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Josh Rosenberg By Josh Rosenberg
Updated March 18, 2024

Older Used Honda Ridgeline Overview, First Generation (2006 - 2014), Reliability, Possible Maintenance Problems, Overall Pros And Cons

Related: The Simple Way To Get The Lowest Price On A New Honda Ridgeline

In today's extremely high-priced used car market, many shoppers are looking for "older" models that have aged well as a way to save significant dollars, making a vehicle's history for reliability and longevity of prime importance.

2014 Honda Ridgeline

The good news, of course, is that the Honda Ridgeline has a strong reputation for reliability. Afterall, those Honda genes are good ones. So, yes, many older Ridgelines have aged well.

And by older, I'm generally referring to Ridgelines that are 10+ years old, which would mean those from its first generation, produced for the 2006 - 2014 model years.

It should also be noted that all vehicles can have issues for at least some owners, even Hondas, and even if less likely. And potential buyers should be aware of what they have been so they can be checked for before purchase.

In addition, much of an individual vehicle's long-term reliability performance can come down to how well it was maintained and how it was driven by its previous owner(s), as well as its environmental conditions. This makes it extremely important to identify older Ridgelines that have been treated very well.

So here, ...

- We'll do an overview of the first generation Honda Ridgeline, covering the 2006 - 2014 model years.

- Then we'll list possible mechanical issues for this production run that have been reported by owners so they can be checked before buying one today.

- And then we'll summarize the overall pros and cons of an older Ridgeline worth consideration for potential buyers.

But first, and very importantly ...

Things To Do When Considering An "Older" Ridgeline

Locate Lower Mileage Vehicles: They are certainly out there to be found with careful and patient shopping. Be willing to drive a distance if you have to.

Vehicle History and Maintenance: Ask for the vehicle history report (CarFax or AutoCheck) as well as documented maintenance and repair records. If not provided by the Dealer or private seller, it's usually best to move on.

Pre-Purchase Inspection: Have the vehicle independently inspected before making a final decision. This usually will cost in the $150-$200 range but is well worth it given the potentially thousands in savings over the long term.

First Generation Honda Ridgeline (2006 - 2014)

2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL

Trucks are great utility vehicles, offering both safe travel and usefulness as a tool. Unfortunately, these capabilities often come with some sacrifice of driving performance and comfort. Enter the Honda Ridgeline.

The Ridgeline is an excellent combination of a car and a truck for those looking for the best of both worlds. It has all the functionalities of a truck, but includes a comfort designed interior and the agility and handling of a car.

And because they were solidly built with high quality materials, older models can remain a viable and economical used vehicle option for many years.

Reasons Unique:

In 2006, Honda released it's first pickup truck, one which included many unique aspects not usually seen in the pickup market, such as a unibody chassis and four-wheel independent suspension (smoother ride, more nimble handling) instead of the usual body on frame, solid-axle, and rear independent suspension.

The use of an independent suspension created some space for the designers to include a trunk, making the Ridgeline the first truck to have one. In fact, the Ridgeline's trunk is hidden in the cargo bed and can even be used as an ice chest. They all also come with a dent-proof bedliner, a power-sliding rear window, and a trailer hitch.

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The bed of the truck has a steel reinforced floor, covered in dent resistant sturdy plastic, with the trunk located at the end. The bed also has 6 tie down cleats which can hold around three hundred and fifty pounds each.

In addition, the tailgate of the Ridgeline is another exhibit of the ingenuity of the truck's creators. It's dual-hinged and can either be opened downward or swung sideways like a door.

Engine And Model Features::

The soul of the truck is a very respectable V-6 engine with 255 horsepower and mated with a five speed automatic transmission. The Ridgeline also comes with VTM-4 all-wheel-drive. This system activates the rear tires when the front wheels lose their grip.

Honda Ridgeline RT Crew Cab (2009)

Standard features include antilock brakes, a four-wheel-drive locking mechanism, 17-inch wheels, front torso airbags (deploy in case of a roll-over or side impact), head leveled side airbags and curtains protecting both seating rows, and Vehicle Stability Assist, which can be switched off for any off-road usage.

There are also 4 different trims for the Ridgeline: The RT is the basic trim and includes power windows, locks and mirrors, cruise control, air conditioning, and a CD player.

The RTX includes a different grille, gray alloy wheels and colored handles, while The RTS is a more sporty trim, coming with a power driver seat, deep-tinted glass, a security system, different upholstery, a subwoofer, a six-disc CD changer, silver alloy wheels, and a rear and front-zone climate system.

Finally, the RTL model comes with a leather interior, heated front seats, a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a compass, XM radio, and a navigation system.

Ridgelines can seat 5 people and the rear seat can fold up, allowing for more cargo space. In addition, this Ridgeline had the best rollover resistance rating of any pickup tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Model Year Changes:

The Ridgeline debuted with RT, RTS and RTL models. For 2007, a new chrome-trim RTX was added to the lineup. Annual changes were minor until 2009 when there was both an interior and exterior design refresh, while the RTX was discontinued.

And aside from adding a Sport model and a revised grille for 2012, the Ridgeline was largely unchanged through this production run.

It also should be noted that there was no Honda Ridgeline for 2015 and 2016. The second generation kicked-off with the 2017 model.

2006 - 2014 Honda Ridgeline Possible Mechanical Problems

Honda Ridgeline RTL Crew Cab (2007)

This generation generally had a good reputation for reliability, but like any vehicle, it had some common mechanical issues reported by owners over its production span, and should therefore be included in an inspection before buying one today:

Transmission Issues: Some owners reported problems with the transmission, such as rough shifting, slipping gears, or premature failure. These issues were more commonly reported in early model years.

Vibration at Highway Speeds: Some owners complained of vibrations felt through the steering wheel or the vehicle's body at highway speeds. This could be caused by various factors, including tire balance issues or problems with suspension components.

Power Steering Pump Failure: There were some reports of power steering pump failures, leading to a loss of power steering assistance. This could be caused by pump wear or fluid leaks.

Engine Mount Problems: Some owners experienced issues with engine mounts, leading to excessive engine vibration or noise.

Air Conditioning Problems: A few owners reported issues with the air conditioning system, such as inadequate cooling or compressor failures.

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Differential Fluid Leakage: There were occasional reports of leaks from the rear differential, which could lead to fluid loss and potential damage to the differential if not addressed promptly.

Tailgate Latch Failure: Some owners experienced problems with the tailgate latch mechanism, leading to difficulties in opening or closing the tailgate.

It's important to note that most Ridgeline vehicles did not experience these problems, and Honda addressed some through recalls or technical service bulletins. Additionally, regular maintenance and prompt attention to any warning signs may have helped prevent or mitigate some or all of these issues.

Overall Pros And Cons Of An Older Honda Ridgeline

Older Honda Ridgeline Pros:

Affordable Price: An older Ridgeline offers a more affordable option due to the lower upfront costs. However, this has to be weighed against the potential for repair costs going forward.

Reliability: Despite some mechanical issues reported by owners, the Ridgeline generally has a good reputation for reliability, with many owners experiencing few problems over the vehicle's lifespan.

Resale Value: While the Ridgeline may not hold its value as well as some other trucks, it still tends to have decent resale value compared to some other vehicles in its class, which could be a consideration for future resale or trade-in value.

Innovative Design: The Ridgeline was the first unibody pickup truck on the market, offering a unique blend of car-like handling and truck utility.

Comfortable Ride: Its independent rear suspension provides a smoother and more comfortable ride compared to traditional body-on-frame trucks.

Practical Features: The Ridgeline has a lockable trunk under the bed floor, a dual-action tailgate that opened down or swung out, and a flat truck bed with minimal wheel well intrusion, making it versatile for hauling different types of cargo.

All-Wheel Drive System: The Ridgeline's all-wheel-drive system provides good traction in various road conditions, enhancing its usability as an everyday vehicle.

Older Honda Ridgeline Cons:

Potential Mechanical Issues: Although the Ridgeline is generally reliable, there are some common mechanical issues reported by owners. And as an older vehicle, there's an increased risk of repairs as the vehicle continues to age.

Outdated Technology: Compared to newer trucks, the first generation Ridgeline may lack some modern technology features and safety advancements.

Older Design: This Ridgeline's design may feel dated to some buyers, both in terms of exterior styling and interior features, compared to newer trucks on the market.

Polarizing Styling: The Ridgeline's unconventional design polarized opinions, with some finding it refreshing and others considering it less aesthetically appealing compared to traditional trucks.

Fuel Efficiency: While the Ridgeline's V6 engine offers decent power, its fuel efficiency, coming in at 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway, may not be as impressive as some newer trucks with more advanced engine technology and fuel-saving features.

Limited Towing Capacity: Compared to traditional body-on-frame trucks, the Ridgeline's towing capacity is relatively modest, which could be a drawback for those needing to tow heavier loads.

Less Off-Road Capability: While capable for light off-roading, the Ridgeline's design and all-wheel-drive system are not as suited for extreme off-road conditions as some other trucks in its class. It's more about all-weather ability as opposed to all-terrain ability.

Limited Bed Size: The Ridgeline's bed size is smaller compared to some competitors, which could be a limitation for those needing to haul larger items or equipment.

Also, Always Know The Value Of Your Trade-In!

Whether you are trading or selling on your own, it's just a good idea ... even whether you are in the market or not at the moment. You can then use this important information for a number of purposes ... to negotiate with a dealer, or to know how to price your car in the retail market, or simply to know the value of one of your assets, which is always a good idea.

Getting trade-in values online tend to vary a lot from site to site. But I've found the one at Edmunds Trade-In Quotes is particularly comprehensive and accurate.

It's free, it's quick and there's no contact by any third parties. I think what helps its accuracy is the inputs will include either your plate# or VIN#. They really focus in on the specific vehicle.

Lastly, Suggestions For Getting A Low Ridgeline Price

First of all, here's a Lowest Price Used Car Buying Guide that details a very effective method.

Here's another method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.

In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them.

And for those of you who might be interested in a "brand new" Honda Ridgeline if the price was really good, here's info on exactly How To Get The Best Price On A New Ridgeline. This works just phenomenally well.

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