The current Honda Ridgeline pickup has been on the market since 2017, so it’s definitely due for a refresh at this point. A refresh is exactly what’s in-store for Honda’s sole pickup offering for the 2021 model year and it includes a rugged new appearance.

A quick scan across the entire industry validates that rugged, “tough” looking pickup trucks are en vogue these days. Honda is joining the bandwagon with the 2021 Ridgeline exterior design. Honda has swapped in a larger, bolder grille design and more intakes on the lower fascia for added toughness. Meanwhile, new LED headlights give the Ridgeline a 2020-appropriate modern appearance.

Ridgeline buyers wanting even more ruggedness in appearance can opt for a new Honda Performance Development package that adds some large fender flares, bronze 18-inch wheels, body graphics and a dual exhaust.

Inside the changes are a little more difficult to find. Honda has swapped out the head unit with a new one that features the brand’s latest infotainment software and a physical volume knob.

Mechanically there are no changes for the 2021 model since Honda just swapped out the six-speed automatic for a nine-speed unit for the 2020 model. That transmission remains bolted to a 3.5-liter V-6 with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This level of grunt allows the unibody truck to tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Buyers will still have the choice of front or all-wheel-drive variants.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline goes on sale early next year. Pricing will be announced closer to its market launch.