The 2021 Honda Ridgeline just received a significant refresh that brought squared-off truck-like styling to Honda’s only pickup. Whether or not it’s more attractive is in the eye of the beholder, but it certainly looks tougher. According to Motor Trend, that tough look will spread to other models.
The news outlet spoke with Honda’s marketing vice president Jay Joseph, who said future Honda crossovers would have a more rugged design. We reached out to Honda, and a representative confirmed that Ridgeline design cues will make their way to Honda’s other light-truck models (i.e. crossovers). Though the representative couldn’t share timing of redesigns or specificity of which models will be included. So without specifics, here are some of our theories on how the redesigning could pan out.
One of the easiest things Honda could do is adapt the Ridgeline’s new fascia to the Honda Pilot and Passport. They all are based on the same platform, and all previously had almost the same front ends save for some slight changes. Honda could simply create slightly different grilles and bumper designs and transfer all the sheet metal from the Ridgeline straight to those crossovers. Though, it’s also possible that Honda will develop more unique designs for the crossovers to help maintain the Ridgeline’s uniquely truck-like appearance. The Pilot could in fact be the first crossover to get a rugged refresh, too, since it has hardly changed since 2016. The Passport might also get an early update, since it’s Honda’s worst-selling crossover, and the company may be looking for an affordable way to bring attention to the model.
As for the other two Honda crossovers, the CR-V and HR-V, we suspect any inspiration from Ridgeline will be pretty distant. Instead, they’ll probably have their own unique styling that’s given a vaguely rugged touch. They’ll probably have slightly more upright, boxy designs than currently, and perhaps more plastic cladding. We doubt they’ll get quite the same in-your-face fascia design as the Ridgeline. The CR-V, in particular, is unlikely to change too radically simply because it’s currently Honda’s best-selling model. It’s also sold globally, so design changes can’t alienate other markets. There may be more room for big styling changes with the HR-V, since it’s getting old and due for a full redesign. But like CR-V it, too, has to be designed with global markets in mind.