2012 Honda Ridgeline Comfort & Quality

On Comfort & Quality

While you can configure most of the domestic and other Japanese pickups to your heart's content, with different body styles, bed lengths, and drivetrains, the Honda Ridgeline sorts all that out for you. Like it or not, the Ridgeline comes in just one configuration, and the four-door cabin can seat up to five passengers, while its abbreviated bed can hold an ATV, but not the classic 4x8 sheet of plywood.

Its shortcomings are obvious at first glance, but at least inside, the Ridgeline's one of the best pickup trucks to sit in. The bucket seats in front could be the best in the truck business, supportive though they're not all that soft. The back bench is almost as comfortable as the one in front, and there's plenty of space in all directions. That back seat, by the way, can also fold down in sections to provide weatherproof storage for items like toolboxes.

The Ridgeline's cabin is quite comfortable for adults, but its small pickup bed just doesn't measure up.
The Ridgeline's bed has some nifty truck tricks of its own, but the cargo bed itself is just over five feet long. It will hold a 4x8 sheet of plywood with the tailgate down, but that wood will need the optional bed extender to stay firmly in place. The Ridgeline does better when it's used for lighter duty, or as the primary transport for Honda-built ATVs, snowboards, surfboards, bikes, and the like--Honda makes its own bed accessories and mounts specifically for this purpose.

Under the bed floor is the Ridgeline's secret. A sealed 8.5-cubic-foot compartment is concealed below the cargo bed, and it's large enough to hold a large cooler. Another neat piece of engineering is the tailgate's dual-swing mode: it can open to the side or fold down, when it can also support up to 300 pounds, even while moving.

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