A white 2021 Honda Ridgeline is shown from the rear at an angle.

A Race to the Top: Meet Honda’s Ridgeline Pickup Truck

Though the Accord and Civic might be Honda’s best-known models, another is waiting in the wings to be recognized for its role in Honda’s celebrated lineup. No, not the SUVs or the minivan; the Honda midsize pickup, the Ridgeline. Think you know everything about pickups? The Ridgeline will surprise you. Not only does it serve as a daily commuter, off-road companion, or a hauler/tower combo, it has some serious speed and has won a few awards for its fast and furious performance, but more on that later.

No matter what projects, adventures, or goals you have for yourself and the pickup, the Ridgeline is guaranteed to bring its best to ensure you can do it all. If you’re looking to purchase a pre-owned pickup, look for a used Honda Ridgeline for sale. With Honda’s reputation for reliable, durable vehicles, notable performance, and Honda’s vision for the future, you may just be inclined to take one home for yourself.

Honda Ridgeline Packages

Interested in the Ridgeline but unsure how it will fit your lifestyle and driving needs? Concerned that it might not have all the extra equipment and features you’re hoping for? Never fear; for the person who wants it all, the Ridgeline has several available packages tailored to specific types of drivers. There are even levels of packages in case you want some features but don’t need others.

Want your truck to have extra functions for work and play? Take a look at the Function and Function+ packages. They both come with in-bed truck dividers, in-bed and truck-bed cargo nets, and a first aid kit. Still, if you want something more, you can get the Function+ package which adds a hard cargo area cover, allowing you to organize your tools, camping equipment, or fishing and hunting supplies and keep everything dry, cool, and easy to access.

A red 2021 Honda Ridgeline is shown from the front at an angle after leaving a dealer that has a used Honda Ridgeline for sale.

Some drivers may want a special edition, and that’s why Honda also has the HPD Black and HPD Bronze packages. If you’re interested in customizing, making your vehicle stand out, or just like the look of a gorgeous vehicle, these packages are for you. Black or bronze highlights adorn the wheels, front grilles, and fender flares, with the addition of HPD emblems and stickers. These carefully chosen areas, when colored black or bronze, will enhance the truck’s design and style and will undoubtedly have heads turning as you cruise through town.

None of the above packages speak to your unique style? That’s alright; you’ll probably be interested in the Utility package, which provides plenty of accessories and features for the driver that wants to trek into the wilderness, explore, try new outdoor activities, and the like. When you choose the utility package, your truck will come with running boards, roof rails, and crossbars. The running boards allow easier access and simpler unloading, while the roof rails can carry kayaks, canoes, bikes, or suitcases for your well-deserved vacation. The crossbars amplify this helpful setup by allowing you to create a rack system to load more equipment while not adding weight to the top of your truck. See? There’s something for every kind of truck driver.

Construction and Design

Remember what Honda is popular for? The Accord and Civic are cars that handle like a dream, fun and practical, with sleek lines and lots of desirable features. They took inspiration from these and other aspects of their cars to create a new vehicle that would appeal to fans of Honda’s other models but give their customers a chance to try something new. Hence, the Honda Ridgeline was born. It’s the only truck in the Honda stable and, as such, has a unique place in Honda’s inventory.

The Ridgeline was conceived as a unibody, one of a few ways in which it relates to the Honda cars. Unibody pickups are rare but not unheard of. In fact, Ford had unibodies rolling off the assembly line in the 1960s, though only for a few years. The unibody construction was designed by a group of nearly forty members led by Gary Flint. Are there advantages to driving a unibody rather than a body-on-frame? Yes, there are several advantages that you may not have considered yet, such as higher fuel efficiency, better safety ratings, and superior handling.

Since the unibody construction means less weight, you gain better fuel economy, and when considering safety, the unibody is a bonus here, too, as it allows impact to be spread around the entire vehicle instead of at pressure points that could cause extra damage. The superior handling comes from the truck being lighter weight, paired with Honda’s powertrain and features. Know what lightweight, speedy vehicles do for fun? You guessed it; racing. And Honda’s Ridgeline is no slouch when it comes to playing fast and furious on or off the track.

The Ridgeline in the Races

SCORE International is responsible for sanctioning one of the most popular races in the world: the Baja 1000. The California peninsula’s terrain and weather make it a perfect place to host an off-road race challenge for several classes of vehicles, not the least of which is the category the Honda Ridgeline is, Class 7, home of the unlimited V6 race truck. With over a thousand miles to go across the desert, it’s a grueling ride, which has not deterred the Ridgeline from competing; in fact, the Ridgeline has snagged more than a few winner trophies in its history with the Baja 1000 and has also done the same at the Baja 500, where it has become a superb contender, carrying off four consecutive wins. The Ridgeline has won or placed quite high for several years and doesn’t show signs of stopping any time soon.

Another competition the Ridgeline participates in is the Rebelle Rally, a women-only off-road race through parts of Nevada and California for just over a week, covering more than 1500 miles of desert terrain, all without the help of a GPS. That’s right; the Rebelle Rally does not allow modern technology to assist drivers. Instead, they must rely on paper maps, compasses, and other tools. These challenges are a lot of fun, and the community comprises people who are passionate about their trucks, who are always looking for ways to enhance them, and who enjoy swapping stories about their trucks with others in the community.

Vehicles that can bring people together, whether by a sporting event, family vacation, or other activity, go a long way in creating a sense of camaraderie among individuals, and that feeling transcends age, ability, and language. Honda’s fans love Honda for a variety of reasons, but for the Ridgeline, a lot of it comes down to the fact that it is a surprising, fun, safe vehicle.

The interior of a 2020 Honda Ridgeline is shown from above the center console.

Is the Ridgeline a New Favorite in the Honda Lineup?

Though it hasn’t yet outmaneuvered the Ford F-150 and taken its place as America’s favorite vehicle, it has risen through the ranks since its introduction. Instead of everyone driving larger, diesel-powered vehicles with poor fuel economy and lower safety ratings, it’s time drivers get the chance to try out the fuel-efficient and nimble Honda Ridgeline. Not only can it handle your off-road adventures, but it’s also a smooth ride in and around town, sure to attract those who see it for what it is: a thoughtfully crafted, exciting-to-drive vehicle that anyone would be lucky to have.

Whether you’ve been eyeing the Ridgeline or this is the first time someone has brought it to your attention, once you’ve seen it put through its paces, it will be very difficult to resist trying one out for yourself. If you live near an area where there’s a race, meeting some of the community involved would be a great place to start. Check out the Ridgeline today and experience this exceptional midsize truck for yourself.