Spied: 2016 Honda Ridgeline

Ridgeline-PsgtmwJ-XL II

It's been several months since we've seen sketches from Honda about what the new 2016 Ridgeline will look like, but the midsize pickup truck looks to be in the final stages of tow testing. Our spies have been hot on the trail of the elusive, more conventional-looking next-generation Ridgeline, and they were able to catch the fully camouflaged Honda next to one of its main competitors, the Chevrolet Colorado. Here's their report:

"We've just gotten our first close-up look at Honda's next Ridgeline pickup, caught testing on rural public roads.

"Until today, all of our encounters with Ridgeline prototypes have been through a very long lens, giving us only a marginal look at the test trucks. Now we've gotten a proper set of spy shots giving us a good feel for the grille, headlights and overall front-end design. The profile and rear views are consistent with earlier teaser shots promising a more traditional truck shape compared to the off-beat look of the original Ridgeline.

"Today's run-in with this prototype also included a new Ford F-150 and a silver Chevrolet Colorado pickup pulling a boat.

"In one of our earlier long-range Ridgeline shots, the 2016 prototype was running nose-to-tail with the first-generation model, allowing an excellent opportunity to gauge the general size of the long-awaited second-generation model. From what we can tell, the footprint of the new Ridgeline will be very similar to the original model. The evidence generated by these first shots seems to suggest that the new Ridgeline will continue to use some of the unibody platform of the 2016 Honda Pilot, instead of a smaller, CR-V-based pickup.

"Our sources 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 and tow testing of the new truck, that seems unlikely. We are told to look out for the possible inclusion of Honda's new Super Handling-All Wheel Drive hybrid system developed for larger vehicles, which would give the smaller pickup significant traction and driving dynamics. That could be added to give some technological uniqueness in a crowded and competitive landscape."

KGP Photography images


HondaRidgeline.rd04.KGP.ed II

HondaRidgeline.rd06.KGP.ed II

HondaRidgeline.rd10.KGP.ed II

HondaRidgeline.rd12.KGP.ed II

HondaRidgeline.rd18.KGP.ed II



Yes, but will it SELL?

Pickup wannabe.....

glad it looks more like a pickup. Will probably give the colorado a run for its money.

Looks more like the 2016 Honda Pilot with a truck box. The doors are from the Pilot and the snout may possibly be from the Pilot as well. I'd like to see it when it comes out.

Get it right this time, Honda!

Finally some decent looking proportions and no awful C pillar/bed geometry! Looks about the same height as the Colorado but might be slightly wider? As best as we can tell with all of the wrap and cladding on this test mule, the front end sure does look like its Pilot sibling. While I don't love the looks of the Pilot, it's not too bad either. I will be interested in this truck as a replacement for my 2002 F-150 SuperCrew.

Sorry Ford, since that great "global" Ranger isn't available in the NA market means you will be loosing my future business after 20+ years of nothing but Ford trucks in my driveway. That new F-150 is just too darn big!

I can't wait to see the new look from Ridgeline I put 200,000 HARD MILES on my 06 before just trading 2 weeks ago, went back to Toyota but that Honda is all truck no matter what anyone says *high speed, pulling boat/tractor, dog hunting to shopping. RTLnavi 265/70/17m/t whole time

That picture makes me want to buy a Colorado.

This picture makes me happy I won't have to buy a GM.
Glad Honda is getting this done.

Around these parts we call it the PANT LINE!!

I owned a '10 RL RTL for a year and a half and recently traded it in. I absolutely loved the truck and it is way more capable than people give it credit for. I also enjoyed the look and styling of the truck, which was different than other trucks and set it apart. Only issue I had was an electrical gremlin that just wouldn't go away. Glad to see Honda hasn't given up and we will see the new one in the flesh soon.

It does look much better than the current Ridgeline.
Good luck, Honda

All of the people I know with Ridgeline's love them. Other than the odd C-pillar, odd sloped box sides and too short box, I liked how it rode and felt solid.

It should sell much better with a more traditional appearance. I assume that it will remain front wheel drive/AWD as opposed to traditional pickup RWD.

I am too big for the old Ridgeline and it's Pilot sibling. There is no room for my knees. I will be looking to get a midsize truck in the next 2-3 years and if they make this thing with decent interior room it will be on my radar.

I only know one friend of mine with a rl.He liked everything about it except when he was towing his small camper.Although it was a very light camper,the wind resistance gave him terrible mpg's.I don't know if he still has it anymore.

Another Honda piece of s*** unibody frame and so on with high rev V6 and to those who have make 200,000 miles with it wake up other pick-up reach that millage easily. Of course it`s easier for Honda cause nobody really work with the truck.

Selling much better because of the appearance is not is not saying much. Ridgeline sold only 26 in May. If it increased sales 10 x's that would be only 3,000 for the entire year.

@Jim, Ridgeline was cancelled after the 2014 model which can explain the low sales this year, but sales have always been lackluster. Even if sales are much better I don't think this will ever be anything more than a slow selling pickup.

The belligerent criticisms that the Ridgeline is not a "truck" is indicative of some terrible insecurities or marketed norms on the part of some "real" trucks owners. If people really wanted to understand the market, they'd realize that half ton trucks have effectively become cars. Sure, they're quite capable, but you're really dealing with modernized versions of big 1960s/70s body-on-frame cars with four doors. I happen to like that kind of product. As for the Ridgeline, it's a truck in the same way as any of the other 1/2 ton products out there. The Ridgeline is probably a more honest product in how it engineers it's solutions. You know what's funny, all the other 1/2 ton products utilize body-on-frame architecture because the buyer doesn't expect more. They get to charge ridiculous premiums on simple products. The Honda product is an order of magnitude more rigid, which allows for great ride dynamics among other benefits.

I'll add this. Eventually, one of these other truck makers will use a unibody structure on their 1/2 ton products. They'll still call it body-on-frame, but the rigidity benefits will leapfrog the other offerings in ride quality. And then other idiots will call it a minivan and argue that frame flex is what makes a truck a "real" truck.

Another point. The first generation Ridgeline was limited by it's odd looks. People want a pickup truck to look like a pickup truck. The market was never gonna get past that. These pictures show a vanilla truck body that will exceed the original sales easily. It works.

I just looked at the compare picture up top. Ground clearance up front looks similar, but the rear of the Colorado is obviously higher. Looks like the rear greenhouse of the Ridgeline has more volume with bigger windows when compared to the Colorado. The GM twins keep growing on me.

It certainly looks promising, and might make it on my list...
Honda is using the ZF 9HP trans in their big vehicles. This trans has a low range capability in the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk application, so that remains possible (though not probable)
The 9HP/Earthdreams V6 combination is returning stellar fuel economy in the Acura MDX.
The 1st gen Odyssey was an odd duck, too. From the 2nd gen on, they've had everyone's attention.

Cameron Carlile - there were rumours that Ford would go unibody on their F150. The Mercedes Sprinter is unibody, so is the ProMaster, and so is the Transit. All of those vans are globally used and do much more work in those global settings than our 1/2 ton pickups.

The Ridgeline's cargo capacity is around 1,500 lbs which is comparable to most 1/2 ton BOF pickups and it is higher than most Ram 1500's with any sort of bling. Case in point, the best Ram 1500 crew 4x4 is 1,678 and worst is 999 lbs.


Forgot to add - that was for the 5'7" box. Numbers are more pathetic for the 6'4" box at 1,415 best and 963 worst.


We are interested in buying used trucks/heavy duty equipment from all over the world for our international clients and also estate/land purchase etc.

Please contact the email below for further details.

Email: demanlist.description@yahoo.com
Tel: +447031908834

Mr Edward.

Did I miss it, or did Roadwhale already say that it's way too big?

Cameron Carlile, your posts above make a lot of sense. Technology progresses, people need to focus on capability, not architecture. Twin I-beam suspension, leaf springs, V-8's, and even body-on-frame are not technical mandates for 1/2 ton trucks, rather marketing.

@Papa Jim,

The current Ridgeline is a combination of too big with very distracting instrumentation. This new Ridgeline will be even bigger! It is simply too big for my needs and I will be waiting for something better to come out.

Rounded nose good. Traditional shape okay. Size? Too big. Will have to look at the rest once it's released.

I have a 2007 ridgeline and the vehicle. running good it all depend on what a person need in a pickup I do not haul a lot of items but if I need to haul a refrigerator. or washer the Ridgeline satisfied me and the bed trunk was pure genius .

I agree that my preference is smaller, along the lines of the current Frontier or slightly smaller. Give me around 30 MPG highway, FWD, and a manual transmission. I am good.

@small truck alliance: Too big and you'll wait... What will you be driving in the meantime, something smaller...or bigger?

Still a vehicle for people embarrassed to be seen in a truck. "earth dreams?" Hahahahaha hahahahaha

Do we know how big the Ridgeline will be? I haven't read or seen anything saying what size the Ridgeline will be? If the Ridgeline is based on a Pilot platform then I doubt it will be any bigger. True the Ridgeline is not compact but it is more midsize than full size. If Hyundai makes the Veracruz then some who want a compact truck will have a choice.

I meant Santa Cruz.

My research says that the new Ridgeline will be slightly more narrow, have slightly less ground clearance, the interior dimensions will be similar to the original, the rear seat is a carryover, the bed will be two inches longer, the tailgate is a carryover, the bed and cab are split, the trunk will be a little different, the vehicle structure will be stiffer, Earth dreams 3.5 V6 mated to a revised, improved 6-speed, shared front doors and front fenders with the Pilot, different front clip than the Pilot and shared front basic interior/seats with new Pilot. The paper numbers will be lackluster, but the actual real world driving dynamics and performance will be superior to any competitive product.

I've been told by a good source that the Ridgeline pictured above with the Wells Cargo trailer is loaded to it's maximum weight rating and tongue weight. Notice the minimal squat. It apparently handles its max like a charm. This should be a nice evolutionary product.

Someone named Cameron knows a lot about this truck, i.e., inside info, or he has a very high opinion of his own personal notions about trucks.

Since the new Honda pickup is not on dealer lots yet, me thinks it could be the latter.

I'm rooting for it. My 06 is my fourth pickup, first foreign (although it's now made in the USA) one, and first mid size. Great pickup. The looks were the worst thing about it. I'm more concerned with reliability and utility. Other than towing a little less than the competition and not having a real off road version, it's pretty comparable to other midsizes. The back seat is the biggest in its class and the trunk is a great feature. The AWD system is good too. I think a more traditional look will definitely help sales. Its a good option for most people who like having a pickup in the family but don't rely on it for heavy trailering. I'd like to see a base model that could fill the niche of the old Ranger (RIP). I'm not knocking the other midsizes I'm sure they're all really good, but they all seamed like "just pickups" after testing out the Ridgeline. More choices are good for everybodyeverybody in the long run.

Papa Jim: None of the information I've shared is secret. The Ridgeline Owners Forum has one well-connected, trustworthy source that shares everything their non-disclosure agreement permits. I follow all the truck products I think are interesting. The Ridgeline is a favorite.

And as for my notions about trucks, I try to be fair about what I see. I've never owned anything but truck products with 4 wheel drive. I just like them. I like all of them. But there's a reason the margins on these trucks are so high....there's not a whole lot to them. Don't get me wrong, there's investment. The products are terribly competitive with each other. The problem is the Big 3 have so much of their company success riding on their trucks, that they can't really re-imagine the product from the ground up. They're not willing to take that kind of risk. Can't really blame them. They also don't really want to re-imagine anything unless the market forces them, because that cuts into those precious margins. So we see these baby steps instead of leaps. That's why the Ridgeline needs to be hailed for what it accomplished, even though the goofy looks limited the first generation. There's no reason we shouldn't expect a 1/2 ton truck with the driving dynamics of a large sedan. The never-ending pissing match between manufacturers will eventually get us there. I'm just not sure how long that will take.

The second generation Ridgeline is actually structured more like what I'd expect the Big 3 + Toyota + Nissan to eventual move toward. It has a unibody cab with a rigid space frame pickup bed attached. That allows for different bed and cab combinations. Good stuff.

Why is the fender to windshield pillar joint so high up on the A-pillar? I've noticed this on other makes too including the next generation Titan XD. It looks very odd and distracting.

PapaJim is right. And if you think so highly of the Ridgeline to be a forum member and the Ridgeline is a favorite you have a big problem.

@Jeff S

The Pilot platform costs Honda too much for the Ridgeline to work as a competitive mid sizer.

Why would Honda want to divert the resources needed to build a Pilot (retailing nicely equipped in the $40-$43k range) in order to make a mid size pickup that will be forced to compete for the truck buyers in a Tier 2 market shared with the likes of Nissan and Toyota?

Seeing the photos of the new Honda truck in camo makes me think it would be selling in the high $20k to mid thirties range, with a few highly optioned trucks (less than 15 percent of sales) selling in the $35-40k range. Does anyone see the new Honda outselling RAM, Chevy or F150 in that part of the market? I see them competing with the Toyotas and Nissans of the world, not GM or RAM. Forget Ford--ain't gonna happen unless Honda rolls out a game-changer.

Nothing I've seen or heard about any Honda pickup since Day One has the muscle to out compete Ford or GM in the truck space.

Gotta love the comments "But does it sell" and all the comments about it trying to be a truck. It sold the first 6 years and you have a hard time finding a used one on a lot. I think it will be just fine.

@papa jim - I seriously doubt that Honda is trying to compete directly with full sized pickups. Given the current expansion of the smaller sized truck market, their timing may be good for them and the consumer.

@papa jim--I never said the Ridgeline would compete with the Big 3 of trucks. There is a place for midsize trucks and they will not replace full size trucks. Honda has a product that no one else makes and it has its place. As for using the Pilot as a basis for the Ridgeline how is that going to cost Honda anymore than developing a new truck from the ground up. This statement does not make any sense. If anything using a known platform and sharing platforms lowers Honda's cost.

It is true that the prior Ridgeline is different and quirky but after sitting in one and looking at one it has lots of headroom and legroom. I might prefer a more traditional truck but I do see the appeal of a Ridgeline and having owned Hondas they are not like your run of the mill compact Ford or Chevy. I would have to agree with Lou_BC that Honda is not trying to compete with full size trucks or even the traditional pickup. Honda owners are like Subaru owners or former Volvo owners a different type of vehicle appeals to them. I do see the appeal of the Ridgeline to many crossover customers or those wanting something different than the traditional full size pickup. I have even considered a Ridgeline.

I meant sharing components of the Pilot.

Lou & Jeff

Considering how expensive it is to develop, manufacture and promote an all-new product I'd be surprised if Honda's board of directors is much interested in competing for third or fourth place in the US truck market. Honda no longer owns the compact car market--Hyundai/Kia saw to that. They need to find new places to compete, I just don't see them competing effectively with the Big 3 in the truck space.

Jeff, in particular you took exception to my comment about the cost of building a new truck that would retail between 28 to 35k because it would divert resources ( in the form of materials, space on the assembly lines, engineering and manufacturing personnel and advertising/marketing resources) away from profitable products like the Pilot--not to mention the Acura MDX a product that shares the same platform and retails well north of 40k. There are probably MDX all wheel drive models that MSRP north of Fifty.

Why divert those costly resources to a product that will not retail for much more than the 35 to 40k bracket, tops! The majority of Ridgelines sold in the last ten years probably did not sell for much north of 35k.

This is not a fight over brand or product, instead it's intended to be a business discussion about the most strategic way for Honda very savvy product-development team to compete--and win, in North America.

The comments to this entry are closed.