2017 Honda Ridgeline: First Look

2017 Honda Ridgeline II

After a two-year hiatus, the Honda Ridgeline is back with a new look, more technology and a better midsize pickup truck package. The 2017 model is making its debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Sharing several design strategies with the all-new 2016 Honda Pilot, the new Ridgeline has a more conventional pickup truck look, but offers many of the same class-exclusive minivan/SUV/pickup features that the previous model contained.

The 2017 Ridgeline will continue to offer its unique, In-Bed Trunk at the rear of the bed that houses the spare tire, tools and gobs of storage space. Likewise, the Ridgeline will continue to offer its segment-exclusive dual-action open/close tailgate to access the bed, providing drop-down and swing-out options. The biggest news for younger Ridgeline costumers is that it will offer an integrated eight-speaker sound system in the bed tied directly to the in-cab, high-output radio — this is an industry first.

Like the previous Ridgeline, the unibody platform will allow owners to enjoy the most interior cargo space of any midsize pickup and provide the widest bed for outdoor cargo — the new bed is 4 inches longer. The inside of the new Ridgeline also has the lowest floor of any pickup, providing plenty of legroom and a large, versatile center console and armrest.

Additionally, Honda has upgraded the Ridgeline's features, materials and interior finishes to appeal to a wider, more demanding audience. Among some of the improvements are tri-zone climate controls, push-button start and a full-color 8-inch touch-screen display screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The rear seats have a 60/40 split and lift up to allow for more floor storage like the previous model.

The new pickup will be powered by an all-aluminum 3.5-liter i-VTEC direct-injection SOHC V-6 engine similar to that found in the Honda Pilot. In the Pilot, respective horsepower and torque numbers are 280 at 6,000 rpm and 262 pounds-feet 4,700 rpm. The 2017 Ridgeline will also have a new six-speed transmission and the same torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system, called i-VTM4. The all-wheel-drive system will allow for multiterrain management using Normal, Sand, Snow and Mud modes. Honda describes its system as "all-weather" technology to provide better handling, traction and performance. Of note, for the first time Ridgelines will be available in both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations.

Although pricing and specifications have not been released yet, we're guessing Honda will follow the same trim level strategy we saw in the 2016 Pilot — LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Elite — with the new Elite option costing a good chunk of cash.

The 2017 Ridgeline will also offer a host of safety and driver-assist technologies that are likely to make this one of the safest pickup choices around. Available safety options include lane departure warning, collision mitigation braking, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation and blind spot warning., All Ridgelines will come standard with a multiview, multi-angle rearview camera.

The Honda Ridgeline, due to its sport-utility-truck style and construction, remains a street-biased, light-use, midsize pickup with a reasonable amount of hauling and towing ability (especially when compared to other more traditional body-on-frame choices), but we're guessing it will fit the needs of many buyers. Given the sales and attention resurgence of the midsize pickup segment, lower fuel prices and the volume of family-friendly features packed into this new pickup, we wouldn't be surprised if Honda sells more than twice as many Ridgelines than it did in any of the last three model years (2012-2014) it was on sale.

We'll have a full photo gallery of the 2017 Ridgeline soon.

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Comments

Well I never owned a pick-up, and never wanted to, only because they all had a truck like driving ruffness.
This new Ridgeline is really tempting me because it is a SUV driving like with a bed, with all the advantages of both worlds. Of course its a mid sized pick-up, not a full sized, so its more meant to confortably drive your familly on a daily basis, than for working hard in the fields.
I currently pull a 4000 lbs caravan every summer week-ends and do a lot of small renovations, so 5000lbs of towing capabilities and the flat bed (to carry 4×8 pplywood or drywall) are suficient for my needs.
I would replace my current SUV and my 4×8 trailer by this new Ridgeline for next spring, so only the availability and price will decide me to keep my current setup or replace it with this new Ridgeline after a good roadtest.

All you truck guys need to stop thinking it's a truck. It's not and that's the point. I just sold my Titan and am waiting for this. I want a truck that's not a truck with a nice ride and actual fuel economy. I want to pull my 16 foot boat and be able to haul something in the bed if I want. I also am looking for resale and reliability. I am not looking for american garbage or Italian garbage pretending to be American. This truck fits the bill!

We will probably buy one. I am a current RL owner. We tow a motorcycle, about 3800 to 4000 miles per year from Canada to Phoenix AZ and back. I also have a utility trailer for house and garden work and my woodworking hobby. I welcome the upgraded box finish. Mine looks like hell from all the rocks and dirt and building stuff I've carried. On the US trips we carry enough stuff to fill the cargo box, the storage trunk under the box, and under the rear seat, giving the dog the back seat to herself. The box is secured by a Retrax lexan retractible lid that is lockable and quite rain proof. The tail gate is secured by installing an electric latch wired to the door lock circuit. Using that system gives us more storage than any midsized SUV I can think of.

I will never use the bed speaker system, unless I can rig it to the security system to scare the hell out of would be thieves. Use your imagination regarding what it could play! I'm open to suggestions!

Oh ya; Given the fact we take up to four days each way to make the big trips, a smooth riding, quiet truck is the only way to go. You can keep your big loud rigs.

Wish there was an extended-cab / access-cab version with a 6-foot bed.



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