2021 Honda Ridgeline Gets New Looks, New Packages and … Is That a Volume Knob?

2021 Honda Ridgeline Throwing Up Mud

Manufacturer images

By Brian Normile

Once again, it’s time to discuss the least controversial pickup truck currently for sale: the Honda Ridgeline. Sarcasm aside, we are fans of the truck here at PickupTrucks.com and sister site Cars.com. A 2019 Ridgeline won our most recent comparison test of mid-size pickups, after all. For 2021, the Ridgeline gets slightly tougher exterior styling, new option packages and — finally — a physical knob to adjust audio volume. 

Related: Updated 2020 Honda Ridgeline Goes Off-Roading

New Exterior Looks

2021 Honda Ridgeline Side Profile

Honda says the Ridgeline “features all-new sheet metal from the front roof pillars forward.” That includes a new hood design with a trendy “power bulge,” updated front fenders, a new and more upright grille, and updated LED headlights. The new face includes an accent piece that divides the headlights and sits atop the grille; on the entry-level Sport and range-topping Black Edition the piece is black, while on the mid-level RTL and RTL-E it’s chrome.

Both the front and rear bumpers are updated, with the rear featuring new exhaust outlets and the front wearing side vents that are used to improve the Ridgeline’s aerodynamics. The front bumper also has more body-colored area than previous generations, and below it is a more aggressive looking skid plate.

All 2021 Ridgelines get a new 18-inch wheel design wrapped in an equally new set of all-season tires. Honda also increased the track width by 20 millimeters to give the Ridgeline a moderately wider stance.

New Packages

If the standard looks aren’t enough, Honda also revealed a Honda Performance Development Package that gives the Ridgeline a different grille treatment, black fender flares, HPD graphics and some cool-looking 18-inch bronze wheels.

Honda is calling the HPD Package a post-production option and named, but did not detail, three others: Utility, Function and Function Plus. All four packages will be available on any Ridgeline, according to Honda.

New Volume Knob

2021 Honda Ridgeline Steering Wheel and Dashboard

2021 Ridgelines get a small but critical update: a volume knob! The knob is attached to the latest Display Audio infotainment system. It’s a welcome change from the previous touch-only audio controls, though it still lacks a tuning knob.

Other interior updates are minor, including new cloth seat inserts, contrast seat stitching for all models and updated interior accents for all but the Black Edition.

Same Powertrain, Same Utility

What hasn’t changed for the Ridgeline is its powertrain, which is still the 280-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 making 262-pounds-feet of torque paired to a nine-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive optional on the Sport and RTL, while AWD is standard on the RTL-E and Black Edition.

Also unchanged are the Ridgeline’s tricks to improve its already excellent exterior utility, including its standard Dual-Action Tailgate that opens downward or sideways, and the lockable and washable In-Bed Trunk.

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Pricing and Release Date

We don’t yet know how much the 2021 Ridgeline will cost, but Honda says that information and more details will be available closer to its expected on-sale date sometime in early 2021.

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