The 2018 Honda Ridgeline arrives in dealerships nationwide Tuesday with an MSRP starting at $29,630 (other prices and pictures are posted below).
While most OEMs are quick to promote the hauling and towing capacities of their pickups, Honda quickly went after the tailgate crowd in the second paragraph of their press release.
“The Honda Ridgeline is the ultimate tailgate vehicle for sporting events, picnics and other gatherings with industry-first and exclusive features that are sure to keep the party going with a dual action tailgate that provides easy access to an in-bed trunk that doubles as a cooler and an available factory-installed truck bed audio system,” Honda writes.
Besides being party-capable, Honda reminds us that the 2017 Ridgeline was chosen as the North American Truck of the Year earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show and that it was the only pickup truck to earn a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Though the 2018 Ridgeline has not yet been rated by IIHS, it did receive a best possible 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). Ridgeline also continues to offer the comprehensive Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver assistive features including Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).
But it’s what Honda doesn’t mention in the press release that’s a little puzzling: Ridgeline is the only pickup that comes with a composite bed. Honda released its own truck bed challenge videos last year, following the much publicized bed battles between Chevy and Ford. In one video, Honda shows a load of landscape blocks being dumped into the bed of a 2017 Ridgeline from the bucket of a Cat multi-terrain loader. A Honda rep reports a few faint scratches, but other than that, it holds up fine. To date, the video has gotten 636,000 views.
Honda will definitely turn some heads with 2018 Ridgeline’s class-leading EPA fuel economy ratings of 19/26/22 (city/highway/combined) for 2WD and 18/25/21 for AWD models.
The 2018 Honda Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter direct-injected SOHC i-VTEC V6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management mated to a wide ratio 6-speed automatic transmission, with peak engine outputs of 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque.
All-wheel-drive models utilize Honda’s most advanced AWD technology – Intelligent Variable Torque Management (i-VTM4), which is designed to provide excellent all-weather performance and enhanced dynamic handling capability.
Honda reports that Ridgeline’s cargo-hauling and towing capabilities include a class-leading maximum of 1,584-pound payload capacity (varies by trim) and up to 5,000-pound towing. Ridgeline incorporates a button-operated Intelligent Traction Management System that enables up to four different operating modes: Normal, Snow, Mud and Sand for the AWD models, as well as Normal and Snow for two-wheel-drive vehicles.
Available advanced technologies inside the cab include an 8-inch display audio touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, HD Radio, SiriusXM 2.0, up to four USB ports and Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System.
For the new model year, Ridgeline’s trims have been streamlined from 12 to nine, including all-wheel drive and two-wheel drive variants, to better suit the needs of midsize truck buyers and providing a more compelling value. The 2018 model comes with two additional exterior color choices for the Sport trim, with White Diamond Pearl and Lunar Silver Metallic joining Crystal Black Pearl.
A broad range of Honda Genuine Accessories specifically designed for Ridgeline is available. The accessories are covered by Honda’s 3-year, 36,000-mile limited warranty.