2017 Honda Ridgeline: Real-World Gas Mileage

Ridgeline Kelsey 2 II

By Kelsey Mays

Resurrected after a two-year hiatus, the Honda Ridgeline returned for 2017 to capture the top truck honor from the North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year jury and land in the consideration set for Cars.com's Best Pickup of 2017. It didn't win in the end, but the unibody Ridgeline still boasts a degree of ride composure its truck-based competitors seldom achieve, and its EPA-estimated gas mileage compares favorably with many V-6 gasoline rivals. In fact, it almost won, by the narrowest of margins, our most recent Midsize Pickup Challenge.

How does that mileage hold up in the real world? We took an all-wheel-drive Ridgeline RTL-E (EPA 18/25/21 mpg city/highway/combined) from Chicago to Iowa's Quad Cities region on a route that put its strengths on display: mostly highway driving to and from the area, plus 83.3 miles of errands once there. All told, we put 363.1 miles on the Ridgeline over three days at an average speed of about 59 mph.

In the end, the Ridgeline's trip computer logged 23.0 mpg. That's short of the truck's EPA highway mileage, but it easily beats the combined figure.

Some notes:

  • We began and ended the journey at the same gas station and pump in Chicago's western suburbs, returning with the needle near empty. But upon fill-up, our pump — which was problem free the first time around — developed a habit of clicking off every few gallons. We repositioned the nozzle several times to no avail, then abandoned the effort when it stopped for the umpteenth time at 16.651 gallons. That's 21.81 mpg if you're keeping track, but our equipment difficulties throw too much doubt on that figure. The trip computer's 23.0 mpg is the number to go with here.
  • The entire trip was done with two adults aboard. Around the Quad Cities area, we drove 34.5 miles with a wood jointer secured in the front of the bed, plus another 22.6 miles with the jointer and some light lumber. Other than that, the bed was empty.
  • We drove as we normally would — no acceleration tests or hypermiling — and we used plenty of cruise control. We kept the Ridgeline's automatic climate control in fully automatic mode between 68 and 72 degrees, and avoided the drivetrain's Econ mode, which noticeably relaxes accelerator progression and dials back climate control.
  • Temperatures were in the high 20s throughout, per Weather Undergound. Our journey to and from the area had a slight tailwind bias (14-17-mph tailwinds on the west leg versus 12-14-mph headwinds or crosswinds on the east leg), but significant crosswinds (17-19 mph) during our drive around the Quad Cities mitigated any gains from that.

Want more thoughts? Read our full review of the Ridgeline for more impressions.

Cars.com photos by Kelsey Mays

 

Ridgeline Kelsey 1 II

Ridgeline Kelsey 4 II

 

Comments

@longboat

You cite a "hot market" for midsize but they've hardly made a dent in the north American market despite the numerous advantages folks have mentioned.

If modern midsize trucks were offering the kind of advantages that compact trucks did back in the 1980s (fuel economy, price, compact dimensions, easy parking) I'd be much more of an advocate.

Instead, today's mid size offers only small advantages in price and FE. The turning circle is nothing special and the seating is cramped.

None of them offers a roomy rear seat, and the king cab models basically give you some room behind the front seats to store some tools or guns or golf clubs out of the weather.

I guess the best I can say is suit yourself.

@Longboat
Yah, it has to be garageable for me. But Clint's got a point that $4k more one gets all the benefits of a bigger bed and crew area. I'm thinking garageable is no concern of Clint, but could be wrong. That's why I'm very verbose about reducing the engine length of a full size. So the full size gets reduced to the length of a midsize. Frontal crush area, enough power from V6's or smaller NA V8's, must all go into the equation. I'm just hopeful the front can be reduced significantly sooner than later.

Well, In 2020 I will be looking for a new truck. I see no reason to buy the Pilot, whoops, Ridgeline, due to the small bed and limited towing.

So far it looks like maybe a high LT optioned Colorado 4x4 crew LONGBED, (had a quad cab Dakota once, that 5 foot 3" bed didn't get it.) Once in awhile when need room for more than me and my wife, say like canoeing. Just wish the Colorado had wider tow mirrors, and AOL of the mirrors could be self dimming. Oh, and not a diesel that needs a timing BELT (yup, 2.8 has one) that needs changed at 150,000 miles. At least you build a Colorado, the Honda? It'seems pick one of 5 models, lol. You can have it anyway you want, as long as it'stands built like those 5 models! Plus, you can tell a Ridgeline owner barely plans to put much in the bed, because if they did, the spare tire location would be a turn off!

The other possibility? Let's see what Ram does with the 1500. Let's see if they avoid the style of the new Rebel grill, add mileage to the v-6 and more so, add torque to it, as the new Durango and Grand Cherokee have. Let's see if they can straighten things out (and they better do it soon)

I would agree if you are buying a vehicle on just the basis of getting the largest and heaviest vehicle for the money then pound of pound a full size half ton would be it. If you need a larger vehicle and enjoy driving one then getting the biggest and heaviest vehicle for the money is a good value. If you buy a bigger and heavier vehicle just because it is a better deal and don't like it and don't drive it then it is not a good value for you. If I were buying a truck just on the basis of getting the most truck for my money I would look at a WT half ton single cab full size truck with a V-6. You can find those for less than you can buy many midsize or even compact cars. If I still lived on the family farm I would get one of those, but living in the suburbs with limited garage space and more crowded conditions I would not like it much and tend not to want to drive it. It doesn't matter how cheap or how great a value something is if you do not use it. That is not to say that cost does not factor into a buying decision.

Papa Jim, you do not know the complete story as to why I bought my Isuzu. I got a new 31k 4x4 well optioned crew cab pickup for 20k plus taxes. True I could have gotten a full size base model truck for less but a 4 wheel drive st the time was more use to me in snow than a 2 wheel drive. I kept my old S-10 2 wheel drive for hauling things off and dirty jobs. At 31k or even 25k I would have passed on the Isuzu but it was a very good value for the money and since it is basically a Chevy there would not be any problems finding parts. At the right price I decided to buy it and 8 years later I have no regrets. What Edmunds and Consumer Reports does not tell you is that even though a vehicle is not one of their top rated vehicles does not make it a bad vehicle and at the right price if it fits your needs then maybe it is a good value. Since I keep my vehicles 10 plus years the depreciation is not a real big factor for me. If you keep a vehicle 5 years or less then depreciation would be a factor. Your facts and figures don't account for what kind of deal that you can get and if what you buy bests meets your needs. If you were to say that the current generation of Colorado/Canyon is a better overall vehicle than the previous generation then I would agree. If I were to find a low mileage well maintained prior generation in excellent condition at a very good price then I might buy it over a newer Colorado. Again it is not just using reviews but using what is the best value for what I want and do I like this vehicle well enough to live with it for many years. Maybe that is not objective in your view but that is the criteria that I use when buying a vehicle and it has not let me down in over 40 years. You can debate me on this but I look at many factors when buying a vehicle and brand is not a major consideration unless I know of a particularly bad problem with a specific year model.

I would agree if you are buying a vehicle on just the basis of getting the largest and heaviest vehicle for the money then pound of pound a full size half ton would be it. If you need a larger vehicle and enjoy driving one then getting the biggest and heaviest vehicle for the money is a good value. If you buy a bigger and heavier vehicle just because it is a better deal and don't like it and don't drive it then it is not a good value for you. If I were buying a truck just on the basis of getting the most truck for my money I would look at a WT half ton single cab full size truck with a V-6. You can find those for less than you can buy many midsize or even compact cars. If I still lived on the family farm I would get one of those, but living in the suburbs with limited garage space and more crowded conditions I would not like it much and tend not to want to drive it. It doesn't matter how cheap or how great a value something is if you do not use it. That is not to say that cost does not factor into a buying decision.

Papa Jim, you do not know the complete story as to why I bought my Isuzu. I got a new 31k 4x4 well optioned crew cab pickup for 20k plus taxes. True I could have gotten a full size base model truck for less but a 4 wheel drive st the time was more use to me in snow than a 2 wheel drive. I kept my old S-10 2 wheel drive for hauling things off and dirty jobs. At 31k or even 25k I would have passed on the Isuzu but it was a very good value for the money and since it is basically a Chevy there would not be any problems finding parts. At the right price I decided to buy it and 8 years later I have no regrets. What Edmunds and Consumer Reports does not tell you is that even though a vehicle is not one of their top rated vehicles does not make it a bad vehicle and at the right price if it fits your needs then maybe it is a good value. Since I keep my vehicles 10 plus years the depreciation is not a real big factor for me. If you keep a vehicle 5 years or less then depreciation would be a factor. Your facts and figures don't account for what kind of deal that you can get and if what you buy bests meets your needs. If you were to say that the current generation of Colorado/Canyon is a better overall vehicle than the previous generation then I would agree. If I were to find a low mileage well maintained prior generation in excellent condition at a very good price then I might buy it over a newer Colorado. Again it is not just using reviews but using what is the best value for what I want and do I like this vehicle well enough to live with it for many years. Maybe that is not objective in your view but that is the criteria that I use when buying a vehicle and it has not let me down in over 40 years. You can debate me on this but I look at many factors when buying a vehicle and brand is not a major consideration unless I know of a particularly bad problem with a specific year model.

@Jeff S

re first generation Colorado and its corporate kin.

The verdict is in. These trucks had one good year of sales, 2005. As soon as the Asians brought updated Nissans, Toyotas and Hondas to the midsize space, the GM's were toast.

These facts are not debatable. Even Ram and Ford got a few more years of sales with lesser products because the GM lineup was so weak in this regard.

Today's GM midsize trucks are already six years old if you count the global models that were sold starting back in 2012. They never learn. Honda has a new model in place--which does not sell well, and Nissan has a new one ready for launch. Ford promises to have a new one out in several years.

the midsize market is not very progressive, with the exception of Honda, and for some reason Honda has only had one good year with theirs, back when Bush was still president.

The midsize space, despite all the hoopla is not very robust. Facts, not opinions.

@papajim--How do you explain the Chevy/Colorado plant is working at full capacity and there are still shortages of these trucks. Why is Toyota running at full capacity in their San Antonio plant making mostly Tacomas and how come their Mexican plant is running at full capacity. I think you need to take your blinders off and look at those facts. A manufacture is not going to operate a plant at full capacity with 3 shifts. The midsize truck sales have grown and will continue to grow. I am not saying that midsize trucks will surpass full size trucks but they are growing. I realize that you hate anything that does not fit in your narrow scope of what you like. The market place is not as myopic as your viewpoint. Now it you are saying that the midsize truck market will always grow then I would agree. Most products go thru cycles.

Below is a link to what is happening in the midsize market. The writer in this article has a lot more knowledge than you on this subject and has put is personal biases aside. Your opinion is very subjective.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/09/full-size-pickup-truck-sales-suddenly-falling-pickup-truck-market/

Here is a link from this site
http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/11/best-selling-pickup-trucks-october-2016.htmlhere is a link from this site.

Here is a GM link
https://www.gm.com/investors/sales/us-sales-production.html

Toyota link Tacoma plant running at full capacity
http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2016/09/15/with-san-antonio-plant-at-capacity-toyota-to.html

http://www.motortrend.com/news/toyota-investing-150m-mexican-plant-boost-tacoma-production/

from this site:
http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/09/toyotas-tijuana-plant-pumps-out-tacomas.html

Colorado plant increase in capacity

http://www.carscoops.com/2016/02/gm-shall-increase-midsize-pickup.html

http://wardsauto.com/industry/gm-scratches-out-more-midsize-pickup-capacity

http://gmauthority.com/blog/2016/02/general-motors-moves-to-increase-production-of-chevy-colorado-and-gmc-canyon/

https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/02/10/general-motors-moves-to-make-more-chevy-colorado-p.aspx

I have provided sources for my above position now I am asking you to provide support for your statement

"the midsize market is not very progressive, with the exception of Honda, and for some reason Honda has only had one good year with theirs, back when Bush was still president.

The midsize space, despite all the hoopla is not very robust. Facts, not opinions." Especially provide specific facts for your statement of "Facts, not opinions."

There are no shortages. That is a myth.

@Jeff S

Compare the annual sales of half ton and 3/4 ton trucks to the much smaller totals for midsize. All of your links are missing the point entirely.

I guarantee that if Honda had pioneered a really progressive new half ton pickup for the Super Bowl week in 2016 last year, it would have really shaken things up.

I admire Honda for their Ridgeline design, but they really picked the wrong price point and the wrong segment in my opinion, and their cool reception in the market proves me right.

We got way into the weeds on this particular commentary because it's about Honda, not GM.

@papa jim--Since you know everything you need to issue a proclamation to GM and Toyota that they should stop making midsize trucks because they sell less units than the larger trucks. I am sure Toyota and GM would appreciate you guidance. Also you could tell both to discontinue all vehicles except large SUVs and large pickups. Maybe both would be willing to pay you for your expertise i.e. a dollar. If you haven't looked there are few specific models that sell 100k units and both the Tacoma and the Colorado are either above or just below that range. Full size truck sales have gone up during the past 2 years but they are still below the pre-2008 level. You chose not to back up you claim that midsize trucks are gaining sales because you do not have any data to backup your subjective claim. You talk about facts but when you are asked to provide them you go back to the same lame argument which is not facts but fiction that you created. I gave you links to prove that midsize trucks are selling and that production is increasing. You have nothing in response but a position that you have continually failed to back up.

I meant you have failed to back up you position that midsize trucks are losing sales when the data in the links I provided you shows just the opposite. You need to actually read the news about which vehicles are selling. There are several sources of news on new vehicle sales and most of the writers, especially Timothy Cain at TTAC (The Truth About Cars) have worked in the automotive industry for years. I would put my trust in what they write about more than what you espouse. Tim Cain has weekly articles about new vehicle sales and substantiates his articles with charts and graphs showing what is actually happening. Many new buyers have been trending away from the traditional family sedan to crossovers and crew cab pickups and much of the increased sales of both full size and midsize crew cabs are to traditional car buyers. This switch from the family sedan has caused Chrysler to discontinue production of the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 and other manufactures to switch production to non car like vehicles. The traditional truck buyers are not the bulk of the sales of the Tacoma and the Colorado/Canyon, these buyers are looking for the utility of a truck without a huge increase in size. This actually works for GM and Toyota because the profit margin on any truck is much larger than a midsize or compact car in which the market is flooded with and the profit margins are razor thin with substantial discounts offered to move the inventory. Maybe you don't sell 400k to 600k units of full size trucks but you possibly can sell 100k units of a midsize truck in a crew cab configuration which is loaded with all the options that provide a larger profit margin. The dealers seem to be selling these crew cab midsize trucks and the dealers are ordering them thus increasing the bottom line of the manufacturers who make these trucks. As long as the dealers are selling these midsize crew cab trucks they will place orders for new ones to those manufacturers which the manufacturers customers are the dealers. You want facts those are the facts and the links that you ignore will substantiate what I am stating. It seems facts are facts for you until they get in the way of what you believe.

@papajim--Jeff likes the Honda!

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/01/2017-honda-ridgeline-video.html

My wife has had 2 Fords since she had her 77 Accord for over 17 years. We liked the Fords and had reliable service from them but since buying a new CRV in 2013 we have a preference for Hondas. I also like my Honda Harmony lawn mower. I will have to see this new Ridgeline in person but this looks to be a much better and more usable truck.
Posted by: Jeff S | Jan 16, 2016 9:07:08 AM

@papajim--You have failed to back up you position. I have no favorite brands and have had GM, Ford, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, and Honda. I am less inclined to buy a Chrysler product but I do not hate them. I have a 99 S-10 extended cab with a I-4 and a 5 speed since new that I got a very good deal--almost bought a Ranger but I got the S-10 and it has been a very reliable truck. I have an 2008 Isuzu I-370 crew cab I bought new as well with 4 wheel drive, tow package, fog lights, power driver's and passenger front seats, and heated leather seats. The Isuzu was one of the last on the lot and at 21k it was a steal. The Isuzu is the same truck as the prior Colorado/Canyon. My wife had a 1994 Escort LX wagon (bought new) which was very reliable and a 2000 Taurus (bought new) with the overhead V-6, leather seats, and power everything which was a reliable car except it went through 3 air conditioning compressors. She wanted a new car so we traded in the Taurus for a loaded 2013 CRV (bought new) but we do miss the Taurus (the power of a V-8 in a 24 valve V-6).

@papajim--You have failed to back up you position. I have no favorite brands and have had GM, Ford, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, and Honda. I am less inclined to buy a Chrysler product but I do not hate them. I have a 99 S-10 extended cab with a I-4 and a 5 speed since new that I got a very good deal--almost bought a Ranger but I got the S-10 and it has been a very reliable truck. I have an 2008 Isuzu I-370 crew cab I bought new as well with 4 wheel drive, tow package, fog lights, power driver's and passenger front seats, and heated leather seats. The Isuzu was one of the last on the lot and at 21k it was a steal. The Isuzu is the same truck as the prior Colorado/Canyon. My wife had a 1994 Escort LX wagon (bought new) which was very reliable and a 2000 Taurus (bought new) with the overhead V-6, leather seats, and power everything which was a reliable car except it went through 3 air conditioning compressors. She wanted a new car so we traded in the Taurus for a loaded 2013 CRV (bought new) but we do miss the Taurus (the power of a V-8 in a 24 valve V-6).

Who is this Jeff Smith? Another troller? Yes I like Hondas but nothing would hold me back from buying a Ford or any brand that I like and meets my needs. Hondas are good vehicles but most of today's new vehicles are very good and surpass the quality of past generations. No manufacturer has a monopoly on quality.

@papajim--since buying a new CRV in 2013 we have a preference for Hondas. I also like my Honda Harmony lawn mower.
Posted by: Jeff S | Jan 16, 2016 9:07:08 AM

There you have it. Jeff S has an emotional connection to his CRV and lawn mower; therefore, he cannot debate the facts with papajim.

GM is focused in raising the ATP, or average transaction prices. They are moving away from a focus on fleets and work trucks and more emphasis on better priced goods and upscale services.

Lexus did this several years back and they're kicking everybody's butt in the customer sat surveys. Their ATPs are off the chart.

Because of this, GM will try to sell more of the upscale mid sizers because their dealers love it. Higher ATP. All that GM corporate needs to do is avoid losing too much market share in the process. They outsold Ford by over 100k trucks last year so they have some room to wiggle.

It costs the dealer just as much to create a new upscale customer as it does to create a bottom feeder, or at least that's the idea. You'd go nuts if you knew how much dealers spend on TV and print ads.

By the way, just so you know: If I could find a clean 10 year old regular cab 5-speed manual Colorado four cylinder, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Strictly for haulin' and hunting.

They didn't build that many and most are probably trashed by now. Just saying.

"My wife had a 1994 Escort LX wagon (bought new) which was very reliable and a 2000 Taurus (bought new) with the overhead V-6, leather seats, and power everything which was a reliable car except it went through 3 air conditioning compressors. She wanted a new car so we traded in the Taurus for a loaded 2013 CRV (bought new) but we do miss the Taurus (the power of a V-8 in a 24 valve V-6)."

"but since buying a new CRV in 2013 we have a preference for Hondas. I also like my Honda Harmony lawn mower. I will have to see this new Ridgeline in person but this looks to be a much better and more usable truck."

@papajim,
Survey says. It appears Jeff S bases his truck preferences and opinions based on which lawnmowever he owns and what car his wife drives. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But now you know what you are dealing with.

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