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2012 Honda Ridgeline Sport (pictures)

Honda's Ridgeline looks like a modern interpretation of a pickup truck, but the cabin electronics don't follow through on that promise.

Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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Honda, known for economy cars, was a surprise entrant to the pickup truck market when it launched the Ridgeline in 2005. With a unibody design and a V-6 engine, the Ridgeline introduced car-style construction to the pickup truck, defying traditional American trucks. This new Sport trim, with its painted grille and custom wheels, is new for 2012.
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The Ridgeline is a mix of styles, tough but modern. The middle of the hood is lifted and the fenders are flared, making for a stronger look. But the buttresses leading down to the cargo bed lend a modern design to the Ridgeline.
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Honda equips the Ridgeline with its 3.5-liter V-6, which uses VTEC variable valve timing and lift to improve efficiency. This engine produces 250 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque, and is transversely mounted in a configuration that primarily drives the front wheels, although the Ridgeline is a four-wheel-drive truck.
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Honda only makes the Ridgeline as a crewcab, with seating for five. The bed is short, at only 5 feet long.
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The Ridgeline is only sold in four-wheel-drive format, although the drive is biased toward the front wheels to help fuel economy. There is a lock button to maintain power at the rear wheels, but only at low speeds.
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The tailgate opens down, in the traditional manner, but can also swing out sideways. There is also storage under the cargo bed.
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The front seats are buckets, so only two people can sit up front.
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The rear bench will accomodate three people.
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In Sport trim, Honda offers virtually no cabin electronics for the Ridgeline. Only the top level, RTL trim, gets navigation and Bluetooth.
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The Ridgeline uses a hydraulic power-steering system.
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The Ridgeline has big, simple analog gauges, reflecting the utilitarian theme of the interior.
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The only cabin electronics are this stereo system, with a single CD slot. Its most advanced feature is the ability to play MP3 CDs. There is also an auxiliary input jack.

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