Test Driving the 2021 Honda Ridgeline AWD Sport

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Tony Maples Photography


I’m not usually eager to drive a pickup truck, since most of my driving is in town and doesn’t call for hauling or towing anything but groceries or household supplies. Plus, parking a big truck, especially one with a long bed, can be difficult. But the Honda Ridgeline is different.

This mid-size truck fits nicely into most urban parking spots, and is remarkably easy to drive. I found myself hating to see it go when my recent week the wheel of a Radiant Red Ridgeline came to an end.

Honda Ridgeline Sport

2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport AWD

Photo: Honda

My test Ridgeline was the Sport model, which is the entry level trim, and sells for $36,490. Honda had added an optional HPD package ($2,900) that featured a distinctly sporty grille, 18” alloy wheels, fender flares and HPD decals.

Ridgeline Sport was a lot of fun to drive, and featured all the technology and driver’s aid tools I needed. Honda Sensing features adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking and land keeping assist plus road departure mitigation.

My Ridgeway produced plenty of power from its 3.5 liter VTEC V-6 engine with variable cylinder manager. The engine is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. It also featured all-wheel-drive capability, one of my favorite features in any vehicle, since it’s easier to drive in any type weather or terrain.

Ridgeline’s Quiet Cabin

2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport AWD

Photo: Honda

Inside the cabin of my Ridgeway Sport, road noise wasn’t as perceptible as it frequently is in a pickup truck. This was especially noticeable when driving on the freeway. The spacious cabin was just as comfy and quiet as a sedan. Call me old-fashioned, but I also liked the physical volume knob that Honda added to the audio display. Knobs are much easier for me (personally) to operate than more high tech versions.

I was happy with all the storage space in the Ridgeway’s cabin, too. Other features that make the Ridgeway a popular all-around mid-size truck for people who haul things (which, admittedly, I don’t do much) include the dual-action tailgate. There’s a nice storage trunk inside the cargo bed that is also a handy feature, plus an integrated Class III trailer hitch.

Fuel economy is estimated at 18 mpg in town and 24 mpg on the highway, for an average of 21 mpg. This is really impressive mileage for a truck, even a light one like the Ridgeway.