Usually, critics review the top-tier trim levels of whatever vehicle they have. But today, we’re going to start from the bottom instead. We are looking at the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport, the base trim of the Honda Ridgeline, to see if it’s worth buying.
How much is the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport?
The 2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport starts at about $36,490. This is a higher price compared to other base models. For example, the Ford Ranger begins around $24,820 and the Toyota Tacoma has a starting price of about $26,400.
But the Honda Ridgeline may include enough bells and whistles to make its higher starting price worth it. For example, according to Truck Trend, the Honda Ridgeline has standard all-wheel drive. Adding 4×4 to rivals can get expensive quickly.
What comes standard with the Honda Ridgeline?
Aside from AWD, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport includes a standard 3.5-liter direct-injected VTEC V6 engine. It provides 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, which is a solid amount of base model power. However, it’s also the only engine option, so picking a higher trim doesn’t give you more muscle.
According to Edmunds, the Ridgeline can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.2 seconds. That’s an impressive speed for a midsize truck, but it can only tow up to 5,000 lbs, so it lags behind competitors. However, it does have the best-in-class payload capacity of up to 1,583 lbs.
Each Honda Ridgeline model comes with a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen. There is no upgrading to a larger screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also come standard. With certain models, you can include an optional in-bed audio system.
The Ridgeline Sport has a spacious interior with cloth seat inserts that include contrast stitching for pops of color. However, the Truck Trend team mentioned that they missed the feel of leather seats and would probably miss ventilated seats in the summer.
There are plenty of standard safety features, including forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control. However, blind-spot warning isn’t standard.
How does the Honda Ridgeline perform?
The 2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport provides a peppy acceleration, smooth ride, and quiet cabin. It’s incredibly comfortable and easy to maneuver around tight spots. However, the low ground clearance and lack of low-range gearing prevent it from keeping up with rivals while off-roading.
Plus, the Ridgeline has the largest cabin in the class. It provides plenty of space for passengers to stretch out and makes installing child seats easy. You’ll find plenty of cubbies, a massive center console, and a flat storage area under the rear seats for organizing all your gear.
The Honda Ridgeline gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and up to 24 mpg on the highway. This is a pretty good fuel economy. It’s a little better than the Tacoma but a little less than the Ranger.
For 2021, the Ridgeline got a restyled front end and a new rear bumper with dual exhaust. It looks like a confident truck, but instead of being an off-road champ, it provides a smooth and relaxing ride with responsive handling. Also, it’s still well equipped to do truck stuff without requiring you to spend more on higher trim levels.