$12,376 - $15,621

2011 Honda Ridgeline Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Honda Ridgeline was new.


Performance: 7.9

Reviewers say that even though the Honda Ridgeline does not have as much towing or off-roading capabilities that other pickups have, it far outperforms regular trucks with its car-like handling and comfortable ride. Some reviewers bemoan the Ridgeline’s low tow rating of 5,000 pounds and underpowered V6 engine. Still, the Honda Ridgeline serves up plenty of truck for weekend warriors, without sacrificing its weekly commuter duties.

  • "Towing is modest by class standards, but the Ridgeline’s versatility, carlike handling, and fuel economy are tops." -- Car and Driver
  • "For today's confident explorer, few things maintain that confidence better than 4WD. And despite its lack of a low range, VTM-4 does an admirable job of navigating the logging trail, winter snow or seasonal downpour. And in diverting up to 70 percent of available power to the rear wheels, power goes exactly where it should go when towing a trailer." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The Honda Ridgeline offers only one powertrain option, a 3.5-liter V6 with 250 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque, mated to an automatic transmission. Reviewers feel that the Ridgeline’s engine provides adequate power for everyday use. However, other trucks have V8 engines that generate more power and have greater towing capacities and similar fuel economy ratings. The Ridgeline achieves 15/20 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA. Overall, the Ridgeline’s engine is adequate for shoppers who need a truck for occasional light towing and hauling.

  • "This pickup has better-than-adequate go, thanks in part to a smooth, responsive transmission. Ridgeline is on par with rival compact pickups with V6s--but behind Dodge Dakota with its available V8. The engine also may be taxed when asked to meet Ridgeline's 5,000-pound towing capacity or 1,486-1,546-pound maximum payload.” -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say the Ridgeline’s unit-body construction helps to give it a more smooth and comfortable ride than most pickups. One reviewer mentions that the Ridgeline’s tight turning radius made it surprisingly easy to maneuver in small spots.

Opting for the Ridgeline’s smoother ride will unfortunately lead to a sacrifice in towing and hauling power. The Ridgeline can tow 5,000 pounds, about 2,000 pounds less than the Dodge Dakota can tow. If your heart is set on the handling dynamics of an SUT, but you need more towing capacity, take a look at the Chevrolet Avalanche. The full-size Avalanche can tow up to 8,100 pounds, which is more than most compact pickups.

  • "Smooth operator on all surfaces." -- Car and Driver
  • "With its unit body, reinforced frame and an all-independent suspension, the operative word for the Ridgeline's handling is solid." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Drives more like a car or minivan than a typical pickup. Still, Ridgeline's height and heft mean a fair amount of body lean and noseplow in fast turns. Steering feel is too light at low speeds, but a relatively tight turning circle aids parking lot maneuverability. Braking is strong and sure.” -- Consumer Guide

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