Ridgeline Is Only Honda Without High-Tech Rearview Camera

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Across their lineups, Honda and Acura have some of the most technologically advanced vehicles in the industry. Except when it comes to advanced backup camera systems.

Since 2011, the feds have been pushing automakers to include more crash-avoidance technologies in every vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awards vehicles its Advanced Technology Feature label if all its criteria are met. Some of those technologies include lane departure warning systems, collision warnings and, most importantly, rearview monitoring and expanded visibility. Unfortunately, the current Honda Ridgeline, with one of the oldest, untouched interior designs in the pickup truck segment, still uses relatively old technology and a small center-console screen. In fact, the current Ridgeline model, with or without navigation, is the only model in the Honda lineup that does not meet the requirements for the government's ATF list.

Of course, the Honda Ridgeline is scheduled to go on a "sabbatical" for at least a year or two, likely returning to the evolving midsize and full-size pickup market with an all-new version. The only official statement from Honda about timing is that the Ridgeline's return will be "less than two years" away. We assume that this new model will have a more modern backup camera (possibly with 360-degree view setting) and a larger display screen that would finally qualify the small pickup for ATF status.

Images by Joe Bruzek, Cars.com

 

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Comments

Sorry, but this is just a lame excuse as a truck. It's not even a mid-size. It's barely to be considered a compact truck. This never has been or will be a serious contender in the truck market for anyone that wants it for something besides being able to say it has a tailgate and is a Honda because this is by no means a real truck with or without the technology.

Ridgeline is THREE QUARTER TON Pickup Truck.
Yep, it has 1,500 lbs payload

It's a 3/4 ton minivan. Nothing to see here, move on fellas.

Its good at what it is just needs an update badley. This truck will do what 80% of people need out of a truck.

That's true, it can drive around empty. Most people don't need more capability than a Ridgeline, but with 15/21 mpg, which is almost as the Silverado V8's 16/23. If you drove a Ridgeline you would accuse the Silverado driver as being a tree-hugger. You'd be better off with a Pentastar or EcoDiesel 1500, or either of the upcoming Colorado and Frontier diesels.

When I bought my Silverado a few years ago, the salesman showed me an Avalanche, a Ridgeline, a Titan LE Crew 4x4--and the Silverado that I ended up buying.

Around that same time we bought our GMC Acadia, and the salesman also wanted us to look at a Honda Pilot which that dealership also represents.

The Pilot is a good enough crossover but the GMC had it hands down and for less dough. The Pilot with leather was 40k. We bought our GMC loaded for the same price.

The Ridgeline was the least appealing of the trucks I tested. It really had not been on my list but a coworker was always bragging about his, so...

The two big Hondas are just less competitive, but they are probably ok for someone whose needs don't include towing capacity, acceleration, luxury or payload.

Neither car rode particularly well but they have a good reputation for reliability.

While they are very competitive in other categories, I get the feeling that Honda/Acura has not found their place in the heavy category, vehicles over 4k pounds.

Missing the target on innovation, price, capability and powertrain.

The pickup segment is an important part of the auto industry and it is foolish for any automaker to not attempt to have a firm footing in the segment. Now, I realize not all brands need to be in the segment, like BMW, Porsche and some of the luxury or "specialty" brands. The fact is that given Honda's diverse lineup of vehicles and their market share in the US and abroad, they need to be paying more attention and developing some trucks.
I think this is especially true since Honda already has a "pickup" if you can even call it that. If they had never entered the segment to begin with, then I would give them more leeway, but as things stand right now, it's almost like they want the Ridgeline to fail.
I feel that the pickup market still has lots of room for grow. In other words, it's not yet saturated. Just look at Ram's recent sales figures, the double digit growth in some case both yearly and month to month is quite outstanding. Given the fact that people are still telling us that the economy is recovering, I don't see any reason why growth of the pickup market will slow down.

@papa jim
You bring up some good points. In my option what is keeping a lot of people buy the Japanese cars isn't that they are any better, but the perception of "reliability". I think we all know that as things stand right now, reliability among the domestic automakers is rated about the same as the Japanese automaker. In other words, reliability is not a concern like it once was for buying most American cars.

That being said, it seems like people are still holding onto old school ideas about what brands to buy and what not. It results in a kind of gravitation towards brands like Honda or Toyota, regardless of whether the car is actually the best option. In many cases it's not. I was just reading over the past couple days about the new Chrysler 200. The reviews who have had a chance to test drive it are saying that it is on par with the rest of the cars in its class, and the interior way outdoes most of the competition, especially Honda and Toyota. Sorry to say, people don't have as good of a perception about Chrysler as Honda or Toyota, even though they are now making cars much better than some of the stuff in the past. This results in people who will gravitate towards buying a Honda or Toyota without even considering other brands, or without any realization that they could be getting a much better equipped car for the same price.

Now if people's perception of American cars catches up to where things stand currently, then automakers like Honda will have a serious problem, because people will start realizing that they are not offering the best car for a certain segment or there is absolutely no reason to buy a Ridgeline. Sorry for being so long winded.

I'm still waiting for Honda to build a truck that is as durable and reliable as their atvs. I won't even test drive a ridgeline because just looking at it I know it doesn't have the function and capacity of a regular pickup, but I will ONLY buy honda atvs for our farm. If Honda built a real working truck I would definitely give it a look. Bring over some engineers from your atv line! I don't know what they are waiting for. Only problem is it would be pricey. Quality doesn't usually come cheap.

@Beebe
That likely won't happen, at least not for a very very long time. Companies who invest lots of money into pickups such as Ram, Ford and GM have an immediate advantage, they have been making trucks and know all the ins and outs. Their experience many years of experience far outweighs any amount of money that Honda can invest in developing new trucks. Unless Honda were to "steal" engineers, designers and marketing people from other companies, they would basically be starting from scratch.

I will argue that Honda has nothing to lose by jumping into the truck market presently. I think better late than never. It would be a good business decision for them. We have heard rumors that Kia is eyeing the pickup market as well, so things could turn out bad if Honda fails to ever get going on trucks. Again, I don't think Honda will have anything completion in the near future, it's just the longer they wait, the more painful entering the market will be.

When you consider all the auto industry has been through in the last 30-40 years, anything can happen really. Who knows, maybe 10 years from now the Japanese automakers will be the laughing stock of the industry.

I don't understand the consistent negativity toward the Ridgeline, even if it is long overdue for an update. As shown previously here on PUTC, in many configurations the Ram 1500 (a real body on frame truck!) loses to the Ridgeline in a comparison of available payload (gvwr - real world curb weight) and towing capacity (assuming 10% tongue weight, again gvwr limited on the Ram). The Ridgeline offers buyers an AWD vehicle that rides like a car and can fit in a garage or parkade yet still offers the ability to lay 4x8 cargo from home depot flat in the bed or tow a few thousand pounds when needed. If you need to tow or haul more, grab a half ton from Ford/GM or any HD truck on the market. If your family has a combined weight under 500 lbs and you only carry groceries in the bed a fully loaded Ram 1500 diesel will be great :-) The point is that we have choices available for all buyers' needs and tastes, competition and variety is what a free market is all about.

(my second attempt to post, I hope I'm not repeating myself...)

I've owned 3 full size trucks (93 F150, 98 Silverado, 94 Ram 1500). I've had an 06 Ridgeline since 2010 (bought used). It's been a really nice pickup, yes, even without a backup camera...
There's obviously a big divide between people who appreciate this vehicle for what it is and those who absolutely despise it, with little middle ground. I think the same people who lamented the passing of the Ranger and wouldn't mind seeing something like the Amarok or Toyota ABAT or Chevy Tornado come to the US appreciate the Ridgeline the most.
If you need a heavy duty truck, a serious off-roader, or need to pull over 5k lbs, don't buy the Ridgeline. If you need a pickup (notice I'm not using 'truck', don't want to offend people) for anything else, it's not a bad choice at all. Big cab (biggest back seats for a mid-size), 1500lb payload, 5' bed, 6 1/2' with the tailgate down (just like all the other mid-sizes), great AWD system (good enough for driving around the muddy roads to get to the rice fields for duck and goose hunting, I'm from TX), and bullet proof reliability. (my Ford would be next, then my Chevy and Dodge after, but I now everyone's experience differs) To be fair, it's a really expensive vehicle new, but Honda loads it up with standard options. If it were $5-7k less new, it would be a great buy. The MPG could be better too. With mixed driving, I get about 17.5 mpg, 20 on the HWY. In that sense, it gets about the same mpg as a 2wd full size. I had my tires rotated and balanced last week, and the mechanic had all kinds of questions about the vehicle when he saw how I got my lugnut key out of the trunk in the bed. I know the Ridgeline is long overdue for an update, but I don't understand how anyone could think it's not an innovative vehicle. .
If you're one of those people who don't need a truck for work, but could really use one from time to time to haul fence posts, mulch, atv's, bikes, and appliances, etc, I'd recommend it. They're pricey new, but they make a great used car buy.

This is hard to believe as virtually every car on the road has a backup camera as an option. Only VGA quality normally, but still EVERY vehicle should have this standard or if that is not the case as an option.

@GK

I won't argue that Honda hit some of the right notes with the Ridgeline, that was almost 10 years ago.

Other Honda/Acura products have received a host of engine/trans upgrades during that time but not the truck.

Innovative literally means being a leader.

When I drove one (not unlike the original Dodge Durango and Dakota) it felt big on the outside and small on the inside.

No one really needs a backup camera. Don't backup in a straight line. Get out and look. No big deal.

But this rig needs a blind spot camera if anything. The huge bed sides are pointless.

Ridgeline is not a truck. It is a crossover of sorts.

It should be retired, period.

Anyone who needs a back up camera to back up, should not be driving!

@unbiased

Free choices, you are right.

And the buyers have spoken!

Honda Ridgeline, no thank you. Ridgeline sales are in the crapper for the last several years.

@ papa Jim

Good point on innovation. It was definitely innovative for its time but it has been 8-9 years now without any major updates. It will be interesting to see what the next generation will be like. For the future of the model, it better be pretty good.

"only TRUCK w/out rearview camera" ?

GTFO, Who cares, it's still a badass, reliable, unique, TRUCK!!!, that's way ahead of its time, the people that don't like it are just queer.

Standard rear camera on Ridgeline truck. Standard equipment starting 2013MY.

Joe Bruzek wrote an article that's very misleading and poorly written.

Only Ridgelines equipped with Navigation have a rear camera that does not meet camera requirement for Advanced Vehicle Features label.

All other Ridgeline trim levels have rear view camera that meets the requirement for the "Advanced Vehicle Features" label as it pertains to rear view camera.

Honda makes the camera standard on it's pickup truck while other's such as RAM charge $350 as extra cost option to get rear camera on 2014 truck.

You know what's loathsome. Reading idiot after idiot bemoan the humble Ridgeline as a "real" truck. To this day, the Ridgeline has been the most well-engineered product I've ever seen in this space. Consumers are just too stupid to shop with their heads instead of their precious egos. And I don't fault the "real" truck manufacturers for profiting off of that stupidity. "Real" trucks are incredibly important products with obvious applications. Unfortunately, a large percentage of buyers simply want to imply that their actual requirements are remotely similar to those applications. A Ridgeline actually meets the requirements of most and exceeds the performance expectations of a body on frame vehicle. We can poo-poo the powertrain and looks, but this product makes great sense. It is most certainly a pickup truck.

Robert Ryan: The Ridgeline has had an optional rear backup camera with their Navigation unit from day one.

I looked at the Honda web site and a backup camera is an option.

This site is getting bad for regurgitating press releases.

Ridgeline does not meet the standard set for backup camera's by the government.

WTF?

More click bate.

Post a half-assed story about a pickup guys love to bash and watch the hit points build.

RE Lou BC

On Honda website.
Rear camera is STANDARD equipment on Ridgeline.

Where are you finding the camera as an option Lou? It's not optional, it is standard equipment.

@AllAmerikan - I test drove one a few years ago and it didn't have a backup camera. Thanks for the clarification. It was made standard in 2013.

@Lou BC--Honda made backup cameras standard on all their vehicles. My wife's 2013 CRV has a backup camera. One thing about Honda is they make some very reliable vehicles. The one thing that impressed me about the Ridgeline is the amount of head and leg room and the ease of getting in and out of the cab. I think if they worked on the bed and took away the slopping sides it would be much better. After driving my wife's CRV I would consider a Ridgeline if they redesigned it. I have a Honda Harmony lawnmower as well and it has been excellent. Honda products are pricey but they have excellent quality.

I like the Ridge for the unique features that it has like the dually-articulated tailgate and in-bed storage, but I too think that it has many too shortcomings that almost killed it. These items included the integrated cab/bed collar that limits rear view, the column shifter (good for a domestic large truck, not for an import vehicle), two-wheel drive even if it's the front wheels, a more fuel efficient and powerful V6, 6 speed auto, low-range four/all-wheel drive, lofty starting price, etc. I hope that these issues are corrected in the second gen as I find the Ridge a great alternative to traditional trucks as it appeals to the Honda faithful who like to haul motorbikes, generators and lawnmowers. At least it was unique, while the Suzuki Equator was just a Nissan Frontier with an S on the grill.

BTW, did you know that Isuzu sold the truck after the PUP and before the Hombre as the Honda Tourmaster in South/Southeast Asia? Think Honda Passport as a pickup.

http://iklan7.com/wp-content/plugins/WPRobot3.26/images/5579d_honda_3541322098_8e9322fafc.jpg

http://www.fahrzeugbilder.de/1024/ein-honda-tourmaster-lxs-pick-up-49591.jpg

@Liam

Honda has never made a 2WD Ridgeline. They are all 4WD.

Ridgeline was not intended or designed to do anything more than light off-roading. Low range transfer case is not needed for it's purpose. Vast majority of full size 4WD truck owners do not even use low range. People who need low range in 4WD truck would not buy a Honda Ridgeline even if it had low range.

Perhaps Honda could offer a great big pair of truck nuts to hang off the rear hitch to increase Ridgeline's credibility.

@AllAmerikan

I know. I meant to say a lack of two-wheel drive even if it's the front wheels, a more fuel efficient and powerful V6, 6 speed auto, low-range four/all-wheel drive.

I liked how the Ridgeline rode and it was roomy inside but the huge C-pillar and sloped box side couple with expensive accessories killed it for me.

Everybody keeps forgetting the Ridgeline is front wheel drive! Its a front wheel drive SUV with a small bed, it has NO 4x4 or traction control switches, ( YOU CAN'T TURN THE TRACTION CONTROL OFF ) soooo when it gets stuck in the snow the automatic traction control is going to kick in on the front wheel drive BEFORE the 4x4 on the back wheels kick in.. I have seen too many of them stuck in the snow helpless that I would NEVER want to own one!
On my F-150 I can turn the traction control off and switch the 4x4 on and off as I please.
With the Ridgeline you have no control, you are not a driver, you're a hostage!

Tom#3: Congratulations on successfully making crap up. If you're stuck in the poop with a Ridgeline, you the shift the column shifter to first gear, press the VTM-Lock button and press the squiggly track vehicle icon button to disable traction control. Viola! 4-Low. At that point, only ground clearance and tire performance will limit your mobility. Anecdotally, I suspect these helpless drivers you observe have never read their owners manual.

@Cameron Carlile - what the hell kind of process is that??? All I have to do is turn the knob. Putting the trans in 1st doesn't mean that's 4 low, you're just making sure it doesn't shift out of first at all. 4 low requires a traditional transfer case with a reduction gear that lowers the final drive ratio further than usual, which is what you need for steep incline or if you have a load. The ridge has horrible ground clearance due to the suspension setup. Now I will agree this story is link bait, if you can get a cam as added feature then that's no different than the F150, it's not std on the current truck either. The ridge is a crossover truck, at best. it doesn't haul what I want to haul, tow what I want to tow or have flat bed sides for a toolbox or ladder rack. I shouldn't have to buy everything from Honda, offering is ok but forcing is stupid, having 3rd party compatiblity is a must in the pickup segment.

@kmac1036

Ridgeline has STANDARD REAR CAMERA on ALL TRIM LEVELS.

It is not an optional added feature. It is STANDARD on Honda Ridgeline.

@AllAmerikan - OK THEN, in 2013 it's now std. it took them long enough & for a base price of 30 grand it damn well better be!

At least Cameron and GK know what they are
talking about!

@Tom#3 - you need to read up on your traction control. It all depends on what year your truck is.
My 2010 has a button on the dash. You push it and it kills traction coltrol but not stability control. You hold it down IIRC 5 seconds and it kills stability control too.
BUT it all turns itself back on at 35 mph (56kph).
I find that fact real annoying.

What is worse is the electronic locking rear diff. If engaged it will automatically disengage at speeds over 25 mph (41 kph) and won't re-engage until under 20 mpg (32kph).
If you use 4lo it will stay engaged until 62 mpg and then will kick out and re-engage below 56 mpg (90 kph).

If one engages it and does not kill traction control then it will kick in and make the back end chatter and even wheel hop.

I had a rental F150 with the e-locker and it drove me nuts in harsh winter conditions the 9 days I had it.

I'd much rather have a limited slip rear diff.

Sorry - forgot to add - the rental was a 2013. I had to scroll through the menu to kill traction control.

It wasn't as simple as my 2010 truck.

@Tom#3, you need to read up on the various types of 4WD and AWD available in the market rather than trolling the comments. Yes the VTM-4 system in the Ridgeline reverts to front wheel drive when you're moving, but it's not purely a slippage activated system (you're right that some AWD and "4-auto" modes out there are). In spite of its poor off-road capability, typical winter driving is actually one of the areas in which the Ridgleline excels.

For anyone who wants to understand how VTM-4 works here's a great summary written by the lead engineer from the Ridgeline project.
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/Variable-Torque-Management-VTM-4-Explanation

The Ridgeline was crap on day 1.
Headlights-junk dual beams
Engiine-crap. timing belt, manual valve clearance adjustment, no VVT only VTEC camshaft profile switching
Transmission-only 5 speed
Transmission selector- P R N D5 2 1 (and button for D3). Incredibly stupid, should be P R N D5 D4 D3 (and button for 1st gear lockout)
Drivetrain- VTM-4 is about the only thing good in this 'truck'

I am now on my 4th Honda including a 2014 Ridgeline and it is interesting to see comments by others. After owning products from all of the North American automobiles, I will never buy North American again. My Ford, Chev and Dodge were all crap that left me and my young family at the time stranded at various points in time. Our neighborhood Ford service department knew all of my kids' names - because we were in there dropping $500-1000 every few months. I will admit - that was back in the late 80's and 90's and I am quite sure all of the manufacturers have picked up their games BUT it is now too late. The domestics lost us as customers. So... what does the Ridgeline do for me. Not break down. Not leave me stranded. Not cost me massive $'s every few months. I actually don't care that there is more "luxury" available for less money with the domestics. That won't get me back as a customer. I would have to be left stranded by my Honda's or pour a few $1000 per year into my Honda's - I would have to become a dissatisfied Honda customer to go back to GM/Ford/Chrysler. Don't see it happening anytime soon.

I have both a '13 Ridgeline and an F150 4x. The Ridgeline is probably the finest winter vehicle I've ever owned...and I live in MT. I use my F150 4x for hunting, hauling stuff to the dump and such tasks, and it's a good, reliable truck. But I would still drive the Ridgeline in town, highway and backroads in winter conditions hands down over the F150 4x. Now, galavanting over the hills and such hunting, no, that's what the F150 is for and it excels at that. Oddly, the Ridgeline will carry more weight than the F150 and I think would probably actually pull more weight. It has a much more useful cab and does have a very utilitarian trunk in the box not to mention the dual action gate.
I get tired of the comments made by people who do not own one, never have owned one and by their admission will never own one. Since you have no practical experience with it, how can you condemn it? And, what is it to you if they do or don't build one? The great majority of people buying pickups today rarely use the box for much more than light 'city dweller' hauling.
And, Brad D. is right, the reliability and resale value are well worth the investment of a Honda. I've owned Fords, Chevys and Hondas...I've put a lot less money into parts and labor with Honda and had longer trouble free stretches than with any other manufacturer.
Say what you will naysayers, from experience with all of them I can say unequivically the Honda Ridgeline is a phenomenal all around vehicle.

@skaulr

You nailed it. It is an all around vehicle--but it's not a half ton pickup!

I test drove one on the same day that I tested a crew cab Titan LE, and a Chevy Avalanche.

The Honda came in third.

I ended up buying a Silverado because the deal was better than the Avalanche. The Titan had the 4x4 pkg and the lower rear gear and I knew the cost of commuting back when I drove over 20k per year back and forth to the office would give me heartburn.

Honda pluses are well understood.

Good for you Ridgeline! If you need a video camera stuck out your rearend because you can't use your rear view and side mirrors properly then you have NO BUSINESS operating a vehicle to begin with... period! I have managed to park and back up a Semi with a 53' trailer for over 15yrs now without a camera in the rear... why is it so hard in a pickup truck or a car these days???
Oh wait... maybe your too busy texting Sam Silly about your dogs new potty training progress and looking away from that phone is too much trouble.



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