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2007 Honda Ridgeline

by Martha Hindes

2007 Honda Ridgeline
2007 Honda Ridgeline Interior

You could call Honda's Ridgeline a pickup truck for people who don't really like pickups. There's nothing typical about this maverick that burst onto the American truck scene a year ago.

Take appearance, for example. There's more aerodynamic cabin sweep than most pickup cabs. Squint a bit and you get the sense it almost has sedan lines. Check the pickup bed at the rear. It looks more integrated than a typical pickup box obviously bolted to a frame. And unlike industry standard pickups, Ridgeline is built in unibody fashion—construction normally used for autos and car-like crossovers. In fact, the Ridgeline has a more car-like ride and handling than most pickups, a hint of how it's viewed by its buyers.

Ridgeline can haul a load of garden mulch, stow mountain bikes in back for a summer vacation, or handle weekend projects with ease. With only a five-foot long bed available, it's less likely to do rough 'n tough daily duty like servicing a construction site.

But a nifty, lockable underbed storage area is great for stowing items out of sight. Tie-down cleats up top keep cargo from shifting while in transit. A dual-talent tailgate drops down or swings open sideways.

The only powerplant is a 247-HP, 3.5-liter VTEC V6 with five-speed automatic and no low-gear rating. It still can do adequate duty with a 5,000 lb. tow capacity (a medium sized boat perhaps), or haul 1,549 pounds on board.

With no major overhaul yet needed, Honda adds subtle refinements for 2007. All RT, RTX, RTS and RTL trims get standard lighted driver's vanity mirror and add Aberdeen Green Metallic, Numbus Gray Metallic, Dark Cherry Pearl and Formal Black exterior colors. Moonroof and XM Satellite radio become standard for RTLs. Monotone leather is a new option. RTS adds alloy wheels, expanded audio and dual climate control plus eight-way power driver's seat.

Ridgeline's menu of drive control features includes: fully-independent four-wheel suspension, four-wheel-drive, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution, brake assist and four-channel stability assist with traction control. Those helped it claim first-ever five-star crash ratings for a four-door pickup.

All Ridgelines get a 16/21 fuel economy rating and range from a $27,800 base (RT) to $34,940 (RTL with nav) before $595 destination. With Honda, there are few options. What you see is what you get.