For 2007, the Honda Ridgeline pickup truck undergoes only a minor addition of two illuminated vanity mirrors on both trim lines.

The Ridgeline pickup truck shares its 3.5-litre V6 and five-speed automatic transmission with the Pilot SUV, which is built alongside it, but uses an exclusive body and frame. A four-door, five-passenger vehicle, it has a five-foot bed made of a composite material designed to fend off scrapes and dents, with notches in the front wall so dirt bikers can carry two motorcycles; an ATV will fit in it also. Thanks to its independent rear suspension, it has a 240-litre, waterproof, lockable trunk under the bed floor that Honda says will hold three golf bags; a sliding tray holds the spare tire. Its clever tailgate is dual-action, swinging down or to the side for easy loading. Unusual for a pickup truck, it’s primarily front-wheel drive, with torque sent to the rear wheels on acceleration, or when needed for extra traction.

Features on the LX trim line include 17-inch steel wheels, heavy-duty transmission cooler, limited-slip differential, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, side and curtain airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, heated mirrors, tinted glass, variable intermittent wipers, air conditioning, cruise control, power sliding rear window, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, and CD stereo with six speakers.

The EX-L adds 17-inch alloy wheels, body-colour handles and mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, garage door opener, six-CD stereo with seven speakers, heated leather seats, leather-wrapped wheel and eight-way power driver’s seat. The EX-L can be further optioned with navigation system, MP3 jack, rearview mirror with compass and power sunroof.

The Ridgeline isn’t the workhorse many pickups are, but it’s still very capable, and in a market where many people buy trucks to be big cars, it’s a comfortable performer. The lockable under-bed storage provides extra space, but there’s plenty inside as well, with a nifty multi-function console with hidden storage areas, and rear seats that provide underseat storage when down, or that can be lifted up for more cargo space.

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