2021 Honda Ridgeline AWD Sport

2021 Honda Ridgeline AWD Sport

Car review: 2021 Honda Ridgeline AWD Sport

  • Monday, October 11, 2021 4:35pm
  • Life

By Larry Lark, contributor

Honda’s Ridgeline is the perfect vehicle for anyone looking for light-truck versatility and off-road capability while still maintaining best-in-class ride quality and handling.

My tester was the 2021 Honda Ridgeline AWD Sport, which seats up to five adults, delivers almost 25 miles per gallon down the highway, and includes a handy-dandy swing-gate or fold-down tailgate.

Ridgeline’s four-foot wide, composite bed is scratch and dent resistant, and wide enough for plywood or drywall sheets to be transported flat. It also includes an in-bed trunk and spare tile assembly that slides out for easy access and use as a work station.

The Ridgeline is offered in a choice of four trims: Sport, RTL, RTL-E, and Black Edition.

Powered by a 3.5-liter, VTEC V6 engine with variable cylinders mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, Ridgeline generates 280 horsepower with a payload capacity of 1,583 pounds and towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

Newly standard for 2021, Ridgeline’s i-VTM4 torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system enhances controllability and traction management by automatically sending up to 70 percent of the engine’s 262 lb.-ft. of torque to the rear wheels and continuously apportioning 100 percent of that torque between the left and right rear wheels based on driving conditions at each wheel.

“Truck enthusiasts have long recognized Ridgeline as an incredibly versatile and capable pickup, and now it’s got the rugged looks to match,” said Art St. Cyr, vice-president of Auto Operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The Ridgeline signals a new direction for our light-truck designs, one that more effectively communicates all the hard work that goes into making Honda pickups and SUVs such proficient on- and off-road performers.”

For those looking to take Ridgeline’s dynamic new styling to the next level, a new package created in collaboration with Honda Performance Development (HPD) answers the call. The new HPD Package ($2,800) adds a unique grille treatment, black fender flares, aggressive bronze-colored wheels, and special HPD graphics on the bed walls.

Inside, Ridgeline adds a physical volume knob for the audio system, and available wireless phone charging. All Ridgeline trims get new contrast stitching on the seats; Sport trims add new cloth seat inserts; and Sport, RTL and RTL-E trims have new dash, steering wheel and center console accents. Ridgeline’s spacious cabin offers top-class passenger comfort and rear-seat legroom, with a flat floor and foldaway 60/40-split rear seat bottoms, offering enhanced flexibility for carrying long and tall items in the cabin.

Creature comforts abound including a premium audio system with seven speakers, multi-view rear camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, USB ports, tri-zone climate control, steering wheel-mounted controls, push-button start, and a fold-down rear seat center armrest.

My tester also included an integrated trailer hitch and hardness, LED fog lights, LED headlights with auto-high beam, smart entry with security system, rear privacy glass, 18-inch alloy wheels, and walk away auto lock.

And what puts Ridgeline over-the-top in the light truck category is its Honda-Sensing driver-assist and safety suite. Honda adds adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking system,

lane-keeping assist system and road departure mitigation safety features at no extra charge.

And with a base price of $36,490 (without destination charge), the Ridgeline Sport provides value for your hard-earned dollar.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline was designed and developed by Honda R&D America in California and Ohio, and is manufactured, along with its V6 engine, at its plant in Lincoln, Alabama using domestic and globally-sourced parts. For the 4th straight year, the Ridgeline ranked in the top 10 in the 2020 Cars.com American-Made Index.

Base Price: $37,665

Price As Driven: $40,860

Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum hybrid minivan
Car review: 2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum hybrid minivan

By Larry Lark, contributor Minivans. They were at the top of the… Continue reading

2021 Honda Ridgeline AWD Sport
Car review: 2021 Honda Ridgeline AWD Sport

By Larry Lark, contributor Honda’s Ridgeline is the perfect vehicle for anyone… Continue reading

2021 Genesis GV80 Prestige
Car review: 2021 Genesis GV80 Prestige

By Larry Lark, contributor Genesis is branching out. With the introduction of… Continue reading

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

By Larry Lark, contributor Residents of the PNW are no strangers to… Continue reading

2021 McLaren GT. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 McLaren GT

By Larry Lark, contributor I’m not sure words can do the 2021… Continue reading

2022 Kia Carnival SX. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Kia Carnival SX

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s the way of the world. As old… Continue reading

Car review: 2021 Toyota Venza Limited
Car review: 2021 Toyota Venza Limited

By Larry Lark, contributor Many people are unfamiliar with Toyota’s Venza, but… Continue reading

Car review: 2021 Lexus LC 500
Car review: 2021 Lexus LC 500

By Larry Lark, contributor I can’t think of many more fun ways… Continue reading

2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE
Car review: 2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE

By Larry Lark, contributor The mid-size 2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE has… Continue reading

2022 Honda Civic Touring
Car review: 2022 Honda Civic Touring

By Larry Lark, contributor You’ve all heard and read the idiom attributed… Continue reading

2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited
Car review: 2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited

By Larry Lark, contributor Hyundai’s “horse” in the compact sports utility market… Continue reading