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Introduction:

To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2022 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2021 Honda Ridgeline AWD Sport

Vehicle Type: Pickup Gasoline
65
 overall score
Category Ranking: 3

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $36,490
Price as Tested: $40,860

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 19.5
EPA City mpg18
EPA Highway mpg24
EPA Combined mpg21

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [S]
  • Advanced Headlights [O]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional
NHTSA Rating:

Overall Observations

The midsize Honda Ridgeline comes set up just one way: a crew cab, 3.5-liter V6 (280 hp), 9-speed automatic, 5-foot-4-inch bed, and allwheel drive. For 2021, the Ridgeline got a styling update: a new front end and rear bumper. Four trim levels are available; we tested the base Sport. The Ridgeline’s roomy cabin is nicely finished—though a bit plain— with plenty of backseat room. Clever features include a tailgate that drops down or opens sideways, fold-up rear seats for extra storage space, a rustproof composite bed, and a lockable, waterproof trunk beneath a completely flat cargo floor (no wheel-well intrusions). The Ridgeline’s payload (about 1,500 pounds) is competitive with other midsize pickups. Despite its 280 hp and overall good drivability, the Ridgeline’s drivetrain feels underpowered. But its unibody construction and fully independent suspension, unusual for a pickup, provide a smooth, compliant ride, and the cabin is fairly quiet. Fuel economy (21 mpg) and towing capacity (5,000 pounds) are subpar, and the infotainment system could use an update. LED headlights are standard, as is most of Honda’s Sensing suite of advanced safety features
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Good overall drivability
  • Good headroom andlegroom
  • Dual-action tailgate within-bed trunk

Weak Points

  • Underpowered drivetrain
  • Outdated infotainmentsystem
  • Fuel-economy ratingscould be better

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 4460.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 210.2 / 78.6 / 70.8
Wheelbase (in): 125.2
Number of air bags: 7
Warranty (months/miles): 36/36,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Firestone Destination LE2
Front and rear tire size: 245/60 R18
Max towing capacity (lbs): 5000
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 9-speed
Drivetrain type: All wheel
Engine/motor: 3.5L V6 i-VTEC
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6000

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:

6.30

Fuel Efficiency:

2.75

EPA Emissions Score:

3.00

Acceleration:

5.54

Braking:

5.88

Handling:

6.50

Ride Quality:

7.57

Interior Size:

5.21

Easy of Entry and Exit:

7.42

Visibility:

5.61

Interior Noise:

7.00

Cargo Capacity:

3.12
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