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  3. 2021 Honda Ridgeline’s Base Price Rises by Thousands of Dollars

The tougher-looking Honda pickup remains pricey, but should also remain worth it.

Honda Rugged

Rarely do mid-cycle updates of existing models accomplish so much change as Honda’s 2021 refresh for the Ridgeline midsize pickup. The only unibody, car-based pickup truck on the market, the Ridgeline has long delivered admirable handling, ride comfort, and clever packaging thanks to its lack of a cumbersome separate frame. Thing is, while it’s among the best midsize trucks you can buy, the pre-update Ridgeline resembled a Honda minivan with a pickup bed grafted on. For 2021, the Ridgeline finally adopts tougher, truckier styling. And, as if Honda is trying to drive the point home that it wants customers to take the pickup more seriously, it’s abandoning the Ridgeline’s standard front-wheel-drive configuration.

By making all-wheel drive standard across the Ridgeline lineup, Honda is taking away another arrow from the quiver of haters who giggle behind their hands at a—gasp!—front-drive pickup truck. The change only impacts the base Ridgeline Sport and second-tier Ridgeline RTL trims, which for 2020 came with front-wheel drive and offered all-wheel drive as an option. All-wheel drive already was standard on the uplevel RTL-E and Black Edition models.

Baking in a previously optional feature such as all-wheel drive has a predictable impact on pricing, with the 2021 Honda Ridgeline’s various MSRPs rising accordingly. At $37,665, the base 2021 Ridgeline Sport costs $2,590 more than last year’s model—but, remember, that’s comparing front-drive apples to all-wheel-drive oranges. The new Ridgeline Sport only costs $350 more than the all-wheel-drive 2020 model. Ditto the 2021 Ridgeline RTL, which sees its price jump $650 over last year’s all-wheel-drive RTL; the gap between the ’21 RTL and the front-drive 2020 version is a bigger $2,800. Ridgeline RTL-E and Black Edition variants see their prices rise just $400 each.

2021 Honda Ridgeline Pricing

  • Ridgeline Sport: $37,665
  • Ridgeline RTL: $40,645
  • Ridgeline RTL-E: $43,595
  • Ridgeline Black Edition: $45,095

As before, the Ridgeline comes standard with a ton of equipment, including Honda’s suite of active safety features (adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, forward collision warning, and automated emergency braking). Automatic climate control is also baked in, as are a V-6 engine, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and 18-inch wheels. The Ridgeline’s segment-exclusive in-bed trunk, which can double as a sealed cooler, and multiway tailgate that can swing to the side or swing down, also are standard.

Considering the Ridgeline’s robust equipment list, it isn’t as pricey for the segment as it may seem. Sure, several midsize pickup competitors can be had for well under $30,000, but most of those come with weak four-cylinder engines and two-wheel drive and lack many of the Honda’s safety and comfort features. Option up a Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, or Chevy Colorado to match the Ridgeline, and the price battle is more competitive. In any event, we’ll soon see how the updated Ridgeline stacks up, and what on- and off-road improvements its beefier tires, wider stance, and new front end impart on an already slick truck experience. The 2021 Honda Ridgeline reaches dealerships in February.

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