Ridgeline is just a hard to define vehicle. When you look at it is clearly pickup truck, but when you read data, you are not sure anymore. What was Honda’s thinking behind this, we are about to find out, as this is no usual truck what so ever. The first generation was introduced in 2005, and it was in production till 2014. It was discontinued two years before the second generation came and the reason for this were lousy sale figures. Anyway, despite that, the second generation was revealed this year, and here we have a review of 2017 Honda Ridgeline.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH IT
Most will say everything. It is mid-size pickup truck that was based on the first generation on Acura MDX. You’ll say- but, but that is crossover base? And yes you are right. Ridgeline has monocoque chassis, and that is common as same as Merc’s S-Class with ladder frame. It just contradicts every rule existing in the automotive world. Trucks are working animals, and they are not intended to be treated as pets since you can hardly cohabitate with your ox in your living room.
The second generation is based on the Pilot model, and that doesn’t change anything as it is one of the “pretending to be an off-roader,” or simply crossover. So, Ridgeline is crossover in the truck body, not fully being either of them.
2017 Honda Ridgeline STYLING
Even styling isn’t usual for the segment. It doesn’t pretend to be macho, it isn’t right in your face with its masculinity, and its appearance doesn’t try to fool anybody about its capabilities. The first generation at least looks bulkier but second is even further away from truck world looking closer to CR-V than to any of its rivals.
There is always one usual thing with Honda’s cabin about which buyers complain all the time. That is the quality of plastic, always ruining overall refinement, despite decent fit and finish. Well, the world turned upside down here as in segment where you would expect cheap plastic Honda offered something else. That’s Honda I guess when you expect you shall not have, but here when you don’t, you shall get it.
This is a Pilot cabin, and Pilot is a crossover, and that means it won’t get far in the wild, but on pavement, it will nurture you in comfort and luxury. This might not be the prime example of lavishness in the segment, but in Ridgeline’s it is sublime.
UNDER THE BONNET
Only one choice and it resemble rivals choices. There is no surprise here, with something as four cylinder twin turbocharged unit or something similar from Civic Type R. Usual naturally aspired 3.5-liter V6 i-VTEC unit producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque is placed under the bonnet mated with 6-speed automatic transmission. At least something to fit the ordinary framework.
RIDE AND CAPABILITIES
The second part of this subtitle is worrying and with reason. It comes with front-wheel drive, it is not even RWD, and for the mandatory feature of AWD that every truck must possess, you have to put extra cash. Outrageous, but in accordance to everything noted so far. Even with four-wheel drive power goes to the front, while it can be distributed to the rear or just one side when loss of traction occurs. Forget about decent off roading with this as it doesn’t conceal its crossover nature. Rare plus side on the capability area is a respectable towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, and the 64-inch bed is quite large.
Now we come to the ride part. Same things stand as with cabin. This is unibody construction with independent suspension, and it drives like comfort SUV or sedan, totally beating rugged rivals in this area. As much as its competitors can do in mud, sand or rocks it can do on the pavement.
2017 Honda Ridgeline CONCLUSION
2017 Honda Ridgeline is just a breed of its own. It can’t deliver what truck is all about, and it can’t offer what crossover is all about. It pulls from both worlds making a blend hard to comprehend. That’s the reason for sluggish sales, but there is a catch for Japanese car maker here. Due to the unusual strategies, Ridgeline took half of usual funds needed for development, and it is an extremely profitable product.
At the end, if you possess that rare out of the box thinking, and you are a huge fan of pickup shape but not the rough nature of it, no similar thing exist in today’s world.