Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Jul 30, 2019

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The Honda Ridgeline is a top-ranked vehicle in the fading sport utility truck (SUT) category. Although the Honda Ridgeline’s interior quality, towing capacity and engine power lag behind its competitors the vehicle still delivers a smooth, car-like ride.

The 2011 Honda Ridgeline has an entry-level price of $29,150 and is far more realistic than the Escalade EXT’s base price of $62,160. Even the Avalanche’s starting price rivals that of entry-level luxury sedans, at $36,300.

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Auto Insurance Rates for the Ridgeline

Since the Honda Ridgeline is so much more affordable, it’s no surprise that auto insurance rates for this sport utility truck are also lower than those for its competitors.

Annual car insurance costs for the 2011 Ridgeline are just $1,119, according to estimates by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).

That translates into a monthly cost of about $93. The NADA expects that Chevy Avalanche drivers will pay about $1,158 a year to insure their trucks, and Escalade EXT drivers will pay over $2,000 annually.

Honda Ridgeline Repair Expenses

Repairing a Honda Ridgeline for five years will cost the typical driver $1,600, which is less than what Escalade and Avalanche drivers can expect to pay.

The NADA’s data shows that owners who put about 15,000 miles on their Avalanches annually will pay a total of $1,835 over five years for repairs, and Escalade EXT drivers will pay $1,935.

Maintaining a Honda Ridgeline

Though the Honda Ridgeline is the least expensive SUT to repair, it is the costliest vehicle in this category to maintain. Drivers can anticipate total scheduled maintenance costs of $2,610 over five years for this vehicle, compared to just $2,266 for Chevy’s 2011 Avalanche.

Cadillac’s Escalade EXT SUT only costs $1,586 to maintain for five years.

Honda Ridgeline Fuel Economy

The Honda Ridgeline matches the Chevrolet Avalanche city fuel economy of 15 mpg, but it lags its competitor’s highway fuel economy of 21 mpg by one mile per gallon. The Escalade EXT gets just 13 city mpg and 18 highway mpg.

Drivers looking for towing and hauling capability can get these in spades for a lower price and with comparable fuel economy by opting for a traditional pickup truck.

For instance, the Chevrolet Silverado matches the Honda Ridgeline’s fuel economy, and it starts at just $21,235. However, you’ll have to settle for a less comfortable driving experience if you go this route.

The Ford F-150 actually delivers better fuel economy than the Ridgeline, getting 17 city mpg/23 highway mpg, and it starts at just $22,790. Reviewers say that while you won’t forget you’re in a truck when you’re sitting in the F-150’s driver’s seat, it is one of the smoother-riding vehicles in its class.

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Honda Ridgeline Crash Test Results

In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Honda Ridgeline received scores of “Good” for side and front impact collisions. This is the highest available score.

Though the IIHS didn’t conduct rear impact or rollover testing for the Ridgeline, the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) administered a rollover test on the 2010 all-wheel drive model.

The Ridgeline performed admirably in this test, earning four out of five stars, but the 2010 test was not as stringent as the revamped testing regime used in 2011.

If you’re looking for a truck that’s been more thoroughly safety tested, the Toyota Tundra and Ford F-150 crew cab models are both options. These two trucks were not only thoroughly tested, but they both earned top scores in all four of the IIHS’ crash test categories, including rollovers.

Due to their excellent performance, they were selected as IIHS “Top Safety Picks” for 2011.

Honda Ridgeline Safety Features

U.S. News says that the safety features available for the 2011 Ridgeline are average for a truck. They include traction control, brake assist, and active head restraints for the driver and front passenger.

However, U.S. News notes that the Ridgeline’s pillars seriously restrict rearward visibility, so the optional rearview camera is a good idea.

Unfortunately, this option is only available if you purchase the higher-level RTL trim, which costs significantly more than the base model.

Additional safety features for the Honda Ridgeline include the following:

  • Tire pressure monitoring system
  • Electronic stability control
  • Child seat anchors
  • Engine immobilizer

Honda Ridgeline Trims and Features

All three Honda Ridgeline trims feature the same 3.5-liter V6 engine, which generates 250 horsepower. They’re all equipped with 5-speed automatic transmissions and 4-wheel drive.

There are also practical touches like a locking in-bed trunk, a dual-action tailgate, and a trailer hitch.

If you pay the approximately $2,500 to upgrade from the base RT trim to the mid-level RTS trim, you’ll add audio features like a 7-speaker sound system with a 6-disc in-dash CD player and an auxiliary input jack.

The RTS trim also includes a 10-way power seat and steering wheel-mounted controls for the driver, as well as dual-zone climate control and an air filtration system.

Utility upgrades include a trailer harness and a security system, and the exterior features 17-inch alloy wheels.

The RTL trim starts at $34,730, which buys you exterior styling features like fog lights, a power moon roof, heated mirrors, and 18-inch alloy wheels. In the cabin, upgrades include leather trim, heated front seats, and ambient lighting.

For about $4,500, you can add a navigation package that includes a rearview camera.

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