If You Like The New Ridgeline, You'll Love What Happens Next

Design / Comments

Honda Plans On Making The Pilot And Passport More Rugged Looking

Many truck owners have called the Honda Ridgeline "soft" and "not a real truck." Honda clearly became tired of hearing these insults, so it decided to take action. The 2021 Honda Ridgeline receives a significant exterior facelift, making the truck look far more aggressive and rugged than ever before. Honda's update includes a new bulged hood, front fenders, grille, and LED headlights. Depending on the trim, the grille features a crossbar finished in gloss black or chrome.

We think the updates have worked wonders for the Ridgeline's curb appeal, and there's good news if you like the styling changes but don't need a pickup truck. According to MotorTrend, Honda executives believe the Ridgeline's more aggressive styling could help the company sell more SUVs.

Forward View Honda
Rear Angle View Honda

"We want to wear rugged on our sleeves better," said Jay Joseph, vice president of automobile marketing for American Honda Motor Company. The Ridgeline's new styling should make its way to the Passport, which was introduced as a two-row version of the Pilot. As for the Pilot, the current generation debuted back in 2015, so a new model should arrive soon, likely sporting some styling influence from the Ridgeline.

Honda likes to point out that the Pilot, Passport, and Ridgeline are all more capable than you might expect but the company doesn't currently offer anything close to Toyota's rugged TRD Pro models. That could soon change, according to Joseph.

2019-2020 Honda Passport Front Angle View CarBuzz
2019-2020 Honda Passport Rear Angle View CarBuzz
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"[The] Off-road Baja Ridgeline needs to be connected to the Ridgeline people can buy, or else we're leaving money on the table," Joseph responded when asked about the prospect of a higher performance variant like a Ridgeline Type R. "[An off-road performance Ridgeline is] something we've talked about but [there are] no plans for anything like that at this time and I don't know that it would necessarily be a Type R. Type R to us means as close to race-ready as we can put on the street."

"We need to leverage the power of the HPD name," Joseph said, referencing the Honda Performance Development department. The HPD subsidiary focuses mostly on engine and racing parts and could add a performance edge to future Honda products. "We need to take advantage of our performance credibility as a marketing tool." The Ridgeline could be the first Honda to receive an HPD package.

2019-2021 Honda Pilot Front View Honda
2019-2021 Honda Pilot Side View Honda
Source Credits: MotorTrend

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