Compact pickup truck; Built in Canada
  • crew cab
  • transverse front-engine/all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $8,700 – $37,100*

2006 Honda Ridgeline

2006 Honda Ridgeline

2006 Honda Ridgeline

2006 Honda Ridgeline

  • Cargo room
  • Control layout and materials
  • Passenger comfort (front seat)
  • Quietness
  • Ride
  • Fuel economy
  • Visibility (rear)

Ridgeline blends pickup utility with carlike civility in a solid, sensible, Honda-style package. The light-duty design won’t suit hardcore truckers, but they aren’t likely to be Honda-shopping anyway. Ridgeline should meet the needs of families and recreational users–just as Honda intended. Innovative pickup features help give Ridgeline a Recommended rating, but strong resale value translates to hefty prices on the used-pickup market.


Honda’s first pickup truck was a compact-class five-passenger, four-door crew cab with a five-foot cargo bed. Several Ridgeline design features were unusual in the pickup market, including an independent rear suspension rather than a solid axle, and unibody construction as opposed to traditional body-on-frame.

Made of dent-resistant plastic, the cargo box had a steel-reinforced floor that incorporated a locking “trunk” bin at the rear. The two-way drop-down/swing-out tailgate also set Ridgeline apart from the pack. Six tie-down cleats in the bed are capable of holding 350 pounds each.

Competitors included the Dodge Dakota and Toyota Tacoma, but Ridgeline had a shape and feel all its own, distanced from traditional domestic-model pickups.

Sole powertrain was the same 255-horsepower V6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission used in Honda’s Pilot SUV. Ridgeline borrowed the Pilot’s VTM-4 all-wheel-drive system, too. The system normally powers the front wheels and engages the rear wheels when the front tires slip. Though Ridgeline was not designed for severe off-road use and lacked low-range gearing, a dashboard button could lock in a 50/50 front/rear power split for extra traction.

RT, RTS, and top-of-the-line RTL models were offered. Exclusive to RTL versions were such features as leather upholstery, heated front seats, a sunroof, and navigation system. All models had front bucket seats and a 60/40-split rear bench, with cushions that flipped up to increase in-cab storage space.

Antilock four-wheel disc brakes, antiskid/traction control, and 17-inch wheels were standard. So were front torso side airbags and head-protecting curtain side airbags. Covering both seating rows, the curtains were designed to deploy in a side impact or when sensors detected an impending rollover.

Ridgeline’s transmission shift lever was mounted on the steering column. Between the front seats, a center console could slide fore and aft by several inches, to customize storage space.

Yearly Updates

2007 Ridgeline
XM satellite radio became standard on the RTS model, along with a moonroof. All Ridgelines gained a lighted vanity mirror. A new RTX trim level stood above the base RT. Otherwise, little change was evident on 2007 models.
2008 Ridgeline
The 2008 Honda Ridgeline was little changed.
2009 Ridgeline
Ridgeline got freshened exterior and interior styling for 2009. The RTX model was dropped.
2010 Ridgeline
The 2010 Honda Ridgeline was largely unchanged following its model-year 2009 freshening.
2011 Ridgeline
The 2011 Honda Ridgeline sees no major changes.
2012 Ridgeline
The Honda Ridgeline was given freshened styling for 2012 along with a new mid-line Sport trim level.
2013 Ridgeline
Ridgeline soldiered into 2013 with no major changes. The only update of note was that a rearview camera became standard on all models, not just the most expensive ones.
2014 Ridgeline
In 2014, Ridgeline added a new top-of-the-line Special Edition model for the final year of its first generation. Ridgeline took two years off and was expected to return with a redesigned truck for 2017.


transverse front-engine/all-wheel drive

Only a single engine has been available in Ridgelines: a 3.5-liter V6 engine. Horsepower varied from 247 to 255. All Ridgelines had a five-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/212
Engine HP 247-55
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 245-252
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic



Road Test

Ridgeline delivers more than adequate go-power, thanks in part to its smooth, responsive transmission. Performance is on par with rival V6 compact pickups, but behind Dodge’s Dakota with its available V8. The V6 also may be taxed when asked to meet Ridgeline’s 5000-pound towing capacity, or its 1550-pound maximum payload.

Fuel economy is passable but nothing to boast about. Test RTLs have averaged 16.2 to 18.3 mpg in mixed city/highway driving. Ridgeline’s V6 uses regular-grade gasoline.

Ride quality is exemplary for a pickup. Comfortably controlled, the ride is marred only by minor thumping on washboard surfaces. Honda’s class-exclusive independent rear suspension cushions bumps better than most solid-axle competitors.

On the steering/handling front, Ridgeline drives more like a car or minivan than a typical pickup. Still, Ridgeline’s ample height and heft translate to body lean and moderate noseplow in fast turns. Steering is too light at low speeds, but relatively tight turning circle aids parking-lot maneuverability. Braking is strong and sure.

For a pickup, Ridgeline is impressively quiet. Honda’s refined V6 rises only to a muted, classy growl at full throttle. Road noise is no worse than in most passenger cars. Wind rush ranks below the pickup norm at highway speeds, even with the sliding rear window open.

Honda-typical gauges complement large, simple, handy controls. The optional navigation system is easy to use and does not absorb climate controls. Like Honda’s Pilot, the Ridgeline has its shift lever on the steering column, suffering the same imprecise movement that allows it to overshoot Drive from Reverse or Park. The cabin pleases with metal-look accents, inviting soft-touch surfaces, and high-grade materials.

Headroom is adequate for six-footers with the RTL-available sunroof, and ample otherwise. Leg space is fine, though taller drivers may wish for more rearward seat travel. Ridgeline’s rear-roof design hinders over-the-shoulder vision, but no problems are evident elsewhere. Step-in is slightly elevated compared to cars and minivans, but low for a pickup.

Ridgeline mimics the Pilot with good rear-seat room for two adults, or three in a pinch. But seat padding is a bit thin for best comfort, the cushion is rather flat, and the backrest is too upright. No-strain entry/exit is a bonus, though door openings could be larger.

With the tailgate dropped, the cargo bed carries 4×8-foot sheets flat. Even then, floor length is just 6.5 feet, and most rivals offer long-box options. On the other hand, the tailgate’s swing-open feature is nifty. So is the in-bed “trunk” with its 8.5 cubic feet of covered, lockable space-enough for three regular golf bags, Honda claims. Useful in-cab cargo space beneath the rear seat becomes generous with the cushions flipped up. There’s ample small-item storage, too.


Model Tested: 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 6
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 7


Value - 8

Total: 61


crew cab
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
122.0 206.8 87.3 70.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1558 22.0 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.7 39.1 40.8 36.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 Ridgeline crew cab


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: The transmission may not shift back up into fourth gear after a kick-down requiring reprogramming of the powertrain control module. (2006-07)
Engine noise
Description: Noise or roughness during turning is usually caused by the VTM fluid being contaminated by clutch wear or condensation requiring drain and refill. (2006-07)
Engine noise
Description: What sounds like engine pinging during acceleration is likely a loose heat shield under the vehicle. (2006)
Description: Due to a class action suit claiming that the odometers were reading high, the company extended the mileage warranty by 5 percent. (2006)
Oil leak
Description: Oil leak at engine’s b-cap side bolts. (2010-12)
Rear axle noise
Description: Noise and/or vibration comes from the rear differential due to internal clutch wear or moisture entry. (2003-07)
Description: Moonroof may leak and the gasket and/or glass may have to be replaced. (2006-07)
Suspension noise
Description: Noise from the front when going over bumps could be due to the bolts that mount the steering gear become loose. (2006)
Water leak
Description: The front floor may get wet from water entering past poorly sealed body seams. (2006-07)
Description: The rear window may not go up or down because the glue attaching it to the regulator fails. (2006)
Transmission problems
Description: The transmission may be slow to shift back into 4th gear after passing gear is used requiring reprogramming the powertrain control module. (2006-07)

Recall History

2006 Ridgeline
Description: A coil wire inside the fuel pump relay may break, causing the fuel pump to lose power and the engine not to start.
2006 Ridgeline
Description: Moisture could cause the front-airbag inflator to rupture. In the event of a crash with airbag deployment, metal fragments could strike the occupants of the vehicle.
2006 Ridgeline
Description: The owner’s manual may contain incorrect contact information for the National Highway Safety Administration’s hotline.
2006-07 Ridgeline
Description: A wiring harness connector for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) blower motor located under the passenger’s side of the instrument panel may be accessible to kicking by the front seat passenger’s feet. The connector terminal may overheat, potentially melting wire insulation or connectors and causing a fire.
2006-08 Ridgeline with aftermarket bicycle rack
Description: When moving the bicycle rack’s bracket there is potential for severe hand injury.
2008 Ridgeline
Description: The hood support rod may fail to hold the hood in position, increasing risk of injury, because the hole in the sheet metal front bulkhead that serves as the base and pivot point for the hood support rod was not punched to specification.
2011-2012 Ridgeline
Description: Factory spare tire may not match the vehicle’s tire information placard. Vehicle owners could improperly inflate the tire, leading to tire failure.
2012 Ridgeline
Description: Incorrect airbag status indicator could fail to inform vehicle occupants when airbag is off or disabled and will not deploy in a crash.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

Share this: