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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A red 2023 Honda Ridgeline HPD is shown parked near a sandy beach.

More Than a Mid-Size Pickup Truck – The 2023 Honda Ridgeline Is Designed for Adventure

With an increased interest in pickup truck vehicles that can break the boundaries of asphalt, go anywhere, and do just about anything, these mid-size trucks have their moment to shine, and the 2023 Honda Ridgeline is no exception. From its angular, aggressive styling to its purposefully rugged engineering, there is no doubt that the Ridgeline is prepared for many types of adventure.

At its very core, the 2023 Honda Ridgeline is a capable pickup truck. It might not have the largest bed size or towing maximum, but it is also very much a mid-size truck– those looking for big numbers in those areas might prefer a full-size truck.

For many drivers, though, the Ridgeline hits the ultimate sweet spot between comfort and duty, offering drivers an impressively well-equipped cab along with the versatility of being able to tow, stow, and go with no problem. With Honda engineering at hand, drivers can feel confident that the Ridgeline is reliable and fun.

In fact, the overall design of the 2023 version of the Ridgeline demonstrates that it is, first and foremost, suited to a life of adventure, with or without a road in sight. Now, let us take our time and have a look at how the Ridgeline unapologetically walks on the wild side.

2023 Honda Ridgeline Basics

Initially, the Honda Ridgeline was intended to be more of a luxury truck and less of a performance-oriented vehicle. When it debuted in 2005, the interior and drive style were modeled more after that of an SUV, though drivers were immediately impressed with its overall versatility. The Ridgeline was discontinued in 2014, revived as an even more SUV-like truck in 2016, and received a total makeover in 2021. Since then, the Ridgeline has gained more footing and capability in the off-road and adventure markets.

There are many things to like about the Ridgeline. While only one body style is offered, Honda has chosen the most practical configuration for a mid-size truck: a four-door crew cab with a 5.3-foot bed.

Honda continues its dedication to practicality by adding standard features across the lineup that all drivers can appreciate. The Dual-Action tailgate opens down and to the side, allowing drivers multiple ways to access bed cargo safely. Furthermore, each Ridgeline is equipped with a lockable, drainable in-bed trunk. This hidden storage area within the truck bed can function as a tool chest, a cooler, or a great place to store all of your muddy, smelly adventure gear for the trip home.

Inside, drivers can enjoy more space for their stuff with the Lift-Up Rear Seat with Underseat Storage, which turns the rear passenger space into configurable storage as needed. Other standard treats for drivers include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility and Honda’s Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control System with Humidity Control and Air Filtration, which are mercifully included with all trims. Other midsize truck manufacturers might wish to take note since rear seat ventilation is quickly becoming more of a novelty and less of a standard feature.

A grey 2023 Honda Ridgeline RTL E is shown parked beneath a starry sky.

Off-Road Performance with Honda Reliability

Honda has a fascinating reputation, as they do everything well. Vehicles like the Accord and the Civic have been best sellers for almost as long as they have been on the market. Honda Performance Development (HPD) has also been a major innovative force behind Honda’s Motorsports lineup. We know Honda vehicles to be reliable, sensible, and amply powerful.

The Ridgeline is no exception. Under the hood is a 3.5L V6 that is good for 280 horsepower and 262 lb/ft of Torque. It can tow up to 5,000 pounds for its day job and consumes 18 miles per gallon of gasoline in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway, which is quite reasonable for its size and weight as an all-wheel drive midsize truck.

Meanwhile, the fully independent rear and front suspension systems ensure that every twist and turn is what you want to experience. The Ridgeline is also equipped with Honda’s i-VTM4 AWD system, designed to handle slippery or rugged conditions and unique torque-challenging conditions like snow, sand, and mud. In fact, the Ridgeline’s Intelligent Traction Management system allows drivers to push a button to select between Normal, Snow, Sand, and Mud driving modes. Each mode enables the torque-vectoring to respond to the specific needs of that driving condition.

What Makes a Ridgeline a Ridgeline?

Not only does the 2023 Honda Ridgeline offer a fantastic array of standard equipment and impressive engineering to handle whatever may come its way, but it is also offered with plenty of opportunities to customize your Ridgeline experience.

The 2023 Ridgeline is available in four trims: Sport, RTL, RTL-E, and the top-trim Black Edition. While the Sport trim comes exceptionally well-equipped, climbing the offerings will add more driver-satisfying features, such as heated leather-trimmed seats and steering wheel, premium interior and truck-bed audio system, and wireless phone charging.

Additionally, the Ridgeline is offered with an exciting array of special packages intended to enhance the appearance, performance, and practicality of this mid-size pickup truck.

The HPD Package was developed in conjunction with Honda Performance Development and includes specialized 18-inch bronze alloy wheels along with HPD fender flares, grille, and accents.

Those looking to enhance their Ridgeline’s ability to exist beyond the grid may wish to add the Utility Package. This includes crossbars and roof rails to increase the truck’s equipment-carrying ability, along with running boards, which can come in handy in muddy situations.

Honda also offers the Function and Function+ Packages, each of which is designed to help drivers turn their Ridgeline into the adventure partner they need it to be. These packages include helpful additions like cargo dividers and nets for the In-Bed Trunk as well as the truck bed itself, along with a first-aid kit. The Function+ package adds a hardcover for the cargo area to keep everything in place as you hit all the rocky bumps that life brings your way.

A grey 2021 Honda Ridgeline RTL E is shown driving on a snowy hill.

Hitting the Road- or Lack Thereof- in the 2023 Honda Ridgeline

Since the Honda Ridgeline first came on the American driving scene, drivers have been impressed with its overall capability. While it may not tow the most in its class, and it may not have the speediest engine, it is, above all else, a Honda. That means it is thoughtfully engineered to provide the most enjoyable qualities of driving to each and every person who sits behind the wheel.

Some may argue that the Ridgeline is “too comfy,” while others are not quite sure what those two words together mean. The interior of the Ridgeline is comfortable and well-appointed. The truck itself contains more standard features that make sense for many drivers, from the tri-zone climate control to the multiple storage options inside the cab and the bed.

Furthermore, as a Honda, it is designed to last a long time. From the attention put into the front struts and rear suspension to the precision-tuned all-wheel drive modes, the Ridgeline is designed to be precisely what the truck drivers need when the weather gets wild or the asphalt becomes too monotonous. And it is in those moments that drivers will be grateful for a truck that makes sense on as many levels as the Honda Ridgeline.

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