With the Ridgeline, Honda has evolved the concept of the pickup, creating a smart, car-based truck aimed squarely at the actual needs of most pickup owners. The original, innovative Ridgeline turned off many buyers because of its peculiar styling. The lessons have been learned. As a result, the second-generation Ridgeline looks much more conventional, while being even more sensible. Other car-based trucks have since emerged, but the Ridgeline remains one of the most civilized pickup trucks we've ever tested.
But it isn't a conventional workhorse. Towing capacity at 5,000 pounds is nothing to boast about. The bed is shallow. The Ridgeline is no off-road champ, so this isn't the truck for anyone planning to cross the Rubicon Trail. Payload capacity of 1,584 pounds is comparable to other compact pickups and a couple of hundred pounds less than full-size trucks. On top of these modest credentials, the Ridgeline doesn't project the same indestructible image as other pickups. Instead of evoking frontier-taming fantasies, the Ridgeline aims right at your rationale. And rational it is. The composite bed will never rust and is scratch resistant. The built-in trunk is weathertight, will hold more than just a tool box, and is lockable. The rear gate can either swing out like a door or open like any other truck.
Unlike conventional trucks--and like all cars and most modern SUVs--the Ridgeline is a built as a unified construction rather than a body bolted to a separate frame. Also, the cab and bed are one piece, rather than two separate entities that are bolted together.