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Honda Ridgeline

The antipickup pickup.

In a world where pickup trucks compete against one another on towing prowess and stump-pulling power, the Ridgeline is something of a counterrevolutionary. It doesn’t have a V-8, and its maximum towing load is 5000 pounds — respectable but not remarkable. For those who want carlike comfort with the convenience of an open bed, though, the Ridgeline is a no-brainer. It’s the only mid-size pickup with unibody construction, so its body is rigid, like a car’s. This helps provide a squeak-free interior and superb ride and handling. Inside, the cabin is less luxurious than that of some other Honda products, but it has plenty of storage space along with seating for five. Out back, the two-way tailgate swings down or pivots sideways, yielding easy access to the five-foot bed. Under the bed is a weatherproof, locking trunk that holds 8.5 cubic feet of tools, groceries, luggage, or whatever else you might want to keep dry and safe. All Ridgelines have four-wheel drive. The Ridgeline has now been on the market for seven years and has never been a hot seller, which could be explained by the way it looks. Mating the front half of a Pilot sport-utility vehicle to a stubby pickup bed with slanted sides doesn’t make for a pretty truck, but there is beauty beneath its skin.

COMPETITORS

Chevrolet Colorado

GMC Canyon

Nissan Frontier

Toyota Tacoma

new for 2013

The Ridgeline is unchanged for 2013.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are ABS, traction and stability control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

MPG

CITY 15

HWY 20

PRO

Carlike handling

Lockable in-bed trunk

Seating for five

CON

No V-8 available

Funky styling

Base Price Range: $30,300–$38,200 (est.)

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: RT, Sport, RTS, RTL

BODY STYLE: Pickup, 5-passenger

ENGINE: 3.5L V-6, 250 hp, 247 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 5-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 112.0 cu ft

CAPACITIES: Towing 5000 lb; payload 1486–1546 lb

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