Honda's midsize pickup has been given a radical redesign for 2021.
The current Honda Ridgeline has been on sale since 2017, and while the rugged pickup was updated with a new transmission last year, the time has come for a mid-cycle refresh. This is more than a typical facelift, however. For 2021, Honda has implemented some bold styling changes and the result is a more rugged and modern-looking truck that makes the outgoing model look comparatively dated.
From the front roof pillars forward, the 2021 Ridgeline features all-new sheet metal. Honda has also fitted a new hood with a pronounced bulge, new front fenders, and a more upright grille flanked by updated LED headlights.
Other changes at the front include a new crossbar finished in gloss black or chrome depending on trims a new, more aggressive front bumper with side vents that improve the truck's aerodynamics.
As part of the refresh, the body color extends further down the front bumper, while a prominent skid plate emphasizes the Ridgeline's more rugged exterior. A redesigned rear bumper, new aggressive twin exhaust outlets, and new 18-inch wheels with less backspacing that increases the truck's track width by 0.6 inches complete the exterior changes.
For an even bolder look, Honda also offers a new styling package developed in collaboration with Honda Performance Development that adds a unique grille, black fender flares, aggressive bronze-colored wheels, and special graphics on the bed walls.
Inside, the changes continue with an updated infotainment system with new graphics, more intuitive touchscreen icons, and a volume knob. Sport trim models also get new cloth seat inserts, while all trims have new contrast stitching on the seats. Sport , RTL, and RTL-E trims features new dashboard, steering wheel, and center console accents.
Under the hood, every 2021 Honda Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, paired with the same nine-speed automatic transmission found in the Honda Passport and Honda Pilot. Front-wheel-drive is offered as standard on all trims below the RTL-E, but Honda also offers a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system that automatically sends up to 70 percent of the engine's torque to the rear wheels and continuously distributes up to 100 percent of that torque between the left and right rear wheels depending on the driving conditions.
With AWD, the Ridgeline offers a best-in-class 1,580-pound payload capacity and up to 5,000-pound towing capacity. Thanks to its extra-wide standard bed, Honda claims the Ridgeline is the only truck in its class that can flat-carry four-foot-wide items such as plywood and drywall. All models also feature a dual-action tailgate that can handle loads of up to 300 pounds.
As standard, the 2021 Ridgeline comes equipped with the Honda Sensing suite of safety assists that feature a collision mitigation braking system, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation with lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. The 2021 Honda Ridgeline will arrive in US dealers early next year. Pricing details will be announced closer to the on-sale date.