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2011 Honda Ridgeline Offers Unique Pickup Truck Utility
The five-passenger Honda Ridgeline half-ton pickup truck is built with a closed-box, unitized body structure for a unique combination of capability, interior spaciousness and comfortable ride performance.
The Ridgeline delivers a wide range of conventional pickup capabilities with a maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds and a half-ton payload rating, all while offering unique features like a large In-Bed Trunk and an independent front and rear suspension.
“The Honda Ridgeline focuses on delivering the most-popular features and capabilities that a majority of recreational truck buyers typically use and need,” said Erik Berkman, vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “As a company that also builds world-class motorcycles, ATVs, marine engines and power equipment, many features in the Ridgeline represent the best thinking from Honda.”
The four-door, five-passenger Ridgeline is powered by a 250-horsepower, 3.5-liter VTEC V-6 engine. A 5-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission and a Variable Torque Management 4-wheel drive system (VTM-4) are standard. The EPA rates city/highway/combined fuel economy1 at 15/20/17. A MacPherson strut front suspension in the front and a rear multi-link suspension design contribute to a smooth ride and responsive handling. Standard equipment for towing includes an integrated tow hitch, transmission and oil coolers, heavy duty brakes, dual radiator fans and a wiring harness for a 7-pin trailer hook up (pre-wiring only on RT).
A 5-foot-long composite cargo bed with eight tie-down locations provides a half-ton payload rating of 1,100 pounds. Four cargo area lights illuminate both the bed and the in-bed trunk. A dual-action tailgate opens down for traditional access to the cargo area or to the side for ease-of-access to the 8.5 cubic-foot In-Bed Trunk. The Ridgeline is available with a wide variety of accessories and can conveniently accommodate motorcycles and ATVs.
The all-aluminum, 60-degree, SOHC 3.5-liter VTEC engine produces 250-horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 247 lb-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm. The Ridgeline’s variable valve timing enhances low rpm torque while extending high rpm horsepower for a broad, confidence-inspiring power band. The 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission features Grade Logic Control to help maintain the most appropriate gear when going uphill or downhill to avoid gear “hunting.” The fully automatic VTM-4 system provides confident operation in rain, snow, ice, sand and mud, while also improving on-road and towing performance by distributing torque to all four wheels as needed. The system operates predominately in front-wheel-drive during dry-pavement cruising conditions and continuously proportions torque to the rear wheels during acceleration and low traction situations.
The Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system, commonly referred to as electronic stability control, can apply braking force to a wheel with low traction and direct driving force to the wheel with more traction. For the rear differential, a “VTM-4” lock button located on the instrument panel allows the driver to temporarily hold engagement of both rear wheels to aid traction while in gears “1” and “2” at speeds of up to 18 mph.
The Ridgeline integrates an independent suspension with MacPherson struts in the front and a multi-link with trailing arm design in the rear. The VSA system with active yaw control monitors lateral (cornering) stability and can integrate traction control, four-wheel drive, anti-lock braking, throttle control and stability control functions by modulating brake power at each wheel and controlling throttle input.
The heavy duty braking system includes 12.6-inch front and 13.1-inch rear 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. Steel wheels on the Ridgeline RT measure 17x7.5-inch; the Ridgeline RTS upgrades to alloy.
All-season P245/65 R17 tires are standard on the Ridgeline RT and RTS. The Ridgeline RTL is equipped with 18x7.5-inch alloy wheels and all-season P245/60 R18 tires.
The unit-body architecture is designed for vastly superior rigidity compared to traditional body-on-frame designs and provides the foundation for the Ridgeline’s spacious interior cabin and bed, outstanding safety performance and class-leading ride and handling performance. The Ridgeline’s modern and athletic design incorporates a solid, one-piece appearance with no separation between the bed and the cab. Large truck-style side mirrors enhance rear vision while towing. The windshield wipers have a heated wiper zone to enhance wiper performance in cold, winter driving conditions and minimize ice scraping.
The cargo area measures 49.5 inches wide between the wheel wells, 20.7 inches deep and 60.0 inches long (79.0 inches with the load-supporting tailgate in the down position). The tailgate can easily close with contaminates like sand, snow or mud in the space between the bumper and the tailgate.
The interior takes advantage of the Ridgeline’s unit-body packaging efficiency to deliver full-size interior space dimensions while maintaining a garage-friendly, mid-size exterior footprint. The driving position provides ergonomically comfortable access to large and easy-to-use controls.
The large multi-function console features a sliding armrest and sliding lower tray - each with a hidden storage area. Other console storage areas accommodate items both large and small like mobile phones, beverages, compact discs and portable digital music players.
The 60/40 lift-up rear seats feature a storage area underneath large enough to accommodate a golf bag. Plus, the rear seating area can quickly convert for cargo duty by lifting the seats up to create enough room for a full-size mountain bike with the front tire removed. The rear seat incorporates three LATCH positions for compatible child safety seats.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
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