Trucks & SUVs

The Real Reason the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Should Be More Popular

Until now, the Honda Ridgeline has not been the best looking truck of all time. Hell, I’ll be honest; it’s downright ugly. As we know, looks, aren’t everything, but they do matter. Case in point, the Honda Ridgeline has had its ups and downs but has consistently been a decent and reliable pickup truck, even if it looked like the bottom of my shoe. Well, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline has been working out or something over the break and came back looking strong and worthy of playing in the big leagues. 

Why should the Honda pickup be more popular?

…Because it’s a good truck. Consumer Reports gave the 2021 Honda Ridgeline an overall score of 80, making it the highest-rated truck of the year. A score of 80 may not seem like a glowing review, but when you compare the 2021 Honda Ridgeline to the rest of the trucks CR reviewed this year, the second-place Jeep Gladiator isn’t even close with a score of 65. 

The Honda pickup is a fairly unique truck by today’s standards

The Honda Ridgeline is an old-fashioned unibody truck, and the body and bed are one piece. It may not boast being sturdy, but that is because it doesn’t have to. The Ridgeline also has independent front and rear suspension. Unlike most blundering pickups on the road touting solid axles for the boulders they’ll likely never see, the Honda Ridgeline is reported to handle more like a car due to its suspension. Honda offers an efficient and honest truck that doesn’t need to make you feel like the Marlboro man. 

2021 Honda Ridgeline
2021 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

RELATED: The 2021 Honda Ridgeline Has 3 Underrated Features

The Honda pickup is fitted with a 3.5-liter V6. CR calls the power delivery of the V6 “ as smooth and refined as they come.” The 2021 Ridgeline can hit a 0-60-mph sprint in just over 7 seconds. It won’t break any land speed records, but it’s no slouch. Also, at 20 mpg, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline gets the best gas mileage of any non-diesel truck tested by CR. 

The standard truck commercials won’t really work for Ridgeline

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline doesn’t boast a tow weight of Bryant-Deny Stadium or a payload capacity of every rock on earth, but that isn’t what the Ridgeline is about. It can tow up to 5,000 pounds and carry around 1,500 pounds. I understand that it is a bit weak for farm work, but plenty for your average truck activities like carrying your friend’s mattress to their new house. 

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

Keeping with the theme, the Ridgeline isn’t a dedicated off-roader. CR says it does well in sand, mud, and dirt, but any serious rock mounting will likely end in disaster. Most trucks doing standard truck things (see carrying friend’s mattress) don’t need to rock crawl while carrying some lumber from Home Depot. 

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline deserves some respect 

These days, most trucks on the market are desperately trying to be the biggest, badest, toughest thing on earth with an overly macho commercial showing it loaded down with half of the Grand Canyon or something. The Honda Ridgeline doesn’t need any of that. It knows what it is and seems to be proud of it. It is the Honda Ridgeline’s resolve to do what it does and do it well in the face of all the beefy trucks that make it deserve more respect and popularity. 

Year after year, the Honda Ridgeline remains reliable, comfortable, and an all-around good truck that meets most pickup owners’ needs. As my friend’s Grandmother used to say, “You gotta be who you is, ‘cause you can’t be who you ain’t.”