2024 Honda Ridgeline gets TrailSport model and new cabin technology
The last time Honda redesigned its Ridgeline midsize pickup, it was undoubtedly the most unusual truck on the market. But this was typical 2017.
As the 2024 model year rolls around, there are imitators. Honda needs to step up its game.
The 2024 Honda Ridgeline isn’t a brand-new vehicle from the wheels up. It’s what the auto industry calls a “mid-cycle refresh” — a series of updates midway through a model’s production process intended to help it remain competitive.
But the updates are substantial.
It’s still a crossover truck, but it’s no longer the only one
After all, for 2017, the Ridgeline was the only truck in America built with a unibody chassis as a crossover. This made it slightly less capable off-road than body-on-frame midsize trucks like the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger.
A body-on-frame truck can flex to keep its wheels in contact with varying terrain. The unibody truck is more rigid. But what it loses in off-road prowess, it gains in off-road comfort and stability. The Ridgeline was as quiet and smooth as any sedan on the road. Smaller than the average American pickup, it was easier to live with in parking lots, traffic, and grocery stores, too.
Now, you could say the same about the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz – both are unibody and smaller than the Ridgeline.
So, to keep its truck competitive, Honda is adding new style inside and out. Honda has not announced pricing for the Ridgeline for 2024. The 2023 model starts at $38,800.
Updated cabin technology, tailgate
Inside, the 2024 Ridgeline gets a standard digital instrument cluster instead of old-school gauges for the driver. The simpler integrated navigation system uses fewer menus and operates on a larger 9-inch touchscreen. The new center console offers more storage space (enough to lay a full-size tablet flat, Honda says) and a larger armrest. The wireless charging pad can now hold two phones side by side.
Outside, you get a reshaped grille and the Ridgeline name stamped on the tailgate.
Multi-function tailgates are the latest trend in truck design. The Ridgeline is no exception—it drops like a traditional tailgate or opens like a door to help you reach deeper into the bed. Under-bed storage with drain plug, a Ridgeline signature, is still present.
Powerful TrailSport rim
But Honda is focused on announcing something else, a new trim level aimed at cruising beyond paved surfaces.
Honda has introduced TrailSport models of several SUVs recently, including the Pilot and Passport. Now, the truck is getting one.
The 2024 Ridgeline TrailSport adds “a modified off-road suspension, all-terrain tires, and steel underbody protection, protecting the oil pan from sharp rocks and other off-road hazards.” Honda says the General Grabber A/T Sport All-Terrain tires are balanced to provide a quiet ride on the road but “radically improve traction in dirt, sand, mud, rocky terrain and snow.”
The i-VTM4 torque vectoring all-wheel drive (AWD) system can redirect power away from slipping wheels and has modes for sand, snow, mud and nice, smooth blacktop cruising.
The TrailSport will be recognizable thanks to a unique mesh grille, black exterior trim, and pewter gray “skid trim” up front, which looks like a skid plate cut into small cubes and sprayed on top to create an attractive appearance before a server brings it to the table. . It’s actually a low visible element on the bumper and doesn’t provide underbody protection like a real skid plate.
Inside, the TrailSport model gets orange ambient lighting and orange contrast stitching, as well as rubber floor mats for the mud you’ll inevitably track in.