When the 2017 Honda Ridgeline first appeared in 2005, we threw it into a comparison test against the mid-size pickups of the day, and the Ridgeline came out on top. In that test, though, we equivocated on the question of whether the Ridgeline—with its unibody construction and transverse powertrain layout—was a real truck or a car masquerading as a truck. We called it “a new type of utility vehicle.” Now there’s a new Ridgeline, and Honda is sticking with its unconventional layout, although it did work around the edges to make the Ridgeline fit better into the pickup landscape. Hard-core truck guys may still question its bona fides, but the Ridgeline once again looks impressive next to its peers.
EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR DESIGN
The new generation of Honda’s pickup model is coming with complete redesign. What we can expect is to see some new standards in the class of mid-size pickup truck models. The new Honda Ridgeline will have more sporting exterior design. Exterior redesign will bring Ridgeline 2017-series more robust and modern style. The new 2017 Honda Ridgeline will get more traditional pickup profile. New model will have longer and flatter hood. The tailgate will be divided into two parts, and the new Honda Ridgeline is on its way to the new unibody platform. The suspension will be 4×2 and 4×4, although so far it has been available only as a 4×4. When we talk about the interior of the new vehicle, we will surely notice a lot more space, especially for the legs. Interior of the truck comes luxuriously equipped and sophisticated, but at the same time it will keep its sporty look. The 2017 Honda Ridgeline will come with a wide range of high-technology features. Some of these features will be: hands-free calling, USB port, Bluetooth connection, updated satellite navigating, safety belt, air bags, auto vehicle parking aid, and other safety options.
Ride and handling
It’s very good at maintaining control of itself when it’s laden. When it’s unladen, the Ridgeline is one truck that truly drives like a car.
That’s because, mostly, it is a car. The suspension is a reinforced and reworked version of the Pilot’s, and so is its torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system.
Dual-action dampers let the Ridgeline handle small bumps and big bumps in different ways, giving it ride quality that’s a bit better even than the Pilot, or at least Pilots that ride on optional 20-inch wheels. The Pilot also lacks the Ridgeline’s center bed reinforcement, which seems to give the truck a bit better body rigidity.
The Ridgeline also sports hydraulic suspension bushings, a faster steering ratio than before, and a torque-vectoring system that uses electrohydraulic clutches to move power side to side across its rear wheels. Its ability to cut through corners without the bounding, quivering ride of a body-on-frame truck is immediately noticeable.
2017 HONDA RIDGELINE ENGINE
Under the hood of the new 2017 Honda Ridgeline, Honda has featured similar engine as the one in the Pilot SUV. The unit is a 3.5-liter V6 engine. The engine produces 280 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque on the Pilot SUV. The 2017 Honda Ridgeline truck will be offered in both all-wheel-drive and front-wheel drive. Transmission is a 6-speed automatic with the option of 9-speed. There are also some rumors about a diesel engine but still we don’t have accurate information.
Party in the Back
Although it has an independent rear suspension rather than a solid axle, the Ridgeline’s cargo floor is still nearly waist-high—making the loading of heavy cargo a pain. At least the two-way tailgate, when opened like a door, lets you reach farther into the cargo bed. That tailgate design (pioneered by Ford and Mercury station wagons in the mid-1960s) was a key feature of the previous Ridgeline, and surprisingly it has not been appropriated by any other pickup. Opening it like a door provides easy access to another returning Ridgeline feature, the trunk underneath the truck bed. That 7.0-cubic-foot well is sealed at the top to keep luggage dry and also comes with a drain plug at the bottom, which allows it to be used as a cooler. For an even more rockin’ tailgate party, the RTL-E and Black Edition come with actuators that vibrate the cargo bed, turning it into a large audio speaker, and an AC outlet in the bed sidewall can power a flat-screen TV.
Honda loaded not just the bed but also the cab with clever features. There’s a useful amount of space (nearly three cubic feet) under the rear-seat cushion; flip up the cushion to create what Honda claims is best-in-class interior storage volume (50 cubic feet, measured from floor to ceiling), enough room to fit a standard-size mountain bike. Unfortunately, the rear doors are somewhat narrow and don’t open particularly wide, so loading bulky cargo may be a bit of a challenge. The rear seat also excels at carrying human cargo, and both it and the front seats are comfortable perches. We noted luxury touches such as the heated steering wheel and three-zone automatic climate control. We were less enamored of the Garmin-based navigation, which looks, well, like a Garmin and not like a high-end factory unit. And Honda’s 8.0-inch Display Audio (on the RTL-T, RTL-E, and Black Edition) is a disaster: a buttonless, knobless, entirely touchscreen-based system, with an annoying and imprecise touch-slider control for volume. We ended up relying heavily on the steering-wheel audio controls.
RELEASE DATE AND PRICE
Release date of the new 2017 Honda Ridgeline is not known yet, but it is expected to be later this year. According to some rumors the price should be around $30,000.