While most pickups offer a bewildering range of engines, transmissions, axle ratios, differentials, and four-wheel-drive systems, Honda keeps the 2010 Ridgeline lineup simple, with just one 250-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6, a five-speed automatic, and road-oriented all-wheel drive for its carlike uni-body layout.
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com contain a lot of praise for this engine, which Automobile Magazine says "pulls this thing around fairly well, although quick sprints require revving it into its upper limits." Car and Driver notes, "for 2009, the engine receives new camshafts, larger intake valves, and a lightweight magnesium dual-stage intake manifold" that helps boost the horsepower "from 247 to 250, and torque is now 247 lb-ft, up from 245." Despite the minor power improvements, Car and Driver reports that the 2009 Honda Ridgeline's "tow rating remains at 5000 pounds."
Last year, Honda changed some of the ratios for the transmission, which ConsumerGuide calls smooth and responsive, as well as helps it offer "better than adequate go." Automobile Magazine raves that the Ridgeline's "all-wheel-drive kept things well-planted" on their test drive, "even in a few washboarded dirt corners."
The official EPA estimates for the 2010 Honda Ridgeline are 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway, which disappoints a lot of critics in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com. Automobile Magazine in particular points out that "if you're going to sell a unibody pickup with a V-6 on the basis of fuel economy, then you've got to do better than 15/20 mpg."
Nearly all the reviews TheCarConnection.com could find are positive about the overall performance offered by the 2010 Honda Ridgeline. Automobile Magazine feels that "driving the Ridgeline is a lot like piloting an Accord with a porch on the back," which means there's "only a slight handling penalty, not bad when you take into account the usefulness of the small bed." ConsumerGuide calls the ride quality "exemplary for a pickup" and credits the Honda Ridgeline's "independent rear suspension [that] cushions bumps better than nearly all solid-axle-equipped competitors." Cars.com similarly raves about the "comfortable ride" and "precise handling" that are the trademarks of this 2009 Honda.