Base price in Canada for the 2022 Ridgeline is $46,440 in Canada and $38,140 in the US.
The 2022 Ridgeline is the grandfather in an increasingly hot segment.
I know I’ve written something along these lines about Honda in the past, but the Ridgeline is another example of the Japanese automaker’s ability to think outside and beyond the box.
If we go back to the 1990s, 2000s, and into the early 2010s, non-full-size pickups were generally rudimentary. Meant to serve as just another tool, most lacked creature comforts or any sense that they were meant for any other purpose than transporting stuff. The exception was the Honda Ridgeline but because it was slightly less capable, more civilized, and pricier, it never caught on the way it was supposed to. Today, however, even one held together with duct tape and with over 300,000 km on the clock is still worth five figures.
Image and pricing problems
The second-generation picked up where the first one left off however it received several upgrades to better handle pickup truck duties. Despite the improvements, the Ridgeline continued to suffer from a “lesser-truck” image. The recent influx of new small trucks and upgrades made to existing ones should help shine a light on the Honda and everything it brings to the table.
Of the 2022 Honda Ridgeline’s few faults, pricing is one that stands out. At $46,440, it is priced roughly between $6,000 and $18,000 more than the basic trim of its competitors. For the price of a Ridgeline Sport, one can purchase a 2022 Chevrolet Colorado LT 4WD Crew Cab long box with the Duramax diesel engine and a luxury package.
Despite this setback of sorts, the Ridgeline is a nicer truck in all respects. I’ll skip over the Honda’s styling even though it was refreshed for the 2021 model year most recently. I will say however that it’s never looked more like a truck.
Perfect cab-bed configuration
As for the cabin, I will say that it is the most conventionally styled and car-like of the segment. The Hyundai Santa Cruz, in contrast, offers a far more modern layout. Anyone familiar with Honda products will immediately feel at home at the Ridgeline’s helm. The presence of numerous physical buttons and knobs is comforting.
The Ridgeline’s four-door cab is one of the most, if not the most spacious in the “anything-smaller-than-a-full-size” truck segment. There truly is room for five occupants, three across the reach bench, where this truck could easily and realistically serve as a family vehicle. And with the in-bed trunk, precious non-human cargo can safely be carried.
The bed is better configured than what’s available as standard with the Ford Ranger and the Chevy Colorado. The Ridgeline’s bed is 1,625 mm deep (compared to 1,550 and 1,567 mm respectively) and features the trunk and a brilliant dual-action tailgate. Both American options have a longer bed, but still no trunk or cool tailgate.
The only powertrain offered with the Ridgeline is Honda’s wonderfully smooth and responsive 3.5-litre V6. With 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque, the standard 9-speed automatic transmission, and Intelligent Variable Torque Management (i-VTM4) AWD system, the pickup gets out of its own way briskly.
As for capabilities, the Honda can tow up to 5,000 lbs but this isn’t something to brag about. The showier Santa Cruz can also pull as much thanks to its turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and dual-clutch transmission (not that I would recommend it). And speaking of boosted 4-cylinder engines, the Ranger’s EcoBoost mill enables the Ford to pull up to 7,500 lbs.
Be that as it may, no other engine, not the Colorado’s V6 nor the Nissan Frontier’s V6 is as refined as Honda’s 3.5-litre. The V6 and 9-speed are as smooth as the Ridgeline’s ride quality. As well, this truck handles like and feels like a Honda which is a tremendous bonus if it is driven every day.
Busier segment than ever
Above, I mention a handful of the Honda Ridgeline competitors except for one: The Ford Maverick. This truck is out to put the hurt on all the others based on its incredibly affordable pricing, serious capabilities, and design. Once Ford gets production where it needs to be and eventually offers AWD with the hybrid powertrain, it can only take over as the best-selling model.
Among all the others, the ancient Toyota Tacoma remains king for nearly all the right reasons. For all other would-be truck drivers and owners, the Honda Ridgeline should seriously not be ignored. In fact, it should be considered first for its features. That is, as long as you have a $50,000 budget…