The Honda Ridgeline, a mid to full size sport utility truck was launched in March 2005 as 2006 year model by the Honda Motor Company Ltd. The Ridgeline was considered to be the Honda’s first excursion into the North American market pickup truck market. In 2006, the Ridgeline received a title of Motor Trend’s Truck of the year. The Honda Ridgeline was manufactured at Alliston, Ontario, Canada beside Acura MDX, Honda Civic, Honda Civic Si and Acura CSX up till 2009. The concept form of Honda Ridgeline as Honda SUT was revealed in 2004. At present, the Ridgeline is the only car-based pickup in Canada and United States.
First Generation (2006-Present)
Since the appearance of the first Ridgeline in 2006, the first generation Ridgeline persists in the market. The first generation Ridgeline comes with a number of different attributes. The very first of them is its unibody architecture ladder frame/unibody hybrid chassis. Other than that, the Ridgeline also features a four-wheel independent suspension mated to the unibody design and offers improved handling and stability under heavy loads. This independent suspension also offers storage trunk just underneath the bed, however, this storage trunk becomes a big issue when there is a need to change the flat tire.
The Ridgeline also features a dual action tailgate that was first introduced in the 1966 Ford station wagons. The tailgate opens in a downward direction rather than conventional upward direction and has enough strength to handle the load while being in horizontal open position. Another advantage of this dual action tailgate is that it can be moved to the sideway similar to the door so as to have better access to the trunk.
The Ridgeline is offered with the following technical and mechanical equipment: Anti-lock brakes, heated windshield, four wheel drive locking mode, and VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) with off switch (for off- road use), and side-curtain airbags are standard equipment. It also features a large rear seat that can be folded up to create more bed to ceiling cargo space.
Four trim levels are offered including: the basic RT, the RTX, sport RTS and premium RTL. The RTX features gray-painted alloy wheels, an alternate grille, body-colored door handles, and factory tow package. The RTS features unique upholstery material, a 6-CD changer, subwoofer, body-colored mirrors, silver-painted alloy wheels, and dual zone climate control system. The RTL features leather trimmed upholstery, a moonroof and XM radio are standard on the RTL.
Honda’s 4WD Traction System
As far engine is concerned, the Ridgeline gets a transversely mounted J35A91 in 2006 to 2008 models and J35Z5 in models between 2009 to present, 3.5-L V6 engine mated to a five speed automatic transmission.
Honda Ridgeline competed with several all vehicles with stock engine, transmission and 4WD in Stock Mini Class and succeeded in winning the Baja 1000.
Four-wheel drive system generally functions under normal conditions in the front-wheel mode and whenever it senses that the front is losing traction, it automatically transfers the power to rear wheel through locking differential.