By James Raia
Renowned for its unibody design and unique appearance, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline will debut early next year with a pronounced redesign. It will showcase the pickup truck’s road and off-road versatility.
All 2021 Honda Ridgeline trims will include a 3.5-liter, direct-injected V6 engine producing 280 horsepower and a nine-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard on RTL-E and Black Editions. It’s optional on Sport and RTL trims.
The Ridgeline will continue to feature an extra-wide stance on an extra-wide standard bed. It’s the only truck that can flat-carry four-foot-wide items between its wheel wells.
With its unibody construction and independent rear suspension, the Ridgeline also comes standard with a washable, lockable in-bed trunk. It offers an additional 7.3 cu.-ft. of secure storage space under the bed floor.
2021 Honda Ridgeline: Bold new exterior
The 2021 Ridgeline also features a new sheet metal front with roof pillars forward. Design changes further include a hood sporting a pronounced power bulge and front fenders that emphasize the squared-off nose.
A more upright grille flanked by LED headlights updated for better illumination, and a new bumper are among front exterior improvements. A reshaped rear bumper and new twin exhausts add further changes.
New aggressive sidewall and shoulder designs will give the Ridgeline a broader, more planted stance.
The Honda Performance Development (HPD) package is also new. It includes an upgraded grille treatment, black fender flares, aggressive bronze-colored wheels, and special HPD graphics on the bed walls.
Interior upgrades include a Display Audio System and new upholstery with contrast stitching. The Sport, RTL and RTL-E trims have a new dash, steering wheel and center console accents.
The new Ridgeline has a 1,580-pound payload capacity and a 5,000-pound towing capacity. The tailgate can handle dynamic loads of up to 300 pounds, supporting long payloads such as motorcycles and ATVs.
Inside the bed are eight standard tie-down cleats, rated at 350 pounds each, for securing loads. The bed is constructed of glass fiber-reinforced SMC composite. It resists dents and scratches without the need for a separate bed liner.
The Ridgeline comes standard with the Honda Sensing featuring a collision mitigation braking system, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist road departure mitigation, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
Additional specifications and prices will be announced closer to the truck’s expected consumer debut in early 2021.
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.