Honda Ridgelines Rutland VT
Fair Haven, VT
M-F 8am to 4pm
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2008 Honda Ridgeline RTL Mid-Size Pickup Truck
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What Was Tested: 2008 Honda Ridgeline RTL with Navigation ($35,090). Price as tested (including $635 destination charge): $35,725
Pros: It's the most car-like of all pickup trucks, with an independent rear suspension, smooth V6 engine and precise construction. It also comes with Honda's reputation for quality.
Cons: It can only tow 5,000 pounds, nowhere near the 11,000 pounds you can tow with a rigged-up Ford F-150. And it's only available with one engine and one configuration, unlike the endless possibilities you have with a traditional truck.
When you think of Honda, you probably think of fuel-efficient, ultra-reliable cars.
But that's just the beginning.The Ridgeline has a side-impact door beam
Honda is actually a global manufacturing conglomerate that makes all kinds of stuff, only a small portion of which you'll find on a car lot. The same company makes tillers, lawnmowers, snow blowers, generators, pumps, boat engines, race cars, robots, motorcycles, ATVs, jet airplanes and toothpaste.
OK, I made up the part about toothpaste. But given their range of products, I wouldn't be surprised if it became the truth in a couple of years.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Honda is also joining the market for pickup trucks.
Honda's first truck, the Ridgeline, didn't look all that innovative when it was introduced in 2006 -- it seemed like a cleaned-up version of the Chevy Avalanche -- but it still made a big impact as part of a bigger trend, the Japanese assault on America's pickup market.
Years ago, your choice for a pickup was simple: Ford, Chevy or Dodge. Today, thanks to an influx of competition, there are also good, tough, capable trucks available from Toyota, Nissan and Honda, not to mention the upmarket offshoots of American brands like GMC, Cadillac and Lincoln.As in Honda's cars, the Ridgeline benefits from tight construction with extremely narrow tolerances between pieces of trim. It looks and feels like a Honda should
So where does the Ridgeline fit in?
It's actually not nearly as truck-like as you might think, especially compared to the more traditional American-brand offerings. It has a small pickup bed, but it looks and drives like a very good mid-size SUV. It has a soft, smooth ride, like its shocks are filled with cotton candy, along with a cabin that's nicely insulated from road and wind noise. It's more like a family car than a true work truck. ...