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I'll bet the high liftover is why they have the tailgate that folds down or swings to the side. With a 5' bed, it seems that it should be easy enough to load from the back with the tailgate swung to the side.
• 2000 – 2300 lb. payload.
• 6-speed automatic.
• A HD version of Honda's SH-AWD, with a permanent rearward power bias, and include a 2-speed transfer case.
• 6000 towing. The above mentioned 6-speed tranny would allow for that, with a low 1st gear.
• Larger 265 tires, possibly LT-rated.
• Standard front and rear tow hooks. They're optional now.
• Full-size spare.
• A larger engine would be nice, but I'm not sure if it would be needed, if the 6-speed auto tranny I suggested comes with it.
• One or two 120v outlets in the bed, like the new Tacoma.
I agree with the HD. I wouldn't mind seeing one with Bob's config except an extended bed in addition. I mean, 2300# payload is great, but give me some space in there to fit that much! Other than the added length of wheelbase, I enjoy an 8' bed because of the flexibility it provides. With gate open, I hauled a load of 20' culverts in the back of my p/u. Any shorter bed would have required a trailer. A 6' - 6.5' bed is a good compromise on a rig that is worked as much (or nearly as much) as it is used for commuting/recreation.
Hey Honda! Build a retractable step into the underside of the rear fender.
Anyone have specs on it, I bet it goes head to head with the Ridgeline.
I had a 66'Mustang that was very soft, but everytime I hit a bump on a curve under acceleration the whole rear end would pick up and shift a couple inches. The Ridgeline greatly reduces this problem--but the Avalanche still suffers from it, no matter how much engineering is put into it.
To quote Car and Driver's Honda Pilot test:
"The Pilot's standard VTM-4 system has a dashboard switch that locks both rear half-shafts (there's no center or rear differential), but it operates in just the 1st 2 gears and unlocks at 18mph. Otherwise, the system runs primarily in front drive and sends torque to the rear wheels when wheelspin is sensed up front."
That is incredible. I can see the pissed off rednecks now wondering WTH!
This would be a deal breaker for many IMHO.
Why do you see a deal breaker? Pilot owners have rave reviews over its AWD ability.
Not even being close to being true... Each of these brands developed their own AWD drivetrains, and owe nothing to Subaru, in any way shape or form.
That's not meant as slap against Subaru. Being the owner of two, as well as being a Subaru Crew co-leader here at Edmunds, I truly love the brand. Just trying to set the facts straight, nothing more...
I knew there was something weird about this forum. You've hit it right on the head. But this is perfect, in its own way - I've owned two pickups and three SUV's (one a Honda); and the Ridgeline uniqueness does appeal to me. It's got some things that made the pickups undesirable (secure storage under-bed) - and the true 4-passenger seating with real off-road and towing capability has it all over my current SUV (well, Highlander). Neat little package. No wonder so many new-to-the-market folks are here. Can't wait to test drive one.
Honda is calling it "RUGGED" as the 1st word in their advertisement. I think this will likely do them a disservice in the long run.
If you have driven a Pilot (I have) and raved about its off-road ability, you must have little to compare it to. I tried to get my parents to look at one. They test drove it and said it was by far the worst test drive in their opinion. I agreed after driving one and comparing it to the competition.
I wish Honda luck, but they are shooting themselves in the foot by marketing this truck as something it is not.
We don't know that. It is possible that the Ridgeline uses a new design. It has not been confirmed.
Ergo - Just out of curiousity... what does the Pilot have to do with the capabilities of the Ridgeline?
There's no reason that such a front-wheel-drive-until-slip-is-detected system couldn't be made to be rugged. With fast-acting electronics, this could work just fine for many people's needs. It just depends how much they designed into the strength of the driveline. I'm sure there's plenty of folks that want a solid rear axle w/ an LSD. I would have preferred this for myself, and would have bought a 2005 Tacoma weeks ago but for the teething problems it has had. I do trust Honda to have designed something that won't break their bank with warrantee claims on broken drivelines.
High rear wheel power per centages are critical for this vehicle's success, I agree. It is designed to do some towing, and FWD only just won't cut it.
Subie enthusiasts report that the manual transmission, with its 50/50 split, takes the curves better than the auto which has a 90/10 up to 70/30 front rear. In theory, the manual tranny should tow better too (kind of a moot question for a Subie though, since few owners utilize this feature much).
The only error I saw was that they mentioned a 1100 pound payload. That's incorrect, or at least misleading. The payload is over 1500 pounds, of which 1100 can be in the bed.
Body part 2
Powertrain part 1
Powertrain part 2
Interior part 1
Interior part 2
Overview part 2
Overview part 3
"And with a full payload of 1100 lb in addition to occupants on board, it is every bit the “half-ton” pickup that represents the benchmark for American imaginations."
But thanks for the link. That was an entertaining review.
"Thanks to impressive stiffness, moreover, the Ridgeline sets benchmarks of its own. In slalom runs with and without maximum payload, the Ridgeline’s handling was razor sharp and scarcely different in either condition. Meantime, rivals like Ford’s Explorer Sport Trac and Toyota’s Tacoma impersonated wallowing whales toting identical loads through identical twists and turns on the slalom course."
"Four-wheel independent suspension and anti-lock disc brakes ensure sports-car manners unlike any traditional pickup’s. The Ridgeline marries this handling precision to a full-time “VTM-4” all-wheel-drive powertrain with locking rear differential and computerized “VSM” stability control. In foothills northeast of Southern California’s Torrey Pines National Forest , the Ridgeline scaled 23-degree ridgeline slopes, crossed calf-deep streams and negotiated obstructive rocks and berms. For all of the infelicities of the trail, however, nary a squeak nor groan emanated from the Ridgeline’s innovative unibody cockpit."
(John falling off the fence and not as appreciative of Forester today as yesterday).
Good point about Honda's approach to the pickup truck market as somewhat shattering the stereotypical approach.
I love the responses here from "truck guys" that complain about the Ridgeline not being a "real truck" (Heck, Edmunds disses it in it's little blurb, calling it "not much of a real truck") and go on to bag on it's appearance as their chief concern.
Well, isn't that a bit prissy? Sheesh.
I guess that's the only thing they have to hang their hat on given that when compared to other crew cab mid-sizes, the Ridgeline is very much a "real truck". In fact, it has class leading attributes in many areas, and as the article points out... it's body on frame construction may well be a superior way to build a truck.
Each day I'm more convinced that this is the RIGHT truck for me... can't wait to test drive it!
p.s. The looks are starting to grow on me.. it's not "Aztek Fugly" and it certainly wouldn't cause me to not buy it.
I guess other trucks were rated half ton, but only if the driver was riding solo. I don't think that's true of recent designs (Taco, Frontier, etc). It's probably a claim Honda came up with when they began designing the Ridgeline a few years ago.
Plenty enough for my needs 99% of the time.
The only reservation I have is regarding the off road capability, including the lack of a low range. But I noticed that Honda says the first gear has been made fairly low, so maybe that compensates some.
Also, my experience has been with part time 4wd trucks with locked center differentials, where in certain situations I have had difficulty, probably due to binding, so I have had to use low in certain situations such as making tight turns. It may be with Honda's system and no binding, it may not be as big a deal.
I am also not clear as to if the traction control works side to side. It said that the system can brake a front wheel, transferring torque and acting like an lsd. The back is not a typical differential, so it is unclear to me if one of the back tires could spin freely in a low traction situation.
Otherwise, thank you Bob for the very informative links.
Atlgaxt - The two rear wheels may be locked together (via clutch packs in the rear diff). This results in something more or less like the lockers you may have used on older trucks. It only works on the rear wheels and effectively locks them together. This is only to be used on slippery surfaces.
The front wheels are powered by an open differential. Normally, if one wheel slips, all power is send out to the side with the least resistance. So, the "loose" wheel will spin freely. Traction Control is used by the Ridgeline (and many, many other vehicles) to keep that kind of loose spin under control. TC brakes the spinning wheel, so that power is routed back to the other front wheel.
It ain't perfect, but it's a simple solution that doesn't require a great deal of cost.
In my driving I have actually put my truck through a couple of good sized streams, with depths of 18" to 24". Honda said that stream fording was one of the capabilities they included, with the air intake placed just below the hood. I wonder how deep the Ridgeline is rated for?
And her cost comparisons are another form of intellectualy dishonesty. If you're going to compare the Ridgeline to the F-150, at least quote the MSRP of the least expensive Crew Cab model... not the cheapest regular cab model!
More apt comparisons are the mid size pick-ups, the Chevy Avalanche, and the Explorer Sport Trac.
p.s. Keep posting those reviews!
I just called the local Honda dealer to see when they would get thier first one... they're looking into it.
It's going to be agonizing to wait to buy one if it turns out to be as good a vehicle in real life as it sounds like on paper/in reviews... and I absolutely refuse to pay full ticket.
Maybe in the fall when the model year is changing?