level has 7-speaker audio system with subwoofer and 6-disc CD changer, 17-inch alloy wheels, 10-way power driver seat with lumbar support, dual-zone automatic climate control, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

Some of the standard features on the Ridgeline RTL are satellite radio, 18-inch alloy wheels, power sunroof, leather interior trims, ambient console lighting, heated front seats and side mirrors, and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

And the new SE model boasts of navigation system, steering-wheel-mounted navigation and phone controls, Bluetooth, and unique badges and trims.

Photo credit: honda.com, thecarconnection.com

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