Spied: 2016 Honda Ridgeline

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We've known a new Honda Ridgeline was coming at some point this year as a 2016 model so it seems appropriate to start seeing test prototypes running around for testing. Here's what our spies have just caught and what they're hearing.

"We now have the first photos of a prototype 2016 Honda Ridgeline, caught with a long lens. These new shots seem to confirm Honda's earlier teaser outlines, which suggested that the new Ridgeline will have a more traditional pickup design — at least in silhouette. Gone are the buttress-style front rails that aimed to smooth some of the sharp lines of basic truck design.

"The 2016 Ridgeline prototype was running nose-to-tail with the first-generation model, allowing an excellent opportunity to gauge the general size.From what we can tell, the footprint of the new Ridgeline will be similar to the original model. The evidence generated by these first shots seems to suggest that the new pickup will continue to use some of the unibody chassis of the 2016 Honda Pilot. If our estimates are correct, it appears that the Ridgeline will compete with the rejuvenated Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, along with the just-released 2016 Toyota Tacoma.

"Our sources at marketing research firm AutoPacific tell us to expect powertrains using Honda's Earth Dreams efficiency technologies. There was some speculation that a continuously variable transmission could be in play, but given the apparent Pilot-based architecture of the new truck, that seems unlikely now. We are told to look out for the possible inclusion of Honda's new SH-AWD hybrid system developed for larger vehicles, which could be added to give some technological uniqueness in a crowded and competitive landscape."

We'll know more when we find out if Honda will be showing any kind of concept vehicle at the Chicago (February) or New York (April) auto shows. If not those two, than possibly at the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas in November.

KGP Photography images


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great news, need competiton and other choices when we start to see some of the GM dna in the colorado/canyon.

That looks like a failure to me! The nose is longer and thicker. Not impressed! I liked the old version. All that needed to be done was power train upgrade.

The new info suggests the reality of the pickup format. If the new addition is as good as the last ridgelines they will have a winner. The reason is that most 4 door pickups today are so oversize for the normal American consumer. The big 3 brands with a four door model is so big that a model just or won’t fit in a normal sized garage.
The ridgeline is so suited for today’s big box store driven families. Bringing the kids to school or picking up that 55 gallon drum of Costco ketchup. The four door short bed is all that most amencan families need.
I wish Honda the best of luck with their new ridgeline and think many other car companies might learn something from their new designed truck.

While looking at these pictures, the nose of the New Ridgeline sticks out just as much as the current model, therefore suggesting that this will also be a transversely mounted power train. It will be interesting to see the vehicle when its finally revealed. However, as far as hauling / towing capability to rival the body on frame trucks, I have my doubts it will catch a Colorado / Canyon TDI?? This will not be on my shopping list though!!

You know, I was just talking to an owner of an '08 Ridgeline and while he did have some complaints, they weren't about performance or capability. Of course the Ridgeline isn't meant to be a heavy-duty truck, but then the half-ton series in itself was never meant to be a heavy-duty model. Wanting and expecting four tons and more of towing or a full ton or more of payload is senseless for a "light duty" truck.

Based on that owner's comments, things like the headlight and cruise control switches mounted in places where you have to look for them is outright dangerous, but its--to me innovative--AWD system in ingenious--letting the truck run in economical FWD mode most of the time but automatically locking the rear diff for acceleration puts the power where it's needed, when it's needed. My own complaints about the truck fell far more in the instrument panel and controls than its capabilities--though I'll also point out that it's still too big for my taste.

The new truck looks like it has a slightly longer box. They ditched the sloping box sides which is great. Up-fitters will be happy. The wide c-pillar is gone and that is also good for visibility. The hood looks similar in length to the old one jusr more bulge to the snout. That may be padding to throw off spies or a nod to improved aerodynamics.

Kill it. Kill it with fire. Oh wait that's the new super duty

Looks like they used GM squared fender openings. Maybe thinking is little less sheet metal, saves on weight???? Lose the square opening look.

It better be available with a manual transmission!

It's great to see the competition ramp up a little in the midsize segment.

It will be interesting to see what engine and powertrain choices are available.

The wheels look marginally to small in diameter.

I like the Ridge. But the fact that it was a monocoque mid size crossover truck marketed against half-ton pickups instead of midsize pickups with a small engine and just as bad (relatively speaking) fuel economy did in the first generation. I will withhold judgment until more information and less camo is available.

Honda still needs to build a truck for the wacked out Consumer Reports cult-collective.
If the body was made out of cardboard and it had a lawnmower engine Consumer Reports would still say its the greatest truck ever made.
OHHHH---AAAAA---Honda is soooo wonderful

funny how you NEVER read about the Honda engine using oil and the uncomfortable seats in Consumer Reports.

I admit it! I used to be part of the Consumer Reports Cult UNTILL they trashed the 2012 Honda Civic then the following year the Civic was changed EXACTLY what Consumer Reports recommended! I smell a rat, now I have proof they are in bed with Honda!

The ONLY reason Honda is in business is because of Consumer Reports !

Love my honda atvs. Will not buy any other brand atvs as the quality of the hondas are so much better than anything else and I've extensively experienced all the major brands. Wish honda would take some of their atv engineers and have them help engineer a simple COMPACT truck with good off road capability and honda durability. Looks like the new ridgeline will at least have a more accessible bed, but if they are testing it alongside the old ridgeline they've already lost my interest.

The mid size market is on fire but Ford and Ram are being left behind.

Darn! I forgot about the ridgeline until I saw this and remembered that they're coming back. This should give those who prefer mid-sizers more options

I do believe you.

Ford and FCA in the US are left behind though.

Ford do have a Colorado beater, but with the money invested into the aluminium F-150 it will take some changing of minds for it to come into the US market.

I do think if the Colorado becomes a huge success Ford will have no option but to cut it's losses and bring in the Ranger.

Ford will be facing some stiff competition. So far from the tests/reviews the Ford hasn't done well enough in my mind. It's a damn good pickup, but it didn't move a generation ahead of some of the others.

I do think Ford will not do as well as they had hoped for.

FCA doesn't have squat in the smaller pickup segment globally. I do find this odd. FCA has the potential to make lots of sales globally if they did have a decent midsizer.

So, even in the US FCA is not going to come up with anything that could compete with the Colorado/Ranger vehicle.

Maybe that's why Ram has the 29mpg version of the Ram. To offset competition from the Diesel Colorado.

It's still a minivan with a bed. It won't be stealing any real market share from the Tacoma or the Colorado.

Minivan with a bed?? Call the Ridge what you like but the first Gen was most closely based on the Pilot platform with a full ladder frame (among many many other differences) added to it. . . .

I have used an 06 Ridge for my renovation oriented construction business for close to 10 years and it has been an ideal sized tool and material hauler (mostly city work) as well a doing double duty as a safe and comfortable family hauler. My 85lb dog loves the rear passenger area with the flat floor.

For work, the back seats flip up to haul large tools safe and dry, the trunk holds most of my daily use tools hidden from view, and the bed handles the bulky / dirty stuff as well as 4' x 8' sheets that can lay FLAT (tailgate down) for easy loading, hauling, and off loading. It will do 20 sheets of drywall, or a scoop of gravel and with a proper roof rack it will haul ladders and long stuff just fine.

As a vehicle it handles and rides well thanks to its super solid hybrid unit / frame construction and its all wheel drive system is a top performer in snow. This system is shared with the current pilot and is a significant step up from the system used in the CRV. I have put over 100k tough use / city stop an go miles on the vehicle and it has needed nothing but routine maintenance.

On the down side, the GenI Ridge feels underpowered on the highway and gets disappointing gas mileage as well. The accusation of it having "V6 power with V8 mileage" is fair enough. Honda hasn't significantly updated it in its nearly 10 year life and its interior and electronics package is dated.

Based on the "intel" I have read the GenII will be "improved" without loosing any of useful features of the GenI. It will have/be:
Similar in size to GenI
Have a good sized trunk
Earthdreams V6 engine
9 speed ZF transmission (or Honda's in house version)
Lose a good chunk of weight
New (and hopefully not dumbed down performance wise) AWD system that will be more efficient
Similar off road (limited) and towing capacities (5000lb) to GenI
Up to date electronics
Power train, weight loss and aerodynamics will combine for MUCH improved gas mileage

Hopefully it will look WAY WAY better than the covered up/disguised test vehicles shown in the spy pics. The Gen I was different looking that (to me anyway) could almost be cool at some angles while being downright nerdy looking at others. Hopefully, Honda will do themselves a huge favor and toughen up the appearance to appeal to a larger chunk of the US truck buying population. There will always be the those who won't or can't consider the Ridge as a viable vehicle to meet there needs but if it looks the part (new Canyon for instance) there will be converts, particularly if the trucks performance / utility is as good as it should be.

I'm quite certain Honda had enough time over the years to observe the competition particularly from Toyota and Nissan on what the 2016 Ridgeline will have to do to far surpass the credibility of it's outgoing model as far as Horsepower, Towing, Max Payload, Fuel Economy, and Off Road capability. With GM now stepping back in and Ford is now reconsidering on introducing a Ranger replacement within a year or two. Honda realizes that this one will have to make a big presence like that of the Colorado. Based on the Ridgelines good reputation with Consumer Reports, I'm sure it will do well with sales when it hit's dealerships sometime next year.

Currently owning a Honda and having owned one in the past if this Ridgeline is more like a Colorado/Canyon on the exterior but with the Honda reliability it will be a winner. Honda makes great products. Consumer Reports has it right on Honda in that Honda products though not cheap are extremely reliable and in the long run you get your money's worth. 17 years of ownership on the first generation of Honda Accord is proof enough.

Everyone knows Honda has very poor quality. I've owned Honda atv's which are junk, I've owned Honda motorcycles that are junk, and I've owned a Honda Civic that was junk. Let the morons who know nothing about vehicles buy this junk. Maybe one year Honda will sell more than 100k Ridgelines, if enough idiots buy them.

If you think Toyota and Nissan are who Honda should be looking at then Honda have lost the race.

They need to be looking at the Ranger/BT50, Colorado and most importantly the Amarok.

Using the Taco and the current Frontier as a bench mark is a mistake.

@Big Al--Agree, if this new Ridgeline is close to the Colorado/Canyon then Honda will have a capable truck. I guess some either don't like Honda or had a bad experience but my wife had a first generation Honda Accord, 1977 CVCC, which she bought new and had for over 17 years. That and the 2013 CRV she now owns is enough to make me take a serious look at this new Ridgeline. I currently have a Honda Harmony lawnmower that has been one of the best pieces of equipment I have owned and I have owned numerous outdoor equipment with Honda power. If this new truck is more global then this will be a very competitive truck.

I have a 07 Ridgeline with 140K miles and it has been the ruck by which others should be measured for reliability. It's 8 years old and my other (50+ yr old) friends still prefer to ride it it than their own vehicles. I'm anxiously awaiting the new Ridge and will probably buy one. It's an current one awesome vehicle and out does everything that Toyota or Nissan do in a small truck except off road capability. Don't knock one until you've lived with one. It's a great vehicle.

This will change the truck market and surprise everyone with more Honda innovation. 2015 is the year of Honda

@Jeff S,
Considering our traditional car base ute market in Australia with the Ford and Holden ute, I would like to see the Ridgeline come over here.

We do have a market for this style of vehicle, not as large as our "pickup" BOF market, but large enough to warrant their import.

Actually one in six vehicles sold in Australia is a BOF pickup.

I even think it would entice some CUV AWD types as well, the ski set and surf set.

For our market Honda do/did manufacture a 2.2 diesel. with around 150hp and 280ftlb of torque. With current technology this engine could be boosted considerably, to 180hp and 330ftlb of torque.

Honda in the EU also are using a Izuzu designed diesel along with GM.

I have an 07 Pilot with 130K miles on it and I have never had an issue. I've been anxiously waiting for the Ridgeline update so I can get a truck that meets my needs, but has the Honda reliability I've come to expect. 2016 can't get here soon enough!

@Big Al--I looked at a Ridgeline about 2 years ago at the Cincinnati Auto Expo and was impressed with the amount of cab room--lots of head room and legroom. I was not a crazy about the bed and the slopping sides but it was a nice truck overall. Having owned Honda products I would definitely consider a Honda truck. Also I have had very good service with my 99 S-10 and my 2008 Isuzu the the new Colorado/Canyon would definitely be on my list. Even though the new Tacoma doesn't appear that much changed you really can't go wrong with them and the Frontier though dated is a very good truck. I have my own preferences but honestly all these trucks are good and even though I don't need or want a full size half ton honestly they are all good. Choice is just what your preference is.

@Jeff S

I test drove a Ridgeline back in 2011 last time I bought a truck.

Drove a Chevy Avalanche the same day. The Honda was down in every comparison except for fuel economy and subjective perceptions about build quality and reliability.

The Ridgeline had an awkwardness in ordinary driving that I finally decided was due to its relatively long wheelbase and turning circle radius.

Also could not get over the road noise. May have just been the set of tires, but many reviewers have nixed Honda over noisy tires. The Avalanche was whisper quiet and very smooth.

The Ridgeline may just be in that tweener place where its too small to be big and too big to be small. The last gen Colorado was the same way.

I admit that comparing a Ridgeline to an Avalanche is a little far fetched but that's the way it was. Also tested a Nissan Titan crew cab 4wd that day. It had a low geared tranny that was a downer for anyone who doesn't need to be off road all the time.

Ridgeline's AWD is cool but it has no 2 spd transfer case, which impacts its true usefulness off road, compared to say a Jeep. Another tweener issue.

Ridgeline owners as a rule are enthusiastic about their Honda. If you could only own ONE truck, it would have a versatility that makes it agreeable. Maybe me and the frau will get to the 1 car/truck status someday and a Honda just might be in our future.

@papa jim--Since I didn't test drive the Ridgeline I could not judge it, but it did have a roomy cab and some nice features. Thanks for the information on the Ridgeline. I like my 2008 Isuzu but I would have to say that what you said is true about the Colorado (same truck different name) it is too small to be big and too big to be small. I think the S-10 was a perfect size for a smaller truck, but I would be interested in the new Colorado/Canyon. I would have to drive the new twins to get a better idea what they are like but it appears that they are much better than the prior Colorado/Canyon. The new GM models appear to be much better than the models they replaced, but GM still has to regain the trust of many of us.

The Ridgeline is good at what it is intended to be: an urban pickup for the urban folks who won't tow much, haul much and never go off-road more than a graded gravel road.
It is a good concept, but poorly targeted. It is woefully underpowered (torque) for a 1/2 ton comparison, but is perfect for the mid-sized folks who want a little more vehicle, or a little more reliability. Interestingly enough, the handful of Ridgeline owners I have met were enthusiastic about it, but also pragmatic about the seemingly numerous limitations. Granted, I'm an outdoorsman so my core group isn't the typical Ridgeline buyer.


Urban? Show me an urban street where you could make a U turn in a Ridgeline!

A Honda Pilot maybe, but the Ridgeline has a very long wheelbase for its size and its FWD roots mean that the turning circle is awful.

Jeff S, I had a Honda Harmony lawnmower too. Great engine, but the composite deck shattered with pebble hits, and mulching was marginal. My aluminum Toro with Briggs has been my favorite.

@Shad--Sorry to hear about the deck on your Honda Harmony lawnmower. Toro makes a great mower as well, I have a couple of them. Watch out for aluminum it won't rust but it can crack. I also have a Toro snow blower which I can't kill.

JeffS - I test drove a Ridgeline once. It was a nice vehicle. The C-pillar and sloped box sides were the biggest factors that made me decide against it. My wife really liked it.

wish Honda the best of luck with their new ridgeline and think many other car companies might learn something from their new designed truck.


Dear Gonzi, the Ridgeline has been in production for about 10 years. Other car companies DID learn something from the Ridgeline--and they decided to go a different route! Nobody copied any of their themes. Actually Honda copied GM. The Chevy Avalanche was the pioneer, albeit a bigger one. After a few successful years, each of these vehicles had found their slim sliver of faithful buyers and each company had the sense to do something different. GM abandoned the Avalanche, and Honda is announcing a big change to the Ridgeline.

Don't expect to see other car companies copy Honda's moves with the Ridgeline. Not this late in the game.

that is all.

I bought an 06 Ridgeline RTL (top trim level) in 2010 with 72k miles. It now has 129,000 trouble free miles. It's a great light duty utility truck.
For those who don't know the vehicle, the bed on the 1st gen looks small from the profile, but actually has more volume than and is as long as other competitors in the mid-size class.
Things Honda needs to do in this new generation...
1. Keep the bed 5ft bed or offer an extended cab with a 6ft bed. (Subaru really dropped the ball with the Baja and its 3.5 ft bed. and the Ford Explorer pick-up's bed was too short too.)
2. Keep the in-bed trunk. (great feature)
3. Improve fuel efficiency! (Big one here. I regularly get 17.5 mpg with mixed driving. Not so great...)
4. Offer a 2wd model. (I love the AWD, but lots of truck buyers in the south don't need them. This could decrease cost and make them more appealing to entry level buyers or tradesmen who just need a reliable small pick-up.)
5. Offer a work truck trim and off-road trim. My first truck out of college was a 93 2wd F-150 XL for $15k. Great truck for a great price. I think a true base level trim would sell well. A model with a beefed up suspension (thinking of the Ridgeline that won the mid-size stock class Baja races) would be fun to see.

I think the biggest thing is price. Honda is very proud of their Ridgelines (as evidenced in their pricing.) You can get a great deal on a used one, but trim levels in the low $20k's would be nice too. When I think Honda, I think high reliability and economy. A new Ridgeline is expensive. I think a lot of people would rather get a larger truck with good fuel economy (such as the Ford F-150 with its aluminum) for the same price. Price it competitively with the Tacoma/Frontier/and Colorado/Canyon.

Both Mercedes and Hyundai test-drive their pre-pros across Alabama roadways for evaluation. I've spotted several Mercedes in camo cruising the Tuscaloosa backroads. I'm going to keep my eyes open for wayward Ridgelines in my neighborhood and when I travel I-20 to Atlanta in February and try to take some pictures.

I would go to the Honda dealer with a tape measure for that new bed. I admit, it is the sort of truck I need 90% of the time, not my giant gas-hog Silverado. I can call a rollback or dump truck when I need a bunch of stuff delivered or a tractor moved.

My primary concern--other than a payment for a new vehicle--would be how today's Honda handles it. They cheapened the Civic in recent years and made the CR-V lose a lot of its utility. I have a second-gen CR-V and we work that thing. It's not a real 4WD vehicle with skid plates like the Silverado, but it hauls tools down farm roads, through a foot of snow, and across fields while pulling down 27 mpg on the highway.

Since Soichiro Honda died, Honda has lost a lot of its mojo. I'd like to see them find their way again. They built some excellent cars in the past.


The Ridgeline has always been priced pretty competitively with other crew cab, all wheel drive, pickups equiped with its standard features. Full size size trucks would run well $50k at that config. The Tacoma and Frontier weren't priced much if any better as well and unless you wanted to rock crawl were behind the Ridge for basic handling, comfort, utility etc etc. The new models will be interesting to compare.


Solid info that I have seen says the GenII Ridge will have a bed size similar if slightly bigger than GenI. This is to say 48"+ between the wheel wells and at least 5ft in length. I will be surprised the bed length grows more than a few inches but would personally love a 6 foot bed.


Sorry but I have to disagree with your idea about offering a 2wd option to reduce the retail price, thus making it more competitive with Nissan, etc for the tradesmen of the world.

Knocking 2K off the price of a 32k truck won't get it.

For a carmaker to start a revolution in the small truck market means building a spartan truck with AC optional and a manual transmission standard.

Crank windows, AM/FM radio, plain seating. Bulletproof dependability. You get the picture.

The Ridgeline goes in an entirely different direction.

Honda wants to sell their Pilots and Ridgelines in the high 30s and low 40s.

This is not the truck that a painting contractor or lawn service company will buy (V6, auto and power windows standard). No leather.

If I'm providing wheels for my work crew to travel around in, I'm not interested in backup cameras, syncing their iPads or paying for satellite radio.

Plain jane wins.

@papa jim--I would agree with you on everything except air conditioning which has become standard on all vehicles. A manual transmission and few options on an existing smaller truck which came in at a low price point. I might even question the crank windows since power windows have become standard even on the new Colorado/Canyon and on the production end it is cheaper to just put them on all vehicles. I do agree that Honda will not go in the direction of a cheap Ridgeline and if you are asking 32k and up a buyer will be less inclined to want 2 wheel drive. The buyer might want a more usable bed with less slope to the sides.

@Jeff S

Not sure you got my point--plain jane wins.

The commenter I referred to was saying that Ridgelines could give contractors/tradesmen an alternative if Honda could offer a 2wd version. I can buy two or even three clean old S10s where I live for the price of a late model used Ridgeline.

A clean and reliable Ranger or S10 is what the guys want unless their needs require HD capabilities. They are all over the ads for less than $7k

I nixed it. That was my point. Plain wins.

papa jim--i got your point and it is apparent that Honda is not interested in a plain jane Ridgeline. I can see a manufacturer who is new to trucks or a new entrant to the market releasing a smaller plainer truck to compete on price point but the existing truck manufacturers especially Ford don't want to jeopardize the existing sales of their current trucks. A plain jane truck would be a product that a Chinese company or lesser know South Korean company introduces at a competitive price point to establish themselves in the US. Start with a truck with little extra options and if it is successful then add additional options and possibly additional products. I am not saying this will happen but it is a way for a new competitor to enter a market. Nissan (Datsun) and Toyota did this in the 60's and 70's and initially lost money but they had the resources to stay the course.

My point about a stripped car or truck is that today's stripped vehicle would have been considered a well optioned vehicle 20 to 40 years ago. Air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, power windows and AM/FM stereo were considered extras and not the norm. Today those items are considered standard and even an automatic transmission is standard. I could see a small truck with a 6 speed manual, electric windows, power steering, power brakes and air conditioning being sold with a MSRP for below 20k. The price point would have to be low and the fuel economy much better with bullet proof reliablity. I am not saying this will happen but I could see a foreign manufacturer set up a plant in Mexico or the South that would assemble imported kits shipped in from China or another low cost country. You could not have much variation in options, cabs, or beds but it could be done.

@Jeff S

We'll disagree about plain jane.

GM brought out the Colorado about 10 years ago (it was actually more Isuzu than Chevy) and it sold like hotcakes the first few years. Most of those trucks were plain as hell. There are still a lot of them in places like Mexico and Brazil.

Design wise, it was a big step forward from the Ranger and the S10 style of trucks, but product quality was crap and it failed within three years on the market.

If those trucks had been well-made they would have been successful and would have changed the market.

Instead, crappy build quality on the Dakota's and the Colorado's cooled buyers' interest in mid size altogether. It did not have to be that way. Their defects per thousand set records (not in a good way).

If Honda doesn't offer a plain Ridgeline their totals will be sh-t. Toyota and GM will eat their lunch.

@papa jim--I just don't see the new Ridgeline being anything but a well optioned truck. Maybe Honda would do well with a plain jane truck but it would have to be priced competitively. Agree the last generation of Colorado/Canyon/Isuzu did not have the build quality and went a little too cheap on finish while raising the price considerably over the prior s-10/Sonoma. I looked at the prior generation of these trucks when they first came out in 2004 and they didn't measure up to the quality of my 99 S-10. I did buy an 2008 Isuzu but the price was right and it is very well optioned. I drove the 4 cylinder model of the base Isuzu and the truck was not even on the same level as my 99 S-10--hard shifting manual, buck board ride, very cheap interior, cumbersome handling, and a motor that was totally lackluster. My I-370 is much nicer and the 5 cylinder has more power but it could use a 6 speed automatic instead of the 4 speed it came with. The new Colorado/Canyon is a much better truck than the last generation.

As for strip down you will never see another new strip down model of car or truck without air, without power windows, without power steering, without power brakes, and without a power drivers seat. Any redesign or all new models will be equipped as what I previously mentioned and eventually you will not be able to get a manual transmission. Not that I like all these changes but it is something that all the manufacturers are doing along with the phase out of the standard cab in trucks. If you remember over 40 years ago a heater was an option in some less expensive cars and trucks. I grew up with the same definition of a stripped down vehicle that you did but that definition has change--many would call a vehicle without satelite radio and blue tooth technology stripped down. Vehicles have to entertain as well as be functional. Most people today expect more from a vehicle and more from their homes and cannot even fathom making any kind of sacrifice such as living below or within your means.

@Jeff S

I think your vision of the American auto buyer needs an update. My response to another poster was about commercial users, not soccer mom out in the suburbs.

During the last 10 years the standard of living in our country held up pretty well considering were in a recession. We are headed for more rough patches in the road in my opinion and compact or half ton pickups that list for more than 50k will be in auto museums.

Look at the Asian market for a view of the truck future. Crank windows, no air, basic as hell will sell. Just like the huge 1950s cars with big block V8s and fins are gone, so will the cushy crew cabs we see today.

@papa jim--I don't totally disagree, the crewcabs have become a popular vehicle with the suburbanites and now it appears the crossovers are the big thing in all sizes. I also don't disagree with those who own a business wanting a more basic truck. My landscaper, handyman, and a few others that I know tell me it is harder to get a basic work truck without getting power windows and everything that raises the price to extremely high levels. My handyman has a 2004 F-250 crew cab with a Powerstroke, vinyl seats, manual transmission, and air which he ordered new and had to go a couple of hundred miles to a dealership in Indiana to get. The dealers are constantly trying to sell him a loaded King Ranch but it is not what he needs and it would get torn up with the type of work he does. My landscaper who does my Spring cleanup and mulching finally gave up on a new work truck and bought a 2001 F-350 crew cab with a Powerstroke with over 150k which looks and runs like new (he did an internet search till he found one).

I do agree that the economy is not on solid ground and we cannot borrow and spend our way into prosperity. For most manufacturers though it is more cost effective for them to include power windows, power brakes, air conditioning, power steering, and an automatic transmission on all vehicles. The electric motors for windows are not as expensive to make especially since a lot of the parts are made in Asian. Of course the electric motors are much lighter than the ones in my 77 Monte Carlo which had power windows and doors. My point is that the standard equipment on today's vehicles was what was optional in the past is not just driven by the consumer but by the manufacturer who standardizes these features to lower production costs and for more efficiency. I think it is going to take a foreign manufacturer to provide a affordable alternative work truck. Also increasing safety and mileage standards have turned a simple functional truck into a more complex and expensive machine. There is the good and the bad about today's vehicles--they are safer and more efficient but they are more costly and complex. Few things are simple anymore even a manual razor has to have 5 blades and a battery to make it vibrate and it cost $3 a piece or more for blades.

For most manufacturers though it is more cost effective for them to include power windows, power brakes, air conditioning, power steering, and an automatic transmission on all vehicles. The electric motors for windows are not as expensive to make especially since a lot of the parts are made in Asian. Of course the electric motors are much lighter than the ones in my 77 Monte Carlo which had power windows and doors. My point is that the standard equipment on today's vehicles was what was optional in the past is not just driven by the consumer but by the manufacturer who standardizes these features to lower production costs and for more efficiency. I think it is going to take a foreign manufacturer to provide a affordable alternative work truck.


there is so much wrong in the above statement you made that I'll just point out the biggest issue: Dealers

Auto makers build the truck but dealers have to sell it while making a profit.

That's why the automakers consider the dealers to be their customer. You and I are customers of the dealerships, because we cannot buy direct from the mfg.

Dealers make a very small profit on base models, but their markup on popular option packages is rich, which is why they can throw money on the hood during promotions--the money comes from the big markup on options (it's also why you NEVER see base models with 9 or 10k off MSRP).

This all has nothing to do with manufacturing efficiency--but it might have 30 years ago.

Today's automated systems for manufacturing allow for quick changeovers and a vast amount of configurability on the assembly line. Honda is one of the pioneers on this.

It's the dealers who rule the roost on the options packages and the scarcity of base models on the lot.

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