New Model News

2021 Honda Ridgeline gets truck-ier with new exterior, upgraded interior

For 2021, the Honda Ridgeline gets meaner looking but keeps the equipment that makes it well-mannered.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc
The current iteration of the Honda Ridgeline is the anti-truck truck. The 2020 version looks more like a Honda Pilot with a bed than most anyone's idea of how a pickup truck should traditionally look. For 2021, that's going to change.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline featrures an extensive refresh of the model. Nearly the entire exterior is new. The interior has been significantly upgraded where needed (it was already quite highly regarded). Most importantly, the Ridgeline maintains what buyers have thus far loved about it - the available all-wheel drive and comfortable seating.

2021 Honda Ridgeline The Honda Ridgeline sees its biggest changes on the exterior.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

"Truck enthusiasts have long recognized Ridgeline as an incredibly versatile and capable pickup, and now it's got the rugged looks to match," said Art St. Cyr, vice president of Auto Operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The Ridgeline signals a new direction for our light-truck designs, one that more effectively communicates all the hard work that goes into making Honda pickups and SUVs such proficient on- and off-road performers."

From the front roof pillars forward, the sheet metal of the Ridgeline is new. It has a new hood with a pronounced bulge, new front fenders that are designed to enhance the fresh squared-off nose. The 2021 Ridgeline's grille is more upright than before and now flanked by LED headlights.

A crossbar sits atop the grille and extends to bisect the headlight lenses. It's gloss black on Ridgeline Sport and Black Edition models and chrome on the RTL and RTL-E. Below that the new front bumper, with more body color on it than the previous iteration, incorporates side vents that are designed to enhance the truck's aerodynamic performance.

2021 Honda Ridgeline The truck has a new, more upright grille.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The back of the Ridgeline has a reshaped bumper with exposed twin exhaust outlets.

The entire Ridgeline line rides on 18-inch wheels with backspacing reduced 10 mm, increasing track width a total of 20 mm. This gives the truck a more aggressive and athletic stance.

For buyers looking to make their Ridgeline more dominating, a Honda Performance Development (HPD) Package is available. It adds a unique grille treatment, black fender flares, bronze-colored wheels, and special HPD graphics on the bed walls. This package is one of four post-production packages that Honda will offer on the 2021 Ridgeline, taking a cue from other automakers' playbooks. The others are the Utility, Function and Function+ packages with equipment lists forthcoming.

The 2021 Ridgeline will continue to be powered by Honda's 3.5-liter V6 engine, which is rated at 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet for torque, and paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Honda offers the Ridgeline Sport and RTL with torque vectoring all-wheel drive while the RTL-E and Black Edition have it standard.

2021 Honda Ridgeline

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Ridgeline is the only truck in its class to have the ability to carry 4-foot wide items such as plywood and drywall in the bed, between the wheel wells. Ridgeline also comes standard with a washable, lockable In-Bed Trunk®, offering an additional 7.3 cu.-ft. of secure storage space under the bed floor.

The Dual-Action Tailgate, which folds traditionally and opens at the side, swinging wide, can handle dynamic loads of up to 300 pounds, supporting long payloads including motorcycles and ATVs. Eight standard tie-down cleats rated at 350-pounds each are inside the bed.

Honda continues to rate the Ridgeline as having a 1,580-pound payload capacity and up to 5,000-pound towing capacity.

Inside the cabin, the 2021 Ridgeline continues offering top-class passenger comfort and rear-seat legroom. The Ridgelines Sport trim gets new cloth seat inserts, all trims get new contrast stitching on the seats, and Sport, RTL, and RTL-E trims have new dash, steering wheel, and center console accents.

2021 Honda Ridgeline The Ridgeline has plenty of power to haul two dirt bikes. Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

It's also gotten an infotainment system upgrade including the Display Audio system, which features crisper graphics, easier-to-use touch screen icons, and a physical volume knob. Honda will continue to offer an in-bed audio system for RTL-E and uptime levels.

The 2021 Ridgeline comes standard with a suite of safety and driver assist technologies called Honda Sensing, featuring Collision Mitigation Braking System with forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline was designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas in California and Ohio, and is manufactured along with its V6 engine at the Honda plant in Lincoln, Alabama using domestic and globally-sourced parts. For the 4th straight year, the Ridgeline ranked in the top 10 in the 2020 Cars.com American Made Index.

More information about the 2021 Ridgeline, including prices and detailed specifications, will be available closer to its on-sale date early next year.

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Friday auction find

Is this the cleanest Honda Prelude left?

This 22-year-old Honda looks almost new.

Cars and Bids

It's Friday, which means we're rounding out the week by obsessing over sales listings and car auctions. It's a good time to be looking, if only from a distance, because there are cars like this 1999 Honda Prelude Type-SH just waiting for us to take them home.

We hear it all the time, but this is likely one of the cleanest remaining fifth-generation Preludes around today. No modifications have been performed, which alone makes this car rare, but the mileage takes the exclusivity a step further. With just 28,700 miles on the clock, this Prelude is nearly new.

The Prelude's 2.2-liter inline-four made 200 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque when new, and this one's mileage is low enough that those numbers are likely still close to accurate. A five-speed manual is on board here, and despite the fact that the car is front-wheel drive, Honda made numerous upgrades to the car that gave it sharp handling.


1999 Honda Prelude Type SH Manual transmission and patterned cloth seats. Does it get much better?Cars and Bids


The Prelude Type-SH was better than its standard counterpart in nearly every measurable way. It rode on 16-inch alloy wheels and lowered suspension that set it an inch lower than the normal car. It also features an active torque transfer system, which could transfer as much as 80 percent of drive power to the outside wheel during cornering. Independent front and rear suspension rounded out the package to make the Prelude Type-SH a quick and nimble front-drive car.

It's easy to get wrapped up in the nostalgia of these cars. After all, for many of us they bring back fond memories of our school years, when cars like the Prelude were new and unobtainable by most young drivers. Even so, it's important to remember that a 20-plus-year-old Honda won't provide a modern driving experience and won't be as sharp as you probably think it will. That's not enough to stop many people (us included) from wanting one, but it's worth noting.


1999 Honda Prelude Type SH The Type SH features many upgrades over the standard Prelude.Cars and Bids

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New compact car

Honda announces 2022 Civic Hatchback

The 2022 Civic Hatchback features a sweeping shape.

Honda

The new 2022 model year cars are coming. Earlier this month, the 2022 Honda Civic Sedan began arriving at dealerships across the country, but Honda isn't resting there. Instead, the automaker just announced the 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback, which will come later in 2021 with European-inspired styling and enthusiast-friendly powertrains.

The Civic Hatchback takes much of its inspiration from the new Civic Sedan that has already begun hitting dealers' lots. The automaker says that the new Hatchback is designed for young, active buyers and notes that it will build the car in the United States for the first time. Production will begin later this year at Honda's Greensburg Indiana Plant.


2022 Honda Civic Hatchback The new Civic Hatchback will be offered with a manual transmission option.Honda


The Civic Hatchback takes its styling cues from European sportback cars. That means a smoother, more stretched-out profile instead of the abbreviated liftback shape typically seen in hatchbacks. The design makes the Civic Hatchback's wheelbase 1.4 inches longer and pushes its rear track width out by half an inch. At the same time, the car is 4.9 inches shorter than its Sedan counterpart.

Since it shares so much with the Civic Sedan, the Hatchback shares many of its counterpart's features. The list includes standard features such as:

  • A 7.0-inch color touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Updated suspension and steering tuning
  • New front airbags designed to reduce traumatic brain and neck injuries during a crash
  • Updated Honda Sensing camera system with a new Traffic Jam Assist feature

Honda will also offer upgrades, such as a larger HD touchscreen and a Bose premium audio system for the Sport Touring trim.

Two engines will be offered in the Civic Hatchback, both of which can be paired with a six-speed manual transmission. The base LX and Sport trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. The EX-L and Sport Touring trims get a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque.

Buyers who don't want to shift their own gears can continuously variable transmission with either engine. However, buyers that do will be treated to a brand-new manual gearbox, at least in the Sport and Sport Touring models. Honda says it redesigned the transmission to provide a sportier feel. It has improved shift rigidity, shorter shift throws and features a new dual-mass flywheel that reduces noise and vibrations from the drivetrain.


2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Folding rear seats opens the Civic's cargo area for better storage.Honda


Honda has not detailed pricing or exact release date information yet but says that the new car will arrive later this year. Pricing for the 2022 Civic Sedan starts at $21,700 before destination and climbs to $28,300 at the top end.

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