In the world of midsize trucks, the Honda Ridgeline has been a remarkably solid seller, if not a barnstormer like the Toyota Tacoma. Still, even with a devout fan base you need to change things up every once in awhile, and that’s exactly what we have here. Meet the 2021 Honda Ridgeline: A model that sees some notable styling changes, but perhaps not quite as much as you expected.
The styling shift is immediately noticeable, though not radically different from the Ridgeline we already know. The front clip gets a revamp with a larger, more upright grille, as well as intakes beneath the headlights and new, rectangular fog lights. The chrome strip is still a prominent feature that cuts into the headlights, and the overall shape there is roughly the same as before. In terms of side profile, the facelifted truck gets more of a straight-line look, broadening its stance to look more like its truck competition, rather than as a crossover with a bed. Around back, the truck looks broadly the same with the exception of new twin exhaust outlets for its 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a reshaped rear bumper.
The Ridgeline keeps its V-6 engine
That’s right — while hybrid options are in the cards throughout most of Honda’s lineup, they haven’t reached the 2021 Honda Ridgeline just yet. Instead, the truck retains the same 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque from the previous model. The 9-speed automatic funnels that power to the front wheels or all four, through Honda’s i-VTM4 all-wheel drive system.
All 2021 Honda Ridgeline models get new 18-inch wheels and a 3/4-inch wider track. Again, those decisions were made with the intent of giving the pickup a broader stance. Honda says the standard all-season tires also get a more aggressive sidewall and shoulder design. The 2021 Honda Ridgeline still has a 1,580-pound payload capacity in AWD configuration and a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds.
While the truck isn’t changing much dynamically, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline does offer a new styling package. The Honda Performance Development (HPD) package adds a unique scalloped grille treatment, black fender flares, HPD graphics on the bed wheels and those bronze 18-inch wheels. Pricing is not available for the package (or the truck itself, for that matter) yet, but the HPD package is available on all Ridgeline trims. It’s one of four packages, including Utility, Function and Function+.
Inside, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline sports minor, nearly imperceptible changes — mainly centering on the Display Audio infotainment system. It’s still an 8.0-inch unit, but Honda says it’s been updated with “crisp new graphics, easier-to-use touchscreen icons, and a physical volume knob”. The Sport trim also gets new cloth seat inserts, while all other trims get new contrast stitching. Sport, RTL and RTL-E trims get new dash, steering wheel and center console accents. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto still come as standard functionality across the Ridgeline range.
The 2021 Honda Ridgeline still comes standard with an in-bed trunk, which adds 7.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity under the bed floor. Honda also built its midsize truck to handle four-foot wide items like plywood and drywall between the wheel wells. The updated Ridgeline, as with the rest of Honda’s lineup, comes with standard Honda Sensing safety technology. That includes Collision Mitigation Braking, a Lane Keep Assist System, Road Departure Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control.
Pricing and other more detailed information will be available closer to the new Ridgeline’s launch in early 2021.