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2017 Honda Ridgeline Long-Term Road Test - Introduction

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 9,714
edited January 20 in Honda
image2017 Honda Ridgeline Long-Term Road Test - Introduction

We've added a 2017 Honda Ridgeline to our long-term test fleet. This midsize pickup offers a few key advantages over its rivals, including a more comfortable ride and a larger cabin.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Posts: 811
    Good choice, will be an interesting read. I'm sure the Ridgeline is exactly something like what I need who values dependability and doesn't care about towing, but just needs to transport and pickup stuff once in a while. Of course, buying that would mean that I'd become my wife's "go pickup this big furniture for me" taskman, so...
  • prlundbergprlundberg Posts: 3
    edited January 20
    Should be a good one. Where I feel the Ridgeline missed the mark is in ground clearance (and inability to put a bit larger more aggressive tires on it), the very shallow bed, the soccer mom styling, and the inability to option it out like I'd like without going up to a top trim package that puts its price squarely into F-150 territory. I think the AWD system should be much better in winter driving than a traditional 4WD, and I also am wondering if it is large enough to replace a full size truck. I don't need the capability of a full size, but my family of 5 does need more space than the traditional mid-size trucks. The Ridgeline may hit that sweet spot.

    And I'd like somebody, anybody to please test the pop-up head restraint for the rear seat middle passenger to see if it's adequate. GM, for some reason, does not believe in 3 rear head restraints in ANY of their trucks, which has taken them off my shopping list. I don't see any mention of this in any review of pickups.

    Oh, and by the way, the Ridgeline's bed is 5' 3.6", not the 6' 4" your post states.
  • Great Choice. I have been waiting for this one. I am familiar with Ram's coil spring ride, which I think has the best pickup ride I have experienced by far, so I would like to hear how the Ridgeline's ride compares to both the Ram's coil spring and Ram's air suspension rides. The only thing that keeps me out of a Ridgeline is the lack of an aftermarket small camper option like those that fit the Tacoma crew cab, which on paper has a lower payload than the new Ridgeline. I also look forward to how various loads are actually handled in the Ridgeline.
  • igve2shtzigve2shtz Posts: 11
    Excellent choice for long term test that I look forward to following. However, you listed the bed as 6'4 whereas it is only 5'4, albeit still 2-4" bigger than the other mid-sizers small beds. Can't wait to read more.
  • emajoremajor Posts: 327
    The CUV of pickups. It's a good choice with which to follow up the Tacoma. Polar opposite. I'm sure the onroad manners, interior space, and powertrain are all excellent and this is frankly a brilliant solution for someone who wants a pickup but has modest (or nonexistent) towing and payload needs and doesn't want to be beat up by the compromises of the Tacoma or sheer size of the fullsizers. A substantial portion of Tacoma buyers use theirs offroad, though, and this Honda is badly limited there. Poor clearances and approach angles, no low-range, and a temporary undersized spare tire.
  • micevansmicevans Los AngelesPosts: 6
    This should be good!
  • cameronrcameronr Posts: 31

    Should be a good one. Where I feel the Ridgeline missed the mark is in ground clearance (and inability to put a bit larger more aggressive tires on it), the very shallow bed, the soccer mom styling, and the inability to option it out like I'd like without going up to a top trim package that puts its price squarely into F-150 territory. I think the AWD system should be much better in winter driving than a traditional 4WD, and I also am wondering if it is large enough to replace a full size truck. I don't need the capability of a full size, but my family of 5 does need more space than the traditional mid-size trucks. The Ridgeline may hit that sweet spot.

    And I'd like somebody, anybody to please test the pop-up head restraint for the rear seat middle passenger to see if it's adequate. GM, for some reason, does not believe in 3 rear head restraints in ANY of their trucks, which has taken them off my shopping list. I don't see any mention of this in any review of pickups.

    Oh, and by the way, the Ridgeline's bed is 5' 3.6", not the 6' 4" your post states.

    igve2shtz said:

    Excellent choice for long term test that I look forward to following. However, you listed the bed as 6'4 whereas it is only 5'4, albeit still 2-4" bigger than the other mid-sizers small beds. Can't wait to read more.

    I can't do basic math anymore. Thanks for pointing this out, a change has been submitted.
  • Marcothecarguy1986Marcothecarguy1986 new yorkPosts: 572
    cant to wate to hear all about this truck nice one.
  • "With our decision to get a Ridgeline cemented.."

    stop it, yer killin' me!
  • bohiobohio Posts: 52
    edited February 7
    emajor said:

    A substantial portion of Tacoma buyers use theirs offroad, though, and this Honda is badly limited there.

    Evidence? What does "substantial" mean in this context? I bet it's less than 20%, and wouldn't be surprised if it's closer to 10%.

    I realize that truck-buying might conjure aspirations of going camping, hauling big stuff home to renovate the kitchen, or taking on at least a few hundred yards of the Baja 1000, but lots of owners never do that with their trucks. My dad is one such consumer, harking all the way back to a truly wretched used Ford Courier he bought in 1984. He now has a 2006 Chevy Colorado with a manual trans, and at age 82 is unhappy with doing the shifting himself. So, I'm hoping he'll take a real hard look at the Ridgeline. He's owned other Honda/Acura vehicles, and laments selling every one of them... I've told him the Ridgeline will be similar to his Acura MDX, but with the bed attached for the day he might actually haul home a refrigerator.
  • metalmaniametalmania Posts: 164
    Looking forward to this long term review. And glad for once to not see anyone posting that "it's not real truck, you wuss". No, it's not as rugged as a body on frame but it's not supposed to be. I wasn't a fan of the styling at first, but it's grown on me a bit. I wouldn't call it great but I guess I'd call it "benign" now. I don't need the capabilities of a full size truck, but there are enough times that I've got stuff that's dirty that I'd rather not bring inside, or bulky that doesn't fit well inside our other cars, that having the open bed would be useful. And I do need it to be a decent commuter and family hauler. Sometimes I can't decide whether I want a car, a CUV, or a truck, and the Ridgeline in some ways is all three. I looked one over at an auto show recently, and to me the bigger interior space was immediately evident over the Tacoma and Colorado. Tacoma was too small in the rear seat, Colorado I could probably get by with, but the Ridgeline was clearly better. I really liked the open/flat (mostly) floor inside the cab with the rear seats folded up. The only thing I didn't like was how shallow the bed sides are - not sure how much of an issue that would be in reality but it was notable vs the other mid sizers, and an integrated step like the Colorado has to get into the bed would be nice. The integrated trunk in the bed is pretty big.

    I don't have any towing needs right now, but by the rated numbers it should be able to handle a small camper, maybe a small boat, or utility trailer. I don't expect I would need more than that. If I did, well then it would be time to get a "real" truck. I'm not an off-roader, so the lack of hard core off roading ability is a non-issue for me - although from what I've seen and read it appears to do fairly well in modest off road conditions. I would expect the torque vectoring AWD system to be superior to traditional 4x4 in inclement weather.
  • epbrown01epbrown01 Posts: 1
    bohio said:

    emajor said:

    A substantial portion of Tacoma buyers use theirs offroad, though, and this Honda is badly limited there.

    Evidence? What does "substantial" mean in this context? I bet it's less than 20%, and wouldn't be surprised if it's closer to 10%.
    ^This. In my opinion, Porsche hit record sales after releasing the 996 because they realized that 95% of owners weren't going to the track, so they made the cars cushier, basically a sports-car shaped BMW. For the customers actually going to the track, they offered the more focused GT models. Sold like gangbusters, even as the critics (who don't buy cars) whined.

    The Ridgeline follows a similar philosophy - offering buyers a rugged truck image without the penalties, provided you actually don't go rocketing thru the brush jumping gullies like the truck commercials tell us everyone does. I think it's a great idea.

    The problem is it's Honda - Porsche had the reputation to pull this off, and Honda doesn't. So people crash about in their giant diesel 4x4s for the commute and a twice a year Home Depot run, and ignore the Ridgeline that would suit them better (the last model sold under 2000 units one year). My gripe is they've done away with the slant-side bed, which improved visibility all around but destroys the impression you're always hauling firewood or horses or whatever.

  • emajoremajor Posts: 327
    bohio said:

    emajor said:

    A substantial portion of Tacoma buyers use theirs offroad, though, and this Honda is badly limited there.

    Evidence? What does "substantial" mean in this context? I bet it's less than 20%, and wouldn't be surprised if it's closer to 10%.
    "Substantial" means more than a Ridgeline and fewer than an XJ with a lift kit. Marketing research has probably quantified it if you can find it. I'm not sure that's relevant though, and your argument certainly isn't clear. If usage is 10%, 20%, or 75%, what does it matter? Are you being forced to drive it? Are the purchasing decisions of other people really of great concern to you? Or do you just have an inexplicable gripe against the Tacoma that compels you to post repeatedly here? Perhaps no vehicles should be designed with a specific capability in mind? No RWD sports sedans, goodness they are poor in snow, ride too harshly, and only 10% of their owners ever bring them to a track or seek out a winding road. They should drive Accords instead.

    The Tacoma is capable off road, the Ridgeline is not. The Ridgeline is good on the road, the Tacoma is not. The Tacoma has faux rugged styling, the Ridgeline looks like a minivan. The Tacoma "conjure(s) aspirations of going camping" while the Ridgeline is something you recommend to an octogenarian. Buy according to your preference. I wouldn't recommend a Tacoma to someone uninterested in its narrow strengths, but I certainly wouldn't gripe on the internet that Toyota should redesign it to be a flaccid CUV with a pickup bed just because I don't think enough people take advantage of its off road capabilities.
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