Underneath its skin, the Honda Ridgeline is a significantly altered Honda Pilot, a large three-row utility vehicle related to the next-generation Honda Odyssey minivan. That’s hardly the stuff of which traditional, body-on-frame pickups are made.
But the Ridgeline has a separate, exposed bed, an elevated ride height, and competitive payload ratings. Therefore, it’s a pickup truck.
Or is it? In one recent Honda Canada commercial, the Ridgeline is portrayed alongside the HR-V, CR-V, and Pilot under the Honda Utility banner.
“Go where you wanna go,” The Mamas & the Papas sing, as a tree-lined bike trail appears with the CR-V in the HR-V’s rear seat, as a mountainside Pilot scene materializes in the CR-V’s cargo area, as the Ridgeline’s soccer setting unfolds from the Pilot’s third row.
Has Honda decided the Ridgeline is a sport-utility vehicle? A CUV?
“We view the Ridgeline as a competitor in the midsize pickup segment,” Honda Canada’s public relations coordinator Alen Sadeh told TTAC earlier this week. “We think this Ridgeline is exceptionally strong at adapting to all the different ways people use their trucks.”
As for the Ridgeline’s less-than-trucky platform, the “unibody architecture provides very competitive pickup truck capabilities, including a large standard bed space and class-leading payload capacity with fundamentally better interior packaging and driving dynamics,” said Sadeh.
The pickup truck classification was a subject brought up five times in Honda’s response to our inquiry. SUV? No mentions? Crossover? No mentions. CUV? Not a once.
Honda, confirmed Alen Sadeh, believes the Ridgeline is a midsize pickup truck.
Do you agree? And if it isn’t a midsize pickup truck, what is the Honda Ridgeline?