When it comes to trucks, what are the brands that come to mind? If you said Toyota, Isuzu, or Ford, we can't blame you for that. After all, those companies have a long tradition of building pick-ups. But let's not forget Honda has been making pick-ups for nearly 16 years... at least in America.
The Ridgeline is Honda's pick-up, and, sadly, it never officially landed in the Philippines. Still, we'd love to see it here someday because the Ridgeline just got an update for 2021. In a country where pick-up trucks sell by the thousands, it would be nice if Honda would offer it here. So, what are we missing out?
For the 2021 model year, the Ridgeline gets a new front end. It isn't just a few tweaks to the bumper either because Honda went to great lengths giving it new sheet metal there too. The result is a more prominent power bulge on the hood and wider fenders. At the same time, the updated Ridgeline gains a more upright grille, which adds to a more imposing look to the pick-up.
The Ridgeline may not have a full-frame chassis like most pick-ups, this Honda can still carry a good amount of load on its bed. It has a payload capacity of 717 kilograms and features several hidden compartments in the bed. Also, the bed measures over 1.6 meters long, and it has a capacity of 960 liters. But aside from the bed area, the undertray storage adds another 207 liters, giving it a total capacity of 1,167 liters. While it may not have the payload of traditional pick-ups, the lengthy bed should make up for it.
For the engine, the Ridgeline uses a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 280 PS and 355 Nm of torque. This pick-up shifts with a nine-speed automatic transmission, and there is no manual option available. That combination helps the Ridgeline get to 100 km/h in less than eight seconds, a respectable time as it weighs well over two tons.
On paper, the Ridgeline carries a lot of showroom appeal. It can haul a fair bit of weight, it has car-like underpinnings, a large bed, and is brisk for a pick-up. So why is it not available in the Philippines? It all comes down to price. Prices for the Ridgeline range from $ 33,900 (approx. Php 1,640,000) to $ 43,520 (approx. Php 2,105,000), which doesn't sound too bad if you convert it directly to Philippine Pesos.
It will benefit from the excise tax exemption under the TRAIN law, but the Ridgeline won't be able to take advantage of any tariff breaks since it was built in the United States, not Japan. That means it won't qualify for the JPEPA (Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement ).
Still, if there's more than enough interested people, it could be enough for Honda Cars Philippines to bring it in. Ford did decide to offer the F-150 in the Philippine market due to insistent public demand. Perhaps it's time to write a petition to HCPI given that they're in a good mood after having just celebrated their 30th anniversary in the country. But for the foreseeable future, Honda's pick-up is exclusive to the North American market.