Video: Refreshed 2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD First Drive & Tow: Towing Cross-Country!


We tow with the refreshed 2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD cross-country, pulling another Honda.

Roman calls the 2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD a “95% truck,” meaning – it is an outstanding midsize vehicle for the 95-percent of the driving many truck owners do. That other five-percent consists of midsize truck owners who do serious wheeling off-road (or heavy towing). This Ridgeline has a maximum 1,583-lbs payload capacity, and it tows up to 5,000-lbs.

From the A-pillar forward, it has an all-new design, consisting of a new front clip that’s a bit more aggressive-looking. HPD (Honda Performance Development) added fender flares because the gold/bronze HPD wheels are 20mm wider. While the tires, which were made specifically for the Ridgeline by Firestone, are actually all-season rubber. Sure, they look like mud-terrain tires, but they are not.

Our tester is a $36,490 Sport model, the least expensive Ridgeline you can buy, before adding $2,800 for the HPD package.

This is a base “Sport” model with the HPD package. (Image: Honda)

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD package includes:

  • HPD 18-Inch Bronze Alloy Wheels
  • HPD Fender Flares
  • HPD Front Grille
  • HPD Emblem
  • HPD Sticker Package

Fortunately, the excellent IVTM-4 all-wheel-drive system comes standard. Also, the 280 horsepower, V6 that’s hooked up to a 9-speed automatic transmission is standard as well. You also get a cloth interior, Honda safety sense, and a utilitarian bed with a multi-function tailgate.

In all honesty, the most useful part of the whole package is the tire/wheel package and we truly like those fender flares. The rest is all garnish, but Roman and Tommy love the look of the little truck. More importantly, they love the way it rides.

The Honda Ridgeline is easily the most comfortable, best-riding midsize truck sold. That’s important as the boys are driving from Los Angeles, CA to Boulder, CO – while towing. Comfort is a real plus.

They are towing a Honda Talon that weighs about 1,800-lbs. We think the trailer is just a bit under 1,000-lbs, so the total towing weight is well under Ridgeline’s maximum. Later on, we will be featuring the Honda Talon in many off-road videos.

In the meantime, check out this quick behind-the-scenes video and tell us what you think about the 2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD!

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.