Pickup trucks are becoming more popular, and the sales of this segment jumped 28 percent during the last year, so many carmakers decided to produce new pickups or redesign the old models. 2017 Honda Ridgeline is a serious competitor in the market, and it has been put to the test. Let’s check it out.
A Redesigned Vehicle
Total of about a quarter of a million original Ridgeline vehicles were sold, but unfortunately, after eight years, the production of this model came to an end. During that time the Ridgeline went through some serious modifications, and although it was a pickup truck, it certainly didn’t look like it. The engineers decided to get rid of the angular bedrail panels behind the rear doors on the second-generation model, but they put nothing instead. Nevertheless, we have a new 2017 Honda Ridgeline, and it looks fantastic – a real truck. A prominent single side panel is still here, but there is a clear boundary between the cab and truck’s bed.
Read more: 2017 Honda CR-V
Under the hood
The Honda Ridgeline and the Honda Pilot SUV share a lot of parts such as a chassis, the engine, well, basically, the entire front end of the Ridgeline, but the only authentic part of this vehicle is the bed. Speaking of the engine, Honda Ridgeline sports a 3.5-liter V6 with direct injection unit with cylinder derivation system to enhance fuel economy. This unit produces 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque compared to 250 horses that the previous truck delivered. The standard variant is offered with FWD system, and according to the EPA tests, we can say that this truck has an excellent fuel economy – 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway.
Bed and Tailgate
The bed is 64 inches long and it is located above the wheels, preventing fender wells from using too much cargo space. You can load whatever you want, but the limit is 1,500 pounds, which is more than enough. Moreover, you can open the double-hinged tailgate either to the side, or you can drop it down. The engineers decided to keep this tailgate, but they also kept a 7.3 cubic-foot waterproof compartment which is located under the bed floor. The compartment comes with a drain plug as well, power outlet and audio speakers that can be mounted inside the bed.
The model that was tested came with an AWD, but you will now find FWD as standard. The AWD Honda Ridgeline features four different driving modes, and the driver can opt for Normal, Sand, Snow and Mud. You can switch between the modes while you are driving by pressing a button located at the base of the shifter, which is mounted on the console. Honda comes with Variable Torque Management (i-VTM4) which sends torque to the wheel that needs it the most, and this is a great feature when you are driving the pickup off-road and on terrains with a lower level of grip.
The ground clearance of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline is approximately 8 inches, and although it may be concerning, it is enough for any kind of road. The Ridgeline was great on soaking wet terrain when you turn the Mud mode on while on the public roads, at high speeds the vehicle is stable and the driver can just relax and enjoy the ride. According to Honda, the rear chassis components had to be revamped in order to increase tow rating. So if you go with the 2017 2WD Honda Ridgeline, the towing capacity is limited to 3,500, but this can be upgraded significantly with the addition of the AWD. The AWD models can tow 5,000 pounds making it a decent pickup truck in segment. The noise in the cabin is reduced to the minimum, and you won’t even have a feeling that the engine is running.
There is more room for improvements, but this generation is definitely a good one.
What do you think about the 2017 Honda Ridgeline?