2017 Honda Ridgeline Bed Is More Innovative, Sort of

Honda Ridgeline 3 MW II

To its credit, Honda retained its category-exclusive under-bed storage trunk in the all-new 2017 Ridgeline. Not only does it provide a place to hide things you don't want exposed, you also can use it as a giant cooler during tailgate parties.

This clever idea was borrowed from the Odyssey minivan, which has the same storage bin in the rear cargo area. (The Odyssey uses the space to store the fold-and-flip third-row seats.) Since the minivan and the midsize pickup have a similar chassis design, Honda engineers took advantage of the space to create something unique for pickup buyers.

Additionally, according to Automotive News, Honda engineers altered the plastic mixture from which the bed is made to make scratches less visible. Rather than white scratches, the new bed reportedly shows black scratches. That chemical compound change along with a new in-bed speaker system (which uses embedded "exciters" rather than easily damaged speakers) will likely give the new pickup just enough distinction to keep it a strong choice for some midsize pickup buyers. But will it be enough to be profitable for Honda?

The short answer is yes. While the Ridgeline basically has been ignored for the last five years, the segment has attracted a great deal of attention due to the arrival and success of new Chevrolet, GMC and Toyota midsize pickups. With the midsize segment getting plenty of scrutiny, there's likely to be a good amount of curiosity about the Ridgeline if not full-blown cross-shopping.

Even if Honda sells only a few thousand more Ridgelines per year than its recent average of 13,000 trucks, an increase to 25,000 overall units would almost double the sales for the sport-utility pickup. More likely, as more Honda loyalists and "anti-truck" buyers check out this new Ridgeline — which drives like a car, is easy to enter and exit, and delivers a smooth ride — Honda could rack up more sales as a second vehicle for families.

The new Ridgeline is likely to be profitable for Honda because much of its production and design is based on other popular Honda vehicles — the Pilot and Acura MDX SUVs, and the Odyssey. Even if the Ridgeline never comes close to its peak sale numbers of 50,000 units per year (2006), its profit margins here must be spectacular. Maybe that's why Honda doesn't care about the "it's not a pickup" criticism the truck generates among pickup enthusiasts. This is as close to an easy business decision as it gets. And we still get another choice in the midsize pickup segment that can tow and carry a reasonable amount of weight.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

 

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Comments

Big Al From Oz - - -

Did not mean to offend. Was just listing my truck needs. But you are right: the target market here is not real truck buyers.

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"Why can't an independent vehicle tow?"

ANS: Because the Rzeppa joints on the flimsy half-shafts are not strong enough. SLA's on the rear axles have no joints; those on the front axles (if 4WD) use the much stronger Cardan ("universal) joints.)

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Yeah sure welfare LMAO kid with his Obummer phone. Grow a pair and use your own name from now on.

@roadram, yes you are right they have. Its just like gm just has a way of making the stupidest commercials of them all.

This criticism from the full size truck guys is hilarious. I buy a truck for what I need, not for some manly image I need to project. I'm not hauling concrete or towing a bulldozer. I need a truck to haul a motorcycle, muddy mountain bikes, camping gear, tow a small boat, carry vintage car parts, make runs to the home store for lumber or landscaping supplies. Everything else is overkill. I have a Tacoma as one of my alternate vehicles now. The Honda is worth a look for me.

The poor Ridgeline. Universally maligned.

Ridgeline threads are about the only time rival brand owners agree upon something. LOL

The Ridgeline has a trunk in the box………. So what?


The Ridgeline has a tire in the trunk in the box………. So what?

........................................................................................

All those “WHAT IF’S”

Let’s “WHAT IF” that tire mounted under the back end of the box………

What if……….

You get a flat while in deep sand or mud or snow?

What if……….

Mud or debris or rocks or ice jams up the crank mechanism?

What if ……..

The wheel or tire gets damaged?

What if……..

You forget about that underneath spare and it goes flat? (out of sight out of mind)

In the “good old days” tires were mounted in the box. I know quite a few guys who work in industry that will pull the underneath spare and mount it in the box.

Let’s WHAT IF” the spare in the box………

What if…….

You get a flat and your box is loaded full of hay or firewood or tools or parts or dirt bikes or camping gear or small boat or a combination of the former?

Every scenario I have listed has happened to me or somebody I know.

***Every mounting location has pros and cons.***

Actually, the folks at "Four Wheeler Network" also did a quick "walk-around" review of this poor creation.
They termed it an "SUT", for "Sport UtilityTruck".

I think of it more as a "SLUT", for "Sport Light UtilityTruck", but you can make anything out of that acronym you wish... (^_^).

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There is factory mounting provision for the spare tire on the bedside for when you're hauling something like gravel or mulch. This is true for both generations of the Honda Ridgeline.

Also, the continued hate for this product confounds me. It's a fabulous solution. The notion that a solid rear axle or a body-on-frame design is inherently superior to anything else is silly.

What concerns me is that Honda chose not to market this truck worldwide. I read last week in GoAuto.com.au that Honda Australia's chief wanted the Ridgeline, but Honda Corporate in Japan has made no decision on doing so. That's too bad. Given the demand for small and midsize trucks worldwide, the Ridgeline would be a no-brainer. And if Proton is seriously considering turning its crossover-based pickup concept into an actual production model, then Honda can sell the Ridgeline overseas. It should have no problem expanding production at its Thailand facility.

As for those complaining about the location of the spare tire, look at this: at least it has a spare tire! Honda could have followed option B, which is to replace the tire and jack with a small pump and a can of fix-it-flat. That is the new standard for about one-third (and growing) of new vehicles. the manufacturers say deleting the spare tire reduces vehicle weight and increases fuel economy. This option may be fine for those who complain about fuel economy. Me? I'll take the tire.

Lots of people in a huff over the spare tire in the trunk. Well, if you are in any other pickup that's loaded, you still have to unload it to jack it up, unless you carry a 3 ton floor jack. I would rather get a clean spare tire out of the trunk than crawl under a pickup in mud or slush to get it out under the bottom. Provided that you can get the thing down in the first place. Those things are usually seized up anyway.

The original Honda Ridgeline has an option for TWO spare wheels: the full size diameter-narrow width in the 'trunk', and an optional mini-spare [smaller than normal diameter & width] mounted in the bed.
Maybe Honda will continue that option.
From the '06 introduction material:
"The Ridgeline's In-Bed Trunk locks and is big enough for a large 72-quart cooler or three golf bags. Located in the rear half of the bed, the spacious and weather resistant trunk can be easily accessed for storing items in a secure, lockable area. The spare tire is stored in a sliding tray inside the trunk and is large enough to accommodate an accessory full-size spare tire. When hauling raw material loads like mulch or gravel, the spare tire can be moved to a mount on the side of the bed (or the mount on the side of the bed can be utilized to carry a second spare tire - a smart move when going off-road in remote areas.)"

I've had to change a tire after driving in a snowstorm. After chipping at snow and ice for a half hour to get the spare to come down, I would have loved the Ridgeline's covered spare.

As a 2006 ridgeline owner, I can say that the only downside to this vehicle was a 17.5 mpg combined that I get. Three months ago it became my "3rd" car at home when i got a small commuter car for my 85 mile a day commute. I hope to keep it another 10 years as my weekend/utility vehicle at least. That being said, it's an awd with a lockable rear dif that still gets the same mpg as a full size rwd truck of that era. It's not a rock crawling offroader but it's been plenty capable in wet pastures and muddy rice field roads and even in the sand at the beach. As far as the trunk goes, I'd rather have it than not. It's my fourth pickup and my most reliable so far, but I don't tow and most of my heavy loads (yes, I've had close to 1,500 lbs with loads of floor tile, bagged gravel and mulch in it) would have been easily moved to access the spare. Pricing will be the biggest issue with its success. Mpg will be better for sure with this new model. Many people who didn't need full size SUV's have moved to midsized crossovers in recent years and you might see the same trend with full size to mid size pickups when gas goes back up. If Honda can price it competitively with the other midsized pickups it will probably sell well. If you need to pull over 5k lbs, get a different truck. If you need a sound awd utility vehicle in the family for ocassional work and dirty loads, it's worth a look.

For people like me this is a nearly perfect vehicle.
I need to be able to haul large boxes, groceries, expensive road and mountain bikes, 8ft stainless steel tubing, and my new granddaughter.
It should be able to tow my 3000lb loaded cargo trailer with ease.
I'm a large guy with an average size wife so having the memory seats/mirrors is a plus.
The new Pilot seems to perform well in the mud and snow so I expect this will do even better with the all terrain tires.
I don't plan on hauling manure. Even a fool would know to remove the spare before fully loading the bed.
So don't lose any sleep if I pay cash for one.

I own a 2008 ridgeline it has 120,000 miles and still runs like a dream. I hear a lot about it not having tow capacity. I can tell you that 5,000 lbs is conservative I drove it from GA to MI 800 mile trip towing a 2600 lbs car on a 2200 lbs trailer with at least 500 lbs of crap inside the car and the bed fully loaded at close to 2000 lbs for an estimated total of 7,300 lbs (I was moving). Did I take it easy yes of course I did. It had no problem in the Tennessee mountains up or down in fact it was very stable. I got to my destination and the mpg worked out to 18 mpg over the entire trip. The tail gate is very strong, it and the trunk compartment lock, when you lock the doors. I moved to Alaska and drove it up here.I take it hunting and go up and down roads that most people use sleds or 4 wheelers on. I have better traction on icy roads than any vehicle I have ever ridden in and used it as a work truck the whole time I've owned it. No problem carying 30 sheets of 3/4 OSB. With the improvements made to the 2017 it's going to be one hell of a midsize truck.

FYI If the idea of spare tire inside the in-bed trunk when loaded seems like problem it's not. You can remove the spare tire and mount it in the bed on side location. There is a secure mounting spot for the spare. If there is not a 5th passenger and other stuff inside the rear seating area you can also place the tire inside.
This is also the same on 1st Gen Ridgeline things were thought out.

RIDGELINE OWNER 2007 says you can place the spare tire in the passenger seating area...

No trace of irony, so I'm guessing he's never tried it. Having a dirty spare laying around on the seats is an unsavory option that sensible people would surely reject. But having a heavy loose object like a mounted tire flopping around in the passenger area is so dumb safetywise that even Big Al would recoil in horror.

Let's hope that Mr Ridgeline owner doesn't actually decide to carry his spare around in the cab like that.

I have a 2009 after owning and using many trucks. I've hauled 1000 pounds in the bed, and towed 4500+ pounds. I've taken it hunting here in the Rockies and the Ridgeline keeps going - 70k trouble free miles. Routine maintenance only - I haven't had to even replace a light bulb. There is no better vehicle in snow, IMO. If Honda expands the Ridgeline's strengths and minimizes some of its weaknesses - needs to tow 6k IMO - it will be a hit.

You guys don't get the spare tire non issue.
The tire is in the in-bed trunk on a tray that slides back like a drawer with jack. So just like passenger car with tire in well it should be clean not dirty. If you have never used it or maybe once it's clean unlike other pickup trucks or SUVs that have them mounted outside underneath exposed getting dirty.
In the Ridgeline bed there is an optional mounting location for the tire. So look at pictures of 1960s Ford pickup trucks with spar mounted in back of bed. With Ridgeline you have a 60/40 rear Lift Up Seat. You have a flat floor for storage/utility so should bee no problem temporally carrying the tire inside on rear floor if you don't have rear seat 5th passenger.
They claimed the 1st Ridgeline can carry a bike with rear seats lifted up. This is shown in brochures. The 2017 Ridgeline was redesigned and the floor is even flatter for better underneath storage with seats in down position. So utility storage is better than GM twins. Ridgeline is not a everyday heavy duty work truck. It's for the homeowner type person that uses it for Home Depot or big box store runs. It's for the little carpenter type work person as their general work truck not hauling a bunch of stuff everyday. It's for the daily driver commuter type person.
For a long highway trip you would want a Ridgeline this is it's strong points. Ridgeline won't treat it's passengers or driver like cargo. I just don't get the typical pickup truck owner or person that bashes/hates the Ridgeline. They say it's not a real truck. It can't go off-road and they can play rock crawling games with it. But when I see them same people with their rough riding trucks doing the same daily things that the Ridgeline is perfect for I shake my head.

RIDGELINE OWNER 2007 you just used about 300 words to avoid my point--completely.

Tires ain't pretty, they're dirty. Even a tire that's been in the cubby for a couple of years will rub black crud all over you.

You talk about this like someone who's never even changed a tire before.

So some of you guys with these so called real trucks the mighty F-150, Silverado Dodge 1500 Tundra type trucks never use your back seats space for storage or utility? I think the seats fold up lay down for this purpose. I hope some of you are not treating the trucks like someone with a Rolls Royce.
I have had Honda vehicles for over 35yrs still have an Acura sedan. But people with Honda CR-V & new HR-V with flip up fold up seats for utility carry house plants shrubs for gardens and their yards. They have dirt soil in vehicle if someone was that worried about spare tire hurting interior put plastic or old blanket over it.
People with SUV haul stuff inside their vehicle on top of folded down seats. You have rear floor mats to protect floor and I have accessory rear under seat storage tray liner like mat for that space. People put dirty boots tool boxes camping gear coolers in the rear area with seats lifted up or down.
I have carried flowers & plants for my yard inside rear while bed has bags of garden soil & mulch in it. This is exactly how they designed this space for use.

At Ridgeline glad you were able to straighten me out

If you have a load and get a flat do you want to put the donut on .I have a ridgeline and carry a "real " spare in the back when I travel any distances. Heck do you want to travel 70 mph with those stupid donuts anyway.

I have owned my 2008 Ridgeline since new. I have towed, launched and hauled out my 23ft. Regal on a dual wheeled trailer on slippery ramps. I have towed a loaded 12ft. box trailer, an 8x12 flat trailer with a full load of wood. I live in Northern N.Y where snow can be deep and a problem to drive in, yet I have not been stuck yet. I tow my ice shanty out on the bay when the ice is thick enough.
I have hauled a bed full of gravel, wood, dogs and numerous other things and have yet to have a flat. I know several people with "other trucks" who could not get their spares out, due to rust that required them to break things to ultimately get to the spare.
I like the ride, the comfort, the stereo; the in bed "cooler" has served me well tailgating, ice fishing, and keeping theft down to nothing.
I test drove many types of trucks before I purchased the Ridgeline. It just perfectly fit everything I needed in a truck. I don't care about "hype", I like what works and this truck flat out does the job all the way around.
Everyone that is looking for a truck should first define what they will use it for then look for what they really need and compare the options. It is as simple as that.

The midsize segment just got a little more interesting. This is perfect for me. I don't need a full size truck. Hear me Ford and Ram...

I'm no longer in construction and no longer have a need for a big truck but still need a truck that can haul 30 bags of mulch or whatever I need at Home Depot and fits in my garage. This fits my needs. I have a Ridgeline now and it is a great vehicle for me. I'll buy the 2017 when it comes out. I've always had Ford or Chevys and they are great trucks but not what I need now.



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