Spied: 2016 Honda Ridgeline

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Our stealthy photographers have caught the most revealing spy shots to date of the all-new Honda Ridgeline that show the cleanest design details so far. Looking much like a creative extended-cab pickup truck, the Ridgeline will likely be based off a modified version of the all-new Honda Pilot, sharing many of the latter's powertrain and safety features. Here's what our photogs had to say.

"The next-gen Honda Ridgeline has dropped its heavy camouflage and has hit the road in nothing more than a body-hugging graphic wrap, giving us our most-revealing look by far at the revamped midsize pickup.

"The less-camouflaged prototypes caught testing close-up on public roads reveal numerous new design details that have been applied to the second-generation Ridgeline pickup. While the Ridgeline adopts a much more conventional pickup profile, these new prototypes reveal what appears to be at least a nod to the first generation's unique C-pillar design. While the new production-spec prototypes don't have anything close to the 'flying buttress' treatment found on the original Ridgeline, the second-gen models are seen to have a unique 'hooded' treatment to the C-pillar and backlight, something not found on any U.S. market truck design today.

"Additionally, we managed to get an elevated look at the Ridgeline prototype, revealing elements of its bed design, which can be seen to include lighting set within the bedliner.

"Honda's Baja concept shown at the recent 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show was inspired by elements of the Ridgeline; unfortunately, it told us very little regarding the upcoming production model beyond solid hints at the headlight and grille treatment. Clearly, these production-spec prototypes now running on public roads are much more informative.

"The reimagined Ridgeline caught here represents Honda's second attempt at the U.S. truck market, and it's now clearly aimed more at the mainstream than Honda's original effort. The midsize truck market is in the midst of being reinvigorated with an influx of new and updated offerings from many nameplates. The Ridgeline looks to be aimed squarely at GM's Colorado/Canyon twins and the Toyota Tacoma, aiming at the lighter-duty end of that spectrum."

KGP Photography images


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I use to think the Ridgeline was the most pointless vehicle ever. But to be fair, everyone has different needs, and Honda makes very reliable vehicles.

Based on what little I can see (like a more useful traditional pickup bed) I think this is a huge improvement already.

This is exactly what im looking for, a 4x4 minivan with a bed. Hopefully ill get a decent trade on my ram

The back looks better more truck like but the front end looks weak and feminine looking. I not a fan of the huge square front ends on many domestic trucks but this is to far the other way.

@Evan, you won't it's a Ram.

When we were looking at buying this size pickup, we ended up with a Tacoma instead. My wife loved the 6 speed stick in her Taco. The Ridgeline was unique and offered some really nice features both inside and out. We loved the tailgate and the inbed trunk. The styling killed it. With new styling and hopefully the same uniqueness it might be the right family truckster. We already have a 2500 and need something to haul occasional stuff in a small (hopefully) more fuel efficent vehicle.

Good luck Honda, I hope this works.

It just had to have independent suspension! It won't be able to tow much or go offroad, I mean look at that ground clearance its less then a foot off the ground!

Yeah, and the 75% driving their trucks to work everday, and then back home, then haul a bag of much on Sunday, that ground clearance and tow ratings is going to kill them right?
I ONLY use my truck for towing and hauling, otherwise it's parked so yeah, the Honda won't work for me.

Evan summed it up nicely.

Independent rear, very carish front end (more streamlined), hopefully it will deliver real mileage (hopefully 24ish MPG without being stripped or a diesel) and be more than 5K less than a basic 1/2 ton full size. With those characteristics it would be the perfect pretend truck for the pretend truck crowd. But it dosent sit high enough, doesn't ride rough enough, gets too many MPGs, doesn't off road enough (probably doesn't even have a 2spd transfer case) to appeal to the pretend truck crowd. Its a very SMART option for those who can deal with those facts. For those who NEED body on frame construction on a vehicle that cant do real work and don't have real work for it will continue to shop elsewhere and those people are the majority in this market.

Personally, I think the old Ridgeline was more popular than some people want to think. Sure, it wasn't a 'conventional' pickup truck, but then, neither was the Chevy Avalanche which looked quite similar. What too many here want to believe is that everybody wants a truck that can do "real work" without defining what "real work" means to them. For some, "real work" means hauling engine blocks and towing 12,000# trailers. For others, it means going to the local hardware store and grabbing DIY materials for home repair and landscaping. The value of the truck to the driver is as individual as the owner.

Honda Ridgeline trucks are quite common where I live. They offered a level of comfort and convenience only recently available to the other brands through innovative use of otherwise wasted space. For the true light-duty work which they were designed, they excelled as a more car-like experience lacking the drawbacks of poor economy and bloated size evident with full-sized trucks. This new model seems to be expanding on that idea.

To me, however, they were still larger than I wanted and more expensive than necessary. But worse, their interior was abysmal. Like the Toyota, my wife couldn't even sit comfortably behind the wheel despite its size, though I give Toyota credit that the '16 model finally meets that challenge. Still, how hard can it be to design a truck cab to fit a long-legged driver when she actually has rail left over when she drives her Fiat 500? The cab of a crew cab pickup truck is certainly larger than the cabin of a bloomin' FIAT for heaven's sake! Even an extended cab can fit a Fiat's front and rear seats with room to spare. But just try fitting her into even the Chevy Colorado--where the rail was still too short for her to feel comfortable in the driver's seat and she flat refuses--adamantly refuses--to drive anything larger after a near-accident in a 1990 F-150.

I don't really care what many of you think. You can believe all you want that a full-sized truck is good enough for everyone. It's not. I would estimate that 50% of drivers in a full-sized truck today don't even use it for the purpose which it was designed. I would estimate that nearly 40% of people now driving CUV/SUVs would much rather have an open bed in a vehicle sized similarly to what they're currently driving. An open bed, by the way, longer than a mere three to four feet. My wife spotted three different Explorer Sport Tracks over the weekend and commented that they looked ridiculous.

I do believe that the true compact pickup truck will return to the US and there appears to be at least three potential models that could be on the US market before 2020, with one slated for 2017 or '18. When they arrive, I'm almost willing to wager that the CUV/SUV market will take a significant hit. I would like to think the bubble-like CUVs take the biggest hit because to my eye they're anything but functional as any kind of 'utility' vehicle. They remind me more of Volkswagen's old 'Fastback' on steroids. But I think the hit will be more balanced than that, the whole segment suffering equally until all the players have at least one trucklet based on a CUV/SUV design. Given about 10 years I would say we'll see a significant shift in the truck market away from the giant Road Whales™ as family cars towards more modest rigs that still offer car-like comfort and agility while serving their purpose as light-duty trucks.

hahahahahahahaha...............a minivan with a bed. This is soooooooo disappointing. Still love my honda atvs though.

I am the target audience for a truck like this. I need a daily driver that is comfortable, gets good gas mileage, and can fit a pair of child safety seats in the back. I also want to be able to go by home depot to get mulch, or possibly go buy a couch.

So I have been waiting to see what Honda had to offer before choosing between the new GM or Toyota offerings. But some of the design queues on this have me a bit confused. For instance, why the huge C pillar and small rear window. Are they actively trying to create blind spots? On top of that, the truck has very little ground clearance, but the rear bumper is way off the ground, so if you were to get rear-ended by a car, it would go underneath you. Is that by design? And finally, I'm on the same page with Evan, the front is a bit too crossover SUV feminine for me, but maybe it will look better when not camouflaged.

On the upsides, the rear seat room looks enormous, which would be great for rear facing car seats, and the bed actually looks functional, so I'm still on the fence. I would just like to see the real thing.

This is NOT a pickup!

It is a glorified open air station wagon. Pointless vehicle.

So therefore, Honda I just don't care....

So obviously GM targeted the towing market and Toyota has the offroad customers. Now it looks like Honda is aiming for the people who want something a little smaller, and hopefully more fuel efficient.
I'll be interested to see what Nissan goes after with the Frontier. Hopefully both Honda and Nissan are on sale by next fall, because I'd like to be able to consider all options.

If it comes with a 9 speed transmission and a 280HP engine just like the pilot, then we can expect 26-27MPG and 0-60 in the low 7s.

Assuming Honda reliability... this thing might actually do we

The front end looks like the front end of a Volkswagen Beetle lol it is round.

I wonder what size bed it has 5.5, 6 or 6.5 feet?

My wife and I looked at Ridgeline years ago. It would of been good for a basic runabout family vehicle but the huge C-pillar and small box killed it.

This more "traditional" layout should make it more popular.

With the large strides made in the levels of refinement with vehicles like the Colorado/Canyon and Taco, Honda will have to shift in a more CUV and carlike direction to appeal to the crowd who want a CUV with a pickup bed.

You can see the very aerodynamic front end, which is a good move.

This Honda with AWD will satisfy most who buy pickups for capability.

Honda will find buyers for this.

odyssey with the top chopped off behind the middle seats

@Road Whale--I see a number of Ridgelines where I live and everyone that I have talked with that has one seems to like them. Honda does make a good product whether it is cars, motorcycles, lawn equipment, and generators. I would seriously consider this truck despite the fact that Honda does not seem to offer many discounts. My wife's CRV is a solid vehicle and she had a 77 Accord hatchback for over 17 years.

@ Jeff, that's the killer no discounts/rebates usually from Honda. And I qualify for supplier discounts from all of the big three. But if I can get into this for 29~32000 I'd be interested but Im not crossing my fingers

It looks like an Accord with a bed. You can see the similar lines on the side that the Accord, CR-V, and now Pilot all share. Honda, you're making all your vehicles look exactly the same. I have an Accord and its a great car, but if I wanted to upgrade to a Ridgeline when my lease is up, It isn't going to be because I want an Accord with a bed.

gets a big MEH from me.

@Road Whale
"I'm almost willing to wager that the CUV/SUV market will take a significant hit. I would like to think the bubble-like CUVs take the biggest hit because to my eye they're anything but functional as any kind of 'utility' vehicle."

Could not agree more. Unstable and basically useless. Sedans a lot better.

I know the body wrap can disguise lines and create optical illusions, but looking at pictures of the 2016 Odyssey and Pilot, it looks a lot like the Pilot (front end, windshield, side windows) with a chopped off back. Do a Google image search and check yourself.

Not sure how much I like the back window extension thing either....

Not saying that this is not going to be good for what it is, just wondering how different it will look as compared to the soccer mom vehicles (Odyssey and Pilot) listed above.

This minivan with a bed would be popular in Australia since 75% of truck buyers over there don't use their trucks as trucks anyways. Slap in an underpowered engine and it would fit right in with the small amount of competition over there.

This explains why they have to convert US full size pickups to haul any real loads over there. Too bad their regulations that protect their small trucks keep them from having the real thing.

The old one looked okay but this looks dopey to me with that short bed.

@ Cummins Small amount of competition for small trucks in Australia. Are you comparing that to North America or somewhere else?

Last I checked they have way more competition for small trucks as compared to N.A. For example Toyota Hilux, new Nissan Navara (we still have the old one), Mazda BT-50, Mitsubishi Triton, Ford Ranger, VW Amarok, Holden Colorado and Izuzu D-Max. There are others as well.

What do we have for small / midsize trucks - Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier (10 years old), GM Twins....that's it.

Looks to me like Chrysler found a way to recycle all of the unsold Dakota inventory that was left on the lots when the Dodge truck brand finally achieved room temperature.

The Honda gen 2 compact truck arrives way to late to have an impact on the market, especially now that GM's mid size trucks are selling well.

Those who are talking about the Ridgeline's fuel economy make me laugh out loud. The gen-one Ridgeline had lousy gas mileage for a six cylinder compact. 22 highway (EPA) was it?

Honda's engineering is legendary, so where's the high tech turbo 4 cylinder that they used in other Honda/Acura lines? This truck is hardly a departure from the previous one, and the wait for such a mild face lift is really hard to fathom.

Honda fans have to be really disappointed if they are being honest about their feelings.

This is the next truck to B%^%ch slap the weak beer can F150 in the face LMAO!

2016 redesign Honda Ridgeline still unibody?

I'll take a Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe instead.

Hey Truck dumb dumb go buy you a cheap POS crap Mexico made car from Furd! LMAO!!!!!!!!

"General Motors will be the only one of the Detroit 3 making compact or midsize cars in the U.S. by 2019, according to the companies' new UAW agreements. Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are essentially giving up on trying to build mass-market cars profitably in this country, instead shifting most production of those nameplates to Mexico"

HAHA Mexico Ford junk!


"GM said that the "vast majority" of its small cars sold in the U.S. are "produced domestically." Ford said it is "committed to continuing to improve competitiveness and to invest where it makes the best sense for our business."

HAHA! GM USA Built cars, Ford will be all cheap Mexico built junk!


@Evan--That will be a deal breaker for all but the most devoted Honda owners. I tried out the previous Ridgeline and liked the head room and leg room but there are other trucks out there that offer a lot. Not to say that I wouldn't consider the new Ridgeline. They wouldn't come off the price of our CRV but they gave us a winter package with mud flaps and heavy duty floor mats and gave us a decent price for our trade in which they sold quickly since it was low mileage in top condition for about double what they gave us in trade in. The CRV has had no issues and is a very good vehicle but they sell well and the dealerships cannot keep them on the lots. You can get a better deal on the full size trucks especially with your supplier discount. I think eventually you will see some discounting on the Ridgeline and Colorado/Canyon especially if Ford does decide to make the Ranger alongside the new Bronco.

The only thing that will keep me from buying this is my 2006 Ridgeline still works great! It truly has been a great vehicle with amazing features. While I don't do any towing, the bed is always filled with something.

The Ridgeline has tons of great features too like really comfortable ride, rears seats that completely fold up, and a huge storage chest in the trunk.

The dual action tailgate is really nice. Early looks on the new Ridgeline suggested a triple action tailgate....I think that would be a good improvement as it extends very far with just dual action.

The exterior styling clearly wasn't the best, but, after almost 10 years, it has grown on me.

@Chad Sexington

No, the truck competition in Australia is nowhere near as big as the US. You are only limited to small underpowered trucks over there unlike here where you have more choice to move up in size, power, and capability if you want to. Regulations and other economic dynamics make it to where it is not as economically feasible to own a full size truck over there. Small trucks don't have any real competition because most can't afford anything larger.

Hey all:

I LOVE my 2012 ridgeline and have waited anxiously for the 2016 to come out. I think this design is ugly, looks too much like a Frontier, sits too low to the ground, and the rear windshield visor thingy does nothing but obstruct vision. I am extremely disappointed.

"Ridgeline adopts a much more conventional pickup profile..."

Let's forget for a minute what it might or might not look like. Here are some questions that parade through my mind on this vehicle:

1) Does it offer a manual transmission (like Colorado)?
2) Does it have a solid, live axle in the rear?
3) Does it have a solid, fully boxed ladder frame?
4) Does it have a load capacity exceeding 1550 lbs?
5) Can it tow my boat+ trailer weighing 8200 lbs?
6) Does it cost less than $35K?
7) Does it have a nearby dealer in Northern WI for repairs?

So, you see, guys, if you are looking for a real pickup, there are now many to choose from, but this vehicle may not be among them. If you want a medium sized SUV with an open back end for mild hauling and seating for five, then this vehicle might be perfect. And yes, Hondas are reliable: I have one.



Mark, it is astonishing to me that you can put together these many reports, day after day, on multiple topics all at the same time.

I don't know if I speak for others on this site, but you are doing a fantastic job, and I see that your heart and enthusiasm are really in this.

So, a big THANK YOU for your work and diligence!


Honda engineering a pickup truck from a SUV reminds me of when Jeep created a pickup truck from a unibody SUV.
MJ Commanche
It was known for it's great handling. Much like the Honda Ridgeline.

Soon it will be time for a new Midsize Shootout.
In 2017 all the midsize trucks will be all new if Frontier is redesigned for '17. I've heard that 2016 is the last model year for the current Frontier.

In 2012 the Honda Ridgeline finished in third place. Where would if finish in 2017? Right now based on the new trucks from GM and Toyota I'm thinking the new Ridgeline would be in last place.


A question parades through my mind after reading your questions.

What type of boat and trailer weighs 8200 lbs? Sounds like a big fiberglass whale of a boat around 25 or 26 feet long.

My aluminum fishing and skiing boat, motor and trailer weigh just under 2000 lbs. It's not quite 17 ft long thought it gets the job done.

When I tow my sports car using a car hauler the entire package car and trailer hit the scales at under 5,000 lbs.

There is more than one set of criteria for what capability is needed for a pickup truck.

A real man knows to select the right tool for the job.

the current Frontier


The smart guys at Nissan should let it die. Ford and Ram dropped out of the mid size market in North America a few years back and that was the only thing that kept the Nissan Frontier alive.

The Frontier was very successful on the drawing board, very nice on the highway, a terrific off roader, but it flat out died on the showroom floor. One or two good years at best.

You can blame the big recession or you can blame Nissan brass for not doing a better job of supporting the segment, but the Frontier is DOA.

Don't look for a new Frontier. A face-lifted truck would not surprise me, but not a clean sheet design. Toyota took the temperature of this market a few years ago which is why the latest Tacoma looks and feels a LOT like the old one.

RE papajim

Nissan will move somewhere in the neighborhood of 61k Frontier this year plus whatever they sell in Canada and Mexico that are of USA origin.
Nissan will absolutely stay in the midsize market and bring a new truck.
Heck, they already have a brand new Navarra being sold in global markets.
Only question is, What will they sell in USA and Canada.
Nissan STILL sells the old D22 truck (circa 1997) in some markets.
There was a small team project to study feasibility of updating the D22 to meet safety and emissions standards so it could be sold in USA as a smaller, less expensive alternative to current midsize trucks. Similar to the size of the Ranger that ended production in 2012. That project is rumored to have terminated about 6 months ago.

So I expect well get the D23 with changes to the front end to meet safety standards and to mimic the styling of the new Titan.

More refined than current Frontier and more capable off road than new Ridgeline.

The truck is camoflauged... not just the bizarre stickers they put on the outside, but they'll also put extra trim and such to change the look of the car. The bulky C pillar for instance, or the way the rear window looks.

My biggest fear is they're going to do what they did with the Pilot and introduce 1980s technology like digital speedometers and such that were a bad idea back then and still are.

The D40 was NEVER a good off roader. The D40 was possibly the worst ever Datsun/Nissan pickup ever made.

Australia has 16 brands of pickups available to the consumer.

From eco boxes to highly blinged pickups to all of the US full size pickups.

The US has the Big 3, Toyota, Nissan and Honda. Not much choice to create competition.

The US has the largest selection of full size pickups. But.........it's really the only country where they are viable.......and protected from cheap imports.

The US also pays more for their pickups than we do, not counting grey imports.

A LTZ diesel Colorado 4x4 here costs around $51 000 AUD or around $35 700 USD before any wheeling and dealing. It's easy to drop the price of a high end pickup by $6 000 or $4 200 USD.

So, we can get into a LTZ diesel, auto, 4x4, dual cab for around $31 500 USD. Not bad. You guys are up around $40 000 USD or near on $60 000 AUD for this.

It seems expensive.

I would think most pickups sold in the US are in fact lifestyle choice vehicles. This would make them a SUV.

Data is showing the average load towed behind any pickup in the US is around 5 000lbs.

I'm assuming this Honda will come near that. I do know the Grand Cherokee has no frame and is able to tow around 7 700lbs, and that is even in the USA.

With a Honda 3.5l V6, around 300hp and 270ftlb of torque should be enough power to tow the "average" 5 000lb trailer behind this.

With all wheel drive this Honda would have no difficulty pulling a 5 000lb boat up a boat ramp.

@AllAmerikan I think you just made my point. No clean-sheet design for Frontier

Same V6 that Nissan has been making for more than ten years. Fewer manual transmission trucks on dealer lots. A few electronic upgrades, maybe some new colors...

Little refinements do not make for a clean sheet. It will take a big splash to make a dent in North American midsize truck markets.

Add to that we still have a record number of adults out of work in America, and Canada is having a worse time economically because of weak exports. The environment for change is not very good unless you consider them dropping out and focusing entirely on the Titan.

They'd be smarter to do something smaller and newer on the Titan platform.

RE papajim

Honda Ridgeline is all new.

Nissan Titan on the other hand....
Frame on new Titan, the regular 1/2 ton version, is mostly carryover from the current Titan.
Frame on the current Titan is derived from the frame on the current Frontier.
Making a new Frontier on the "new" Titan platform would be going backwards.

I like real trucks too, but why do people continue to criticize this vehicle for being "useless"??? The Ridgeline is a very useful vehicle! AWD traction, a cleverly designed cargo bed with a genius tailgate design, a roomy 4 door cabin, and Honda reliability. It fills the needs of many out there.

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