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2014 Honda Ridgeline Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 Honda Ridgeline was new.


Performance: 7.5

Thanks to its comfortable, car-like ride and handling, reviewers agree the 2014 Honda Ridgeline is more refined than other compact trucks. Still, others say that anyone seeking the towing and hauling capability of a more conventional truck may be disappointed with the Ridgeline, which can't tow or haul quite as much as rivals. The Ridgeline's fuel economy is comparable to other V6-powered, four-wheel drive midsize pickups’, but some recently redesigned full-size trucks like the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 return better fuel economy.

  • "For someone looking for the utility of a truck without feeling like you're driving one, the Ridgeline is perfect. It may be disappointing, though, to those who prefer a true truck experience." -- AutoTrader
  • "In sum, driving the Ridgeline is about as unobtrusive and calm as operating a truck can be. It is certainly the perfect first truck for many buyers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Honda Ridgeline is a unique pickup that employs car-like unibody construction in place of the rugged but unrefined body-on-frame setup that underpins its competitors. As a result, the Ridgeline provides a more comfortable ride and better handling than most pickups while still offering decent towing and hauling capabilities." -- Left Lane News

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Honda Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 250 horsepower, which is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 15/21 mpg city/highway, which is comparable to a V6-powered, four-wheel drive Nissan Frontier or Toyota Tacoma. While these estimates are average for the class, some recently-redesigned full-size pickups get better fuel economy.

Reviewers say that the Ridgeline's engine has ample power, though some note that it is not the strongest V6-powered pickup truck on the market. Some test drivers write that the Ridgeline's transmission doesn’t offer the best performance on the highway and occasionally shifts harshly. Others note that larger, more powerful trucks can match or exceed the Ridgeline's fuel economy.

  • "The Ridgeline's power delivery is strong and smooth, although the 5-speed transmission hampers performance at highway speeds." -- AutoTrader
  • "Even though it weighs around 4,500 pounds, the robust 3.5-liter V6 moves it with ease. The fuel-economy ratings are good but, in view of some of the newer competition in the truck market, not at the top. On occasions we noticed the 5-speed automatic tended to shift a little abruptly, but most folks would likely not notice." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The most powerful six-cylinder engine in the segment when the Ridgeline hit the market, the 3.5-liter V6 has since been bested in terms of both power and fuel economy." -- Left Lane News
  • "In Consumer Guide testing, we averaged 16.2-18.3 mpg. Those results are merely OK for a V6-powered compact truck. Some bigger, V8-powered rigs can match or even beat Ridgeline." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2014 Ridgeline comes standard with all-wheel drive. Reviewers say the Ridgeline has a much more comfortable ride and better handling than other trucks have. A few reviewers note that the Ridgeline can suffer from torque steer, which means that it has a tendency to pull to either the left or right under hard acceleration. However, they also say that overall, the Ridgeline is fairly refined. Test drivers say the Ridgeline's steering is well-weighted and precise and its brakes offer plenty of stopping power.

  • "Unlike all other trucks, the 2014 Ridgeline is built with unit-construction and fully independent suspension, and it pays huge dividends in ride and handling, which is much more like a car than a truck." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Aside from the unusual feeling of driving a pickup truck with front-wheel-drive-style torque steer, the Ridgeline is quite refined. The driver and passenger seats are comfortable, steering is light and responsive and braking is sharp." -- AutoTrader
  • "The 2013 Ridgeline's carlike independent suspension delivers a smooth and quiet ride compared to conventional pickups and handling is more responsive, too." -- Edmunds (2013)

Towing and Hauling

The 2014 Honda Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 pounds and haul a payload of up to 1,559 pounds, which is a bit less than what rivals can tow and haul. Reviewers say that the Ridgeline's all-wheel drive system allows most power to be transferred to the rear wheels, which should help maintain traction with a trailer hooked up. However, another thinks that the Ridgeline's engine isn't strong enough to easily pull a 5,000-pound trailer.

  • "Those figures are comparable to other V6-powered pickups, although tow package-equipped models - not to mention V8 rigs - can haul significantly more." -- Left Lane News
  • "Diverting up to 70 percent of available power to the rear wheels aids towing." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
  • "Maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds, which is about on-par for the class. Though we've not tried it, we expect the engine to feel taxed when asked to meet that capability." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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