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2014 Honda Ridgeline

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/29/2014 Karla Sanchez

Vehicle Overview:

The 2014 Honda Ridgeline is the last of a dying breed, as the SUV/truck hybrid is the only one standing in a segment that once included the Chevrolet Avalanche, Cadillac Escalade EXT, Hummer H2 SUT, and the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. Rumors have suggested it won't be long before the Ridgeline is discontinued, but Honda's attempt at keeping it fresh with a new trim level suggests the Ridgeline may stick around for a bit longer. The Honda Ridgeline was the Motor Trend 2006 Truck of the Year.

The 2014 Honda Ridgeline unibody five-passenger truck is available in RT, Sport, RTS, and RTL trim levels, with the SE model as a new top-trim model. Standard equipment on the base model includes 17-inch steel wheels, trailer hitch, keyless entry, power accessories, cruise control, and a rearview camera. Don't be fooled by the Sport model, as the designation simply means it gains blacked-out pieces including the wheels, front grille, and headlight and taillight housings. Next in line is the RTS, which still doesn't even come with Bluetooth. For that, you'll have to go for the RTL, which includes other goodies like satellite radio and leather, but above that is the Special Edition model, which is new for 2014. Regardless of trim, the 2014 Ridgeline is equipped with a 250-hp 3.5-liter V-6 paired to an automatic five-speed transmission.

That combination didn't do much for the Ridgeline when we tested the 2012 model. "The engine certainly offers respectable power, but it struggles a bit on grades," we said. At the track, the 2012 Ridgeline Sport reached 60 mph in 8 seconds, which is three-tenths of a second slower than the last time we tested the Ridgeline in 2009. Although its numbers aren't all that impressive, the Ridgeline still offers what Honda buyers like: SUV interior and truck-like bed, in a well-executed package. While it has a good foundation, it could certainly use some tweaking, and that doesn't mean simply adding another "special edition" model.

What's New for 2014:

The SE model stands apart with exclusive black 18-inch wheels, special badging, and blacked out accessories such as a honeycomb grille, and lights. Inside, the SE model comes fully loaded with an all-black leather interior, navigation, satellite radio, and rearview camera. The SE will only be available in three exterior paint colors, including white, black, and silver.

You'll Like

  • Dual-action tailgate
  • Hidden storage compartments
  • Versatility

You Won't Like

  • Mediocre power
  • Outdated interior
  • Polarizing style

Key Competitors

  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Chevrolet Silverado
  • Nissan Frontier
  • Ram 1500

Sum Up

2 star Still awkward-looking, still excellent


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