Is the Honda Ridgeline Going Away?

Is the Honda Ridgeline Going Away?

While the automaker won’t comment, sources tell us that Honda won't replace the current Ridgeline unibody pickup after its current lifecycle ends around 2012.

Honda had hopes of selling approximately 50,000 trucks per year when the truck came to market in 2005 for the 2006 model year, but in 2009 only 16,464 units were sold.

The midsize, unibody Ridgeline broke new ground in pickups with controversial slab-sided lunar-lander looks and all-wheel drive. It did away with conventional leaf springs in favor of an independent rear suspension that gave it great ride comfort and enough room for an in-bed lockable trunk – the first in a pickup. The Ridgeline also featured a dual-action tailgate that folded down or off to the side, like a door, to allow unimpeded access to the cargo box.

Asked to confirm or deny the end of the Ridgeline, Honda public relations manager Christina Ra told PickupTrucks.com on Friday that the company had no comment beyond what we were told after the 2010 Chicago Auto Show: "There would be no significant change to the Ridgeline through the 2011 model year."

Of course, Ra didn't deny the Ridgeline would be killed after the 2011 model year either.

Comments

Good.

Less power than tacoma and frontier but cost alot more. Honda the consumers are smarter than that. people should not be buying the CRV, too. A 4cylinder selling for more or about the same as Rav4 V6 or foresters turbo.

Why are they posting this on pickuptrucks.com? The Ridgeline isn't even a truck.

Dammit, the Toyota Tacoma needs competition...

This is no good!

@Tim,

Funny!

The Ridgeline can't disappear. Who will Motor Trend pick for the next TOTY award? Honday are you listening?

I don't mean to make any Ridgeline Fans mad, but to me, Honda clearly copied the Chevy Avalanche's styling; both trucks are crew cabs, both have a noticeable slope of the C pillar, and both have beds connected to the cab. I know its in a different class, midsize verses full size, I just think that the Ridgeline isn't that revolutionary of a design. All I can see is "Honda's Avalanche".

Nice looking car though regardless of where its styling came from.

Ridgeline = Minivan with a bed

Maybe Honda is going to copy Ford and not update their compact pickup for the next 15 or so years.

Its a model without a market.The fleets and construction companies buy full size American pickups,the low end buyers (kids and small "fleets") buy mini trucks,the rich and advertising rich buy Escalades and Yukon Denalis,the families buy (bought) Explorer Sport Tracs....what is Ridgeline's buying class?

I guess I'll be the first to say I'd be saddened to see the RL go.

I owned a 99 chevrolet silverado, and loved it to death. Great riding truck, nice power, and very comfortable... But she had more than a few problems (mostly fixed on the first attempt by the dealer, I will add..), and honestly it's WAY more truck than I needed. I lost the truck to an accident, and then purchased an SUV 3 years ago. I'm finding, however, I miss the bed.

I am strongly looking into the RL. I started looking at silverados again, but complaints of wind noise and lingering memories of problems with my 99 made me search around some more. I then realized I don't NEED a fullsize (although I'd love one), so I set out to research the tacoma. Despite lack of features like power-sliding windows, etc, I was pretty impressed.... Then the question of Toyota safety came out, and resale values were projected to fall.

Then the RL slid into the picture, as recommended by a friend. Ugly as heck, I would say, but PERFECT for my needs. An interior with room for a family (Should I feel the need to start one), a bed that'll handle 95% of what I'd be doing, and features/comfort for daily driving.

I hope honda thinks twice about pulling the plug. What they have is a unique vehicle. I'm sure it would suit most of American pickup buyers in its present form... and I KNOW it would suit almost all 1/2 ton buyers if they upped the tow ratings and power a notch.

Consumer Reports thinks the Ridgeline is the best truck on the market. Evidently, the company that makes them doesn't agree.

@Paul - I don't see too many familiies with SportTracs. They are too small, expensive, and hard on fuel. Mini vans and some of the new CUV's are the family vehicles that people buy.
The Ridgeline is a good concept but it's way too expensive, it's as hard on fuel as a full size and has "love it or leave it" looks.
My wife and I took one for a test drive and loved how it drove but the price was stupid.
What ever happened to the econobox pickup?

@ Jon The reason for the c-pillar is to increase body rigidity. The ridgeline is based off the Honda Pilot unibody platform. The structure had to be stiffened somehow to compensate for the scalping that the Pilot recieved. Same with the Avalanche. Its a Suburban clone. It's body on frame but the body shell still needed to be stiffened. My opion on both vehicles is that they are the perfect vehicle for someone who can't decide between an SUV or a truck but don't have any real need for either choice.

It's all about product demand and sales. If it's to low, production ends. Got to ask WHY are sales to low? Cost, customer sat issues, style, functionality, reliability? All play a part. Automakers aren't gotting to keep any low volume vehicle in production anymore.

As a avid Honda fan, I'm glad to see the Ridgeline (a.k.a. Avalanche) go. It was never a pickup anyway. Hopefully Honda will will make a compact pickup and offer us their 2.2L diesel engine too. Maybe Honda sees a market opening up now that a lot of mfg's are killing their compact/midsize pickups. I still don't see Ford killing the Ranger just yet.

I'd like to see Honda make a full size truck, although they don't have the suppliers built in like Toyota and Nissan does since they don't make any trucks anywhere.

It will be a big mistake if Honda drops the Ridgeline. Honda also mis-stepped on their first-gen Odyssey, but they went back to the drawing board, and now their minivan is arguably the gold standard in that market segment. They can do the same with a next-gen Ridgeline.

This vehicle was never meant to do commercial-grade work. It was aimed at Harry Homeowner, who does yard work and who needs to haul/tow some outdoor toys—and who wants a family truck. In that role it's the perfect vehicle.

It matches, or is in the ballpark with most 1/2-tons in terms of payload, and can tow 5K—which is more than enough for most homeowner's needs. If you need to tow 9+K, look elsewhere. It's also the only mid-size truck (it's not full size truck) that can lay 4x8 paneling flat on the bed floor.

Finally, I get a big chuckle from all the Ridgeline critics, as those who actually own these vehicles love them.

Ah,I guess Honda is getting tired of fixing warranty claims..Almost as bad as a Toyota !! Maybe they are..

Bad timing belts..
Bad water pumps..
Cracking engine blocks..
Faulty transmissions........
Good riddance !!

(Uncle is a service manager at a Honda dealer these are common problems)

Waylo,
Do not buy a Honda..they have major mechanical problems..overrated junk !!

Plus they get bad gas mileage for a powerless,6 cyl half truck,a Silverado is more powerful and gets a bit better average mpg than a Ridgeline..My HEMI Ram gets a bit better than a Ridgeline,the Honda owned by my Uncle gets 14-17 average mpg 50/50 mix ,My full size Ram 1500 gets 16.5-18.5 50/50 mix,fairly easy starts and smooth driving both were driven the same way by myself.We swapped trucks for a few days last summer as he needed to tow a project car home.He averages 14.2 mpg,his driving..

And the Honda is a lemon..unless you like spending $1700 every 25-30,000 miles for a water pump and timing belt..if you are lucky enough to make it that far before any other problems with the Honda..many of them have cracking engine blocks and faulty transmissions from the get go !!

Dodge - How about you get an uncle to work at a Dodge dealer as a service manager them do a true comparison.

@ Keith Whats your last comment suposed to mean? I work as a mechanic in a Dodge dealership. There is not one vehicle that they have made that I would be afraid to own. If the vehicle is maintained properly and not abused it will be fine. There are the occasional lemons but that is true with every brand. If you want to know if a vehicle is reliable talk to the people who fix them. Don't take the word of the people who drive them. When something goes wrong on a vehicle your probably looking at a couple hundred dollars minimum if its something minor. So when something does go wrong people always seem to bitch and complain about what a piece of junk they are driving. I hear this on a daily basis.

I would have liked the Honda more if it had it's own identity, instead of looking like a Chevy Avalanche. Since Honda trys to specialize in small, fuel-efficient vehicles, I'd like to see them replace the current Ridgeline series with an efficient truck like we saw in the 70's and 80's. Remember the little Isuzu deisels, Mitsubishi Mighty Max, Toyotas and Datsuns of those days? With gas prices going up again, bring 'em back! If you're a stoplight racer, get a big truck. If you tow horse trailers or Bayliners, fine, get a big truck. But, for the rest of us, how about a four cylinder clean-deisel or a high-torque gas four?

honda should focus on making cars not trucks.....

Honda Pilot has everything the Ridgeline offers + 3rd row seat. Why not people just buy that.

CUVs are the best selling segment and they could take the market of Pickups soon.

I think thier a respectable vehicle, everybody bashes it because its not a body on frame truck, but it does what it does rather well just needs a couple more MPG's.

billiejoe says:
"Honda Pilot has everything the Ridgeline offers + 3rd row seat. Why not people just buy that.

CUVs are the best selling segment and they could take the market of Pickups soon."

________________

You can't be serious. Try putting a yard of loose mulch or yard debris in the back of a Pilot or a CUV.

True, on the Pilot comparison.
5 can seat nearly as comfortable in the RL cab plus you can haul everything from refrigerators to dirt bikes in the RL.
If you need more seat room, then the Pilot or several other SUVs are the way to go.
If only 2 are traveling, you have the bed, the trunk in the bed, and folding rear seats in the RL for cargo.
Other differences, VTM-4 is an option in the Pilot, standard for all RL models.
Everyone has to pick the vehicle that works best for them. Nothing new there.

@ Jordan - What I mean is, when was the last time someone brought a vehicle to your shop to rave on how flawless it was and pay you to verify it? Natural a service adviser is only going to come in contact with people who have issues. Big or small issues. I may not work for Dodge, but have friends that own them and trust me, they are far from flawless and reports on Dodge's past build quality and durability back back that statement up. Go ahead and try and deny that there were huge issues with Dodge transmissions. Friend of the family went through 3 of them in 3 separate Caravans. They towed a small aluminum boat and had 2 kids. Hardly abuse. My brother worked at a used car dealer. Biggest item they replaced or fixed on Dodges? Trannies. Especially on Caravans.

FWIW if you ask any mechanic that works on a variety of makes, they will probably tell you to avoid almost all of them and usually drive late model vehicles for their personal vehicles that they turn their own wrenches on. That has been my experience.

its all about luck keith..

i have had more luck with chevys and dodges than with fords or any import....

@ Keith 3 trannies, 3 caravans? I would be leaning toward the driver being the problem not the trannies. You say he didn't abuse the tranny. Were the services being done? Trannies equiped with coolers? Was overdrive on or off? I have friends and family who have Caravans. Some tow some don't. None of them have had any problems. We have replaced a few failed units at our dealership. But to say that all Dodge trannies are junk is wrong. Like I said before, people always say the worst when thier vehicles break and they never admit to any abuse. Even when It's obvious.
Honda owners must be a strange bunch if they take thier vehicles to dealerships for work when there is nothing wrong with them as you say.

Jordan, point being as a serice manager or technician you are only seeing problem cars. Thus saying "my uncle works for.......and he says" means nothing. It equates to asking a relative that is a salesman if you should buy a car from him or her. For example, a manufacturer may sell 20,000 units of one model vehicle. Does one dealer service all 20,000? No. So just because one service manager says he sees issues on a perticular vehicle means nothing as there may be 30 service managers who hardly see any with the same problem. You can also look at it this way. How many vehicles did your dealership sell that never had an issue versus the ones that came in for major service? The service manager has no idea. For all he knows they serviced 10 vehicles and the dealership sold 1,000 of them. Way too many variable to have that kinf of opinion hold any weight. Want real data do an ownership survey.

FWIW considering the other posts says his uncle only saw theseissues withthe Ridgeline is a little off to start with as the under pinnings and drive train are shared with 2 other vehicles, Odessy and Pilot. Honda only put the bad parts in the Ridgeline? Thats like saying the Hemi in the Charger is bad, but it is just fine in the trucks and Magnum.

Kieth..
The blog is about the Honda Ridgeline,the Honda minivans and Pilots have the same problems as the Ridgeline,as well as Accord and Acura models with the same engine and transmissions as they use in the Ridgeline..Even the Civic has alot of reports of cracking engine blocks and it is a 4 cyl ,not the same engine as a Ridgeline/Minivan/Pilot ect...

My uncle works for Honda,done so for years so that is why his new rides are Honda products..My aunt had a Honda minivan under 50,000 and 2 transmissions, it couldnt keep a transmission as is my nieces 2005 Honda Accords transmission was recalled and replaced when it was new,now she only has 25,000 miles on it with a water pump and timing belt change already..luckily she doesnt drive much at all !! But she does want a Challenger,and she is getting one very soon !! Very soon..also my aunt now drives a Buick Enclave..

The problem with Dodge Caravan transmissions is that they used many Mitshubishi motor and transmissions throughout the years..Even Chrysler cars used inferior Mitshubishi engines and transmissions in many lines of cars and those are the ones most people complain about..it brought the perception of Chrysler quality/reliabilty down..

Furthermore,a minivan cannot carry a load of people and a trailer..A fwd is not made for towing !! Especially,when loaded up to max cargo capacity with family,gear,and then a trailer !! No,No,No !! Buy a full size van or truck/SuV if you want to tow..A minivan is only made for grocery getting and taking the family around town !!

Used car lots around here have lots of Honda's Accords,minivans,Pilots and alot have rebuilt transmissions,even says so in the adds..Its well noted Honda has quality problems with transmissions,timing belts,water pumps and cracking blocks are getting more common !!

I would be curious to see the mileage and condition of all these phantom Caravans with bad transmissions,after the 100,000 mile yes a caravan will most likely blow its tranny,either 110,000 or 200,000 !! Before the 100,000 mile mark its usually driver error,overloaded,jumping curbs,rolling backwards in reverse then popping it in drive when the van is still rolling back (see this everyday in a parking lot)but Honda on the other hand, is well documented even with its first denials then painful feet dragging recalls of their cars/trucks/vans/suv's shown their transmissions failed from new...500 miles and they were shuttering !!! Unbelievable..Good riddance Ridgeline,no one will miss ya !!

@ Keith You are kind of contradicting your first comment about service managing at Dodge dealerships. Your correct about not servicing all the Caravans in existence but we service a lot. You made a generalization about Caravan trannies all being junk because of an experience your friend had. But if they were all junk they would all have problems. And thats not the case (which also may be true for the Honda problems mentioned, I don't know about that so I won't comment). Also you mentioned about the Ridgeline problems that should exist with other models because of common parts. The tranny used in the Caravan is used in all of Chryslers front drive vehicles. So why arn't there problems with those as well?

Chryslers have all had tranny problems, we had two chrysler minivans back in the 90's, and both trannies went out all we did was pull around a 1K john boat from time to time with them.

All vehicle brands have had issues in one form or another but as an overall brand perception, the reports and consumer surveys back up the fact that Honda makes a quality product, I know many who own them including me and haven't had any of those issues....if given the choice of a Honda or a Chrysler product, I gotta go with the better reputation of the Honda. Heck as consumer reports go even GM and Ford rate higher than Chrylser vehicles when it comes to quality.

I just want to say something about Chrysler transmissions. My family has always had Chrysler products and so far the only transmission issue we've had, is on my 95 Grand Cherokee that I bought with close to 200,000 miles on it and it was beaten bad before I bought it. We have 2 Sebrings, both of which are close to 100k with no issue's. I also have 4 Neons, 2 of which are manuals and the other two are automatics. We haven't had any issue's with the transmissions. Heck, one of the automatics is at 218,xxx miles and still going strong and we've never even adjusted the bands! My Daily Driver Neon has 264,xxx miles on it with no transmission problems either (Its a 5-speed manual, original clutch was replaced about 30,xxx miles ago). So not all Chrysler transmissions have issues.

Don - You had exactly the same experience as my friends parents. their first was an 85 Caravan, then late 80's, then a 90's. I was not referring to the new Caravans. They do seem to have finally sorted them out. I am not heaping all Chryslers in the bad tranny mix. Just 80's through 90's Caravans which are proven to have lots of issues.

I find it amusing that guys would blame Mitsubishi for all the engine and transmission problems Chrysler had. It isn't any different than Ford guys blaming International for crappy diesels, or Toyota guys blaming Dana for rusty frames.

There were many other quality control issues that occured with Dodge as well. Did Mitsubishi make the transmissions for the Dodge trucks? It seems that many of their problems were in the 80's and 90's.
I had an early 90's Grand Caravan that didn't have any huge problems but it got frustrating taking it to the dealer 2 - 3 times a year for poor shifting , failed door locks, failed AC, poor brake life etc. Several of our friends had the same year van and had the same problems as us.
To go on about Honda quality issues that occured in the past is silly at best. The problems Honda had were limited to a few products for only a few years.
Do some research and Honda and Toyota rate at the top end of the industry for quality. Ford had improved to the point of being at the top as well. Chrysler/Dodge is below average overall. GM is hit and miss. Some of their stuff is above average but most is average or bellow average in quality.

This was the girliest truck EVER MADE! Yep, it even beats the Subaru Brat re-make from recent years.

consumer reports own test got 16 mpg and they still reccomend it!!!!!!! my 390 hp hemi gets no worse than that .......

@lou "To go on about Honda quality problems that occured in the past is silly at best" Your words not mine. Now remove Honda from that sentence and insert Dodge. Is it still true? Caravan problems, Caravan problems, Caravan problems. All the examples on this post are on vehicles pushing 20 years old!!!! If this kind of talk is "silly at best" then why don't we drop it and get back to the Honda that the article is about.

@ Jordan - good point.
These blogs take on a life of their own.
I brought up my family's former vehicle as a counterpoint to the anti-Honda rhetoric. If you look at long term trends - Honda quality and reliability problems are an exception to the norm. The Ridgeline consistently rates as one of the most reliable and quality pickups made.(that's if you consider it a pickup) If you look at Chrysler in contrast - quality and reliability have been an issue for several decades. The only products that have seen any appreciable improvement are their full size pickups and surprisingly enough - the Caravan. I still would not buy one. I would not hesitate to buy a Honda product if it fit my purchase parameters. You work for a Dodge dealership and have your own opinion of how good or bad those products are. I do not have insider information on quality or reliability. I must rely on consumer research groups and anectdotal evidence. Evidence suggests that buying any Chrysler product other than what I mentioned would be a risky proposition. Quality has improved for all vehicles but when measured against their peers Honda, Toyota, and Ford are at the top of their game. GM is hit and miss, and poor Chrysler is lacking. I'm not harping on the past but stating evidence from the present.

@ Lou I used to read into those consumer reports and digests ass well untill I several years ago. It was an article on the redesigned 08 Jeep liberty. It scored poorly. The reason? First year of a new product. Everything was average but this fact pushed it below. This was crap. It had a new body, new interior, and that was it. Powertrain carry over, Drive line carry over, Electrical carry over. There was nothing significantly different other design inside and outside.
Same magazine had a Toyota that was redesigned, it scored well despite the fact that it was a new model as well. A double standard in my opinion. And I know others will argue that I'm comparing toyota and Chrysler reliablity but it should work both ways. Second last vehicle I owned was an 06 Hyundai Tuscon. I had heard that they had come a long way in quality and reliability. I as at the dealership once a month for warrenty work and I dumped it as soon as the warrenty was up.

This worthless piece of scrap metal will not be missed.

I have owned a ridgeline for 2 years now and it is the best handling, most versatile truck out there. When comparison shopping the dealer took us to a twisty stretch of road and encouraged us to let her rip. The truck handles like a big sports car. Include a large trunk and a bed that has been used to carry 1200 lbs of soil, fencing, lumber and anything else we have thrown at it and you have a very satisfied customer. We will miss the ridgeline if Honda fails to keep making them.

I find it pretty funny how we have the same people pushing for a new Ranger and/or Colorado bashing what is essentially what they are asking for. The Ridge line is a midsized pickup with a decent payload and tow rating. It beats the Ranger and Colorado hands down in creature comforts and power as well. That is one of the reason it costs more and burns more gas. People are comparing 4 cylinder mileage on Rangers and Colorados to 6 cylinder payloads and towing. Show me the Ranger that will get 20mpg city and be happy towing 4,000lbs. Show me a Ranger running a 4.0L V6 and 4wd that will significantly beat the Ridgelines mileage unloaded?

FWIW Jordan I would not go comparing anything to a Jeep Liberty. They are hardly flying off the dealers lots. Also willing to bet if you did more research you'd see the redo was more than just cosmetic as well. BTW the Liberty probably scored bad on the first run as well. Why would they review a facelifted model better if it was running the same chassis, electrical and powertrain? It would have all the same issues, just a newer appearance.

@ Keith Man it seems like we butt heads on every article. I wasn't trying to coment on the resale value, sales numbers, etc of the Liberty. My point was that the vehicle rated as average according to their rating system untill they tallied the reliability. This brought the score down. Their reason for that low mark was that it was the first year of a new model or redesign. My problem is that these same rules didn't seem to apply to the Japanese brands. I work as a mechanic at a Dodge dealership. We sell Chryslers and Jeeps as well. I know the Liberty pretty good. I can tell you that almost everything was a carry over in the 08 redesign. This is why I tend not to trust reviews from those types of magazines. They seem biased. Just my opinion.

The RL is fine for city boys and girls who need to occasionally load up a mower or bags of mulch from Home Depot....this thing is not a truck, and never will be. It's city-cute and stylish, and I doubt that any of them have ever seen a dirt road. Honda needs to stick with what it does best....build excellent cars with great reliability.

Larry - You pretty much summed up the much beloved Ranger, yet people want Ford to keep making it. Equip a supercab Ranger with the 4.0L V6 or a Sport trac andlook at the MPG. They are right around the Ridgeline. You are not going to tow 5,000lbs or haul over 1,000lbs with a 4 cylinder Ranger. Well, I guess you could but I wouldn't plan on the driver or truck liking it very much.

billiejoe

Just fold the seats in Pilot, spread a plastic sheet and u can still move the mulch and then clean it up.

But you cannot move 8 passengers in Ridgeline, nor you can keep a big item like a sofa or suitcases safely.

CUV's probably with a Cargo version, just like HHR or Vans like Transit Connect will soon start eating up the Pickups market.

Watch it.



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