The 2021 Honda Ridgeline Struggles in 3 Crucial Areas

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline is making the rounds with its spiffy new look and updated features. Critics have a ton of great things to say about it. However, the Honda Ridgeline still struggles in three significant areas. 

What’s new for the 2021 Honda Ridgeline? 

Before we get into the trouble spots, we will cover what’s new. The 2021 Honda Ridgeline has a new face, and it looks great. Also, the rear bumper has been restyled with a rear exhaust. It looks more capable and rugged. 

2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD in the sand
2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD | Honda

Now all-wheel-drive comes standard across the entire lineup, which is an exciting goodie. Also, the infotainment center has finally received a physical volume knob after complaints about the previous touchscreen system being difficult to use. Other than that, not much has changed since the second generation was introduced in 2017. 

1. The Honda Ridgeline is expensive 

You can get started in a 2021 Honda Ridgeline for about $36,490. Holy moly, that’s pretty high for a mid-size truck. We know all-wheel drive is included. But the 2021 Jeep Gladiator has an MSRP of about $33,565 and includes four-wheel drive. So, you can get a more capable truck for less. 

2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD in the sand
2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD | Honda

Also, you can spend less and get a larger truck. For example, the full-size 2021 Ram 1500 begins around $32,595. These prices are listed before the destination fees, and dealership markups have been added, so don’t be surprised if you see higher price tags. 

But the Ridgeline does come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 280-hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. This is a solid amount of power. But the 2021 Ford Ranger has an MSRP of about $24,820 but comes with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.

2. The 2021 Honda Ridgeline can’t keep up 

According to The Car Connection, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline isn’t as capable as other trucks in terms of off-roading. Some will quickly point out that it has a unibody frame and is only all-wheel drive. 

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While that can limit suspension travel, the Honda Ridgeline can still hold its own while off-roading. However, it’s held back by a shorter ground clearance. It has a ground clearance of 7.6-inches while the Toyota Tacoma has a 9.4-inch ground clearance, and the Jeep Gladiator has a ground clearance of up to 11.6-inches. 

It’s also easy for the Ridgeline to lose momentum. If it struggles, there can be a delay in the revs before they kick back up. But it did feel capable in the dirt, gravel, and sand. Just don’t try to go rock crawling. 

3. The Honda Ridgeline is weak 

Edmunds refers to the 2021 Honda Ridgeline as being capable enough. This isn’t the most confident way to describe a truck’s abilities for hauling and towing. The Ridgeline can only tow up to 5,000 lb and carry a payload of up to 1,580 lb. The 2021 Ford Ranger can tow up to 7,500 lb and carry a payload of up to 2,128 lb. 

2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD in the sand
2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD | Honda

But people aren’t getting the Honda Ridgeline for serious truck stuff. They are getting it because it offers an incredibly smooth ride. It has car-like handling and corners well. Plus, the premium interior is comfortable and quiet.