2006 Honda Ridgeline Press Kit

Honda Ridgeline: A Next-Generation Four-Door 4WD Truck

The Honda Ridgeline re-defines what a truck can be with its true half-ton bed payload capability, an interior similar to a full-size truck and the exterior length of a compact truck. Built on a segment-first closed box unibody frame that combines the strength of a ladder frame with the many advantages of a unibody design, the Ridgeline adds refinement, handling performance, innovative In-Bed Trunk™ and packaging previously unattainable with a traditional body-on-frame truck design. Designed to meet the needs of a growing population of consumers purchasing trucks to support their active, outdoor oriented lifestyles, the Ridgeline delivers the right mix of overall truck capability, towing performance, ruggedness and value in a fun-to-drive and responsible vehicle with Honda DNA.

True Truck Capabilities meet Honda DNA

The Ridgeline fuses the core capabilities of a truck, including towing, hauling and off-roading, with traditional Honda strengths including high value, world-class engineering, fun-to-drive performance, and exceptional durability, quality and reliability (DQR) - along with industry leading safety and environmental performance.

2006 Honda Ridgeline Highlights:

  • Four-Door Cab Design with spacious 5-passenger seating and re-configurable second row seating for people and/or cargo
  • 5-foot SRC composite bed with six integrated heavy duty-tie down cleats and 1,100 pound (1/2 ton) bed payload capacity with minimal wheel well intrusion and one of the industry's strongest tailgates, which also features dual-action operation
  • Exclusive and secure In-Bed Trunk with a volume of 8.5 cubic-feet
  • Transverse-mounted 255-horsepower 3.5-liter SOHC VTEC V-6 engine with 252 lb.-ft. of torque
  • Integrated closed-box frame with unibody construction is extremely rigid and 93 percent unique to any Honda vehicle and supports a 1550-pound total vehicle payload capacity
  • Independent front and rear suspension
  • True 5,000 lb. towing capability with standard transmission and steering coolers with trailer pre-wiring factory installed
  • Advanced VTM-4 four-wheel-drive with lock mode and medium duty off-road capability
  • Standard Safety for Everyone features include Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control, side curtain airbags with rollover sensor, front side airbags and pedestrian safety design

Genuine Truck Capabilities

Contrary to speculation, the Honda Ridgeline is not a "Honda Pilot with a bed." Engineers started with Honda's Global Light Truck platform and transformed 93 percent of the components into a mission-specific platform with seven high strength steel cross members that create a fully boxed ladder frame structure with full integration into the unibody frame. Further differentiation includes unique suspension component designs, 100-percent unique sheetmetal and a 95-percent exclusive interior. While the powertrain is similar to the Acura MDX; the engine, transmission and Variable Torque Management 4-wheel drive system (VTM-4) have been extensively calibrated and strengthened to meet the more rigorous demands of truck buyers including greater towing and cargo hauling duties. Virtually every aspect of the Ridgeline has been designed, engineered and tested to be truck tough and competitive with traditional compact class trucks. End result: 5,000-pound towing, 1,550-pound vehicle payload, a 5-foot bed and medium duty off-road capabilities.

Innovative Packaging

Honda believes there is a better way to package a 4-door truck that maximizes the storage potential of the three-box shape. Traditional four-door trucks offer three distinct cargo zones - the rear portion of the cab, second row underseat storage and the pickup bed. Honda has added an additional cargo zone that removes a significant compromise from the pickup truck equation, a secure and weather resistant In-Bed Trunk area that provides the volume similar to a traditional trunk and maintains the full functionality of the pickup bed - an industry first. Honda's innovative packaging is further highlighted by its spacious interior volume that is similar to a full-size truck, yet the exterior dimensions maintain mid-size measurements.

Pickup Bed with Secure In-Bed Trunk Provides Unmatched Flexibility and Capability

The Ridgeline's steel-reinforced composite bed is constructed of Sheet Molding Composite (SMC), which is an exceptionally strong mixture of fiberglass and vinyl resin offering strength and weight advantages. This cutting edge technology is dent and corrosion resistant, and a high-grip coating eliminates the need for a bed liner. Supplemented by three high-strength steel cross members, the bed is engineered to handle the severe forces associated with loading and hauling raw materials or bulky items weighing up to 1,100 pounds. The 5-foot long bed (6 _ feet with the tailgate down) can accommodate 4-foot 1-inch wide objects between its uniquely unobtrusive wheel wells.

The Ridgeline's In-Bed Trunk locks and is big enough for a large 72-quart cooler or three golf bags. Located in the rear half of the bed, the spacious and weather resistant trunk can be easily accessed for storing items in a secure, lockable area. The spare tire is stored in a sliding tray inside the trunk and is large enough to accommodate an accessory full-size spare tire. When hauling raw material loads like mulch or gravel, the spare tire can be moved to a mount on the side of the bed (or the mount on the side of the bed can be utilized to carry a second spare tire - a smart move when going off-road in remote areas.)

The dual-action tailgate swings down like any tailgate but it also swings to the side to allow for easy loading/unloading of the In-Bed Trunk. Designed to accommodate large and heavy items like an ATV, the heavy-duty tailgate has one of the industry's strongest tailgates with a 300-pound dynamic load capacity.

Since the Ridgeline is a Honda, the bed has been maximized to accommodate motorcycles and ATVs with six strong cargo hooks capable of holding 350 pounds each, and thoughtful touches like matching indents for motorcycle tires are built into the front bed wall, bed floor and tailgate. With the tailgate down, the Ridgeline can haul two of Honda's largest off-road motorcycles, the CRF450R, or one full size ATV.

5,000 Pound Towing Capacity

As part of the Ridgeline's truck DNA, its towing capacity rating of 5,000 pounds enables it to haul a wide range of trailer modules such as a medium-sized boat, two AquaTrax personal watercraft, or a two-axle camper/ "toy hauler" in the low 20-foot range (depending on camper type and load weight). Honda's market research of truck owners who tow a trailer indicates that 84 percent tow less than 5000 pounds, making the Ridgeline a good match for the way most people actually use a truck. To access the truck's full towing capability, simply add a Honda accessory hitch and wiring harness. All necessary transmission and steering coolers are standard equipment, along with factory-installed pre-wiring for quickly connecting a four- or seven-pin trailer electrical harness. Stopping power is provided by a robust braking system that features high performance 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, brake assist, electronic brake distribution, and Vehicle Stability Assist.

Medium Duty Off-Road Capability

The engineers who designed the Ridgeline tested a range of competitive compact pickup trucks to help quantify off-pavement use patterns, customer needs, and engineering targets for the Ridgeline. Honda's market research showed that severe off road use is usually reserved for heavily modified short wheelbase, purpose-built vehicles; and a fully automatic, decision-free four-wheel drive setup best meets the needs of people driving in rain, snow and medium duty off-road terrain. Although exceptions exist, long wheelbase trucks like the Ridgeline, SUVs and pickups generally are not the hard-core off-roader's vehicle of choice because of the inherently compromised breakover angle. Plus, accommodating extreme off-road use can impose compromises elsewhere in any vehicle, such as added weight, poor fuel economy, reduced on-road performance and reduced towing performance.

While a few competitors offer the extra ground clearance, driveline equipment, and chassis hardware necessary to support severe off road driving, the engineers learned that few customers use these extreme capabilities regularly. Conceptually, Ridgeline customers are more inclined to use motorcycles and ATVs for extreme off-road recreation, not the truck they drive everyday.

Honda engineers concluded that a robust medium-duty off-road capability was most consistent with the needs of the customer and the philosophy behind a next generation of truck that offers a smarter balance of capabilities with a higher level of comfort, convenience and real-world versatility. Medium-duty capability readily supports trips to remote trailheads for motorcycle, ATV and mountain bike riding, and camping, as well as excellent all-weather capabilities. Also, anybody who has ever driven down a "washboard" dirt road in a body-on-frame truck can appreciate the refinement afforded by the Ridgeline's unibody structure, which more effectively minimizes the severe vibrations that can occur. To define exactly what constitutes medium-duty off-road capability, the Ridgeline engineering team selected 14 key performance criteria based on observations of typical off-road adventurers. They then utilized special test courses at their R&D facilities in North America to assure that the Ridgeline delivers all the intended capabilities with impeccable reliability and durability along with real world verification.

The list of test courses includes:

  • 28-degree dirt hill
  • Sand hill
  • Water pit
  • Rock roads
  • Embedded log course
  • Step-up, step-down
  • Sand drag strip
  • Gully course
  • Ground contact course
  • Washboard road
  • Frame twister
  • Power hop hill (23-degree slope with rippled surface)
  • Gravel road
  • Startable grade

The results speak for themselves - the Ridgeline has 8.2 inches of ground clearance, a 25-degree approach angle, a 22-degree departure angle, and a 21-degree breakover angle for negotiating rough terrain. It can claw up a 28-degree (53-percent) dirt slope from a dead stop. It can tow a 5,000-pound boat up the steepest of boat ramps.

From Concept to Ridgeline

The Honda SUT Concept vehicle debuted at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and was a demonstration of how a single vehicle can serve as a hub to the world of Honda products such as motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft, marine products and power equipment. Lessons learned from years of producing those products were applied to the SUT Concept with synergy evident in details like a bed that can accommodate Honda's longest off-road motorcycle, conveniently located tie-down cleats with load ratings that can accommodate large ATV's, notches in the bed wall and tailgate for motorcycle tires, and good payload and towing capabilities.

Honda's approach to building a truck was to start with a clean slate and create a unique and integrated overall package with distinct advantages that make it a comfortable people hauler, a confident cargo transporter and a practical everyday driver. Traditional truck buyers have had to forego a secure and integrated trunk, athletic driving performance, fuel economy and some passenger comfort in exchange for utility that often exceeds their needs. The Ridgeline addresses those trade-offs and either eliminates or minimizes the choices that must be made between everyday practicality and all-around utility.

Ridgeline Market Position

The light truck market has evolved over the past 15 years from largely work-oriented trucks in 1990, when light trucks accounted for roughly 33 percent of the total vehicle market, to the current mix of work, family, and lifestyle light trucks that account for about 50 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. As the light truck market has evolved to include a broad spectrum of customers who want fewer compromises, the fundamental design elements of pickup trucks have remained largely unchanged with incremental gains in refinement, comfort and practicality. The capabilities of the Ridgeline more closely match the needs of consumers seeking family and lifestyle trucks with its clean-slate approach that maximizes practicality, safety, comfort and handling performance while minimizing the drawbacks inherent to traditional truck designs. From a capabilities standpoint, a ladder with unibody frame structure coupled to a V-6 engine with high-output performance is the perfect choice for many customers that purchase trucks to support their active, outdoor-oriented lifestyles.

Technical Summary


By choosing a unibody frame with an integrated and fully boxed ladder structure as the base for the Ridgeline, the interior can have more space and the body can be more rigid while containing multiple load paths for enhanced collision energy management. The chassis can best utilize a fully independent suspension design for better handling performance. The absence of traditional body-on-frame construction allows for another feature no other truck product can claim - a spacious In-Bed Trunk with secure storage like a car.

Honda's approach to exterior styling on the Ridgeline incorporates a machined billet architecture approach for a solid, strong one-piece appearance. No separation between the bed and the cab exists. Designed to appear modern and athletic with new proportions for a truck design, the Ridgeline incorporates short front and rear overhangs with integrated bumpers, a large and dominating grille connected to a long and expansive hood, large door handles, and large truck-style side mirrors for good rear vision while towing. Primary features of the body include:

  • Athletic stance with new truck proportions and one-piece cab-to-bed design
  • Reinforced deep channel closed box unibody frame with seven crossmembers
  • Anticipated five star front and side impact safety design for NHTSA NCAP and SINCAP tests
  • 5-foot bed (6 1/2 foot with tailgate down) and 4-feet, 1-inch of space between wheel wells
  • Secure In-Bed Trunk with a volume of 8.5 cubic feet
  • Dual-action tailgate swings down or the side and supports heavy loads
  • Vehicle-to-vehicle crash compatibility and pedestrian safety designs

Beneath the Ridgeline's innovative exterior packaging lies an equally innovative closed box unibody frame that provides an exceptionally strong and rigid structure well suited for the rugged demands of towing and heavy cargo loads. With seven high-tensile strength and reinforced cross members creating a closed box ladder frame, the Ridgeline's unibody construction does have a lower frame like a traditional body-on-frame truck. The key difference is that the lower frame integrates into the upper body - and the performance advantages are profound. The bending rigidity is more than 2.5 times stiffer than the best performing compact truck body-on-frame competitor and rear torsion rigidity is more than 20 times stiffer. Unique to the Ridgeline, the lower frame construction utilizes a deep section design that is reinforced internally with high strength steel. The end result is a platform with true truck capabilities that boasts better NVH, a comfortable ride, surprisingly responsive handling, a more solid feeling, improved fit and finish and reduced squeaks and rattles.

The pickup bed features composite SMC construction and has a payload capacity of 1,100 pounds. Thanks to the unibody construction, wheel well intrusion has been minimized to just a few inches. Careful consideration was given to the safety design for occupant protection from cargo, so special load distributing high strength steel braces and reinforcements are integrated into the cab/bed separation wall.

Convenience features include four lights - two on the C-pillars that illuminate the cargo box from above and two near the rear of the bed that illuminate the In-Bed Trunk and tailgate. The dual mode tailgate swings down to make cargo loading in the bed easy, while it also can swing to the side to allow easy access to the secure In-Bed Trunk. The secure In-Bed Trunk provides about two-thirds the volume of an Accord Coupe trunk with dimensions large enough for three golf bags.

Unibody construction also allows for integration of an advanced safety design that disperses collision forces through more load bearing channels than a traditional body-on-frame truck design. As a socially responsible vehicle, the Ridgeline addresses vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility with a frame design that is engineered to connect with the bumpers on cars. Also, the hood, windshield wipers and related hard mounting points are designed with crush and breakaway designs in accordance to Honda's high internal standards for pedestrian safety.


The Ridgeline's V-6 powertrain was designed for towing and excellent all-around capabilities. With high-output performance, Honda's 255-horsepower normally aspirated V-6 engine provides more horsepower than any V-6 in the compact truck segment and it offers more horsepower than competitors' optional V-8 engines such as the 2005 Dodge Dakota with 250 horsepower. Unique in the compact truck class, the Ridgeline provides a standard automatic transmission and a standard, fully automatic four-wheel drive system. Primary features of the powertrain include:

  • Transverse-mounted all-aluminum 3.5-liter SOHC VTEC V-6 Engine
  • 255 horsepower @ 5,750 rpm and 252 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
  • 5-speed automatic transmission with electronic direct control system
  • VTM-4 four-wheel drive system
  • Drive-by-Wire throttle control
  • Standard automatic transmission cooler and power steering cooler for towing
  • Three-rocker VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control)
  • Dual-stage intake manifold
  • High mounted fresh air intake
  • High capacity radiator and cooling fans
  • Tier 2 Bin 5 Federal Emissions / LEV2 ULEV California emissions

The Ridgeline's 3.5-liter VTEC V-6 delivers estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 16/21* for city/ highway driving and its 22-gallon fuel tank provides a maximum range of 462 miles. The 5-speed automatic transmission features a direct control system for precise, firm shifts and gear ratios have been optimized for towing. The VTM-4 electronic four-wheel drive system, also used on other Honda and Acura products, has programming that sends up to 70 percent of the torque to the rear wheels and intelligently provides power to the wheel that has the most traction in conjunction with the VSA system.
(*Estimate of EPA fuel economy rating based on internal Honda data.)

Primary benefits of this technology are decision-free operation and enhanced stability on split traction surfaces such as when pulling off of a snowy highway shoulder and onto a freshly plowed road. For extremely low traction situations in snow, sand or mud, the Ridgeline has a lock mode (actuated by putting the vehicle into first, second or reverse gears and pressing the VTM-4 button on the instrument panel) to drive both rear wheels with equal left/right torque at speeds between 0 and 18 mph. For enhanced water fording capabilities and increased fresh air flow for the demands of towing, a fresh air intake is utilized that takes in air from the front of the vehicle near the top of the hood. In true truck fashion, the intake and exhaust systems have been tuned to provide a throaty exhaust growl.


Designed with 1,550-pound total vehicle payload toughness and 5000 lb. towing in mind, the Ridgeline's chassis features a fully-independent front and rear suspension with MacPherson struts in the front and a unique multi-link with trailing arm design in the rear. With the most advanced brake system technology on the market, the Ridgeline features 4-channel Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with active yaw control for increased driver control during accident avoidance maneuvers, aggressive cornering and bad weather. The VSA system monitors lateral (cornering) stability and discretely integrates traction control, 4-wheel drive, anti-lock braking, throttle control and stability control functions by modulating brake power at each wheel and controlling throttle input. Not nearly as intrusive as some stability systems currently available, Honda's VSA system feels smooth and unobtrusive to deliver neutral, predictable and safe handling characteristics. Honda's 4-channel VSA system is unique to the compact truck market (all other compact truck stability systems only have three channels and some do not operate in 4-wheel-drive mode) and it controls each wheel individually. Primary features of the chassis include:

  • Front MacPherson strut suspension
  • Rear multi-link with trailing arm suspension
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control
  • 12.6-inch front/13.1-inch rear 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist
  • 17x7.5 wheels and P245/65 R17 All-Season Tires
  • Standard tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) provides individual low pressure warnings


The interior concept takes advantage of the Ridgeline's superior packaging efficiency to deliver a full-size interior space in a mid-size exterior footprint. With a cavernous approach that accommodates people, cargo and gear, dimensions inside approach that of a full size truck and provide ample headroom and wide, yet supportive seating surfaces. The driving position provides typical Honda access with large and easy-to-use controls. The large multi-function console features a sliding armrest and sliding lower tray - each with a hidden storage area.
Other console storage areas intelligently accommodate both large items and smaller items like wireless phones, beverages, compact discs and more.

Rear seat legroom and the sitting angle of the rear seats result in top-class comfort for adults. The 60/40 lift-up rear seats feature underseat storage large enough to securely accommodate a golf bag (legs extend down from the front of the seat to provide four bars that hold large objects in place). Plus, the rear seating area can be quickly converted for cargo duty by lifting the seats up to create a space large enough to fit a full-size mountain bike with the front tire removed. As a no compromise truck, even the windshield wipers have a heated wiper zone that enhances wiper performance in winter driving conditions. The latest generation of the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition and Zagat Survey™ restaurant information is available on RTL models, and XM Satellite Radio comes standard on those models.

Primary features of the interior include:

  • 5-passenger seating
  • 60/40 lift-up rear seat with underseat storage
  • Dual-stage, dual threshold front airbags
  • Front driver side airbag and front passenger side airbag with OPDS
  • Two-row side curtain airbags with rollover sensor
  • Large multi-functional center storage console with sliding armrest
  • Family-friendly rear seat with three LATCH positions
  • Rear passenger ventilation
  • Cupholders in armrests and door linings
  • Automatic heated windshield wiper zone
  • Available leather interior and power moonroof
  • Available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition
  • Available XM Radio (standard on RTL with moonroof models)

Trim Levels

The 2006 Ridgeline is available in three trim levels - the well-equipped RT, the full-featured RTS and the luxury-oriented RTL.

Standard features on the Ridgeline RT include a 255 horsepower SOHC VTEC V-6 engine, 5-speed automatic transmission, VTM-4 four-wheel drive, 5000-pound towing rating, 17-inch wheels, 245/65R17 all-terrain tires, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control, advanced dual stage dual threshold driver's and front passenger's Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags, two-row side curtain airbags with rollover sensor, climate control with air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, power windows, power sliding rear window, power locks, cruise control, keyless entry, automatic heated wiper zone, 6-speaker 100-watt audio system with CD player, 60/40 lift-up rear seat with underseat storage, all-weather heavy-duty floormats, 5-foot by 4-foot cargo bed with six heavy duty tie down cleats, secure In-Bed Trunk, dual-action load supporting tailgate and cargo box courtesy lighting.

The Ridgeline RTS adds alloy wheels, a seven-speaker 160-watt audio system with subwoofer and six-disc in-dash audio system with steering wheel controls, dual zone automatic climate control and an eight-way power driver's seat.

The Ridgeline RTL adds leather seating surfaces, HomeLink controls, heated front seats and an available power moonroof. Models with the power moonroof come with an interior compass in the rearview mirror, XM Satellite Radio and are available with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System (minus the rearview mirror compass).

Exterior and Interior Colors

The Ridgeline is available in six exterior colors and three interior colors. Listed below are the exterior and interior color combinations:

Exterior / Interior:

Redrock Pearl / Beige
Nighthawk Black / Beige
Steel Blue / Gray
White / Olive
White / Beige
Billet Silver / Gray
Amazon Green / Olive (RTS and RTL only)

2006 Honda Ridgeline Quick Facts

  • First integrated high-volume secure In-Bed Trunk
  • Largest Honda vehicle ever produced
  • First steel reinforced SMC bed
  • Highest tow rating of any Honda vehicle
  • Longest wheelbase of any Honda product (122.0 inches)
  • First fully independent suspension in pickup truck segment
  • First truck to have a heated wiper zone
  • First application of roof mounted hidden antenna on a truck
  • First application of automatic door lock function on a Honda vehicle
  • Largest side mirrors of any Honda vehicle

About Honda

Honda (NYSE: HMC) is one of today's leading manufacturers of automobiles and power products and the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. With more than 120 manufacturing facilities in 30 countries worldwide, Honda now earns nearly 20 million customers annually.

September 2004 marked the 25th anniversary of the first product assembled by Honda in North America. From that first motorcycle built in Ohio in 1979, Honda now has 12 major plants in the region, producing a range of products and components including cars and light trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, personal watercraft and lawn mowers and the engines and transmissions that power them.

More than 75% of the cars and light trucks that Honda sells in the U.S. are built in North America. Increasingly, many of these products are developed in America as well, including the Honda Ridgeline, Civic Coupe, Element and Pilot and the Acura TL and MDX.

2006 Honda Ridgeline Specifications Overview with Competitive Summary

2006 Honda Ridgeline RTS
2005 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Doublecab V-6 AT Shortbed
2005 Dodge Dakota 4D Quad Cab SLT 4WD V-6 AT
2005 Chevrolet Colorado Z85 4D 4WD I-5 AT
2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac XLT 4x4
Body/Frame Construction
Boxed Ladder frame with Unibody
3.5-liter V-6
4.0-liter V-6
3.7-liter V-6
3.5-liter I-5
4.0 V-6
Horsepower @ RPM
255 @ 5750
245 @ 5200
210 @ 5200
220 @ 5600
210 @ 5150
Torque @ RPM
252 @ 4500
282 @ 3800
235 @ 4000
225 @ 2800
242 @ 3000
EPA Fuel Economy
5A (standard)
5A (option)
4A (option), 5A (option)
4A (option)
5A (standard)
4WD System
VTM-4 Fully Automatic
Part Time
Standard Part Time, Full Time Optional
Part Time
Part Time
Rear Locking Differential
Automatic Locking Optional
Wheelbase (in.)
Overall Length (in.)
Overall Width (in.)
Curb Weight (lbs.)
Ground Clearance (in.)
Tow Rating (lbs.)
5000 Standard
3500 standard / 6500 available
Payload Capacity (lbs.)
Interior Volume
Not Advertised
Not Advertised
Front Leg Room
Rear Leg Room
4-Wheel ABS
Rear wheel standard, front optional
Vehicle Stability Assist
Side Curtain Airbags
Bed Length (inches)
Bed Width (inches)
Between wheel wells
Secure In-Bed Trunk

* Honda test data using SAE measurement methods (directly comparable to Ridgeline measurement).

2006 Honda Ridgeline - Prices and EPA Data

EPA City/Hwy.
Ridgeline RT
5-Speed Automatic
Ridgeline RTS
5-Speed Automatic
Ridgeline RTL
5-Speed Automatic
Ridgeline RTL
(with Moon-roof and XM Satellite Radio)
5-Speed Automatic
Ridgeline RTL
(with Moon-roof, XM Satellite Radio and Navigation System)
5-Speed Automatic

Destination and Handling Charge is $550 per vehicle.

2006 Honda Ridgeline

Introduced as a 2006 model in March 2005, the mid-size Ridgeline introduces a number of innovative and exclusive new features to the half-ton truck segment including a secure, lockable In-Bed Trunk™ with room enough to store a 72-quart cooler, three sets of golf bags or other bulky items under the pickup bed; a dual action tailgate that allows for easy loading and unloading of the In-Bed Trunk and truck bed; and the segment's first fully independent four-wheel suspension. Its unique body architecture, featuring two fully-boxed longitudinal frame rails and seven high strength steel cross members in a unitized body construction delivers vastly superior body rigidity and provides the foundation for the Ridgeline's spacious interior cabin and bed, outstanding safety performance and class-leading ride and handling performance.

  • Four-Door Cab Design with spacious 5-passenger seating and re-configurable second row seating for people and/or cargo
  • 5-foot Steel Reinforced Composite (SRC) bed with six integrated heavy duty tie-down cleats and 1100-pound (1/2-ton) bed payload capacity, with minimal wheel well intrusion and dual action tailgate
  • Secure, lockable In-Bed Trunk™
  • 247-horsepower, 3.5-liter SOHC VTEC V-6 engine with 245 lb.-ft. of torque
  • EPA fuel economy ratings of 16/21 for city/highway driving with a 22-gallon fuel tank and a maximum driving range of 462 miles
  • Twenty times the torsional rigidity of traditional body-on-frame truck designs
  • Best-in-class 1550 lb. total vehicle payload capacity
  • Independent front and rear suspension for improved ride and handling
  • True 5000 lb. towing capability with standard transmission and steering coolers with trailer pre-wiring factory installed
  • Advanced VTM-4 four-wheel-drive with lock mode and medium duty off-road capability

2006 Honda Ridgeline - Specifications

2006 Ridgeline RT RTS RTL
Identification J35A91 J35A91 J35A91
Type: 60-degree Aluminum V-6 60-degree Aluminum V-6 60-degree Aluminum V-6
Displacement (liters/cc) 3.5/3471 3.5/3471 3.5/3471
Bore x Stroke (mm) 89x93 89x93 89x93
Horsepower @ rpm (SAE net) 247 @ 5750 247 @ 5750 247 @ 5750
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm) 245 @ 4500 245 @ 4500 245 @ 4500
Maximum RPM 6300 6300 6300
Compression Ratio 10.0:1 10.0:1 10.0:1
Cylinder Head Construction Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Valvetrain SOHC 24-Valve 3-Rocker VTEC™ SOHC 24-Valve 3-Rocker VTEC™ SOHC 24-Valve 3-Rocker VTEC™
Fuel System Multi-Point Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) Multi-Point Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) Multi-Point Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
Ignition System Direct Ignition with Immobilizer Direct Ignition with Immobilizer Direct Ignition with Immobilizer
Throttle Control Drive-By-Wire Drive-By-Wire Drive-By-Wire
Intake Manifold Dual Stage (Aluminum) Dual Stage (Aluminum) Dual Stage (Aluminum)
Air Induction Fresh Air Intake Fresh Air Intake Fresh Air Intake
Alternator 12 Volt 130 Amp 12 Volt 130 Amp 12 Volt 130 Amp
Heavy Duty Radiator with Dual Fans Electric Fans Electric Fans Electric Fans
Drive Belt Single Serpentine with Auto Tensioner Single Serpentine with Auto Tensioner Single Serpentine with Auto Tensioner
Battery 12 Volt 70 AH 12 Volt 70 AH 12 Volt 70 AH
Emissions (Federal/California/Application) Tier 2 Bin 5 / ULEV-2/50 State Tier 2 Bin 5 / ULEV-2/50 State Tier 2 Bin 5 / ULEV-2/50 State
Automatic Transmission 5-speed 5-speed 5-speed
Grade Logic Control X X X
Heavy-Duty Power Automatic Transmission Cooler X X X
Ratios: 1st gear 2.693 2.693 2.693
-2nd gear 1.566 1.566 1.566
-3rd gear 1.023 1.023 1.023
-4th gear 0.729 0.729 0.729
-5th gear 0.531 0.531 0.531
-Reverse 1.889 1.889 1.889
Final Drive Ratio (Front Differential) 4.533 4.533 4.533
Transfer Case 0.537 0.537 0.537
Four-Wheel Drive VTM-4 VTM-4 VTM-4
Rear Differential Ratio 3.384 3.384 3.384
Locking Rear Differential X X X
Maximum Rear Torque Transfer 70-percent 70-percent 70-percent
Body Type Integrated Closed-Box Frame with Unibody Construction Integrated Closed-Box Frame with Unibody Construction Integrated Closed-Box Frame with Unibody Construction
Body Construction Boxed Ladder Frame with Unibody Boxed Ladder Frame with Unibody Boxed Ladder Frame with Unibody
Independent Front Suspension Type MacPherson Strut MacPherson Strut MacPherson Strut
Independent Rear Suspension Type Multi-Link with Trailing Arm Multi-Link with Trailing Arm Multi-Link with Trailing Arm
Stabilizer Bars (mm) (front/rear) 23.0 (solid) /25.0 x 3.5 (tube) 23.0 (solid) /25.0 x 3.5 (tube) 23.0 (solid) /25.0 x 3.5 (tube)
Steering Variable Assist Power Rack-and-Pinion Variable Assist Power Rack-and-Pinion Variable Assist Power Rack-and-Pinion
Heavy-Duty Power Steering Cooler X X X
Turning Circle Diameter, Curb-to-Curb (ft.) 42.6 42.6 42.6
Turns Lock-to-Lock 3.38 3.38 3.38
Gear Ratio 18.5:1 18.5:1 18.5:1
Front Disc Brakes (diameter/thickness, in.) 12.6 x 1.1 12.6 x 1.1 12.6 x 1.1
Rear Disc Brakes (diameter/thickness, in.) 13.1 x .04 13.1 x .04 13.1 x .04
Brake Caliper Pistons Front/Rear Dual/Single Dual/Single Dual/Single
Parking Brake Rear Drum-In-Disc Rear Drum-In-Disc Rear Drum-In-Disc
4-Wheel Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) X X X
Electronic Brake Distribution System (EBD) X X X
Brake Assist X X X
Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) withTraction Control 4-Channel 4-Channel 4-Channel
Wheels 17 x 7.5 J Styled Steel 17 x 7.5 J Aluminum Alloy 17 x 7.5 J Aluminum Alloy
Tires: All-Season P245/65 R17 105S P245/65 R17 105S P245/65 R17 105S
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Location and Pressure Indicators X X X
Wheelbase (in.) 122 122 122
Length (in.) 206.8 206.8 206.8
Height (in.) 70.3 70.3 70.3/71.2 with Moonroof
Overall Width (in.) (No Mirrors/Mirrors) 76.3/87.3 76.3/87.3 76.3/87.3
Wheel Track (in.) (front/rear) 67.1/66.9 67.1/66.9 67.1/66.9
Approach/Rampover/Departure Angles 24.5 / 21 / 22 24.5 / 21 / 22 24.5 / 21 / 22
Ground Clearance (in.) 8.2 8.2 8.2
Length (in.) 60.0 60.0 60.0
Depth (in.) 20.7 20.7 20.7
Width (in.) (wheel well to wheel well) 49.5 49.5 49.5
Length Tailgate Down (in.) 79.0 79.0 79.0
In-Bed Trunk™ Volume (cu. ft.) 8.5 8.5 8.5
Heavy Duty Tiedown Cleats 6 6 6
Headroom (in.) (front/2nd row) 40.7/39.1 40.7/39.1 40.7/39.1 (38.7/39.0 w/ Moonroof)
Legroom (in.) (front/2nd row) 40.8/36.4 40.8/36.4 40.8/36.4
Shoulder Room (in.) (front/2nd row) 63.2/62.6 63.2/62.6 63.2/62.6
Hiproom (in.) (front/2nd row) 57.6/57.2 57.6/57.2 57.6/57.2
EPA Passenger Volume 112.0 112.0 112.0/108.9 (moonroof)
Cargo Volume (cu. ft., underneath 2nd Row Seat) 2.6 2.6 2.6
Cargo Volume (cu. ft., 2nd row folded) 41.4 41.4 41.4/39.5 (moonroof)
Seating Capacity 5 5 5
GVWR (lbs.) 6,050 6,050 6,050
GCVR (lbs.) 10,085 10,085 10,085
Curb Weight (lbs.) 4503 4494 4498
Weight Distrubution (percent, front/rear) 58/42 58/42 58/42
Towing Capacity (lbs.) 5000 5000 5000
Payload Capacity (lbs.) 1549 1558 1554
Trailer Pre-Wiring 4-pin/7-pin 4-pin/7-pin 4-pin/7-pin
5-Speed Automatic (City/Highway) 16/21 16/21 16/21
Fuel (gal.) 22 22 22
Maximum Driving Range 462 462 462

2006 Honda Ridgeline - Features

2006 Ridgeline RT RTS RTL
Four Door Cab X X X
Body-Colored 5-mph Impact-Absorbing Bumpers Black X X
Vehicle-To-Vehicle Compatibility Bumpers X X X
Power Sliding Rear Cabin Window X X X
Body-Colored Door Handles Black X X
Alloy Wheels Steel w/ Covers X X
Remote Entry System X X X
Power Moonroof . . Available
Power Sliding Rear Cabin Window Open Indicator with Reminder Chime X X X
Multi-Reflector Halogen Headlights with Auto-Off X X X
Heat-Rejecting Green-Tinted Glass X X X
Privacy Glass X X X
Variable Intermittent Windshield Wipers X X X
Automatic Heated Wiper Zone X X X
Hidden Roof-Mounted Antenna X X X
Heated Side Mirrors . . X
Roof Rails Accessory Accessory Accessory
Pickup Bed...
SRC Cargo Bed (Steel-Reinforced Composite) X X X
In-Bed Trunk™ X X X
Dual-Action Tailgate X X X
Heavy Duty Tie-Down Cleats (6) X X X
Integrated Bed Lights (4) with Auto-Off Timer X X X
Motorcycle Wheel Indents X X X
. . . .
Pre-Wired for Trailer Connection (4/7-pin) X X X
Large Foldable Side Mirrors X X X
Heavy-Duty Front and Rear Tow Hooks X X X
Safety and Security...
Driver's and Front Passenger's Airbags (SRS) X X X
Two-Row Side Curtain Airbags X X X
Driver's and Front Passenger's Side Airbags with OPDS X X X
3-Point Seat Belts at all Seating Positions X X X
Headrests at all Seating Positions X X X
Adjustable Front Seat Belt Anchors X X X
Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) 2nd Row (3 positions) 2nd Row (3 positions) 2nd Row (3 positions)
Security System . X X
Automatic Power Locks X X X
Immobilizer Theft-Deterrent System X X X
Child-Proof Rear Door Locks X X X
Comfort and Convenience...
Multifunctional Center Storage Console with Sliding Armrest X X X
All-Weather Heavy Duty Floormats X X X
Driver's Seat Adjustment 5-Way Manual 8-way Power 8-way Power
Driver's Seat Height Adjustment Manual Power Power
Driver's Seat Lumbar Support . Manual Power
Front Bucket Seats X X X
Front Row Seatback Pockets . . .
60/40 Fold-Up Rear Seat with Underseat Cargo Zone X X X
2nd Row Fold-Down Armrest . . .
Leather Trimmed Front and Rear Seats . . X
Heated Front Seats . . X
Power Windows w/Auto Up/Down Driver's Window X X X
HomeLink® Remote System** . . X
Cruise Control with Steering Wheel Controls X X X
Map Lights, Front and Rear (4) X X X
Door Mounted Entry Lights (4) X X X
Front 12V DC Outlets (2) X X X
Rear 12V DC Outlet X X X
Sunglasses Holder X X X
Rear Window Defroster X X X
Coin Storage Area X X X
Driver's and Front Passenger's Illuminated Vanity Mirrors X X X
Sliding Sun Visors X X X
Climate Control...
Air Conditioning with Air-Filtration System X X X
Automatic Dual-Zone Climate Control System . X X
Rear Passenger Ventilation X X X
Outside Temperature Gauge . X X
Instrumentation and Controls...
Information Display X X X
Smart Maintenance Minder X X X
Adjustable Steering Column X X X
Rearview Mirror with Compass . . Standard (non-Navi)
Column-Mounted Shift Lever X X X
Dash-Mounted Headlight Control X X X
Remote Fuel Filler Door Release X X X
Tailgate-Open Indicator Light X X X
Low-Fuel and Low-Oil Pressure Indicator Lights X X X
Digital Clock X X X
Audio / Navigation / Entertainment...
100-Watt AM/FM/XM®-Ready/CD Audio System with 6 Speakers X . .
160-Watt AM/FM/XM®-Ready/6-Disc In-Dash CD Changer Audio System with 7 Speakers including Subwoofer . X X
XM® Satellite Radio . . w/ Moonroof
MP3/Digital Media Auxiliary Jack . . w/ Navigation
Steering Wheel-Mounted Audio Controls . X X
Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition . . Available
Honda DVD Entertainment System . . Accessory

** HomeLink® is a registered trademark of Price Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson Controls™.

2006 Honda Ridgeline - Chassis

Overview: Performance Beyond a Pickup Truck

The 2006 Honda Ridgeline is built on a new generation of truck platform with a fully independent front and rear suspension - a first for the pickup truck segment. Defying convention without compromise, the Ridgeline achieves true half-ton truck levels of payload capability, towing capacity and off-road ruggedness while maintaining Honda's sporty, safe and refined driving experience. Standard features like Vehicle Stability Assist, tire pressure monitor sensors, and 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distrubution further differentiate the Ridgeline from anything else in the pickup truck segment. More so than any other Honda product before it, front and rear suspension construction is engineered to accommodate the heavy loads and rugged demands consistent with the usage patterns of a truck.

Ridgeline Chassis Highlights

Ride, Handling and Braking

  • Integrated Closed-Box Frame with Unibody Construction with deep channel design and internal high-strength steel internal reinforcements
  • Heavy duty 4-wheel independent suspension handles big loads and towing with refined, sporty handling
  • A Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system with active yaw control integrates traction control, the VTM-4 system, Anti-lock braking, throttle control and stability control
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes with 4-Channel ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist System results in best-in-class braking performance
  • 17-inch wheels and All-Season P245/65 R17 105S tires
  • Large 12.6-inch ventilated front disc brakes and 13.1-inch solid rear disc brakes provide robust stopping power under heavy loads

Integrated Closed-Box Frame with Unibody Construction

The 2006 Honda Ridgeline uses a new generation of truck platform with a ladder frame and a unibody for enhanced levels of safety with class leading rigidity and performance. The Integrated Closed-Box Frame with Unibody Construction is engineered to balance the rugged traits of a dedicated truck frame with high levels of safety, handling and fuel economy of a unibody design. Underneath the unibody frame sits a fully integrated ladder frame comprised of seven crossmembers with high-strength steel reinforcements that create six fully boxed zones with the lower portion of the unibody. The benefit of the unibody construction (compared to traditional body on frame construction) is better space utilization and vehicle packaging, better handling, and enhanced energy absorption capabilities. MacPherson struts are used for the front suspension and a space saving multi-link with trailing arm suspension is used in the rear. (More detailed information regarding the integrated closed-box frame with unibody construction is available in the Body section.)

MacPherson Strut Front Suspension

The front suspension provides incredibly good handling for a vehicle with a large payload rating and medium-duty off-road toughness. The Ridgeline has a wide track - 67.1-inches front, 66.9-inches rear - to optimize handling precision, vehicle stability, cargo capability and interior volume. The MacPherson strut front suspension provides a generous 7.3 inches of wheel travel (4.3-inches in compression, 3.0-inches in rebound) with a moderate spring rate and firm damping. A solid 0.9-inch stabilizer bar is linked directly to the strut via ball-joint connections to resist body roll during cornering maneuvers. The small 0.05-inch scrub radius designed into the front suspension is unusual for trucks, but this feature gives the Ridgeline responsive steering response and handling that is consistent and predictable during on- and off-road situations and towing. Accelerating or hard braking with uneven traction underfoot does not cause the Ridgeline to drift off line, as is the case with many trucks. Compared to any other Honda product, the spring and damper construction along with the lower control arm and bushing construction feature unique and heavy-duty designs optimized for truck toughness.

A low roll center (6.3-inches above the ground) further improves Ridgeline's handling precision. The lower control arm bushings are designed to provide a stabilizing toe-out steering effect when loaded during braking or cornering. The L-shaped arm allows a very tight steering lock for good low-speed maneuverability. The Ridgeline's turn-circle diameter is 42.6 feet (curb-to-curb).

Front Subframe and Mounting System

The Ridgeline's engine, transaxle, transfer case, steering gear, and front suspension are all supported by a welded-steel subframe secured to the unit body's longitudinal rails through four tuned rubber isolation mounts. The front of the subframe assembly is tubular for maximum stiffness with minimal weight.

A stiffener located under each subframe attachment fastener helps stabilize the assembly, thereby sharpening handling and braking performance while enhancing the load capacity of the vehicle. A stiffener plate bolted across the subframe under the transfer case greatly increases the assembly's rigidity. Two dynamic dampers and one mass damper are positioned to counteract noise and vibration, while two fluid-filled engine mounts minimize vibration at idle and isolate powertrain NVH from the passenger compartment. The large capacity steering gear mounts and tie rods are made of heat-resistant rubber to provide good vibration isolation, a firm retention necessary for sensitive on-center-steering feel, and life-of-the-vehicle durability.

Multi-Link with Trailing Arm Rear Suspension

Honda engineers sought to bring a new generation of pickup truck to the market by re-evaluating traditional truck technology and using better technology whenever possible. As a prime example, the Ridgeline employs an independent rear suspension that provides numerous advantages compared to the traditional solid rear axle with leaf springs found on virtually all other trucks. An independent rear suspension design gives the Ridgeline an advantage in ride comfort, impact aftershake, handling response, handling stability, unsprung weight and off-road mobility. In half-ton truck applications, Ridgeline's rear suspension offers load carrying capacity, strength and durability characteristics competitive with a solid rear axle/leaf spring combination.

Like the front suspension, the multi-link rear suspension has also been tuned for heavy payload and towing toughness. The rear spring rate and damping were configured to reduce low speed compression damping and rebound damping while increasing high speed compression and rebound damping. Translation: the Ridgeline can soak up low-speed off-road conditions with low levels of harshness and then handle highway speeds with firmness and reduced body roll (low speed comfort with high-speed stability). Twin-tube, gas filled hydraulic shocks are used to ensure more precise damping control throughout the entire range of the suspension system.

The Ridgeline's rear suspension is a compact, multi-link trailing arm layout for excellent ride and handling, light weight, and optimum packaging that contributes to the pickup bed having minimal wheel well intrusions. Wheel travel is a generous 4.9 inches in compression and 3.3-inches in rebound, totaling 8.2 inches. The three links that position each rear wheel laterally run between the knuckle assembly and the subframe. A trailing arm also runs from the unibody to each rear knuckle. Coil springs sit on the lowermost lateral link and anchor against the unibody directly behind each axle shaft.

Shock absorbers, positioned inside the coil spring, feature vertical and upright positioning for optimum control and run from a low point on each knuckle to a secure attachment point on the unibody. Knuckles are an "in-wheel" design to optimize suspension geometry and packaging efficiency. Bushing compliance provides a modest toe-in effect in response to substantial cornering and braking loads to enhance dynamic stability. A tubular 1-inch anti-roll bar helps keep the body relatively flat during hard cornering. The rear roll center is positioned at a 7.2-inch height to provide linear and predictable behavior. The results speak for themselves, as the Ridgeline truly sets the standard for ride and handling in pickup trucks.

Rear Subframe

The rear subframe, which supports most of the rear suspension and the rear axle drive unit utilizes high-strength steel for high stiffness and minimal weight. A rear subframe stay helps maintain precise positioning of the rear suspension and provides improved handling precision. The shape of the rear subframe is very important since it must accommodate the drivetrain components for the VTM-4 four-wheel drive system and the multi-link rear suspension pieces while still enabling for a flat cargo floor, in-bed trunk and spare tire storage. For excellent ride, handling and payload characteristics, the subframe attaches to the unit body at four widely spaced, rubber-isolated mounting points. Rear-suspension components, especially the springs and shock absorbers, facilitate a wide, flat pickup bed and to leave room for both a spare tire and a full-size fuel tank. The rear axle drive unit is mounted to the subframe by means of rubber isolators to block road and powertrain noise and vibration from the passenger compartment.

Wheels and Tires

The Ridgeline features 17x7.5-inch diameter wheels with a 45mm offset dimension, and a five-lug bolt pattern. Large openings in the wheels provide ample brake-system ventilation. The tire size is P245/65R-17 105S and have an all-season tread pattern. The load index of "105" designates an individual load rating for each tire of 2,039 pounds. The "S" designates a speed rating of 112 miles per hour.

The compact spare tire is carried under the pickup bed floor and can be accessed through the secure In-Bed Trunk via a sliding tray. Room is provided to stow a flat or a full-size spare in the compact spare's location. A temporary location for spare tire mounting is also included in the pickup bed of the truck on the passenger-side bed wall. This additional spare tire attachment point can be a useful for conveniently carrying two spare tires when off-road, or when a load in the bed may make access to the secure In-Bed Trunk less than convenient.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

The Ridgeline features a direct Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Using a series of four sensors and four initiators (one for each tire) and a receiver to capture and relay information, the system alerts the driver when it detects that tire pressure in one or more tires drops significantly below the recommended pressure. The sensor transmitter is located inside the wheel. Should the tires be rotated around the vehicle due to normal maintenance or be replaced entirely, the new tires are "auto-located" by the system. If the system detects that tire pressure is significantly low, a low tire pressure indicator located in the meter containing the fuel level and temperature gauge will come on while a schematic of the vehicle located in the center meter housing the speedometer will indicate which tires are low.

Braking System

The Ridgeline is equipped with the pickup truck segment's most advanced braking system with four-wheel disc brakes and a four-channel Braking System designed for the heavy-duty cycles imposed by towing and heavy payloads. The brake system hardware is tuned for quick response, low effort, and short pedal travel. For optimum performance with widely varying loads, the Ridgeline features an Electronic Brake Distribution system (EBD). Brake Assist is used to assist with brake function during accident avoidance maneuvers. At the rear, a select-low braking strategy is used to preserve directional stability in slippery driving. In the event one rear wheel verges on lock-up, triggering a pressure modulation at that wheel, brake pressure is also diminished at the adjoining wheel to preserve lateral stability.

Extra-large brake rotors and calipers provide the capacity necessary for short stopping distances and excellent fade resistance - even with a heavy load in tow - and the precise pedal feel expected of a Honda. The vented front rotors are 12.6 inches in diameter and 1.1 inches thick. Solid drum-in-disc rear rotors are 13.1-inches in diameter and 0.43-inch thick. The Ridgeline features dual-piston calipers on the front wheels for even more secure stopping. A drum-type parking brake mechanism is positioned within the inner portion of the rear rotor. The compact tandem-type vacuum booster consists of two 9-inch diameter booster chambers.

Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

Ridgeline brake components are large in capacity to help handle heavy loads - both those carried on board and those towed behind. Front-to-rear brake effort proportioning is electronically regulated. The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) has four sensing and activating channels to detect a wheel on the verge of lock up. In the event this occurs, brake pressure is held, then reduced, to permit that wheel to regain traction before full braking resumes. A select-low strategy controls the braking effort at both rear wheels as soon as one nears lock up to safeguard lateral adhesion and to help avoid any tendency to spin or fishtail during hard braking.

Brake Assist

Brake Assist helps drivers apply full braking pressure in an accident avoidance situation. In an emergency braking situation when the brakes are suddenly applied, brake assist helps the driver apply full braking force via the ABS actuator. A pressure sensor detects an increase in brake fluid pressure and activates the ABS system. Braking pressure is maintained momentarily after the driver's initial braking action to help the driver stop promptly.

Importantly, Brake Assist assists the driver in obtaining full braking performance in an emergency. The Brake Assist system deactivates when the driver releases pressure on the brake pedal.

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)

For enhanced control during acceleration, cornering, and sudden collision-avoidance maneuvers, the Ridgeline is equipped with a standard 4-channel Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system that works in conjunction with the VTM-4, drive-by-wire throttle and ABS systems. This system uses sensor logic to provide active yaw control to help provide even more secure footing. Active yaw control helps the Ridgeline follow the cornering line intended (by the driver) more faithfully and naturally, greatly enhancing its stability. Unlike some competitor systems, the VSA system is full functional in 4-wheel drive modes.

The VSA system enhances vehicle stability by applying brake force to each of the Ridgeline's four disc brakes independently while also managing the throttle system. An additional benefit is the limited-slip differential effect the system provides for the front and rear wheels by applying braking force to a slipping wheel thereby redirecting driving force to the wheel with more traction.

Analyzing data that is constantly received from eight vehicle sensors monitoring speed, steering input and lateral G forces, the VSA system compares the driver's control inputs with the vehicle's actual response. If the actual response is outside a predicted response range - as can happen when cornering forces exceed the tires' performance capabilities - VSA automatically intervenes with an appropriate corrective action. In the case of oversteer, VSA applies braking to the outside front and rear wheels to counter the unintended yawing effect. If understeer is detected, VSA applies braking to the inside front and rear wheels and reduces engine power to help bring the car back onto the driver's intended course.

The VSA system in the Ridgeline has been carefully calibrated to add handling stability and predictability without intruding on the process of spirited driving. Whenever the system is actively enhancing the vehicle's stability, an indicator light flashes on the instrument panel. In addition, VSA's stability enhancement and traction control can be turned off with a cockpit switch while still leaving the Anti-lock Braking System fully functional.


The 2006 Honda Ridgeline was engineered to provide compact truck levels of towing capability with simplicity and minimal amounts of additional equipment required to utilize the maximum capacity. As a result, the Ridgeline has a long list of standard equipment geared exclusively to towing duties including automatic transmission and power steering fluid coolers, pre-wiring for both 4-pin and 7-pin trailer wiring harnesses, a dual fan radiator and heavy duty brakes.

The Ridgeline's towing capacity of 5,000 pounds allows it to haul medium-sized boat trailers, camper trailers, cargo/box trailers, personal watercraft, utility trailers and much more with confidence and ease. Engineered from the ground up with towing in mind, the ladder frame has seven crossmembers that provide bending rigidity more than 2.5 times stiffer than the best performing compact truck body-on-frame competitor and rear torsion rigidity more than 20 times stiffer. The ladder frame/unibody construction translates into towing toughness with strong load-bearing paths positioned throughout the vehicle. The transmission features a low final drive ratio, high capacity bearings, heavy-duty clutches and stronger shafts. The engine has a fresh air intake to supplement good torque production in hot weather.

Industry practice is to boast a high maximum tow rating, even though some sacrifice of passengers and cargo may be necessary to suitably accommodate such a trailer load - in some cases limiting the vehicle to one passenger to accommodate the maximum specified towing capacity. The Ridgeline's 5,000-pound rating is calculated to include up to two passengers and 200 pounds of cargo.

To help ensure that customers will be able to move a maximum-rated load up a grade from rest (such as pulling a loaded boat trailer up a launch ramp), engineers sought out the most challenging entry roads and launch ramps in the country. Through extensive field testing, they verified that the Ridgeline can handle extreme conditions.

The Ridgeline's tow hitch and other hardware needed for the job are factory engineered for dealer installation. The dealer-installed trailer hitch is a Class IV receiver-type design that bolts on with no drilling, cutting, or bumper-cover modifications. A short harness to provide electrical power to trailer lights and aftermarket trailer braking systems plug into a connector provided at the rear of the vehicle.

2006 Honda Ridgeline - Powertrain


The 2006 Honda Ridgeline's engine, transmission and four-wheel drive system are designed to handle medium duty payloads and towing or off-road driving with toughness, efficiency and agility. Respected worldwide for its ability to build engines that are both powerful and environmentally sensitive, Honda's 3.5-liter V-6 engine in the Ridgeline is no exception with high-output performance, a good level of fuel efficiency and ultra-low emissions. The standard 5-speed automatic transmission integrates design features to make towing uncomplicated from an equipment standpoint - just add a Honda accessory hitch and a quick connect electrical harness, then tow a properly equipped trailer weighing up to 5,000 pounds. The fully automatic Variable Torque Management 4-wheel drive (VTM-4) system provides confident, decision-free operation in rain, snow, ice, sand and mud, while also improving on-road and towing performance.

Compared to any other Honda vehicle, exclusive Ridgeline powertrain components include a high-mounted fresh air intake, tuned induction, standard automatic transmission fluid and power steering fluid coolers, a high capacity radiator with dual electric fans, a low final drive ratio, increased VTM-4 torque transfer and high capacity transmission components.

2006 Honda Ridgeline Powertrain Highlights:


  • 3.5-liter 60-degree V-6 with belt-driven single-overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder
  • 255 horsepower @ 5,750 rpm and 252 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,500 rpm
  • Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC)
  • Drive-by-Wire throttle system
  • Computer-controlled Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
  • Dual-stage intake manifold
  • Direct Ignition system
  • High-mounted fresh air intake
  • 105,000-mile tune-up intervals

5-speed Automatic Transmission

  • Wide-ratio design provides a first gear with extra pulling power to start heavy loads in combination with a high top gear for efficient highway cruising
  • High capacity components are engineered for towing, heavy payloads and off-road use
  • Standard ATF cooler (no additional ATF cooler needed for maximum tow rating)

Variable Torque Management 4-Wheel Drive (VTM-4)

  • Fully automatic operation provides confidence in all driving conditions
  • Lock feature for getting unstuck in slippery conditions

Fuel Economy and Exhaust Emissions

  • EPA estimated fuel economy ratings of 16 mpg in city driving and 21 mpg on the highway
  • Exhaust system uses two close-coupled primary catalyzers, and an underfloor secondary catalyzer
  • Standard Federal Tier 2, Bin 5 emissions and LEV-2 ULEV California emissions

Fun-to-Drive Performance with Towing and Hauling Capabilities

The Ridgeline's engine has been tuned to provide good performance in everyday driving situations and high-demand situations alike with a broad and flat multi-stage powerband. By combining the advanced engine technologies of VTEC with a dual stage intake manifold, a three-stage torque curve is produced that maximizes the engine's torque output at low, middle and high RPMs. This translates into good off-the-line performance with generous power being delivered right at throttle tip-in and all the way up to the engine's redline. The Ridgeline has the power to get a heavy trailer moving, confidently pass a vehicle on a two-lane road or pull onto the freeway with authority.

Engine Architecture

The Honda Ridgeline's engine is an advanced transversely-mounted 3.5-liter, SOHC, 24-valve, 60-degree, V-6, aluminum-block-and-head design that is compact, lightweight and powerful. A long list of technologies has been engineered to provide 255 horsepower, a unique three-stage torque curve, very low emissions, high fuel efficiency for a truck, and instantaneous throttle response. The VTEC valvetrain and dual-stage intake manifold optimize cylinder filling efficiency across the engine's entire operating range while also enhancing low end torque. Low-restriction intake and exhaust systems, a 10.0:1 compression ratio, and roller-type rocker arms also aid efficiency.

Engine Block

The Ridgeline's 3.5-liter die-cast engine block is made from heat-treated aluminum to minimize weight. A deep-skirt configuration rigidly supports the crankshaft, minimizing noise and vibration. Thin-wall, centrifugally cast iron liners help reduce overall weight. Each liner's rough as-cast exterior surface bonds securely to surrounding aluminum during the manufacturing process to increase strength and enhance heat transfer.

Crankshaft, Connecting Rods and Pistons

A forged-steel crankshaft is used for maximum strength, rigidity, and durability with minimum weight. Instead of bulkier, heavier nuts and bolts, connecting rod caps are secured in place with smaller, high-tensile-strength fasteners that screw directly into the connecting rod. Short-skirt, cast-aluminum, flat-top pistons are notched for valve clearance and fitted with full-floating piston pins.

Cylinder Head

The Ridgeline utilizes innovative cylinder heads that include tuned exhaust manifolds as an integral part of the casting. Made of pressure-cast, low-porosity aluminum, these lightweight components improve overall packaging, enhance exhaust flow and permit optimal positioning of the primary close coupled catalytic converters.

Unlike many trucks, the Honda Ridgeline has four-valve combustion chambers, the best approach to optimum performance with excellent fuel efficiency and very low emissions.

Valves are clustered near the center of the bore to minimize combustion chamber volume and to provide ample squish area. A 10.0:1 compression ratio helps maximize thermal efficiency, power output, and fuel mileage. One centrally located camshaft per bank is driven by a fiberglass-reinforced toothed belt. Head gaskets are made of high-strength materials to contain combustion pressures.

Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC™)

The Ridgeline's innovative Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) is one key to maximizing engine output across the full operating range. The high-rpm induction lobes of the camshaft provide additional valve lift to help increase peak horsepower. Ordinary engines have fixed valvetrain parameters - the same timing of valve lift and overlap whether the tachometer needle is struggling to climb out of the low-rpm range or screaming at the redline. The VTEC approach, however, has two distinct modes so that operation of the intake valves changes to optimize both volumetric efficiency (breathing) and combustion of the fuel-air mixture. In order to achieve the optimum volumetric efficiency in the lower portion of the engine's operating range, rocker arms are programmed to follow cam lobes that provide low lift and reduced duration (shorter time open with less valve lift).

At 4400 rpm, the Ridgeline's powertrain control module commands the VTEC system to switch intake valve operation to the high-rpm mode. In response, an electric spool valve opens to route pressurized oil to small pistons within the intake-valve rocker arms. These pistons then slide to lock the three rocker arms provided for each cylinder together. As a result, both intake valves follow a central high-lift, longer-duration cam lobe. The switching process takes just 0.1 second and is undetectable by the driver.

The extra lift and longer duration provide the added air and fuel the engine needs to produce high peak horsepower and a broader torque band. Instead of a peaky engine, the Ridgeline has a powerplant that provides excellent performance at any engine speed whether it's towing a boat, hauling a load of gravel, or just getting on the freeway.

Dual Stage Induction Manifold

The induction system atop the Ridgeline's V-6 engine works in concert with the VTEC valvetrain to significantly boost torque across the engine's full operating range. Internal passages and two butterfly valves commanded by the powertrain control module are configured to provide two distinct modes of operation. The valves are closed at lower rpms. In this mode, the three cylinders on each bank draw air from only the nearer half of the manifold's internal chamber, or plenum. The volume of the plenum and the length of inlet passages are both tuned to maximize the resonance effect, wherein pressure waves are amplified within each half of the intake manifold at certain rpm ranges. The amplified pressure waves significantly increase cylinder filling and the torque produced by the engine throughout the lower part of its rpm band. Funnel-shaped intake ports - similar to those used on racing engines - are built in at the uppermost end of each intake runner to improve air flow.

As the benefits of the resonance effect dwindle with rising rpm, the butterfly valves open at approximately 3700 rpm to interconnect the two halves of the plenum, doubling its volume. An electric motor commanded by the powertrain control module directly opens and closes the connecting butterfly valves. Now each cylinder draws intake air from the full plenum chamber. The inertia of the mass of air rushing down each intake passage helps draw in more charge than each cylinder would normally ingest. This phenomenon is the same effect produced by a low-pressure supercharger. The inertia effect greatly enhances cylinder filling efficiency and the torque produced by the engine at higher rpm. Concurrently, the VTEC system has switched from low-speed to high-speed valve timing to further enhance air flow through the intake valves and into each cylinder.

The net effect of the Ridgeline's dual-stage intake manifold and VTEC valve train is that Ridgeline delivers more than many of the large V-6s and small V-8s used by the competition, while also providing superior fuel efficiency and very low emissions. More than 90-percent of peak torque is available from 2500 to 5500 rpm.

High-Mounted Fresh Air Intake

The Ridgeline has a high-mounted fresh air intake system that reduces air intake temperatures to help improve low-end torque while protecting against water intrusion into the engine. To supplement good off-road and towing capabilities, the fresh air intake is mounted just above the front bulkhead (underneath the front of the hood.)

Programmed Fuel Injection

Fuel is delivered in sequence and timed to each cylinder's induction stroke by six injectors mounted on the lower portion of the intake manifold. These injectors optimize the fuel spray pattern, and improve fuel atomization for increased fuel mileage and reduced emissions. A 32-bit, 80MHz central processor unit (CPU) within the Ridgeline's powertrain control module calculates injection timing and duration after assessing an array of sensor signals: crankshaft and camshaft position, throttle position, coolant temperature, intake manifold pressure and temperature, atmospheric pressure, and exhaust-gas oxygen content. The CPU controlling the Ridgeline's Programmed Multi-Point Fuel Injection (PFM-FI), VTEC valvetrain, dual-stage intake manifold and the transmission also communicates with CPUs that regulate the drive-by-wire throttle, the Variable Torque Management 4-wheel-drive system and the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA).

Drive-by-Wire Throttle

The Ridgeline features an innovative drive-by-wire throttle system that replaces a conventional throttle cable arrangement with an all-electronic system that senses the throttle pedal position and relays that information to a computer. The computer then performs the actual throttle activation instantaneously. The Ridgeline's drive-by-wire system works by means of a throttle pedal sensor, a throttle angle sensor, an electronic control unit and a DC motor to control throttle opening and provide fail-safe throttle operation. This system allows for throttle control to be integrated into the VSA and VTM-4 systems and also incorporates the cruise control function. To improve shifting smoothness, the drive-by-wire system controls the throttle during transmission shifts. To maximize driving feel, throttle pedal characteristics are calibrated to be smooth and linear during start up, when driving on ice or other low traction surfaces, and more responsive during acceleration.

Direct Ignition System and Knock Control

Maintaining the correct ignition timing throughout all operating conditions is essential to producing maximum power, using fuel efficiently and minimizing emissions. A powertrain control module (PCM) examines various engine functions as well as a block-mounted acoustic knock sensor to determine optimum ignition timing. In relation to octane rating of fuel, the PCM retards ignition timing as needed to forestall detonation. As a result, the engine constantly operates at the point of peak efficiency. Spark is supplied to iridium-tipped, long-life spark plugs by six coil units positioned directly over the plugs in the cylinder-head access bores.

105,000 Mile Tune-Up Intervals

Before 105,000 miles of driving, the only maintenance necessary is routine inspections and fluid and filter changes. At 105,000 miles, the valves should be adjusted, the timing belt should be replaced, the water pump should be inspected and the iridium-tipped spark plugs should be replaced.

Exhaust System

The Ridgeline employs a high-flow single exhaust system that helps to generate additional horsepower while still maintaining strict emissions standards. A low-restriction, high-flow exhaust system is crucial to efficient power and torque production. The Ridgeline features a high efficiency system that incorporates several key elements that work in concert with the engine's uniquely designed cylinder heads to help boost performance, reduce tailpipe emissions and trim weight. Major system components include two close-coupled catalytic converters, a secondary underfloor catalytic converter, a centrally positioned, high-flow resonator and a silencer. The close coupled catalytic converters provide almost double the surface opening of the single underfloor unit they replace and mount directly to the cylinder head to reduce light off time, thereby allowing the catalyst to begin cleansing the exhaust as soon possible. The catalysts, muffling element, and piping are all sized for high flow and low restriction. High-chromium stainless steel is used throughout the exhaust system for excellent durability.

5-Speed Automatic Transmission

The Ridgeline features a compact 5-speed automatic transmission that utilizes a 4-shaft design layout. This configuration, together with a super flat torque converter allows for a compact transmission design. This unit's design utilizes wide gear ratios, which enhance low-speed pulling capability and the ability to cruise efficiently on the highway.

A lock-up torque converter helps maximize fuel efficiency. Torque-converter lock-up and shift timing are both managed by a 32-bit, PGM-FI CPU that maintains a communications link with the engine's CPU.

Creative use of clutched idler gears permits the transmission to provide five forward speeds with little more weight or bulk than a typical four-speed automatic. A one-way clutch is provided for first gear to smooth upshift quality.

The Ridgeline has the highest tow rating of any Honda vehicle. In response, powertrain engineers further enhanced transmission capabilities. Gear and shaft materials, as well as the transmission case itself, are all engineered to support towing, off-road, and payload hauling needs. A direct-control strategy provides real-time pressure management of the transmission's clutches. Various safety and control strategies coordinate engine and transmission operation. For example, driveline shocks during up- or downshifts are minimized by momentarily reducing engine torque during the shift. For driving through hilly terrain, a Grade Logic Control system monitors throttle position, vehicle speed, acceleration and deceleration to avoid hunting and excessive shifting. A lower gear is held for a longer-than-normal period to provide better climbing ability on hills and more engine braking on downhill grades.

Automatic Transmission Cooler and Power Steering Cooler

The Ridgeline provides "simplified towing for everyone" by including a large ATF cooler as standard equipment. An ATF cooler contributes to long-term reliability by keeping damaging heat out of the transmission. Often an option, most vehicles used for towing require a transmission cooler in order to properly utilize the maximum advertised towing capacity. The Ridgeline's standard ATF cooler is mounted in front of the engine's radiator. Also related to towing and heavy payloads, the Ridgeline features a power steering cooler to help dissipate power steering fluid heat build up that can occur when hauling heavy loads or towing (see the chassis section for more information).

Variable Torque Mangement 4-Wheel Drive System (VTM-4™)

After studying various all-wheel- and four-wheel-drive systems offered by the wide variety of pickups on the market today, Ridgeline engineers concluded that virtually every one had functional shortcomings and was undesirably bulky and heavy. The direct result of that research was to use Honda's innovative fully automatic VTM-4 system. This fully automatic 4WD system is the best match for the Ridgeline owner and proactively distributes torque to all four wheels as needed. This system provides front-wheel drive for dry-pavement cruising conditions and engages all-wheel drive when needed to improve stability or maneuverability. Unlike many competitive systems that use an engagement strategy triggered by wheel slippage, the Ridgeline's VTM-4 system anticipates the need for all-wheel drive and engages the rear wheels before slippage begins. Additional torque is redistributed to the rear for improved performance during acceleration, especially on low friction surfaces and during towing. In addition, the VSA system provides a limited-slip differential effect by applying braking force to a slipping front wheel thereby directing driving force to the wheel with more grip.

Another special feature is a "VTM-4" lock button, located on the instrument panel, which temporarily holds engagement of both rear wheels to aid traction

VTM-4 Modes of Operation

There are three distinct modes of VTM-4 engagement. The first - called the acceleration torque control (ATC) mode - is unique to this system. It works even on dry pavement to proactively distribute driving torque to all four wheels as the Ridgeline accelerates from a stop to cruising speed. One notable benefit of this mode is that traction is immediately available to move the vehicle from rest through a slippery intersection before slippage occurs. (Once a wheel slips, the traction available for forward propulsion and lateral restraint is significantly diminished.)

A second advantage is that apportioning drive torque among all four wheels greatly diminishes the likelihood of torque steer. Handling dynamics are also improved. Reducing the propulsive force carried by the front tires leaves more adhesion for steering the vehicle into a tight bend or for holding cornering arc in the middle of a turn. In other words, the Ridgeline's dynamic balance is greatly enhanced by ATC logic.

Rear wheel torque rises smoothly from zero to the optimum setting in proportion to vehicle acceleration (both forward and reverse). At higher speeds, the front wheels are capable of providing the desired thrust with excellent handling so torque delivered to the rear wheels automatically diminishes with speed. While cruising, all driving torque is delivered by the front wheels in the interests of smoothness, quietness, and fuel efficiency.

The second engagement mode uses wheel slippage control logic. If the difference in rotational speed between front and rear wheels rises because of a slippery surface or poor traction at the front of the vehicle, that condition is detected by wheel-speed sensors which are monitored by VTM-4's ECU. In response, the ECU commands an increasing amount of torque for the rear wheels. Torque is proportional to both slip rate and the rate at which the slip rate is increasing. This operation is similar to conventional slip-based all-wheel-drive systems already on the market.

The third mode of all-wheel-drive engagement activates when the driver presses the lock button mounted on the instrument panel. The maximum amount of rear-drive torque is locked in until the vehicle gets moving and exceeds six mph, at which time rear drive torque is gradually diminished. By 18 mph, the lock mode is fully disengaged. When vehicle speed drops below 18 mph, the lock mode automatically reengages. The shift lever must be in the first, second, or reverse-gear position to use the lock mode.

The maximum torque delivered to the rear wheels allows the Ridgeline to claw up a 28-degree (53-percent slope) dirt grade. On a split-mu (split-friction) grade (different amounts of traction at each wheel), VTM-4 automatically provides sufficient rear-wheel torque to help the vehicle climb steep and slippery terrain such as a steep driveway with patches of snow and ice.

Propeller Shafts and Half Shafts

The two-piece propeller shaft that carries drive torque from the transfer case to the rear-drive unit is made of high-strength steel tubing to permit a smaller diameter, thereby improving both ground clearance and interior room. The cross yokes attached at each end by friction welding are forged steel for high strength and low weight. The center support bearing is rubber isolated to block the transmission of driveline noise from the interior of the vehicle. A low-friction plunge joint located near the center of the propeller shaft accommodates relative motion between front- and rear-mounted driveline components. A tuned-mass damper inside the front portion of the propeller shaft cancels any bending tendency in response to powertrain vibrations.

Equal-length, front-wheel half-shafts have a plunge joint at their inboard end and a ball-type universal joint at the wheel end. Rear half-shafts are similar in design but use a double-offset joint at the inboard end and a ball joint at the outboard end. All universal joints are constant-velocity type.

VTM-4 Rear Differential

The Ridgeline's rear axle unit does not use a conventional differential. Instead, a hypoid ring-and-pinion gear set supported by a cast-aluminum housing switches torque from the propeller shaft's longitudinal orientation to the lateral orientation necessary to drive the rear wheels.

A connection from the ring gear to each wheel's half-shaft is made by left- and right-side clutches. Each drive clutch consists of three elements: an electromagnetic coil, a ball-cam device, and a set of 19 wet clutch plates which are similar in design to clutches used in an automatic transmission. Ten of the plates are splined (mechanically connected) to the ring gear while nine of the plates are splined to a half shaft. Left and right clutches are identical.

The VTM-4 system's electronic control unit (ECU) determines torque which is to be distributed to the rear wheels, then electric current is sent to the two electromagnetic coils. The resulting magnetic field moves a rotating steel plate toward each fixed coil. Friction between that steel plate and an adjoining cam plate causes the cam plate to begin turning. As it does, three balls per clutch roll up curved ramps, creating an axial thrust against a clutch-engagement plate. This thrust force compresses the wet clutch plates, thereby engaging drive to the corresponding rear wheel.

Unlike mechanically actuated four-wheel drive systems, the VTM-4 system is infinitely variable. The amount of torque provided to the rear wheels is directly proportional to the electric current sent from the ECU and can be adjusted from zero to a preset maximum. This current constantly changes to deliver the optimum rear torque calculated by the ECU. An internal gear pump circulates VTM-4 fluid to cool and lubricate the clutches, bearings, and gears within the rear drive unit. Use of high-strength, low-weight materials - such as die-cast aluminum for the housing - minimizes the bulk and weight of this hardware, helping to keep the weight of the entire all-wheel-drive system to about 212-pounds.

2006 Honda Ridgeline - Body

Overview: New Generation Pickup Truck Packaging with Safety and Rigidity

The 2006 Honda Ridgeline represents a new generation of pickup truck designed to be strong and intelligently adaptable to the needs of its users with features not available anywhere else. Honda's approach to body construction incorporates a heavy-duty unibody design for sophisticated packaging and safety with a lower ladder frame for truck toughness. Benefits to this approach have resulted in a first-ever in-bed cargo well; a spacious interior; a large pickup bed with minimal wheel well intrusions; and handling, safety and NVH qualities that outperform conventional pickup truck designs.

Body Summary

  • Athletic stance styling with new truck proportions and one-piece cab-to-bed design
  • Integrated Closed-Box Frame with Unibody Construction has reinforced deep channel construction with a closed box ladder frame
  • 5-foot long bed (6 1/2 - foot with tailgate down) with 4-feet, 1-inch of space between the wheel wells
  • Secure In-Bed Trunk with a volume of 8.5 cubic feet
  • Dual-Action Tailgate swings down or to the side and can support heavy loads
  • Anticipated five star front and side impact safety ratings for NHTSA NCAP and SINCAP tests
  • Vehicle-to-vehicle crash compatibility and pedestrian safety designs

Athletic Stance with New Truck Proportions and One-Piece Billet Design

The exterior styling of the Ridgeline is built to convey a modern and strong appearance with honesty toward the vehicle's performance while introducing Honda's unique 21st century pickup truck style. As if carved out of a single block of steel, the billet construction styling concept emphasizes a new kind of pickup "strength" and is evident in the seamless one-piece construction from the cab to the bed (most trucks have separate cabs and beds with a large gap between each section). Details like the integrated bumpers, window shapes and body panel indents blend with the general trajectory of the vehicle's lines to further build on symmetry associated with billet construction. The end result is a pickup truck with proportions built around an athletic stance with short front and rear overhangs, a dominating grille connected to a long and expansive hood with details like large door handles and large side mirrors delivering on traditional truck-functional styling cues.

Advanced Body Structure with Integrated Closed Box Frame with Unibody Construction

The Ridgeline rides on a ladder frame with unibody construction that is 93 percent unique to any Honda vehicle. Major components consist of a fully boxed ladder frame with reinforced deep channel construction and a full unibody structure integrated above the ladder frame. Supplemental components include a robust rear cabin panel and a bed with high strength steel cross members. This approach balances the rugged and durable traits of a traditional pickup truck with the excellent packaging, safety and performance advantages of a unibody frame. From a torsional and bending rigidity standpoint (an overall rating of a frame's performance), the Ridgeline's frame technology delivers impressively with a structure that has bending rigidity 2.5 times stiffer than the best performing body-on-frame compact truck, and rear torsional rigidity that is more than 20 times stiffer. Frame rails and seven fully boxed cross supports with deep channel construction combined with the extensive use of high strength steel contribute to the frame's surprising toughness and performance. Benefits of a rigid body also include better NVH, better ride and handling, a more solid feeling, improved fit and finish, and less potential for squeaks and rattles.

Deep Channel Construction with Internal High Strength Steel Reinforcements

Designed to be pickup-truck-tough from the inside out, the Ridgeline's deep channel frame rails are up to 70 percent taller compared to similar (but not the same) components used on a Honda Pilot and are internally reinforced with high-strength steel for incredible rigidity and reduced bending under heavy pickup truck loads such as towing.
Fully Boxed Ladder Frame
A ladder frame gives the Ridgeline true truck DNA and provides a strong and rigid foundation for the its mission of 5,000-pound trailer towing, 1,550-pound payload hauling and off-road driving. The ladder frame consists of seven fully boxed cross members that connect to the deep channel high strength steel reinforced frame rails.

Unibody Structure

Unibody structures (also commonly referred to as a unit body) are generally regarded by engineers as a design that delivers superior rigidity, crash safety, a refined ride and sporty handling compared to body-on-frame vehicles. Virtually every modern car uses some sort of unibody construction, yet trucks have maintained the older style body-on-frame construction for hauling, towing and cargo applications typical of commercial use (and for production flexibility with multiple vehicle variations on same platforms, i.e. long and short wheelbases, pickups and SUVs, etc.) The Ridgeline design incorporates the best parts of a body-on-frame structure (ladder frame) with the sophistication of a unibody structure to deliver capabilities more in-tune with mainstream consumer applications.

Honda's unibody design disseminates load-bearing structural elements throughout the entire body of the vehicle. This results in a relatively lightweight, high-energy absorption body with approximately 44 percent of the structure made from high strength steel. The structure is above the ladder frame and wraps around the cab to create a safety cage. Additionally, the pickup bed area incorporates extensive use of high strength steel with three heavy-duty crossmembers to support heavy loads on the SMC composite floor, which also benefits torsional rigidity. Since heavy cargo can be hauled in the pickup bed and could be forced forward in a collision, careful consideration was given to the rear cab construction with a strong rear cabin panel with cross members positioned to prevent intrusion from cargo.

Like all Hondas, the Ridgeline's unibody is designed with the primary goal of channeling collision forces away from the passenger compartment. The Ridgeline's overall safety concept, which includes dual-stage front airbags, front side airbags and side curtain airbags as standard equipment, is anticipated to meet the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's 5-star ratings for both front and side impacts.

Exterior Dimensions

The Ridgeline is the widest midsize truck on the market with a width that approaches a full size truck. Through clever packaging, the Ridgeline also has one of the shortest overall lengths in the compact pickup segment for a vehicle with a 5-foot bed. This makes parking in garages and parking lots easier while maintaining a competitive amount of cargo space.

Ridgeline Exterior Dimensions vs. Other Pickup Trucks

. 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTS 2005 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Doublecab V-6 AT Short Bed 2005 Dodge Dakota 4D Quad Cab SLT 4WD V-6 AT 2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac XLT 4x4 2005 Ford F-150 SuperCab 4x4 5.5-ft. Styleside
Type Compact Truck Compact Truck Compact Truck Compact SUT Full-Size Truck
Overall Length
206.8 208.1 218.8 205.9 223.8
Overall Width (in.) 76.3 74.6 72.0 71.8 78.9

Pickup Bed

The Ridgeline's highly durable pickup bed is engineered to conveniently transport a wide variety of modules from motorcycles or ATVs to gravel or 4x8 sheets of plywood in its 5-foot long bed (6 _ feet with the tailgate down). The bed width measures 4-feet, 1-inch between the wheel wells, which only intrude into the cargo bay by a few inches - much less than the wheel well intrusions on traditional body-on-frame trucks. Bed width from wall to wall just above the small wheel wells measures 4 feet, 6 inches. The most innovative feature on the Ridgeline, however, is the weather-tight In-Bed Trunk that provides 8.5 cubic feet of secure and lockable storage (about two-thirds the volume of an Accord Coupe trunk with dimensions large enough for three golf bags). The Ridgeline is the first and only truck to offer this type of high-volume storage feature.

Ridgeline Pickup Bed Dimensions vs. Other Pickup trucks

2006 Honda Ridgeline RTS
2005 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Doublecab V-6 AT Short Bed
2005 Dodge Dakota 4D Quad Cab Laramie 4WD V-6 AT
2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac XLT 4x4
2005 Ford F-150 SuperCab 4x4 5.5-ft. Styleside
Compact Truck
Compact Truck
Compact Truck
Compact SUT
Full-Size Truck
Bed Length
Bed Width - wheel well to well (in.)
Bed Height (in.)

The pickup bed features a payload rating of 1,100 pounds and has a floor constructed of SMC (sheet molding composite) that is dent resistant, corrosion resistant and comes with a durable non-slip coating. Under-floor construction is also heavy duty with three high strength steel cross members that add strength and durability to the bed.

As the leading manufacturer of motorcycles and ATVs in the world, Honda knows how riders use those products. Therefore, the Ridgeline has been designed to transport those vehicles with the most accommodating features possible. The bed has been optimized for hauling motorcycles with three sets of wheel supports in the front bed wall for hauling one or two motorcycles. Six heavy-duty tie-down cleats capable of holding 350 pounds each are strategically positioned for motorcycles and help to confidently secure heavy loads like ATVs and other large cargo. The tailgate features a dynamic load rating of 300 pounds - more than enough to carry the largest ATV Honda makes. Four courtesy lights are positioned in the front and rear of the bed to make loading and unloading easier at night, and are activated by a switch or when the tailgate swings open to the side. Plus, the secure In-Bed Trunk is the perfect place to store the gear and equipment that often accompany those vehicles. An accessory motorcycle ramp and wheel guides are available.

Dual-Action Tailgate

The Ridgeline's innovative dual-action tailgate offers industry-leading tailgate strength, durability and toughness with unparalleled flexibility, user friendliness and integration with the pickup bed and In-Bed Trunk. In swing mode, the tailgate opens at a 30-degree increment to allow for access in tight spaces and fully opens to 80 degrees to allow for easy access to the in-bed cargo well and lifting objects into the bed. The swing mode also allows for easy debris removal (like gravel and dirt) from the space between the bumper and the tailgate opening (an issue with some tailgate designs). The pickup bed courtesy lights are activated when the tailgate is opened in swing mode. If the vehicle is put in drive with tailgate opened in swing mode, a warning chime and indicator light is activated inside the vehicle.

While driving, the tailgate's dynamic load capacity is rated at 300 pounds in consideration of forces that may be magnified by hitting bumps. The tailgate is designed to close even with contaminates like sand, snow or mud in the crack between the bumper and the tailgate. An accessory tubular bed extender is available to increase the enclosed bed area.

Steel-Reinforced Composite (SRC) Cargo Bed

The Ridgeline's Steel Reinforced Composite (SRC) Cargo Bed uses Sheet Molding Composite (SMC) for the bed floor construction and is supported by three high strength steel crossmembers. SMC is a mixture of structural fiberglass and polyvinyl ester resin that is coated with a high grip additive that has non-slip qualities like a high-quality bed liner. The entire bed area, including the steel-constructed sidewalls and tailgate, is also coated in the same high grip finish. Advantages to SMC compared with traditional steel include greater resistance to dents with higher impact strength and 100 percent resistance to corrosion. Additional features include seamless integration of bag hooks and storage divider molding in the In-Bed Trunk. No bedliner is necessary or recommended. The SMC bed survives a severe rock drop test with only minimal scratching.

Secure In-Bed Trunk

The Ridgeline is the first and only pickup truck to offer a secure and high volume In-Bed Trunk area that can be accessed from the top like a traditional trunk. This significant feature is made possible by the space savings afforded by unibody construction and addresses a major drawback to traditional pickup truck designs - there is no or very little secure and integrated storage outside of the cab. The weather resistant and secure In-Bed Trunk area measures 8.5 cubic feet and is large enough to accommodate three golf bags or a large 72-quart insulated cooler. The secure In-Bed Trunk is also ideal for hauling motorcycle, ATV or boating gear that might be considered too dirty to put in the cab, yet too nice to leave in the open if away from the vehicle or exposed to the weather, i.e. protective clothing, helmets, toolboxes, etc. Bag hooks are molded into the storage well lip, and there are three divider slots molded into the well sides for accessory dividers.

The load supporting secure In-Bed Trunk lid opens from the rear of the vehicle and is hinged about midway in the pickup bed floor. The secure In-Bed Trunk well features SMC construction with weather stripping around the perimeter of the lid. There is a drain hole for cleaning the inside of the trunk. The lid can be opened by the handle, the key cylinder, an electronic switch inside the glove box (which has a valet switch is in the glove box for security) or by an emergency safety release inside the lid.

The spare tire is stored inside the secure In-Bed Trunk compartment in a secure, clean and dry environment (all other pickup trucks have exposed spare tire storage underneath the rear of the vehicle that is relatively inconvenient and dirty). The spare tire fits in a sliding tray just forward of the cargo area along with a jack and related tools for changing the tire. The temporary spare tire size is 17x4T. A full size spare tire is available as an accessory. The spare tire storage area is designed to hold a full sized tire in the event of flat or if the full size spare tire is utilized. An alternate temporary spare tire location is positioned on the side of the bed.

Off-Road Geometry

The Ridgline's off-road ground clearance meets medium duty off-road standards and is competitive with the four-door pickup truck segment. The clearance of the Ridgeline allows for good performance in a variety of environments including steep hill climbs, water fording, sand dunes, rock-strewn terrain and un-maintained/rutty trails.

Ground Clearance (in.)
Approach Angle (degrees)
Break Over Angle (degrees)
Departure Angle (degrees)

Heavy Duty Front and RearTow Hooks

The Ridgeline features two heavy-duty tow hooks, one each in the front and rear of the vehicle. Each tow hook is strong enough to pull the vehicle's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The design of the hook accommodates chains or nylon recovery straps with and without metal hooks on the end.

Large Folding Side Mirrors

Large side mirrors suitable for towing duties are standard equipment. All trim levels feature power mirrors, and models equipped with a leather interior are also heated. The mirrors fold to allow for parking in tight spaces. The mirrors' aerodynamic shape helps minimize wind noise.

Refined Fit and Finish

Attention to detail is one trait that helps set the Ridgeline apart from the competition. Highly engineered fit and finish details result in minimal gaps between body panels and exterior features. The end result is a refined, tight appearance that speaks to the overall quality of the vehicle with the smallest gaps between body panels in the pickup truck segment. For example, the gap between the hood and the bumper is 5.0 mm and the gap between the headlights and fender is 1.0 mm.


A large factory-installed moonroof that measures 36 inches by 18 inches is available on Ridgelines equipped with the leather interior. Since wind noise can be annoying when the sunroof is open, a wind deflector is provided that automatically rises into the air stream when the glass moonroof is opened. An aluminum blade and composite end pieces are used to save weight. As a result of the wind deflector, the Ridgeline is one of the quietest trucks on the market with the moonroof in either the open or closed position.

Fuel System

The fuel tank is positioned in front of the rear axle and can hold 22 gallons of fuel.
The fuel tank is molded of high-density polyethylene for low weight, freedom from corrosion and impact resistance. It is positioned immediately ahead of the rear wheels to help guard against collision damage. A high-efficiency fuel pump is housed inside the fuel tank. The fuel-filter is a lifetime design that never needs replacement. The Ridgeline complies with all evaporative emissions, on-board diagnostics, and refueling vapor recovery requirements. The fuel vapor canister is protected against rock and debris damage by a deflection shield.


The Ridgeline headlamps have an aggressive single projector beam-style design with halogen lamps for bright and refined lighting. The lamp assemblies feature a tinted outer lens that wraps around the edge of the vehicle. The running lamps and front turn signals are housed inside. The headlights have an auto-off feature.

Exterior Courtesy Lighting

Exterior courtesy lighting includes pickup bed lights and entry lights mounted on the inside of the door panels. Four courtesy lights illuminate the pickup bed. Two are located at the front of the bed in the C-pillar for illumination from above, and two are located near the rear of the bed to spread light onto the tailgate and into the depths of the secure In-Bed Trunk.

Windshield Wipers

All Ridgelines feature variable speed intermittent wipers. The wipers rest on an automatic heated wiper zone that helps prevent the wipers from getting stuck when the temperature drops below freezing (see the interior section for more information regarding the automatic heated wiper zone). The standard windshield washer has a large reservoir for the additional demands of long haul and off-highway travel.

Hidden Roof-Mounted Antenna

A hidden antenna runs along the rear section of the roof (behind the third brake light) that eliminates the need for a conventional pole-type antenna or glass-integrated antenna. Stretching horizontally from C-pillar to C-pillar, the antenna resides inside the bodywork with no external indication of its existence whatsoever. The antenna features an electronic amplifier and receives AM/FM signals.

Safety Construction

Omni-Directional Safety Structure

A passenger compartment safety shell design is used to protect occupants with structural "rings" at the A, B and C pillars that run continuously around the circumference of the vehicle to help minimize intrusion during side impacts. High tensile-strength steel tubular beams inside the door structure at wheel height provide additional intrusion resistance. A single-piece side-ring design is used to assure tight and consistent fit and finish in the critical closure areas (doors and windows), and the doors are made using laser-welded tailored blanks. This innovative door design uses higher-gauge steel in high-stress areas and lighter gauge steel in other areas to save weight yet maintain structural integrity for durability and safety. About 44-percent of the Ridgeline's steel body parts are high-tensile steel. Longitudinal rails, floor cross members, and pillar reinforcements that carry heavy loads are made of the stronger heavier gauge steel.

Vehicle-to-Vehicle Compatibility

The Ridgeline has a front bumper system that helps to improve compatibility between vehicles of different sizes with significantly enhanced occupant protection and reduced aggressivity toward other vehicles in a collision. This body structure employs a front-end frame structure that helps reduce the potential for misalignment with the frame of the opposing vehicle whether it's small or large.

Pedestrian Safety

Honda's commitment to safety extends to pedestrians as well as vehicle occupants. To help reduce pedestrian injuries in the event of a collision, the Ridgeline's hood and fender areas were designed to deform if contacted by the head of an adult or child pedestrian. Energy-absorbing collapsible hood supports and fender mounts allow substantial deformation in an impact, allowing the engineering team to meet its target for pedestrian safety.

2006 Honda Ridgeline - Interior

Overview: Innovative Packaging with Quality and Refinement

The Ridgeline's interior is built around a wide, spacious and deep cabin design made possible by the packaging freedom of a unibody frame. Although the exterior length resembles a compact 4-door pickup, the width is the same as a full-size truck, giving the Ridgeline an interior volume in the same league as a full-size truck. The cabin's flexible space intelligently accommodates both people and cargo with room for five persons and a 60/40 Lift-Up Rear Seat with Underseat Storage accommodates a wide variety of modules. In seating mode, the rear seats offer storage room underneath ideal for hauling a golfbag, shotguns, toolboxes or similar items. With the rear seats folded up against the rear wall, a large 54-quart cooler or a full size mountain bike with its front wheel removed can fit lengthwise in the second row - a feature that allows for precious cargo, like the contents of the cooler or the mountain bike, to be securely stored inside the vehicle.

2006 Honda Ridgeline Interior Highlights

  • Large interior (112.0 cu.-ft.) with comfortable 5-passenger seating
  • Innovative packaging with 60/40 Lift-Up Rear Seat with Underseat Storage
  • Durable materials with refined fit and finish
  • Large multi-function center console with sliding armrest
  • Family-friendly rear seat with three LATCH positions
  • Power windows, locks and cruise control
  • Standard Climate Control with rear ventilation outlets
  • Beverage holders in armrests and rear door linings
  • Automatic heated windshield wiper zone
  • Available leather interior and power moonroof
  • Available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition
  • Available XM Satellite Radio

Interior Features


  • Side curtain airbags with rollover sensor
  • Dual-stage, dual threshold front airbags
  • Front driver side airbag and front passenger side airbag with OPDS
  • Driver and front passenger pre-tensioning seatbelts with load limiters
  • Three-point seat belts and adjustable head restraints in all seating positions

Comfort and Convenience

  • Power windows and locks
  • Power sliding rear cabin window
  • Cruise control
  • 100-Watt AM/FM Audio System with CD Player (RT)
  • Premium 160-Watt AM/FM/XM-ready Audio System with 6-disc CD Changer and Subwoofer (RTS and RTL)
  • Available Moonroof with Power Slide and Tilt (RTL)
  • XM Satellite Radio ready (standard on moonroof-equipped vehicles)
  • 8-Way Power Driver's Seat with Manual Lumbar Support (RTS/Power Lumbar Support on RTL)
  • Large multi-function storage console with hidden storage and sliding armrest
  • 60/40 Split Flip Up Second Row Seat with underseat storage
  • Front and rear all-weather rubber floor mats
  • Rearview Mirror with Compass (RTL)
  • Auto Door Lock/Unlock


  • Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition (available RTL)
  • Smart Maintenance Service Reminder
  • Large Information Display

Interior Styling Concept

Honda designers started with the image of a firehouse "dual-duty" concept for living and working. From there, design features were chosen that focus on a powerful build quality with honest and strong materials to create an open living area with space utilization set to accommodate "extra large" proportions. Like a firehouse, the Ridgeline has a command center (instrument panel with precise and rugged controls), a large living area (generous front row space) and a cavernous storage/garage bay (second row with wide door openings and a flat floor). Results of this approach can be found in details like large door handles that can be operated with gloves, big storage boxes built into the doors and instrument panel, and ergonomics that emulate that of a power tool.

Like all Honda vehicles, the Ridgeline's interior is designed with a world-class level of refinement, comfort and ease-of-use (ergonomics). Gauges, switches and indicator lamps are carefully postioned and well labeled for intuitive use. Every aspect of the interior has been optimized to provide an enjoyable and relaxing driving experience for all occupants.

Full Size Interior Dimensions: Size Where It Counts

Comparable to the interior of a full size truck, the interior volume of the Ridgeline measures 112.0 cu.-ft.). In fact, the rear seat accommodations are comparable to those found in full-size trucks without the associated fuel economy or maneuverability penalties. Here is how the Ridgeline's interior dimensions stack up against some popular full-size and compact products.

. 2006 Ridgeline RTS 2005 F-150 Super Crew 2005 Avalanchex 2004 Chevrolet Coloradox 2005 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab
Size Mid Size Truck Full Size Pickup Full Size SUT Mid Size Pickup Mid Size Pickup
SAE Passenger Volume (cu. ft.) 112.0 121.8
Not Advertised
Head Room: Front (in.) 40.7 40.1
Head Room: Rear (in.) 39.1 39.6
Leg Room: Front (in.) 40.8 41.3
Leg Room: Rear (in.) 36.4 39.0
Shoulder Room: Front (in.) 63.2 65.8
Shoulder Room: Rear (in.) 62.6 65.8
Knee Clearance (in.) 1.0 1.9* 0.8* -0.6* -0.7*
Rear Seatback Angle (degrees) 23.0 20.1* 18.0* 23.6* 23.1*

* Honda test data using SAE measurement methods (directly comparable to Ridgeline measurement).

Multi-Functional Cabin

Recognizing that more families are using a pickup truck as a primary vehicle for both everyday use and recreation use, the Ridgeline implements features that make switching between a comfortable people hauler to a down and dirty gear hauler quick and easy - while doing both jobs exceptionally well. For comfort, the rear cabin's 60/40 split flip-up seat has a class-leading recline angle more like a sedan's second row seats (unlike some competitors that have more upright seat design). As a family friendly vehicle, three Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) points allow for three child seat positions in the second row. Comfort and convenience features in the second row include an integrated armrest with beverage holders, large door pocket storage area with bottle holders, rear climate control ventilation outlets, bag hooks, and a 12-volt DC outlet. The rear seats also provide under seat storage. To keep items from rolling around, the vertical bars that support the front of the rear seat help keep under-seat objects from rolling forward. Front and rear all-weather rubber floor mats trap water, mud, snow, French fries or whatever and allow for worry-free operation with easy cleanup.

Flexible 5-Passenger Seating

The Ridgeline has four unique seating scenarios that allow the interior to be easily adapted for people and/or cargo. The Ridgeline can seat five people in full seating mode, or four people with 40 percent rear seat cargo storage, or three people with 60 percent cargo rear seat storage, or two people with 100 percent rear seat cargo storage.

Front Bucket Seats

The front row features two bucket seats with a generous center console/armrest in between. Wide seat cushions and a commanding seating position add to the truck feel while the overall seat design emphasizes long haul comfort and much-needed lateral support - to accommodate the Ridgeline's un-pickup-like handling performance. Driver's seats on the RT have manual controls for slide, recline and height adjustments. RTS models have 8-way power driver seats and a manual lumbar support, and RTL models add a power lumbar support. Front passenger seats on all models feature manual controls for sliding and reclining.

60/40 Flip Up Rear Seats with Under Seat Storage

The second row bench-style seat accommodates up to three passengers and has a 60/40 flip up design that quickly converts the rear seating area into a wide open cargo storage area with a flat floor. In the down (sitting) position, a storage area is created that is large enough to hold a medium-sized golf bag. The storage area can be accessed from the sides or the front (between the legs). This design was the best answer to market research that showed an even split between some people who want an open area under the seat with easy access, while others want an entirely enclosed storage area. Honda's flip up design effectively gives people both types of functionality. To further please everybody 100 percent, Honda has developed an accessory rear underseat storage bin to meet the needs of "must-have-completely-enclosed-underseat-storage" personality types. The Ridgeline emphasizes rear seat comfort with a seatback design that angles back more like a sedan. A large armrest folds down from the seatback and contains two beverage holders. All seating positions have headrests. The center seating position's headrest is integrated into the top of the seatback so that when not in use it does not interfere with the driver's rear vision.

Instrument Panel

As the command center for the Ridgeline, the instrument panel integrates a precision and rugged look with large gauges, buttons and controls along with clever storage areas for wireless phones, PDAs and other small objects.

Gauge Cluster

The gauge cluster features the usual instruments - a speedometer (140 mph), odometer with dual trip meters, tachometer, temperature gauge, fuel gauge and warning indicators - along with an information display for items such as the Smart Vehicle Maintenance system, tire pressure monitoring system and vehicle status information. All totaled, there are more than 11 special features in the gauge cluster including:

  • Welcome Illumination: Progressive meter illumination from door-open to ignition and vice versa
  • TPMS Indicator: Has individual tire display with air pressures and warnings
  • Smart Maintenance Warnings: Includes oil life and service code displays for tire rotation, air cleaner replacement, ATF replacement, spark plugs, timing belt, coolant and VTM-4 fluid service
  • Tailgate Swing Open Indicator: Warning light and chime if tailgate is open in swing mode
  • Outside Temperature Display: Temperature shown in Fahrenheit or Celsius
  • Back Window Open Alarm: If the power sliding rear window is open and the key is removed, a warning occurs
  • Parking Brake Indicator: The parking brake is set (includes chime)
  • Trunk Open Indicator: If the trunk is open, the warning light turns on
  • Cargo Light On Indicator: Indicates the rear cargo lights are on
  • Headlights On Indicator/Alarm: Indicates the headlights are on
  • Fuel Cap Open Alarm: Indicates the fuel cap is not installed or tightened properly

Steering Wheel, Column Gear Shifter and Switchgear

The steering wheel uses a large truck-style design with illuminated buttons for cruise control and audio system (RTS and RTL models) functions. The durable plating on the steering wheel matches the interior for door handles and related trim pieces throughout the interior.

A column gear shifter frees up interior space and allows the Ridgeline's transmission to be shifted with a convenient, short range of motion from the steering wheel to the shift lever. In truck applications, a column shifter offers advantages where towing and off-road use can often require an increased need to shift from forward to reverse frequently. Using an entirely new design for Honda, the shift lever provides easy gear selectability with a confident shift feeling. The design, with its metallic look and a large tactile grip, reflects the power tool ergonomics concept. A D3 button on the end allows for maintaining third gear for engine braking, such as when towing a trailer on a long decline. Excellent knee clearance is achieved even in the D1 position.

The wiper control stock, typically located on the right side of the steering wheel on Honda products, has been positioned to the left side on the turn signal stalk to allow for additional gear shift lever clearance. The headlight on/off switch, typically located on the turn signal stock on Honda vehicles, consequently, has been positioned on the lower left of the dashboard and features illumination.

Information Display

To keep the driver informed of the vehicle's status and to access multiple electronic functions, the Ridgeline has an information display. The information display is the interface for odometer/trip odometer, outside temperature and vehicle warnings. Maintenance Minder alerts are also presented via the information display.

Innovative Storage Compartments and Beverage Holders

More than a dozen storage zones and six beverage holders exist inside the cabin. The instrument panel provides up to four storage zones (depending on equipment) - a traditional glove box, overhead console with sunglasses holder, a CD storage pocket below the radio, a passenger-side tray with dividers (above the glove box) and a center stack lower pocket/tray. Every door has a large pocket ideal for maps and papers.

The passenger door has an upper armrest pocket ideal for holding wireless phones, digital cameras and similar items. The multi-function center console constitutes one huge storage zone, and there is a floor tray between the front seats.

Six beverage holders are located in: the multi-function center console (2), rear center armrest (2) and rear door pockets (bottle holders, 2).

Multi-Functional Center Console

The multi-function center console provides generous and innovative storage for its users. Starting at the console's top section, a wide armrest slides forward and back to accommodate passengers big and small, while the sliding armrest yields a built-in tray (hinged from the back) that can hold a PDA, wireless phone and coins with a removable coinholder. A rubber mat is provided so that items do not rattle. Moving down to the console's midsection, another sliding tray gives way to a cavernous illuminated bin. For drinks and food, the front portion of the console features yet another sliding tray with two beverage holders built to accommodate various-sized drinks. In the forward position, a shelf is created ideal for holding food. The front of the console culminates with a large floor-level tray, ideal for backpacks or bag-like objects with straps.

Power Sliding Rear Cabin Window

Usually an expensive option on trucks or available with manual operation only, the Honda Ridgeline features a power sliding rear cabin window as standard equipment. The rear window is designed so that the occupants can sit comfortably with minimal noise and unwanted airflow entering the cabin. The window has been tested to withstand high-pressure car washing without water leakage or dripping (a problem with some designs) and its placement and size minimize reflections on the instrument panel. When the vehicle is turned off and the rear window is still open, a dashlight reminder and a chime sound to indicate that the vehicle is not secure.

Manual Climate Control (RT)

The front climate controls on the Ridgeline RT are mounted centrally on the instrument panel for easy accessibility and feature large rotary knobs for temperature settings and fan control (5-speeds). Air conditioning and a micron air-filtration system are standard. The high capacity condenser with integral receiver drier runs the liquid refrigerant through a sub-cooling condenser, after the main condenser. The system is efficient and lightweight compared to traditional setups.

Dual Zone Automatic Climate Control (RTS and RTL)

In addition to above standard features, Ridgeline RTS and RTL models feature a dual zone Automatic Climate Control System (with a digital display) and can maintain a constant, pre-selected temperature individually for driver's and front passenger's seating areas. Dual-zone automatic climate control is a premium feature not often found in the pickup truck segment.

Automatic Heated Wiper Zone

The Automatic Heated Wiper Zone reduces the need for ice scraping while enhancing wiper performance in heavy snow and freezing rain conditions when wiper blades can become stiff and rendered useless. The heated wiper zone is warmed by electric defrost lines near the bottom of the windshield - similar to a common rear window defroster. Using the HVAC system to monitor outside temperature, operation is fully automatic. When the temperatures outside drops below about 39 degrees Fahrenheit, the heated wiper zone automatically turns on. The Ridgeline is the first truck on the market to offer this feature, which is more commonly found on luxury vehicles.

Audio System

Ridgeline audio equipment includes an AM/FM/CD/XM-ready audio system as standard equipment. Ridgeline RT models feature a 100-Watt amplifier and six speakers (one 6-inch speaker in each door and two front-mounted tweeters). Ridgeline RTS models add a 6-disc in-dash CD changer and have a 160-Watt amplifier with an 8-inch subwoofer located behind the rear seat. RTS and RTL models equipped with the available power moonroof come equipped with XM® Satellite Radio as standard equipment. Models equipped with the available Honda Navigation System feature an auxiliary input for portable music devices. The navigation system's voice recognition features can control audio system functions for volume, radio station/XM tuning, CD playback and much more.

XM® Satellite Radio

The Ridgeline comes pre-wired for XM Satellite Radio equipment that can be added as a dealer-installed accessory. XM Satellite Radio is a factory-installed feature on models that have the available factory installed moonroof or Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System (RTL). After a 90-day free trial service, customers will have the option to subscribe to XM Satellite Radio on these models, which includes 120 radio stations including music, news, sports, talk, local weather, traffic and other entertainment in a CD-quality digital format. The XM radio display can indicate the artist's name, track title, XM channel and category of music.

Interior Lighting

Significant attention has been paid to the interior lighting from placement of individual map lights to the switchgear. A network of nine map lights, dome lights and courtesy lights provide illumination to all front and rear passengers. A lamp mounted on rear of the center console illuminates the area under the rear seat. The power window switches in all four doors are also internally illuminated. The individual map lights in the Ridgeline are designed to illuminate an area large enough and bright enough so that a seated passenger can read by it. As the light continues to the floor, the beams overlap so that they illuminate the entire floor area, making it easier to see when getting in and out of the vehicle.

A master switch, located on the instrument panel, can also control the lights. With it, the driver can switch the system on or off, or have it come on automatically when the doors are opened.
Upon vehicle entry and exit, the lighting system in the instrument panel features progressive illumination. When the driver door is opened, the instrument brightness turns on at about 10 percent. When the key is put in the ignition, the illumination ramps up to 100 percent. When the ignition is turned on, the illuminated instrument needles and related lights come on, indicating that all systems are go. After driving, the process reverses itself. The entire process is purposely subtle, but illustrates the level of detailed engineering built into the Ridgeline.

Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition

The Honda Satellite-Linked Honda Navigation System represents the latest and most intelligent navigation system from Honda. This industry leading system features advanced voice recognition, a large 8-inch touch screen display, and an expanded database that covers virtually all U.S. roads and 7 million points of interest (compared to four million or less for many systems currently on the market).

Major highlights for the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System include:

  • Motorized flip-down 8-inch touchscreen;
  • 3-D freeway interchange display (with split screen mode) that shows individual lanes graphically;
  • Complete Zagat Survey™ restaurant guide (voice system can read review);
  • Voice recognition identifies street names and numbers and minimizes need for manual entry;
  • "Bread crumb" trail for off-road driving
  • Up to five waypoints can be used for planning a trip;
  • Intuitive map details, icons and general commands;
  • An industry-leading destination guide with 7 million points of interest provides a business and recreation directory of virtually the entire continental United States with local addresses and business phone numbers.
  • Destination guide categories include restaurants (searchable by type of cuisine), lodging, shopping, travel, banking, emergency, leisure, auto service and much more;
  • Voice recognition system linked to audio and automatic climate control system;
  • Day/Night visualization modes with user-selectable screen appearance;
  • XM® Satellite Radio information display with detailed programming data.

Honda navigation systems have long been recognized for their simple, intuitive operation and extensive on-board database. When navigating freeways, a split screen design enhances on-screen information with a "map view" and "3-D" route visualization of freeways simultaneously- which helps make navigation information easier to understand. The system is linked to the car's audio system, so driving instructions can be heard over the speaker system, and the voice recognition feature offers a new realm of hands-free control to the navigation system.

The Honda Satellite-Linked DVD Navigation System uses Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) in combination with detailed information from the vehicle's DVD-based mapping system to pinpoint the vehicle's location and to provide a host of useful mapping and route guidance features. The antenna can utilize up to 12 satellites from a network of 24 global positioning satellites.

If the antenna is obstructed by a tunnel, a parking garage or a tall building, an internal gyroscopic system and a speed sensor track the location of the vehicle so that the map information remains current and reliable. The vehicle clock is independently controlled by GPS data, so when time zones are crossed while driving the clock will automatically set itself to the current time.

Turn-by-turn voice guidance is user selectable in either male or female voice and can be turned off at any time. Destination memory recalls current trip addresses and previous destinations; and calendar and calculator with English to metric number converter is standard.

The navigation system can be controlled by the driver through either the voice recognition system, the touch screen display, or by the joystick on the instrument panel. The voice recognition system works when the "talk" button, located on the steering wheel, is depressed. When spoken to, the system recognizes commands such as "find nearest gas station," or "find nearest ATM" and can also recognize street names. The voice recognition system has a vocabulary of approximately 500 commands and can recognize virtually any English-spoken accent.

The 8-inch LCD display is a touch screen that allows the driver or front passenger to choose menu options or spell out a word (i.e. address, business name, place, etc.) through a touch-sensitive keypad. (The keypad can be set to alphabetical or a QWERTY typewriter-style layout.) Alternatively, the joystick can be used to highlight menu options or to highlight specific letters on the keypad to complete a word. A matte finish is used on the display to reduce glare and smudging. The motorized screen conveniently tilts down to allow access to the CD 6-disc changer located behind the screen.

For data storage, the system uses a single DVD that contains information for the entire United States. Future updates to the navigation system can be made by installing an updated DVD (available on-line or by calling a toll free number).

The available rearview camera is automatically activated when the vehicle is put in reverse. A color camera is located on the rear tailgate and has a wide-angle lens.

Multiplex Wiring System

As vehicles gain more and more electronic functions, engineers look for ways to manage the many signals that are required to operate them. Between the keyless entry system, security alarm (on RTS and RTL models), auto-off headlights, VSA, optional Navigation system and other features, there are dozens of functions on the Ridgeline that need to be managed.In a multiplex system, one wire can carry many commands simultaneously, reducing the size, weight and complexity of wiring harnesses. A uniquely "coded" signal is sent through the wire for each desired function. For instance, a single wire might carry operating commands for all four of the Ridgeline's power windows and door locks. Each of these functions would be coded separately so that only the desired one would occur when a certain button was pressed-despite the fact that every device on the circuit received the same message.

Keyless Entry

Keyless entry is standard equipment on all Ridgeline models. The keys feature a built-in transmitter on the key grip that have lock, unlock and panic buttons. The fob can also roll down the first and second row windows by holding down the unlock button. The key can also perform the same function in the door lock cylinder, and roll up the windows, too, by turning to lock or unlock positions accordingly and holding. A valet key (minus the keyless entry features) is standard and will lock and unlock the doors like a traditional key yet prevent entry into the in-bed trunk. The in-bed trunk features a "trunk lock" button inside the glove box that can be locked/unlocked only using the regular key.

Antitheft Features and Wave Key

The new Ridgeline is protected by a variety of anti-theft features. All models feature the "wave" key for door and ignition and locks. This type of lock and key combination is much more resistant to copying and "picking" than conventional designs. Door and hood locks and their operating cables are now more thoroughly protected to prevent a "Slim Jim" or other jimmying device from being used to force entry. The engine immobilizer system shuts down the engine's electronic control unit (ECU) has been further enhanced with the addition of a rolling code.

HomeLink® Remote System

The Ridgeline RTL features a HomeLink® universal remote system built into the overhead map-light module. The system can be programmed with the codes of up to three devices, such as a garage-door opener, home security system, etc.

Power Outlets

The Ridgeline contains three 12-volt DC outlets - two located on the instrument panel's center stack and one on the back of the multi-function center console for rear passengers.

UV Resistant Glass

The Ridgeline is equipped with UV resistant glass. The glass filters Ultra Violet (U.V.) light and results in less interior fade over time, lower cabin temperatures on hot days and more efficient interior cooling. The rear cabin window and rear door windows have privacy glass (dark tinting).

Outward Visibility

Visibility is one of the first vehicle parameters to be defined in Honda's body design process with exterior and interior styling all meeting sight line targets set early in the design phase. Excellent outward visibility is a hallmark of Honda design. Consequently, the Ridgeline provides excellent sight lines for the driver in all key areas including a commanding eye point level of 1435mm (56.5 inches) and a short forward invisible length of 7.2m (23.7 feet). Forward invisible length is the distance a driver needs to look to see the ground in front of the vehicle.



American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced in October of 2003 plans to apply advanced safety technologies to the full range of Honda and Acura products over the next several years in its 'Safety for Everyone' commitment. The goal of 'Safety for Everyone' is to provide high levels of safety protection for all Honda and Acura customers and for all road users, by applying Front Side Airbags, Side Curtain Airbags and Anti-Lock Brakes as standard equipment before the end of calendar year 2006. Furthermore, all Honda and Acura light trucks will be equipped with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and rollover sensors for side curtain airbag deployment before the end of calendar year 2006.

As a result of Honda's 'Safety for Everyone' commitment, the 2006 Honda Ridgeline is equipped with the industry's highest level of standard safety equipment for a pickup truck. The Ridgeline interior provides the following active safety equipment as standard on every trim level:

  • Advanced Dual Stage, Dual Threshold Front Driver's and Front Passenger's Airbags
  • Driver's Front Side Airbag and Front Passenger's Side Airbag with Occupant Position Detection System
  • Two-Row Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor
  • LATCH child seat anchor system in all three rear seating positions
  • Driver and Front Passenger Pre-Tensioning Seatbelts with Load Limiters
  • Three-Point Seat Belts in All Seating Positions

Three-Point Seat Belts

All of Ridgeline's five seating positions have three-point seat belts and adjustable head restraints. The front row seat belts are equipped with load limiters and pre-tensioners and have adjustable shoulder belt anchors.

Advanced Dual Stage, Dual Threshold Front Driver's and Front Passenger's Airbags

The Ridgeline is equipped with dual-stage, dual-threshold supplemental restraint system (SRS) airbags for the driver and front passenger. These airbags are designed to minimize the potential for airbag injury while providing head and chest protection for the occupants in the event of a collision.

The Ridgeline's front airbags can deploy at one of two rates. Deployment of the driver's front airbag takes into account the severity of the crash and whether or not the driver's seat belt is fastened. During a lower speed collision, the airbag inflators are triggered in sequence, resulting in overall airbag deployment with less initial force. Airbag deployment on the front passenger's airbag is regulated by crash severity and seatbelt usage. Similar to what is available on the driver's side, the airbags are deployed at the speed appropriate to the speed and severity of the collision - slower for lower speed collisions, more quickly for higher speeds. The driver's airbag is located in the steering wheel hub and the passenger's airbag is located on top of the dash. As in all Honda vehicles, the front passenger's airbag is designed to deploy upward toward the windshield and then back toward the occupant. This provides a large cushion to help protect the front passenger while reducing the likelihood of injury resulting from airbag deployment.

Driver's Front Side Airbag and Front Passenger's Side Airbag with Occupant Position Detection System

Like other Honda models, the Ridgeline is equipped with seat-mounted side airbags to help safeguard the driver and front passenger from side-impact injury. An innovative occupant position detection system is used to assure that the passenger's side airbag has a clear path for deployment. In the event a child (or a small-statured adult) leans into the deployment path of the side airbag, a seven-segment antenna system built within the backrest signals this condition to an electronic control unit (ECU) also located within the seat. The ECU then deactivates the side air bag from functioning and triggers a "SIDE AIRBAG OFF" indicator light in the instrument panel. After the front occupant returns to a normal seating position, the side air bag module automatically resumes full-functional status.

Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor

Both rows of occupants are protected by Honda's Side Curtain Airbag with Rollover Sensor system, which is standard equipment on all Ridgeline models - a first for the pickup truck segment. The side curtain airbags deploy from modules in the roof in the event of a sufficient side impact, providing a significant level of head protection in the window area. In the unlikely event of a rollover, a roll rate sensor, located underneath the front passenger seat, along with multiple G sensors determine the rate of roll and deploy the side curtain airbags accordingly.

Like the other airbag systems in the Ridgeline, the side curtain system utilizes multiple sensors to determine the most appropriate timing and rate of deployment of the airbags in the event of a rollover.

To provide the optimal level of protection for Ridgeline occupants, extensive testing was performed to determine the most appropriate timing and rate of deployment in the unlikely event of a rollover. The system uses algorithms to continually evaluate the situation and determines whether a rollover is eminent. The system responds to many types of rollover "events" drivers could potentially encounter including the "curb trip rollover" which as its name suggests, results when one side of the vehicle hits a curb or like object; the "soil trip rollover" which can result when one side of the vehicles suddenly comes into contact with a different surface type, often involving a slight elevation change; and the "screw rollover." This type of rollover is usually the steepest and fastest of the rollovers whereby the vehicle comes upon a sharp angle such as an embankment. The roll rate sensor and multiple G sensors determine the "scenario" and calculate the angle of roll and the speed of the vehicle in order to deploy the airbags at the correct stage for optimum protection. In the case of a rollover, the side curtain airbags on both sides of the vehicle will deploy. The airbags maintain full inflation for approximately three seconds after inflation to allow for the increased time duration of a rollover accident. However, in the event of a sufficient side impact that does not result in a rollover, only the airbags on the impacted side of the vehicle will deploy.

Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) System

The Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system is standard equipment on the second row seats with anchor points for all three seating positions. The LATCH system features built-in, ready-to-use anchors and tethers allowing compatible child safety seats to be installed without using the vehicle's seat belt system.

Available Rear Parking Sensors (Dealer Accessory)

An increasing number of consumers are seeking supplemental technology to assist in backing up and making sure that people or objects are not in the path of the vehicle. The Ridgeline is available with parking sensors as a dealer-installed accessory that indicate (through a visual and audible warning from the Multi Information Display) that something may be in the path of the rear of the vehicle. The parking sensors are integrated into the rear bumpers and are body colored. The sensors can detect whether an object is directly behind or to the right rear or the left rear of the vehicle.

2006 Honda Ridgeline - Dealer Installed Accessories


  • Rear View Camera (NAVI only)
  • Back-Up Sensors
  • Fog Lights
  • Side Steps
  • Running Boards
  • Fender Flares - Color Matched
  • 17" Aluminum Alloy Chrome-Look Wheels
  • Body Side Protectors - Color Matched
  • Front Grille
  • Front and Rear Bumper Trim
  • Front Lower Trim - Brush Guard Style
  • Tail Light Garnish
  • Engine Block Heater
  • Gold Emblem Kit
  • Rear Splash Guards
  • Door Visors
  • Nosemask
  • Moonroof Visor
  • Air Deflector
  • Wheel Locks
  • Roof Rack
  • Ski Attachment
  • Snowboard Attachment
  • Surfboard Attachment
  • Bike Attachment
  • Luggage Basket
  • Roof Box, 55" - 13 cubic feet
  • Kayak Attachment
  • Trailer Hitch-Mount Bike Attachment


  • XM® Satellite Radio
  • MP3 Player (CD-style)
  • Honda DVD Entertainment System with 9-inch screen
  • Security System (RT)
  • Auto Day/Night Mirror with Compass
  • Second Row Underseat Storage
  • Second Row Underseat Cargo Tray
  • Interior Trim Kit
  • Floor Carpets
  • Ash Tray and Lighter

Pickup Bed

  • Bed Extender
  • Hard Tonneau Cover - Locking
  • Bed Rail System
  • Cargo Organizer
  • Cargo Net-Bed
  • Cargo Net-Trunk
  • In-Bed Trunk Dividers
  • Trunk Rug
  • Loading Ramp
  • Motorcycle Wheel Guide


  • Towing Package (Trailer Hitch with 2-inch Class III receiver, Electrical Harness with 4- and 7-Pin connectors, Locking Hitch Pin, 1 7/8" or 2" Hitch Ball)