The 2012 Honda Ridgeline gets a new Sport trim, refreshed grille design, reduced engine friction, more aerodynamic styling and improved fuel efficiency.
With the swan song of the Dodge Dakota last year, Ridgeline competes with the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma. The Ridgeline has always stood out more for distinctive styling and more car-like comfort and handling than work-truck performance, although it can tow up to 2,267 kg (5,000 lb) and has a half-ton payload rating. The Ridgeline still comes in just one body style: four doors, five seats.
Its five-foot-long composite cargo bed features no delineation from the cabin, for a look that’s about as sleek as a pickup truck gets. The dual-action tailgate opens down or to the side, for easy access to the 240.7-litre In-Bed Trunk.
Unibody architecture contributes to superior ride and handling, as well as spacious interior dimensions with a midsize footprint. A storage area under the back seat can hold a golf bag, or the rear seating can be lifted up to provide still more storage.
The Sport adds to the VP trim exclusive black 18” alloy wheels (an inch bigger than the VP’s), exclusive black honeycomb grille with black surround, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and black headlight and brake light housings. The sport fits in between the $36,690 VP and $41,990 Touring at $37,690; the base DX starts at $34,990.
All are powered by a 3.5L, 250-hp VTEC V6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission with Grade Logic Control; a fully automatic four-wheel-drive system distributes torque to all four wheels as needed.
At the same time as my esteemed colleague was off driving the new 2015 WRX in the Californian sun, I was stuck at home in well-below-zero temperatures and snow behind the wheel of a '14 Subaru Impreza. While the two may seem worlds apart, they are borne of the same basic instincts, and that's saying something.