Honda Debuts More Rugged Ridgeline ‘TrailSport’ Variant

Photo By: Honda

Back when they were introduced in 2006, Honda’s Ridgeline pickup trucks differentiated themselves by being more “car-like” than traditional trucks and included an unusual form factor to boot. It was a bold move by Honda, which until that time had not offered a pickup truck to the American market. Due to that more urban focus, they have not been a top pick for overlanding – or off-roading, or even as work trucks.

Photo by Honda

But over time, a strange thing happened. Honda’s Ridgeline became more truck-like while the trucks from traditional truck makers began to get more car-like in many ways, especially when it came to the interior and ride quality. The Ridgeline even lost its unusual silhouette in favor of a more traditional look. Now, Honda is edging the 2024 Ridgeline towards better off-road performance with a new TrailSport trim. First seen back in 2022 as an option on the Honda Passport, the TrailSport package has gotten more robust over the past two years and has now made it to the Ridgeline. Is Honda about to meet other off-roading trucks in the middle?

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Honda says the 2024 Ridgeline TrailSport includes “a new off-road tuned suspension that improves articulation and off-road ride quality without sacrificing Ridgeline’s exceptional on-road comfort and best-in-class handling.” The TrailSport uses “unique spring rates, damper valve tuning, and stabilizer bars” to increase off-road prowess, and for the first time, the Ridgeline will come with 245/60R18 General Grabber A/T Sport tires mounted on new 18-inch wheels as part of the TrailSport package.

Photo by Honda

Additionally, the TrailSport will feature steel underbody armor to protect the vulnerable oil pan area. Despite those changes and tires, ground clearance remains just a tick under 8 inches, which is where most other base competing pickups start before rising as trim levels start adding more off-road performance options. Style-wise, the TrailSport-equipped Ridgeline comes with special contrasting stitching and badging, and all Ridgeline models get updated interiors. MSRP for the TrailSport version is $44,980 ahead of any destination charges.

Photo by Honda

Honda says they took the Ridgeline to task and honed the TrailSport package with time spent in the dunes near Glamis, California, and even in the desert reaches around Dubai. And while the TrailSport does appear to up the Ridgeline’s off-road capabilities, it does not get a power boost. All Ridgeline models will be powered by a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine coupled to a 9-speed automatic transmission and Honda’s iVTM4 AWD system, which does feature torque vectoring but not many manual control options.

So, while the Ridgeline TrailSport isn’t likely to enter any rock crawling competitions in the near future, it does appear the new trim will allow it to wander a bit farther off the pavement than it has in the past. Honda Ridgeline TrailSport pickups should be at dealers now.

Photo by Brett Willhelm

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