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The Ridgeline isn’t the first model that comes to mind when you think of brawny trucks. Honda refreshed the unconventional pickup for 2021, adding added more ruggedness to its design. Nevertheless, it still looks out of place when parked next to a Ford F-150 or Toyota Tacoma. However, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition might change your perception of this underrated truck.

Instead of being the practical alternative to burly pickups, this Ridgeline model strikes fear into its rivals. How does the Black Edition differ from the rest of the lineup, and is it worth the price? Let’s examine how Honda shed its pragmatic image by crafting a truck that lives on the edge.

What makes the 2021 Honda Ridgeline a unique pickup?

Critics have long held the Honda Ridgeline in high regard. However, some truck enthusiasts haven’t given it the same respect. Honda built this vehicle with an atypical design, utilizing a unibody frame. But that’s not the only way the Japanese manufacturer deviated from the norm.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline isn’t the most powerful pickup on the market. Honda declined to attempt to go toe-to-toe with Ram, Ford, and Chevrolet to achieve the highest possible horsepower, torque, and towing numbers. Instead, it focused on delivering an all-around excellent driving experience with a heavy emphasis on comfort, fuel economy, and innovation.

It’s due to these reasons that Consumer Reports ranked it the top compact truck of 2021. Plus, the Ridgeline’s strong predicted reliability rating and car-like handling elevated it even further above the competition. The publication gave Honda’s truck an overall vehicle score of 80/100. Meanwhile, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator finished second in the segment with a paltry 65/100 rating.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition has attitude

A black 2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD driving through shallow water with two red dirt bikes in the truck bed
The 2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD hauling two dirt bikes | Honda

Do you think the Ridgeline looks more like a minivan or SUV rather than a truck? We won’t fault you if you do. However, the Black Edition adds several adjustments that transforms this seemingly wimpy pickup into an intimidating warrior.

As its name suggests, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition features dark design elements. These include blacked-out 18-inch wheels, a black grille, black exterior trim, black leather upholstery with red contrast stitching. Meanwhile, its red ambient lighting provides a colorful edge that gives the truck a little extra personality.

Honda only sells this trim level in two exterior colors – Crystal Black Pearl and Platinum White Pearl. Naturally, we suggest committing to the menacing all-black design, especially considering the white paint costs an extra $395.

Is the Black Edition worth the money?

Yes, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition is worth every penny if you’re committed to buying a high-end pickup truck. Notably, this model isn’t entirely unique, as it shares the majority of its features with the RTL-E trim level. However, the difference in cost between the two trims is negligible.

Honda priced the Black Edition at a starting MSRP of $43,920 – just $1,500 higher than the RTL-E. Both models are loaded with premium features, such as a speaker system and power outlet inside the truck’s bed. However, the Black Edition’s aggressive style gives the truck the ruggedness that its other trim levels lack.

Overall, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition is the most well-rounded truck in its segment, but it doesn’t look out of place on the job site. Instead, this masterpiece makes other pickups look uninspired and dull in comparison.


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