The 2012 Honda Ridgeline hasn’t received the warmest of welcomes from the pickup-truck crowd. 2012 Honda Ridgeline is expensive, and since it falls short of true half-ton specs, it’s stuck between two worlds–that of mid-size pickups like the Nissan Frontier, and that of inexpensive full-sizes like the appealing new Ford F-150 V-6.
Honda beefed up the Future Honda Ridgeline lineup with a new 2012 Honda Ridgeline Sport model starting at $30,805, including an $810 destination charge. The base 2012 Honda Ridgeline price starts at $30,060, including shipping, reflecting a $100 price increase over the 2011 model. The top-of-the-line 2012 Honda Ridgeline RTL with navigation starts at $37,990, including shipping.
The 2012 Honda Ridgeline awkward looks don’t help it woo many new buyers; it’s obviously an SUV under the skin, cut down to pickup duty. The 2012 Honda Ridgeline angles of its rear pillars, their thickness and the tall rear fenders around the truck bed don’t telegraph the same subconscious messages that a Ram 1500 does; it looks smaller, and that usually doesn’t sell, in trucks.
This year a new 2012 Honda Ridgeline Sport model ditches the blocky grille on loan from the Pilot, replacing it with a black honeycomb that’s doing its best to subdue the Ridgeline’s stubby, bulky front end. Honda’s done a much better job crafting the 2012 Honda Ridgeline cabin with a more conventional look.
The 2012 Honda Ridgeline dash layout stacks gauges and controls in rectangular binnacles, and puts big knobs for the climate and audio controls in obvious locations, for easy use with a gloved hand. Inside, the 2012 Honda Ridgeline feels more like the Honda of old than some of the Hondas of the new, when it comes to the quality of materials and how they’re fitted.
All four 2012 Honda Ridgeline models get the carryover 250-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine linked to a five-speed automatic transmission. Of all the new Honda trucks 2012, the 2012 Honda Ridgeline is our favorite to drive, but the frays are appearing at the edges of its performance stats.
2012 Honda Ridgeline keeps much of its SUV character and has a wonderful, refined 3.5-liter V-6 that only last year gained a real threat in the form of the new F-150 V-6. 2012 Honda Ridgeline five-speed automatic knocks off shifts quickly and smoothly–but most trucks in the class now offer six-speed automatics.
2012 Honda Ridgeline mpg isn’t a particular strength anymore, at 15/21 mpg, but handling remains a strong suit, with great ride quality and good steering feel, even with standard all-wheel drive; it’s more direct and controlled than the clunky sheetmetal implies.
With four trim levels offered, the 2012 Honda Ridgeline specs doesn’t come in a single model priced below $30,000, including destination–a big hurdle when inexpensive Ram, F-150 and Silverado/Sierra full-sizes can be found for much less. Honda says it’s committed to the 2012 Honda Ridgeline, which suggests a new one is in the works to replace the six-year-old vehicle.
To get more truck buyers to notice, 2012 Honda Ridgeline might have to get more conventional–but as the latest Toyota Tundra has proven, even big-truck street creed doesn’t guarantee any more sales; not when the Ram, F-150 and the Silverado and Sierra are at the top of their game. At its awkward spot on the full-size truck curve, the 2012 Honda Ridgeline is capable of tackling some near-full-size tasks, but it’s outfitted only with a five-foot bed which can be fitted with a flip-out extended.
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