Estimated reading time:3 minutes, 52 seconds
FEATURED TRIM $42,270…MSRP $41,370
The current Honda Ridgeline is now in its second generation – the first back in 2006. Though it is a pickup truck, its underpinnings are that of the very popular Honda Odyssey, Pilot camp. What this affords is a more comfortable ride for a pickup truck over a traditional body-on-frame design, as is the case for most “true” pickups.
My particular tester was a 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD RTL-E, with the top trim level for the model.
Powering this model was the corporate 280hp 3.5L SOHC 24-Valve iVTEC Direct Injection V6. Variations in engine tuning allow for it to be shared across some of Honda’s other V-6 models, notably, the Odyssey, Pilot and Honda Accord V-6 lines.
The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. There is a heavy duty automatic transmission cooler, if you are so inclined to tow with the vehicle; Honda claims a max tow rating of about 5000 lbs. There are certainly other pickups that can tow more, but I believe you purchase the tool for the job you need. If your primary purpose is to haul large loads, tow boats, campers, etc., there are better choices.
As with most modern vehicles today, it comes with the full suite of what we would now consider the standard of safety features. Honda calls it Honda Sensing; this suite of safety doodads include, but not limited to CMBS (Collision Mitigation Braking System), ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control), LKA (Lane Keeping Assist), FCW (Forward Collision Warning) you get the picture. The electronic nannies are ever present to keep you out of trouble. Smart key entry, Remote Start, Front and Rear Parking Sensors. Being a RTL-E, this baby was fully loaded. A longer bed and 2WD versions are nice additions that make the truck a bit more desirable over the first generation.
Leather abounds in the 2017 Honda Ridgeline. From the seats to the tilt and telescoping steering wheel. Seating in the rear, though tall and wide, is a bit tight on knee room. On the infotainment front, the Bluetooth paired nicely with little effort with my Android phone, Bluetooth streaming is also supported. It is nice too, that Honda supports both Car Play and Android Auto; for seamless integration with our devices… Other manufacturers take note of this, give us variety and convenience! I did take issue with the volume control, it is a touch, sliding gizmo thingy, not a fan. I prefer good old fashioned knobs; with this touch/sliding feature, you almost have to take your eyes of the road to adjust the volume, not safe. Of course, you could always use the controls on the steering wheel. However, knobs work, are easy, you get that tactile feel, no need for unnecessary techno wizardry, in my opinion.
Push button start, 10 way power drivers seat,with 2 position memory, heated front leather seats. Power sliding rear cabin window are some of the many niceties that come on this trim level. The Navigation system is bright and easy to read with large fonts and bright colorful pictographs. My only complaint was that it is a fingerprint magnet! After about a week or so with the vehicle, the screen looked like I was intentionally attempting to cover the screen completely with fingerprints!
Being based on an SUV platform like its other siblings mentioned earlier, the drive is very compliant. Interior noise is satisfactory, it drives a lot smaller than you would imagine. However, looking over the large hood as you sit up high, and especially when parking you are reminded this thing has a backside; thankfully the parking sensors and standard rear camera alleviate any reservations in those instances. Acceleration is brisk for this size vehicle, especially when not in the “lazy” Eco mode. Driving on the highway and through downtown Orlando, the car handled reasonably well. Large mirrors and a commanding view of the road ahead made for an easy city or occasional light duty pickup.
For a mid-size pickup truck, the 2017 Honda Ridgeline is a good pick. Not one for pickups in general, it would not be on my shortlist. However, the drive, comfort, fuel efficiency and the legendary Honda reliability, cements this as a definite consideration if you are in the market for such a conveyance. There are others in this contested mid-size pickup field, such as the recent Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins, Nissan Frontier, the Toyota Tacoma, to name a few, etc. But guess what? Isn’t variety a great thing!
- Price as tested: $42,270
- MSRP: $41,370
- HP: 280HP
- Fuel economy: 18/25
- Vehicle Provided by Honda