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The Honda Ridgeline is a mid-size sport utility truck produced by the Japanese automaker Honda. The Ridgeline was released in March 2005 as a 2006 model and is Honda's intended first foray into the North American pickup truck market. The Ridgeline is built in Alliston, Ontario, Canada alongside the Acura MDX, Honda Civic, Honda Civic Si, and Acura CSX. The Ridgeline was awarded Motor Trend's Truck of the Year for 2006. The Ridgeline is the only car-based pickup in the United States and Canada.

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2010 honda ridgeline
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Unibody architecture

The Honda Ridgeline uses unibody architecture ladder frame / unibody hybrid chassis. Honda claims this design gives it 2.5 times more bending rigidity and 20 times the torsional rigidity than the standard ladder frame only type of chassis construction, while retaining the load carrying capacity of the traditional ladder frame.

Independent rear suspension

The truck also boasts four-wheel independent suspension which, coupled with the unibody design, provides a new level of stable and sure handling under load well beyond that which could be achieved with older platforms.

A pickup with a trunk

Another advantage of the independent suspension is that it opened up enough space for Honda to create the first pickup truck to include a storage trunk below the bed, which can be locked to secure contents, such as a tool chest. This creates the unfortunate problem of having to remove most of the bed contents (a serious problem when hauling top soil or other granular materials) to change a flat tire, as the spare is located in this trunk. The bed also comes standard with a composite liner that resists dents, corrosion, and can easily be hosed clean. The trunk has drainage holes to allow wash water to flow out.

Dual action tailgate

It became clear to designers that a lowered tailgate created too long a reach for a consumer to get into the trunk. However, the relatively short bed was built with a lowered tailgate acting as an extension in mind, so a conventional tailgate action was not dismissible. Engineers met this challenge with the first dual action tailgate in a pickup. It was preceded by the tailgate used in the 1966 Ford Country Squire station wagon, as well as the tailgate used in the 2003 GMC Envoy XUV. To aid access to the trunk, the Ridgeline features a dual hinged tailgate, which in addition to opening conventionally in a downward motion that can handle a load in the horizontal open position, can also be swung to the side like an actual door, allowing a consumer to stand straight up at the rear bumper and reach down into the trunk with ease.



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