2017 Honda Ridgeline Earns Top Safety Scores From NHTSA

Ridgeline Beauty 1 II

The hits keep on coming for the 2017 Honda Ridgeline. Not only was it named the 2017 North American Truck of the Year at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, it also just received the highest crash-test rating for any pickup from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And it also almost won our 2016 Midsize Pickup Challenge.

In NHTSA crash-testing, the Ridgeline scored an impressive five stars out of five in front, side and rear crash test rating, which resulted in a five-star overall rating. The only four-star score came in the rollover test. On a related note, the Ridgeline is the only pickup to receive the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick Plus rating along with a superior rating for front-crash prevention — IIHS' highest ratings — largely because the new Ridgeline offers an impressive array of safety technology in its Honda Sensing suite; its new LED headlights (available on some trim levels) also received an IIHS' rating of good; its standard headlights received a poor rating.

Honda is on pace to sell 40,000 Ridgelines this year.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears


Honda Ridgeline Offset Crash II



40,000 Ridgelines with no manufacturer incentives = Hugh profits. Nice work Honda.

Congrats to Honda! If Honda can build a robust structure, why can't Chevy and Ram.

Seems everyone is offering a mid size truck as of late. Oops, I forgot Ford. Well they're are working on one I hear. As usual for Ford though, too little too late.

Important to note: The LED headlight upgrade is the only one available on any vehicle that doesn't get a poor rating!

This will be my next truck.

This will be my next truck.

This will be my next truck.

Excellent job Honda, as GMS said, you guys will crush the competition this year

Too bad there isn't anything under the hood. Having owned 7 Hondas, I think I can say at this point, Honda has lost their way, even worse w Acura. It's a nice, utilitarian, well thought out, convenient truck....that does 0-60 in just under half an hour. No go.

@Spanky, uh...what? Did you even read the 2016 Midsize Pickup Challenge link in the article? The Ridgeline has the fastest time in 0-60 empty, 0-60 loaded, quarter-mile empty, and quarter-mile loaded out of all the mid-size pickups. And gets the best fuel economy to boot. Don't make generalizations about all Hondas just because you owned some slow models. Almost all manufacturers make slow models, doesn't mean they don't also make fast models.

This will be my next truck, too.

Excellent job Honda, as GMS said, you guys will crush the competition this year

Posted by: Nitro | Feb 19, 2017 9:04:43 AM

That is not what GM'S said, however, vehicles like the Ridgeline, Tacoma and the GM Twins has placed so much pressure onto FORD this past couple years that Ford finally caved and decided to bring back the Ranger (F-100), their strategy of 1 size pick-up fits all has failed. Ford has had to offer huge discounts in an attempt to attract mid size pick-up shoppers into their dealerships and it's showing up in the bottom line.

So if you're in the market for a safe CAR,the ridgeline is a good pick.

What's a Ridgeline?

Yes, the Honda Ridgeline would be a great way to accessorize your Honda tool collection. Love that idea!

Accessories can make a Ridgeline extraordinary. Take a little black lawn trimmer and some high heels and place it in the bed of the Ridgeline, and voila — you've taken your look from nondescript to edgy suburban Honda chic.

Switch out the lawn trimmer and heels for a pair of tennis shoes and a Honda digger, and you're ready to tackle the backyard flowerbeds. Learning the basic rules for accessorizing will help you bring out the best features of you and your Honda Ridgeline.

Sinking Chevy - - -

"If Honda can build a robust structure, why can't Chevy and Ram."

Because the Ridgeline is not a real truck: It's a Pilot SUV with the back end missing....(^_^)...


A purse on wheels lmfao

No you got it confused with Trash Motor Company aka Ford.
Posted by: johnny doe | Feb 19, 2017 3:00:55 PM


You know its bad when even a Honda truck can work circles around a Ford truck.

No unibody truck for me.

No mini van style truck for me. Looking forward to the new Bronco.

How does an article about Honda having great safety degenerate into Ford bashing, especially when Ford scores higher than Chevrolet and GMC(have you looked at those ratings). I could see making the point of about lower safety ratings if it existed, but they do not in the case of Ford you are incorrect. The majority of GM fans on this site sound very foolish. You have an inferior product in several areas. You should limited what you say to areas were your fav. products actually have a qualitative documented advantage.The unsubstantiated name calling is a sign of inferiority complex.

It's a car with a bed, of course it should get a great rating. Ram needs to make something similar...


You are so right!

What if RAM used the bones from the new Pacifica minivan to build a front wheel drive V6 pickup? I bet it would be winner if they could keep the price in the mid to high 20s.

Let it be RAM's version of the Ridgeline with a lower entry price and the latest in drivetrain and chassis technology. Price is key though. I drove a Ridgeline a few years back and it was just too expensive for such a smallish truck. Just under 40k.

Too much.

Still too small of a bed....and spare tire a PITA when anything is in the bed.

No surprise here, minivans tend to do ok in tests

@papajim--It’s fair to say Honda makes great cars, SUVs and minivans. Not too many arguments about that. But pickup trucks?

The company’s Ridgeline hit the streets in 2006 and for eight years sold a few hundred thousand copies, not many by truck standards. After a two-year hiatus, the 2017 Ridgeline has re-surfaced with a mission to change that.

Enter the second-generation Ridgeline, a mid-size pickup that resembles its truck rivals on the outside but defies the American pickup truck image that has been the mainstay in the U.S. auto industry.

Granted, GM, Ford, Dodge and even Toyota pickup owners may snub their nose at the Honda, but a look inside its skin may change some minds.

Innovation is the key word in describing the Ridgeline’s bones.

First, it is the only pickup made with unibody construction and four-wheel independent suspension. The ride is smooth and comfortable like its sibling Pilot SUV because there is no body-on-frame to make it awkward and, well, truck-like.
VideoOfficer saves woman from burning car

The bed is made from a composite material that is dent- and scratch-resistant, resulting in no need for a bedliner. The 50-inch wide bed is the only one wide enough to accommodate a 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood flat, although it will stick out a foot from the tailgate.

Speaking of the tailgate, the Ridgeline’s double-hinged gate opens in the traditional manner and also swings open toward the driver side. In the open position, a secure and weather-tight compartment provides cargo space under the bedliner. It will hold two golf bags or can be turned into a large ice-filled cooler with drain plug for tailgating.

Add an available sound system that plays music through the truck bed and a 400-watt in-bed AC outlet that will power a flat-screen TV, and the fun gets better. And there’s more.

Additional cargo space is available inside the quad-cab by raising both rear seat bottoms for storing vertical packages.

All Ridgelines are powered by a V-6, the same engine used on the Pilot and Acura MDX, and are mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. With 282 horsepower, the Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 pounds, less than some of the competition. Available in seven trim levels, the base price is $29,475.

In the zero to 60 mph sprint, our top-of-the-line Black Edition scored a segment-best 6.6 seconds, quicker than anything else out there. Fuel economy is EPA-rated at 21 miles per gallon combined, also at the upper end of the competition, and a number we were able to exceed in city and highway driving.

Honda also made a bold statement by equipping most of its Ridgeline models with cost-saving front-wheel drive, while an all-wheel-drive system is available on all trim levels. To keep costs in check, Honda is offering only one cab configuration, one bed length and one wheelbase.

We found the ride, handling and acceleration to be SUV-like, with a whisper-quiet cabin and plenty of passenger room, although the rear seating area is a little tight. An upgraded cabin is modern with intuitively placed controls. We found its screen interface less than user-friendly at first glance.

A plethora of safety equipment is available, including laser-guided cruise control although it does not offer a full stop feature, releasing control around 15 mph.

Pickup owners contemplating a new set of wheels should test drive the Ridgeline for its unique experience. It just may win you over.

When my lease is up, this is where I will look.

I've owned one since July... nothing but good things to say about the new Ridgeline. 10,000 miles, and not a burp.

To the naysayers, if being comfortable in a truck means it's less than a truck, feel free to go back to your caves, opening beer bottles w/ your teeth, and living in the last century... no skin off Honda's teeth... No, it's not designed to haul 10,000 lb loads -- that's not its target, and that certainly doesn't keep it from being snapped up the moment a new one hits the lot. Strikes a great balance for a comfortable, modern ride, that can still do mid-duty hauling and utility.

Yes, they used the Pilot's front end... Makes it comfortable as hell. If you think that makes it an SUV, then it's an SUV that's been shredding *your* truck by almost every measure in the industry...

@ugltfords. Raptor is not designed for Hauling heavy loads. What's FCAs excuse for a fully loaded crew cab eco diesel with only around 900 lbs of payload. That's a fail right there.

Because it's a car!


You are in the minority dude. Millions of people bought traditional body on frame pickups and SUVs last year. Ridgelines?

Not so much. Let us know how it goes.

@Papajim: You really need to educate yourself, man. While I agree with some of your views, your "facts" are all screwed up.

"Even before the NHTSA was established the US had the safest roads in the world, measured either by deaths per thousand cars or deaths per mile driven."
-- False. Prior to the NHTSA we had some of the deadliest cars in the world simply because they were so fast and so flimsy. The average car of most other nations ran with a mere 30-90 horsepower where we were already pushing 200 horses and more with top speeds exceeding 100mph where those others were lucky to make 60mph.

However, I do agree that the NHTSA among other agencies has helped drive the price of cars to nearly stratospheric levels.

"As a result today the NHTSA devotes about a third of its total spending to chasing goblins like air pollution and increasing CAFE standards. Each entirely unnecessary and duplicating the efforts of countless other state and federal agencies."
-- False. The NHTSA has nothing to do with CAFE outside of ordinary safety and the EPA handles the pollution standards. Any direct involvement by the NHTSA is to simply provide and centralized location where such standards may be tested.

"One of NHTSA's earliest scalps was blocking the personal import of foreign made vehicles."
-- If by "blocking" you mean 'labeling them as unsafe', then maybe you are correct. But that was not an intentional attempt to promote American-made cars. I do agree that US safety standards are notably different from European and almost always have been but that isn't the fault of the NHTSA, rather it's the fault of the legislators trying to protect their American-made interests.

As for blocking certain models from import, the NHTSA has no say there UNLESS they are deemed unsafe. Again, Congress is the agency that tends to determine which models should be blocked from importation and almost invariably it's due to protectionism, not any argument about safety.

"It was argued at the time that Europe was blocking US made cars therefore it made perfect sense to do the same."
-- Ah! You're talking about the Chicken Tax!

"Why care, you ask? Because it has driven the cost of buying and owning cars through the roof, while pursuing an agenda that has been virtually extinct for decades.
Ask your congressman why he continues to support NHTSA."

-- The better question is, why does he continue to support the Chicken Tax? Allow competition in and MAYBE we'll see prices drop 10%-20%.

"Raptor is not designed for Hauling heavy loads. What's FCAs excuse for a fully loaded crew cab eco diesel with only around 900 lbs of payload. That's a fail right there."
Posted by: Yupp | Feb 20, 2017 7:50:28 AM

For a half-ton truck, 900# AFTER driver and one passenger is enough; a half-ton means 1000#. The OEMs and others have totally screwed the old standard by building trucks to far exceed the base class requirements. Today we see OEMs intentionally leaving specific parts off just to avoid having the truck break into the next higher class category.



You have become famous for overloading your hummingbird tail with your alligator mouth.

Read the above article if you wish. It may offer a new insight for you.

I had no doubt the 2017 Ridgeline would earn a top safety score.
I you look at the 2017 Honda Ridgeline Press Kit Body section you will see way. Also the way the truck is constructed so in crash test it's pretty tough. I still don't get all the negative or un informed comments about the Ridgeline. This is like girly truck not a real truck. It's Unit-Body construction as opposed to Body On Frame. Unit-Body seems like it proves it's strength as cars are made that way as well as most modern day SUVs that also switched from Body On Frame. So take the older Acura MDX & Honda Pilot always Unit-Body where as older Ford Explorer was not. Ford and others then went with Uni-Body.
The Platform for the 2017 Ridgeline is Honda's Global Light Truck Platform. It was designed for the Honda Ridgeline but the current Acura MDX Honda Pilot and next Gen Odyssey minivan all share the platform. The negative comments about it being just a Pilot with a bed are to a point ridiculous. So what they share some parts but to the un informed many of the Ridgelines parts are remanufactured for the truck duties beefed up stiffen or different. The truck is geared different. It also weighs more than a Pilot or MDX.
But the 3.5L 280HP engine in the Ridgeline makes it faster 0-60 then the GM twins with the 308HP engine and all the other midsized rivals so the comments about it being slow don't fly. The 6 speed transmission is mated to this engine and some reviews describe it as slick & quick pairing. Also said great for merging onto a highway at speeds.
Ridgeline Unit -Body construction full independent suspension gives it a superior ride and handling over other conventional pickup trucks. Now it's not a rock Crawler like some others Tacoma and Raptor F-150. It does not have he highest tow rating. It tows a modest but respectable 5,000LBS in AWD models. So that's capable of towing horse trailer with two average size horses or Honda's biggest ATVs or a nice bass fishing boat not shabby. But it's payload beats or matches the others. Ridgeline is built for comfort no jiggly wiggly bouncing ride like conventional pickup trucks.
I will take it's AWD with intelligent Traction Management and Torque Vectoring AWD System any day. It aides in the handling and cornering of the Ridgeline from adverse weather to highway driving like changing lanes at highway speeds.
So the Not a Real Pickup truck stuff is crap. It's one great sport utility truck built for all around daily use.

But the 3.5L 280HP engine in the Ridgeline makes it faster 0-60 then the GM twins with the 308HP engine and all the other midsized rivals so the comments about it being slow don't fly

@Ridgeline Owner

These trucks do not compare. The GM twins are far more capable in the pure "truck" sense of the word, and the Honda is a very practical choice for those who don't need that much grunt. Just don't confuse the two.

This is one of those choices where people need to review their needs and determine if they can get by with a truck that's over loaded with 1000 pounds in the back.

I'm still driving my 2006 Ridgeline and love it. 210,000 miles and no issues. The hidden trunk under the bed was the reason I bought it. Still looks like a new truck so figure I'll get a new one in 2026 or after 500,000 miles whichever comes first.

Gm. Cant stand on the same stage as honda. For possibly but only on the last step of the podium. Honda is tough. No other car company pull off all this success they have. Very diverse

Honda is tough. No other car company pull off all this success they have. Very diverse

@You Dont Know Honda

Interesting statement in its context...are you suggesting that Honda's status as a "diverse" company makes it more diverse than say, GM?

Just based on GM's status as a major global manufacturer today, and a major player in North America over the last 70 years, and as a company with a VERY diverse catalog of products/services, I'd suggest that you study GM's history and diversity before you get that far out on a limb.

A-a-a-nd, t-t-they d-d-d-don't sha-a-a-ke !

good job the rebaded pilot.

As a pilot....or a car it should do pretty good.

The auto journalist seem to give high marks to the Pacifica and hopefully FCA has got better quality so maybe a truck based on the Pacifica is not a bad idea. Honda makes the Ridgeline in the same plant as the Pilot so maybe FCA could do the same. Now the Pacifica is sharing the same plant as the Caravan but FCA will eventually phase the Caravan out.

I looked at the Ridgeline at the 2017 Cincinnati Expo. Honda did a nice job on it and one of the things I really liked about the Ridgeline is that it seem to have more leg and headroom than most midsize trucks especially when compared to the Tacoma crew cab which seemed small.

That's right Jeff S,
Here's something I put together. Please don't tell me I'm wrong on the length of Ridgeline box until you go measure it yourself, at the top. I did twice.

Dimensions below organized as: Rear Legroom, Bed length, Overall length (235” std garage):
Ram Quad__34.7"__6'4"__229.0"
Ram Crew__40.3"__6'4"__237.9" Only 1/2ton real Crew w/traditional 6’ box almost garageable.
Colorado___35.8"__6'0"__224.6". (6' 2" at bottom only!)
Tacoma____32.6"__6'1"__221.3". Bed actually 6'1.5".
F150 Crew__43.7"__6'6"__243.7"
F150 Quad__33.5”__6’6”__231.9” (250.5”, 8’ bed)
Ridgeline___36.7"_4’11.5”_210.0" (5' 3.6" at bottom only!)
Titan_Crew _38.5”__6’6”__242.8” (38.5” small for 242.8”?)
Titan Quad__38.5”__5’6”__228.7”
TundraQuad_34.7”_ 6’6”__228.9”(247.8”,8’box)Cab forward snub noise. 5” more legroom =234”
Tundra Crew_42.5”__5’6”__228.9” (crew cab with 6’6” not avail?)

@Papajim: "You have become famous for overloading your hummingbird tail with your alligator mouth.
"Read the above article if you wish. It may offer a new insight for you." -- Posted by: papajim | Feb 20, 2017 3:58:50 PM

If you want to trust a crowd-sourced site that may or may not be accurate, that's fine with me. All it shows me is that you're too lazy to do your own research.

This is where you go to find out data about the NHTSA: https://www.nhtsa.gov/laws-regulations

@papajim The reason more conventional body on frame trucks have been sold, are there are simply more produced. Honda hadn't yet ramped up production to match demand. Now, if you honestly want to check on demand, take a look at the practically non-existent inventory for the Ridgeline, compared to every other truck in the market... Additionally, compare the incentives from Honda on the Ridgeline (basically zero), compared to the incentives on the conventional lines (in the thousands...).

So, if you want to compare apples to oranges, that's your business... But, if you want to make an honest comparison -- it flies in the face of your contention...

Seriously guys. This vehicle has a transverse engine. Please call it a crossover with a bed.

It seems transverse engine placement helps play into a more "cab forward" kind of design.

@Longboat said someone mentioned that the Ridgelines platform could accommodate longer beds. An option in generation 3? 36.7" gives it the biggest rear crew legroom of any midsize. If they came out with a longer bed, I'd definitely go take another look at it! 210" + 15" longer bed =225" (easily fit in a garage). If it takes Honda to get other manufacturers to think more "out of the box", then so be it. Both my '91 and '92 Honda vehicles are transversely mounted. The engines themselves, except for some minor things, have so far been pretty solid.

Wikipedia mentions how Lamborghini Miura had a 4.0 litre V12 transversely mounted in 1965. I would never of believed that. Forgive my naive understanding with respect to the effectiveness of heavy duty four wheel driving with a front wheel drive vehicle, but surely most people are not that hardcore. Even my once hardcore offroad buddy's have mellowed over the years.

Ridgeline fits definition of a pick-up truck or SUT Sports Utility Truck or Crossover Truck. it's not listed as a Crossover but mention by some Crossover Truck. It has a cab and open back .
It has low sides bed and a tailgate don't know where people get this Body On Frame stuff from as the standard rule.
If GM changes it midsized trucks to unit-body construction while keeping full size as Body On Frame. What will they call them a truck? They were thinking about it with concept vehicles like GMC Denali XT. Times have changed and the attitude ahead in the game watch Ridgeline sales over the next few years.

It's not like most of them people at Honda don't know what they are doing. Sometimes things just happen like the long wait for a new Ridgeline. The powers that be make the final decisions.
If you did not know the original Large Project Leader 1st Generation Ridgeline 206-2014. Gary Flint is an ex General Motors engineer. He helped engineer the Chevy S-10 pickup truck in his time with GM. That has now turned into previous and modern day Colorado/Canyon midsized trucks.
Also other projects Flint worked on included the Pontiac Fiero an 1984 Corvette. We know the Fiero as well as Corvette used composite material. Flint became an expert in working with this.
Ridgeline Truck Bed mad of composite materials. But it's a good read article that plays in to today and how the Ridgeline came to be. The article describes the Honda ways of doing things vs General Motors not a bad mouth article just the ways.
Ridgeline was built and designed on a budget way different then the way GM would have done. So it was the same for the 2nd Generation Ridgeline 2017. This is where you can say Pilot but Ridgeline is niche and low volume vehicle.
Kerry McClure was the Large Project leader for 2nd Gen Ridgeline 2017. He was also body and design engineer on 1st Gen Ridgeline Also LPL on different year models of Odyssey & Pilot vehicles. But the tight budget did not prevent this Ridgeline from getting a top safety score. It did not sacrifice the excellent rid and handling qualities of the vehicle either.

No matter how choose to put lipstick on it, transverse engines are shameful in a "truck". At its heart, this is a "truck", which has was born from a front wheel drive crossover SUV. That crossover was born from the minivan, which has its origins from the Accord. Composite bed, great. Unibody, doesn't matter. Who cares if it is unibody or not. Works for a vehicle with low tow ratings. There is likely too much deflection in the body for trucks to use unibody under load. If door latches move with 2000lb in your bed, you have a problem. Transverse engined vehicle with an Accord as its grandfather = not a truck. Period.

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