A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Honda Ridgeline

The 2012 Honda Ridgeline is built on the Pilot SUV configuration and welded as a single unit, resulting in a five passenger truck that delivers a decidedly carlike ride. With fuel efficiency that is comparable to many midsize SUVs, easy handling and the ability to handle off-roading, the Ridgeline is unlike any other truck you might drive.

Key Features

Independent suspension provides a smooth ride and excellent response, while the Variable Torque Management 4WD handles mud, snow and rain easily. The in-bed truck, which is possible thanks to the independent rear suspension, expands the storage capacity of the truck bed.

Changes for 2012

New for Ridgeline in 2012 is the Sport trim, which features a blacked-out color scheme along with 18-inch wheels, fog lights, a honeycomb grill and audio and cruise controls. New additions to all the models include revamped headlights and grills, and a one mile-per-gallon highway fuel economy increase.

What We Like

The built-in storage in the bed and cab coupled with gas mileage that is comparable to an SUV are just two of the things we like about the 2012 Honda Ridgeline. Add in the tailgate that opens either down, as normal, or to the side and the overall design and you have a truck that stands out from the crowd.

What Concerns Us

The interior could use a bit of work due to the hard plastics that leave the cab feeling more industrial. While this is a truck, it doesn’t have the hauling capacity you’d expect as it can only handle 5,000 pounds. Additionally, this vehicle just isn’t equipped to handle serious off-road terrain.

Available Models

The 2012 Honda Ridgeline is available in four models; the RT, RTL, RTS and Sport. Each option uses the same 3.5-liter V6 engine, which provides 250 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm, 247 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm and city/highway fuel economy of 15/21 mpg.

Major Recalls

There have been two major recalls issued for the 2012 Honda Ridgeline. The first is for the wrong status indicator being installed for the passenger airbag. This could result in drivers being unaware that the airbag is off, which does not conform to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for Occupant Crash Protection. The second recall is for the spare tire, which may have an incorrect information placard. Not only does this fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, it could also result in improper inflation that could lead to a crash.

Common Issues

The most commonly reported issues with this vehicle are the check engine light coming on, rough shifting and the “D” warning light flashing.

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