Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline Refresh Sorely Lacks Power

This just in, hot off the Honda presses! The 2021 Honda ridgeline received a mid-cycle refresh and got a brand new face. The Honda Ridgeline also received an interior refresh and a few more updates, but will it be enough to compete against rivals like the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger? 

What’s new for the 2021 Honda Ridgeline? 

In 2017 the second-generation Honda Ridgeline came out, and this is the version that we are used to seeing. It replaced the older boxy design with a sleeker look, updated tech, and more. It scooped up many awards at the time but now fails to compete against popular rivals. 

2021 Honda Ridgeline driving through mud
2021 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

The Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, and even the Nissan Frontier have been ahead of the game because the Honda Ridgeline seems a bit soft in comparison, according to MotorTrend. People want a truck that’s both practical and fits their emotional needs. 

So, in an attempt to excite and reclaim truck fans, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline got a more confident face. Instead of just updating the plastic bits, paint colors, and wheels, the Ridgeline updated all of its sheet metal from the A-Pillar forward. 

This created a new hood with a larger power bulge, front fenders to square off the nose, new grilles, and a new front bumper. The chrome bar on top of the grille is chrome but comes in black on the Sport and Black Edition Trims. It bisects the LED headlights on the sides. 

The new bumper also includes side vents to create aerodynamic air curtains. And to really bring the new confident look home, the body paint color now extends further down on the bumper to meet a prominent new skid plate. 

In the rear, you’ll find a reshaped bumper that makes room for new dual exhaust outlets. Each trim also now has more aggressive 18-inch wheels and a wider stance.

2021 Honda Ridgeline from the rear
2021 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

RELATED: The Honda Ridgeline is the Longest Lasting Truck

But if this isn’t enough, check out the Honda Performance Division package (HPD). The HDP package includes a unique grille, black fender flares, HPD graphics, and bronze-colored wheels. 

2021 Honda Ridgeline interior updates 

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline received an updated audio system to solve frustrating issues. It has better graphics, speeds, and is now easier to use. Also, a physical volume knob has been added, so you don’t have to rely on the touch screen. 

2021 Honda Ridgeline Interior
2021 Honda Ridgeline Interior | Honda

Also, the Sport trim gets new cloth seat inserts so you can show off what you got. Each trim has new contrast stitching to pop too. Plus, the RTL, RTL-E, and Sport times get a new dashboard, center console accents, and steering wheel. 

But the 2021 Honda Ridgeline didn’t get more power 

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline is carrying over its 3.5-liter V6 standard engine with 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. It can still only carry a payload of up to 1,580 lb and tow up to 5,000 lb, like the 2020 Honda Ridgeline. Meanwhile, the Nissan Frontier can tow up to 6,720 lb. 

2021 Honda Ridgeline driving on dirt road
2021 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

You’ll still find the classic unibody design that enhances comfort but causes controversy by not being as well equipped for off-roading as body-on-frame trucks are. The Honda Ridgeline also continues to only offer all-wheel-drive instead of 4×4 capability. So, the updates are only skin deep.