The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Truck Review: 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD RTL-E Review By John Heilig

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

By John Heilig
Senior Editor

Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD RTL-E
ENGINE: 3.5-liter SOHC V6
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 280 hp @ 6,000 rpm/262 lb.-ft. @ 4,700 rpm
WHEELBASE: 125.3 in.
LENGTH X WIDFTH X HEIGHT: 210.0 x 78.6 x 46.5 in.
TIRES: P245/60R18
CARGO: 1,584 lbs. payload; 33.9 + 7.3 cu. ft. cargo bed trunk vol
ECONOMY: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway/23.5 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 19.5 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 4,515 lbs.
TOWING CAPACITY: 5,000 lbs. (standard Class III hitch with harness)
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Chevrolet Colorado
STICKER: $42,270 (includes $900 delivery)
BOTTOM LINE: The redesigned Honda Ridgeline pickup seems more like a car when you’re driving it, but it has all the features one would demand from a mid-size pickup.

Get behind the wheel of the new Honda Ridgeline pickup and before long you’ll notice how smooth it is. Yes, it’s a pickup truck, but it drives more like a sedan. Ride quality is excellent. The suspension seems to float the Ridgeline over most bumps, unlike most pickups that insist you know they are trucks. Even my wife likes the Ridgeline, and my wife does’t like trucks.

The 3.5-liter V6 engine under the hood has more than enough power for an unloaded Ridgeline that isn’t towing anything, although it has a 5,000-pound towing capacity. The engine is quiet, only exhibiting any noise when it’s under hard acceleration. And it’s relatively economical. We averaged 23.5 mpg during our test. The Ridgeline used regular gasoline, and there’s also a capless filler for the tank.

The feature that “tire kickers” we talked with when we had the Ridgeline is the cargo bed. The bed is a healthy size (5’4” long by 4’6” wide between the wheel arches), and will carry the requisite 4x8 plywood sheet. But more than that, under the cargo bed is a lockable, practical trunk that’s big enough to hold a small body. The tailgate has two positions. It opens by pulling it downward like a standard pickup. But you can also open it like a door, which makes getting to objects further back in the cargo bed easier. When it’s opened like a door, the lockable trunk becomes available. There are eight tie-downs in the cargo bed, and as soon as you open the tailgate, lights go on to make it easier to find things in the dark. In a compartment on the right side of the cargo bed is a 115-volt outlet with a 400-watt maximum as long as the engine is running.

Let’s suppose that you have more cargo than even the Ridgeline’s cargo bed can hold, or you want to protect your cargo from the elements. No problem. The rear seats fold up to create a large cargo area in the back of the cabin. They are easy to fold up and fold down.

As proof of its car-like credentials, the Ridgeline has a full suite of passive safety features, like a collision mitigating braking system, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist system, lane departure warning, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and forward collision warning.

Front seats are comfortable with folding interior arms rests that obviate the need for a tall center console. The arm rests have to be worked a bit to find an ideal position, though. However, the console that’s there is deep with 12-volt, AUX and USB outlets. Our granddaughters also reported that the rear seats were comfortable.

Besides the console, interior storage consists of a flat tray in front of the shifter at the base of the center stack. It has 12-volt and USB outlets. There’s also a small cubby in the center stack. The multi-level door pockets have a myriad of uses.

Other features that are valuable are the outside right mirror that dips when you’re back up. There’s also a “spy” mirror located on the roof console to check on any shenanigans that might be going on in the back seat.

The infotainment system is fairly conventional, but the HVAC system is super efficient. We drove the Ridgeline in some fierce cold weather and reached a point where we were complaining about the heat.

The prior Ridgeline was noted for its quirky design, especially in the cargo area. The new Ridgeline is more conventionally styled, but it is still aerodynamic. Inside, the dash has nice flowing lines and the “barbell” instrument panel is a pleasure to use.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate

More Unbiased "Tell not Sell" Independent Honda Vehicle Research Information Than Anywhere!