The Honda Ridgeline is a sport utility truck (SUT) by Honda and is categorized as a lifestyle pickup due to its unibody construction versus the body-on-frame construction of a traditional pickup truck. The Ridgeline is built on a vehicle platform shared by the Pilot crossover and Odyssey minivan. Its unibody design allowed the Ridgeline to be built with an independent suspension, a flat truck bed, a flat load floor, a dual-action tailgate, an In-Bed Trunk, all-wheel drive —as well as front-wheel drive for select 2017 US models—, and is only offered in a crew-cab/short-box configuration. The Ridgeline was released in January 2005 going on sale in March of that year as a 2006 model. This SUT was initially built by Honda of Canada Manufacturing until 2009 when assembly was relocated to Honda Manufacturing of Alabama. Production of the first generation Honda Ridgeline ended in mid-2014. After a two-year production hiatus, a newly redesigned second generation Honda Ridgeline went on sale in late June 2016 as a 2017 model.
According to Honda, the Ridgeline was not designed to steal sales from the more traditional trucks sold in North America, but was developed to "give the 18% of Honda owners who also own pickups a chance to make their garages a Honda-only parking area." Despite the first generation Ridgeline's low sales numbers, this SUT was one of the more profitable vehicles for Honda. According to a Bloomberg interview, Honda has sold the Ridgeline in over 20 countries.
The first generation Ridgeline was a uniquely engineered vehicle with only 7% of its components shared with Honda's global light truck platform and 5% shared exterior components. Its powertrain resembled that found in the 2006 Acura MDX but was heavily modified for hauling and towing. The second generation Ridgeline took a different approach modeling it after the 2016 Honda Pilot and modifying the components necessary to support heavy hauling and towing, while maintaining the features that made the first generation Ridgeline popular.