Car Review

2013 Honda Ridgeline: Used Car Review

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Used 2013 Honda Ridgeline RTL
Used 2013 Honda Ridgeline
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author photo by Joe Tralongo September 2015

At first glance, the 2013 Honda Ridgeline may look like a pickup truck, but its unique flying-buttress side panels, roomy 5-passenger cabin and carlike ride separate it from more traditional pickup designs. The Ridgeline further distances itself from traditional pickups by forgoing a body-on-frame design in favor of a single-piece unit body, making the Ridgeline lighter and stiffer than most pickups its size. The design permits more storage space in the form of an additional compartment hidden beneath the bed floor. Accessible from outside the vehicle, the storage cubby is large enough to fit an ice chest or hide valuables from prying eyes. Another versatile feature not offered on standard pickup trucks is the Ridgeline's dual-action tailgate, which can be opened to the side when flipping it down is not an option.

Because it rides on the same chassis as the 2013 Honda Pilot, the two share a similar interior, making the Ridgeline a comfortable place for five passengers. Offered standard with all-wheel drive, the Ridgeline provides light-duty off-road capability, a 5,000-lb tow rating and a 1,100-lb payload. Honda's reputation for quality, safety, durability and value are all present in the Ridgeline, making it easier to feel good about buying used.

What We Like

Reasonable size; in-bed cargo bay; comfortable ride; powerful V6 engine; steel-reinforced composite cargo bed won't dent or rust

What We Don't

So-so fuel economy; small bed and payload capabilities; tow rating limited to 5,000 pounds; limited off-road ability; Bluetooth only available with navigation

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 250 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. Teamed to a 5-speed automatic transmission, the engine sends power to all four wheels via Honda's VTM-4 system. VTM-4 stands for Variable Torque Management with a fully automatic 4-wheel-drive system, which means it sends torque to whichever tire needs it most. Under normal driving conditions, the system sends power only to the front wheels to conserve fuel. In a low-friction or towing situation, VTM-4 will automatically route power to the wheels with the best grip. The system also features a lock mode that locks in the rear wheels at speeds below 6 miles per hour.

Fuel economy for the Ridgeline is rated at 15 miles per gallon in the city, 21 mpg on the highway and 17 mpg combined. While that may not seem great, it is right in line with other V6-powered pickups and better than most V8s.

Standard Features & Options

Honda offers the Ridgeline in four trims: the RT, Sport, RTS and RTL. For 2013, all Ridgelines come standard with a rearview camera.

The RT includes full power accessories, a power rear window, 17-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, a tilt steering column, three 12-volt outlets (two up front and one in the rear), a dual-action tailgate, a steel-reinforced composite cargo bed with a hidden cargo bay, variable intermittent wipers with a heated wiper zone, an integrated Class III trailer hitch, integrated bed lights, pre-wiring for a trailer harness, auto-off headlights, a rearview camera, a 60/40 lift-up rear seat with storage and a 100-watt AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers.

The Sport brings black-painted 18-in wheels, a black honeycomb grille, fog lights, rear privacy glass and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise and audio controls.

The RTS adds 17-in alloy wheels, a security system, rear privacy glass, dual-zone automatic climate control, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, an 8-way power driver's seat, a trailer harness, a 160-watt AM/FM/6-disc CD stereo with seven speakers and an MP3/auxiliary audio input jack.

The RTL brings leather seating, a power moonroof, heated side mirrors, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 115-volt outlet, HomeLink and carpeted floor mats.

Optional only on the RTL is the Navigation package that brings navigation, Bluetooth and a rearview camera.

Other than the Navigation package, the Ridgeline offers only a few dealer-installed options.


The Ridgeline retains good resale values, although not as strong as other popular Honda vehicles. Since the truck is not in high demand, you should be able to find a good price on a low-mileage model. For a good idea of the Ridgeline's price range, we suggest checking the used-car values at You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the following recalls for the 2013 Honda Ridgeline:

A recall was issued regarding a possible defect in the driver’s side airbag, which may be susceptible to moisture intrusion. Over time, the airbag inflator could rupture causing metal fragments to strike the driver resulting in serious injury or death.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you. You can also check the NHTSA website; simply enter your vehicle's identification number for a list of performed recall repairs.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

The Honda Ridgeline's safety record appears to be quite good. NHTSA gave the 2013 Ridgeline five stars in its front and side-impact crash tests and four stars in the rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Ridgeline its highest rating of Good in the offset and side-impact crash tests.

The 2013 Ridgeline came with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Both are fully transferable. If you buy a certified pre-owned (CPO) Ridgeline, you'll have a car that's had a 150-point inspection plus an extension of the 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty to 4 years and 48,000 miles or, if the vehicle's new-car warranty has expired, a 1-year/12,000-mile basic warranty from the date of purchase. The powertrain warranty is also extended by 7 years and 100,000 miles from the date the vehicle entered service. Honda CPO cars can be no older than 6 years and have a maximum of 80,000 miles.

Other Cars to Consider

2013 Toyota Tacoma -- The Tacoma provides similar dimensions as the Ridgeline, as well as excellent resale values and safety ratings. The Tacoma is also far better off-road but not as comfortable on pavement.

2013 Nissan Frontier -- Like the Tacoma, the Frontier costs less, is better off-road, has a higher tow rating and has a more powerful V6 than the Ridgeline. Crew-cab models are not as comfortable, however, especially for rear-seat passengers.

2013 Chevrolet Avalanche -- The Avalanche has a similar cab and bed configuration as the Ridgeline but on a larger scale. Its standard V8 provides more pulling power without a big difference in fuel economy.

Autotrader's Advice

The best deal is the RTS trim, which offers a nice combination of features. If you must have Bluetooth connectivity, your options are simple: Upgrade to the more expensive RTL with navigation, or go with the RTS and simply purchase a good aftermarket stereo with navigation and Bluetooth. We think the latter is the better call.

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Used 2013 Honda Ridgeline RTL
Used 2013 Honda Ridgeline
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2013 Honda Ridgeline: Used Car Review - Autotrader