15 Best & Worst Honda Ridgeline Years (With Examples)

honda ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline, in particular, has been a subject of my admiration and critique. Let’s get into the best and worst years of the Honda Ridgeline, based on my experiences and extensive research.

The Honda Ridgeline, since its debut in 2006, has been a unique alternative to traditional pickup trucks. With the driving comfort of an SUV due to its unibody construction, it offers a blend of practicality and sophistication.

However, like any vehicle, some years have been better than others. Let’s explore the highs and lows of this intriguing vehicle.

Best Years for Ridgeline

2022 & 2024 Honda Ridgeline

23 Honda Ridgeline The latest renditions of the Ridgeline are undoubtedly the best. Machines, unlike wines, get better with technological advancements.

The 2022 and 2024 models are stellar performers for everyday on-road use mixed with ample pickup capability. They come in four trim levels with a V-6 powertrain. The only major change was the addition of the Sonic Grey Pearl paint color.

Consumer Scores:

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2021 Ridgeline

The 2021 model won the editor’s choice award from Car and Driver. It underwent a major design refresh, boasting a rugged appearance, an updated infotainment system, and new aesthetic packages from Honda Performance Development.

Consumer Scores:

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2020 Ridgeline

2020 Honda Ridgeline While its appearance might seem slightly outdated, the 2020 Ridgeline remains a top choice due to its superior ride, handling, and spacious interior.

This model year introduced a new nine-speed automatic transmission and a larger 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen.

Consumer Scores

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 81 / 100

2014 Honda Ridgeline

The 2014 model stands out for its innovative trunk compartment, two-way tailgate, and car-like handling. While there were virtually no updates from the previous year, the 2014 model had fewer complaints than the 2013 version. A new Special Edition (SE) variant was a notable addition.

Consumer Scores

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2012 Honda Ridgeline

2012 Honda Ridgeline With minimal complaints and a roomy cabin, the 2012 Ridgeline was a safe bet. This model year introduced a new grille design, aerodynamic improvements, and engine tweaks for better fuel economy. A new trim, the Ridgeline Sport, was also added.

Consumer Scores

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 83 / 100

2010 & 2011 Ridgeline

While these wouldn’t be the first choice due to their age, both the 2010 and 2011 models were excellent trucks with minimal complaints. They boasted superior ride and handling, top crash test scores, and a comfortable cabin.

Consumer Scores for 2011:

  • Edmunds: 5.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 83 / 100

Consumer Scores for 2010:

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

Worst Years for Honda Ridgeline

2019 Ridgeline

2019 Honda Ridgeline The 2019 model had several electronics-related complaints, especially concerning the backup camera. The wiring harness design was a significant issue, leading to exposed wires and a malfunctioning backup camera.

Common Problems:

  • Hood vibrates or shimmys
  • Backup camera failure
  • Anti-collision failed
  • Autobrake feature failed

2018 Ridgeline

2018 Honda Ridgeline The 2018 model had similar issues to the 2019 version, with the backup camera being a primary concern. Additionally, the capless gas fill system was problematic, allowing water to enter and potentially freeze.

Common Problems:

  • Faulty backup camera
  • Excessive wind noise
  • Cap-less fuel system accumulates water and can freeze

2017 Honda Ridgeline

Marking the start of the second generation, the 2017 model had a rocky beginning. From backup camera issues to problems with the cap-less fuel filter and failed fuel injectors, this year had its fair share of challenges.

Common Problems:

  • Fuel injectors failed
  • Backup camera faulty
  • Vehicle failed to come to a complete stop

2008 Honda Ridgeline

The 2008 model was marred by the infamous Takata airbag recall, which posed a significant safety risk. Additionally, this year was notorious for clear coat peeling, especially on the hood and roof.

Common Problems:

  • Air conditioning malfunction
  • Clear coat peeling
  • Warped head gasket

2007 Ridgeline

Much like the 2008 version, the 2007 model was affected by the Takata recall. The clear coat peeling issue persisted, making it a common complaint among owners.

Common Problems:

  • Clear coat peeling
  • Windshield cracks easily
  • Premature rust

2006 Ridgeline

2006 Honda Ridgeline The debut year of the Ridgeline was its most problematic. While it faced issues from faulty airbags and paint problems, it also suffered from severe engine problems. Many owners reported that the no. four cylinder had failed, leading to expensive repairs.

Common Problems:

  • Engine cylinder malfunction
  • Tapping or ticking noise in the engine
  • Faulty cluster display

Technical Aspects: Beyond the Surface

Honda Performance

Engine Performance and Reliability

The Honda Ridgeline has always been powered by a V6 engine, providing a good balance of power and fuel efficiency. Over the years, Honda has made tweaks to improve its performance, fuel economy, and emissions.

Key Highlights:

  • The 3.5-liter V6 engine has been a constant, delivering between 250-280 horsepower.
  • Introduction of the nine-speed automatic transmission in 2020 models improved fuel efficiency.
  • The Ridgeline’s towing capacity has consistently been around 5,000 pounds, suitable for light to medium towing needs.

Safety Features and Ratings

Safety has always been a priority for Honda. The Ridgeline, over its production years, has seen the addition of numerous safety features, ensuring the well-being of its occupants.

Key Highlights:

  • Honda Sensing Suite introduced in later models offers collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control.
  • The Ridgeline consistently received high ratings in crash tests conducted by IIHS and NHTSA.
  • Advanced airbag systems, anti-lock brakes, and stability control have been standard across most models.

Consumer Feedback: Voices from the Road

Positive Feedback

Owners have often praised the Ridgeline for its car-like driving experience, spacious interiors, and innovative features like the in-bed trunk and dual-action tailgate.


  • “The Ridgeline drives like a dream. It’s the perfect blend of a truck and an SUV.” – Mike, 2021 Ridgeline owner
  • “I love the in-bed trunk. It’s a game-changer for storing tools and groceries.” – Sarah, 2019 Ridgeline owner

Constructive Feedback

While the Ridgeline has its admirers, it hasn’t been without criticism. Some owners wished for better off-road capabilities, while others pointed out specific issues in certain model years.


  • “I wish the Ridgeline had better off-road capabilities. It struggles in rough terrains.” – Jake, 2018 Ridgeline owner
  • “The backup camera issues in the 2019 model were a letdown. I expected better from Honda.” – Linda, 2019 Ridgeline owner

The Future of Ridgeline: What Lies Ahead?

Upcoming Features and Innovations


Honda is known for its forward-thinking approach, and the Ridgeline is no exception. With the automotive world moving towards electrification, it won’t be a surprise to see an electric or hybrid Ridgeline in the near future.


  • Introduction of hybrid technology to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
  • Enhanced off-road capabilities to cater to a broader audience.
  • Integration of more advanced driver-assistance systems for safer driving experiences.

Market Trends and Predictions

The pickup truck market is evolving, with more manufacturers focusing on comfort, technology, and eco-friendly options. The Ridgeline, with its unique position in the market, is poised to adapt and thrive.


  • Growing demand for hybrid and electric trucks.
  • Increased focus on in-cabin technology and connectivity features.
  • A shift towards trucks with better on-road comfort without compromising utility.

What Problems Do Honda Ridgelines Have?

  • Engine cylinder has gone bad
  • Fuel injectors failed
  • Takata airbag recall
  • Clear coat peeling
  • Air conditioning and heater will not turn on
  • Vehicle failed to come to a complete stop
  • Tapping or ticking noise in engine

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Ridgeline?

The Honda Ridgeline is considered one of the best pickup trucks in the market.

It secured the 1st spot beating the likes of the Chevrolet Colorado and Ford Ranger, with a great score of 8.3 out of 10.

Make & Model Score MSRP Fuel Economy (MPG)
Honda Ridgeline 8.3 $37,640 – $45,070 City: 18 /Highway: 24
Chevrolet Colorado 7.7 $25,435 – $44,200 City: 16 – 20 /Highway: 18 – 30
Ford Ranger 7.7 $25,980 – 39,730 City: 19 – 21 /Highway: 19 – 26
GMC Canyon 7.7 $26,800 – $45,000 City: 17 – 20 /Highway: 24 – 30
Toyota Tacoma 7.3 $26,700 – $48,840 City: 17 – 20 /Highway: 20 – 24
Ford Maverick NA $19,995 – $25,490 City: 23 /Highway: 30
Hyundai Santa Cruz NA $23,990 – $39,720 City: 19 – 21 /Highway: 26 – 27

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is the Honda Ridgeline a true pickup truck?

Yes, the Honda Ridgeline is a true pickup truck, but it’s designed with a unibody construction rather than the traditional body-on-frame design. This gives it a smoother ride akin to an SUV but with the utility of a truck.

How does the Ridgeline’s towing capacity compare to other trucks?

The Ridgeline’s towing capacity is around 5,000 pounds, which is suitable for light to medium towing needs. While it may not match some full-sized trucks, it’s competitive within its segment.

Are there any plans for a diesel version of the Ridgeline?

As of now, Honda has not announced any plans for a diesel version of the Ridgeline. The focus seems to be on improving fuel efficiency and possibly introducing hybrid technology.

How does the Ridgeline perform off-road?

While the Ridgeline offers an all-wheel-drive option and can handle mild off-road conditions, it’s primarily designed for on-road comfort. It may not be as rugged as some other trucks designed specifically for off-roading.

What’s the average lifespan of a Ridgeline?

With proper maintenance, a Honda Ridgeline can easily last over 200,000 miles. Many owners have reported their Ridgelines running smoothly even after crossing this milestone.

What is the best year of Ridgeline to buy used?

The 2021 model is highly recommended for those looking to buy a used Honda Ridgeline. It underwent a major design refresh and won the editor’s choice award from Car and Driver, making it a standout choice.

What is the top Ridgeline?

The latest renditions, specifically the 2022 and 2024 Honda Ridgeline models, are considered the top versions. They showcase the best in terms of performance, features, and consumer ratings.

Why is the Honda Ridgeline great?

The Honda Ridgeline stands out for its unique unibody construction, offering the comfort of an SUV combined with the utility of a truck. It’s known for its smooth ride, innovative features like the in-bed trunk, and reliability.

Which Honda has the best longevity?

While the Honda Ridgeline is known for its durability, the Honda Accord and Honda Civic are often cited as models with the best longevity, with many units surpassing the 300,000-mile mark with regular maintenance.

Final Words

The Honda Ridgeline’s journey through the years is a captivating tale of innovation, challenges, and resilience. Its unique position in the pickup truck market, blending the comfort of an SUV with the utility of a truck, makes it a standout choice for many.

Whether you’re considering purchasing one or simply wanted to know more about this intriguing vehicle, I hope this deep dive has provided valuable insights. As the automotive landscape evolves, the Ridgeline’s story is far from over, and I’m excited to see where it heads next.

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