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We are now 1,900 miles into a cross country journey. Here’s a report on how it’s performed.

Driveability

Drives beautifully. Greatly improved over my 2006. Smooth as silk. Quiet, firm acceleration. Better on hills than almost all of the other vehicles on the road. Has the guts to blow by other cars when passing when needed.

Comfort

The seats are significantly more comfortable than our 2006, especially on the passenger side.

Rear Accessibility

The back doors open less than in the original Ridgeline, as has been discussed. We thought this would be a big problem. It’s a small problem for us and not something that has created problems packing stuff or the dog. Nevertheless, I'd recommend Honda trying to resolve this in future editions.

Capacity

There is a net loss here if you are packing for a long road trip, but some give with the take. Since the front floor space between the front seats is gone, as is the double (above and below) space in the center console, and there is no cubby space on the dash, there's less area to tuck stuff you need at hand while driving. On the other hand, there is a little more useable cubby space in the doors and there is space under the driver's seat that was previously taken up by the navigation DVD.

The trunk is smaller and the space above the spare tire where I used to cram my tools and jumper cables is gone — too tight for that now. The bed walls are shorter all around (except maybe the tailgate), but we don't put stuff in the bed on our cross-country trip, so this is not an issue for us in that regard.

There is a little more space under the back seats than in the G1. We always cram stuff there and bags that barely fit before now fit with a few inches to spare. Because the back seats are a bit higher, the dog is now closer to window height, with his bed, so doesn’t jump up and down as much.

Adaptive Cruise Control

This is a fantastic feature for long-distance driving, but you have to learn to use it. Perhaps the best part is that you no longer have to turn your cruise off when you approach slower traffic or if you are stuck behind blocking traffic. I drive a bit over the speed limit which meant that I was constantly turning the cruise on and off in the G1 to compensate for other traffic. I didn't realize until now how much time and frustration that involved.

A huge benefit of the ACC is in car pool lanes and in areas of the interstate where there is construction that brings it down to one lane for extended stretches. They're doing this on I-80 for hundreds of miles in ten or so mile stretches right now. You can set the adaptive to whatever speed you want above the flow of traffic, but it simply keeps you a prescribed distance from the car ahead like the tractor beam on Star Trek. Nice. This is a major stress reliever.

There are some detractions. There is a lag time if a lane opens up to pass. So let’s say you had it at 75, but the blocking traffic is 65. When a lane opens to pass and you move into that lane, there is a short bit of time (about four seconds) before it recognizes there is an open road and moves back to 75. (This may be a bug that can be fixed.) Why is this a problem? If people are coming up behind you in that cleared lane, your slowness affects them. They have to brake because you are temporarily as slow as the slower lane you were in. You can avoid this problem by remembering to accelerate when you move around, but you have to do that or you sit there like a turtle for a few seconds.

Another problem is that the adaptive only sees out so far in advance. If traffic well ahead of you suddenly slows, the human driver can see this and slow down, but the adaptive doesn’t do it unless the cars ahead are in range. So while the driver could gradually slow down, the adaptive waits until it is in range and may slow you very rapidly (I’ve had it almost slam on the brakes at a high speed). So you need to override in this case, as in the prior case.

Those issues aside, I've found myself far less fatigued after a day of driving thanks mostly to the ACC.

Lane Departure Warning

This may seem superfluous to some, but I see it as really quite valuable, especially on a long trip when boredom sets in. Example: You’re paying a little too much attention to the navigation screen and start drifting out of your lane. You get a small vibration on the steering wheel that gets your attention. You look up and solve it before it becomes an issue. Great safety feature. It also reminds you to always use your turn signals whenever moving out of the lane. (If you use your turn signals that warning doesn’t come on.) Good for those of us who sometimes get lazy thinking no one is around to see them, only to be surprised that someone is.

Audio and Navigation System

The audio and navigation system are a huge upgrade from my 2006 with navigation. It's like moving to a smartphone from a basic phone. It takes a lot of reading, along with trial and error, to figure out how to do things, but once you figure it out, holy smokes! You can customize all kinds of things about the car, the audio, and the navigation from the screen.

The audio sounds great. You can plug in an IPod to the USB connector inside the center console and never look at it again. If you select it on the truck’s touch screen, you can access almost everything on the IPod from the screen. With XM radio, you now have over 300 channels because this is the XM app, rather than the standard tuner. Basically 100 or so more channels it seems. You can also apparently use Pandora off of your phone, and of course whatever is on your phone. The options seem endless.

Once you have paired your smartphone with Bluetooth, the phone answers seamlessly via Bluetooth through the screen and shuts off other audio during the call. People seem to hear very well on the other end. Very simple and useful system.

The Garmin navigation system is excellent for the most part, although it lacks some of the intuitive features of Google maps. In Google maps you can say: “Give me directions to the Sheraton Hotel in [city],” and it would give you directions. Garmin can give you a city, then you have to go through some gymnastics to get a hotel. Once you have a destination though, it's a major step up from the old system. It provides lots of information, like destination time, miles remaining, traffic, alternate routes, etc. You can customize what it tells you and how it appears. You can also seamlessly move back and forth from the audio screen, either from touch controls on the screen or from a menu button on the steering wheel.

Tried the Android Auto for awhile. Whether because of Google’s implementation or Honda favoring Garmin, the information provided using the Garmin system is far more robust. Also, moving back and forth from audio to map, for example, is less smooth. Overall, we preferred the Garmin interface on long drives. What we have not been able to compare well is the traffic notifications. It seems like the traffic notifications in Android Auto may be superior, but we haven't had enough traffic to test this.

One interesting anomaly in both systems: The give you the arrival time in your current time zone, not in the destination time zone.

There are some detractions for sure. There is a serious glare problem with the screen such that on occasion it is really hard to see the screen (certain sun angles). It also immediately gets marked up with fingerprints and they seem impossible to fully clean, so we just deal with it.

Overall, this system is enormously useful. Like a smartphone, there are far more options than the average user will ever understand or use. It's worth some time learning them because some are major time savers.

Electronic Customizing

Through the navigation screen you can customize all sorts of things with the electronics of the car. For example, whether the doors lock when you walk away or only when you press lock on the fob; whether the driver's seat moves to a low, neutral position when you open the door or stays in it's regular position; when doors automatically lock and unlock; etc. It's worth reading the manual to see all the possibilities. As an example, I find it unnecessary to have my driver seat move down every time the door opens and I put stuff under the seat that I don't want crushed, so I simply turned that off.

Visibility

Visibility in this truck is excellent. The front window post does not seem as much of a block as the G1. There is also something about the window tint that is amazing. I always drive with Polaroid sunglasses with neutral tint, but in this car I find that even in intense sunlight, if I take my sunglasses off, there is no eyestrain from the brightness. Somehow they’ve managed to tint the windows perfectly. And of course, the backup camera resolves the visibility problems. That's a major benefit, especially with a dog standing up in the backseat blocking my view.

One oddity with the backup camera: It’s in the tailgate. If you have the tailgate down when you back up, you get a confusing view of the street and continual warnings. Seems like a bug on Honda's end. It should turn off when the tailgate is down and give you a warning that it is not working.

The blind spot warning works very well, if you remember to check it. A small yellow icon lights up beside the mirror if someone is in the blindspot (on either side).

Automatic Headlights and Highbeams

These mostly work as advertised. Headlights turn on in low light and when windshield wipers are going. Highbeams turn on and off automatically, although this is sometimes fooled by reflecting signs or similar.

Object Warning

The warning about objects in your path seems to work very well. We drove on a short road with some high weeds sticking up and the car warned of objects in our path. Same for some other example of things nearby. Another great feature.

Gas Mileage

Gas mileage has never made it to 23 mpg. It is pretty consistently been around 22 as you will see below. We are driving about seven miles per hour above posted speed with two humans, one dog, and a fairly load of clothing, etc. that is almost all inside the trunk or the car.

22.1 mpg; I-15 Barstow – St. George; moderate traffic; not econ mode (note dashboard said 25 mpg avg.)

21.99 mpg; I-15 Cedar City – Ogden; moderate traffic; not econ mode

22.60 mpg; mountain roads, moderate traffic

22.09 mpg; I-80 Wyoming; moderate traffic

21.86 mpg; I-80 Nebraska; moderate traffic

Overall

This is a superior open road vehicle. It is a major improvement overall from our 2006 Ridgeline. I'm very satisfied at the moment.
 

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Good report.

The vehicle customization settings and streaming audio features you mentioned have been in other Hondas for years - our G1 Rigelines were just really far behind the curve.

Regarding the Adaptive Cruise Control, I experience the exact same behavior in my CR-V.

I would have expected fuel economy to be at least 1-2 MPG better. According to some, that may improve in time, but I've never found that to be true on any vehicle I've ever owned.
 

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Excellent report and will be very helpful in setting up my RTL-E which is due this coming week. I would guess we can assume that if something broke you would have said so. It is great and a bit unusual to have a report that includes that many miles so soon after release.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this! With many threads on the forum that are opinion and speculation, it is nice to see one chock full of useful facts and relevant experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Excellent report and will be very helpful in setting up my RTL-E which is due this coming week. I would guess we can assume that if something broke you would have said so. It is great and a bit unusual to have a report that includes that many miles so soon after release.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this! With many threads on the forum that are opinion and speculation, it is nice to see one chock full of useful facts and relevant experience.
You're welcome. Should have 3,500 miles on it by July 6. Will report further. Nothing has broken yet!
 

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Fantastic report and review! I can't wait to get mine...unfortunately I have to.

Went to look a BE they have nearby. I see one in my future, even though I have not driven one yet, it seems to have no drawbacks from any one's comments.
 

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….Gas mileage has never made it to 23 mpg. It is pretty consistently been around 22 as you will see below. We are driving about seven miles per hour above posted speed with two humans, one dog, and a fairly load of clothing, etc. that is almost all inside the trunk or the car.

22.1 mpg; I-15 Barstow – St. George; moderate traffic; not econ mode (note dashboard said 25 mpg avg.)

21.99 mpg; I-15 Cedar City – Ogden; moderate traffic; not econ mode

22.60 mpg; mountain roads, moderate traffic

22.09 mpg; I-80 Wyoming; moderate traffic

21.86 mpg; I-80 Nebraska; moderate traffic
At the speeds you are driving on the interstates, is the engine running in 3 cylinder mode?
 

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Excellent report - thanks for all the detail. I too wonder if the engine is not running in 3 cylinder mode most of the time, because that mileage is similar to what some of us get on our later model Gen 1 Ridgelines (which are in 6 cylinder mode at all times). I have often obtained 22 - 23 mpg on long drives like that at similar (or higher) speeds.

The mileage you are seeing is right in line with what people have been seeing on 2016 Pilots, as reported by their numbers on Fuelly dot com.

Enjoy the new truck, hope you guys have a great trip!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
One addendum to my report: There is a wealth of information on the screen in front of the steering wheel. One item is average miles per gallon. From what I've observed, this is not at all reliable. In many cases it has been around 25 when the actual turned out to be 22. Not sure if this is simply an unreliable gauge or if this is intentional obfuscation by Honda. Looking at it makes you feel good ... until you check the actual and find out it wasn't real.
 

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There is a wealth of information on the screen in front of the steering wheel.....
Indeed, I have never found car based mileage estimates to be very good. It also makes me wonder if the range estimates are accurate - they probably use the same data. Would pad them quite a bit crossing the desert in the summer (or MN in winter).

Having said that, I really like the information that is displayed right where you can see it w/o moving your eyes much or reaching for a touchscreen.
 

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Great write-up, LifeSaver!

How would you rate the following distance to the car ahead, as maintained by the Adaptive Cruise Control? (Perhaps, compared to what you would do manually.)

Also, how does the ACC behave when you're cruising along in "tractor beam" mode and then a car from the next lane slides into that buffer space in front of you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Great write-up, LifeSaver!

How would you rate the following distance to the car ahead, as maintained by the Adaptive Cruise Control? (Perhaps, compared to what you would do manually.)

Also, how does the ACC behave when you're cruising along in "tractor beam" mode and then a car from the next lane slides into that buffer space in front of you?
There are three (I believe) following distance options. I use the second when I am wishing to provide a little extra safety. I use the closest when I am hoping to encourage the driver ahead of me to pull over. I have not used the longest one. I would only get closer to the car ahead than the closest of the ACC following distances if I were trying to make a statement to the driver that they need to pull over. One thing the ACC does is lessen my tendency to become frustrated and do that, which is probably a good thing.

You asked how the ACC behaves if a car from the next lane slides in the buffer space. When I referred to tractor beam mode, I was referring to circumstances in a single lane situation (car pool lane or construction zone constriction) where it would be difficult or impossible for someone to slide in. This is obviously possible in other circumstances though. If someone moves into the space, the ACC immediately tries to compensate and move you back the prescribed distance. This can be pretty abrupt depending on how fast that car is going. I haven't had it happen many times that I can recall, nor do I recall it being a big issue, but it could be, especially if someone behind were following closely. If this happened to you while you were using regular cruise or no cruise at all, you might accept the crammed distance initially and slowly back off. The ACC would tend to do this immediately and abruptly I think.
 

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Gas mileage has never made it to 23 mpg. It is pretty consistently been around 22 as you will see below. We are driving about seven miles per hour above posted speed with two humans, one dog, and a fairly load of clothing, etc. that is almost all inside the trunk or the car.

22.1 mpg; I-15 Barstow – St. George; moderate traffic; not econ mode (note dashboard said 25 mpg avg.)

21.99 mpg; I-15 Cedar City – Ogden; moderate traffic; not econ mode

22.60 mpg; mountain roads, moderate traffic

22.09 mpg; I-80 Wyoming; moderate traffic

21.86 mpg; I-80 Nebraska; moderate traffic

Overall

This is a superior open road vehicle. It is a major improvement overall from our 2006 Ridgeline. I'm very satisfied at the moment.

I'm glad we got some real-world reports on mileage. I'm averaging around 21.5 combined mileage city/hwy with my V-8 Durango cruising around 80 mph. On the highway I'm getting around 24 mpg. What happened to the 25 mpg claimed by Honda/EPA?
 

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I'm glad we got some real-world reports on mileage. I'm averaging around 21.5 combined mileage city/hwy with my V-8 Durango cruising around 80 mph. On the highway I'm getting around 24 mpg. What happened to the 25 mpg claimed by Honda/EPA?
You must have a very light foot, or only drive downhill ;)

At fuelly.com most V8 Durango owners are reporting approximately 16mpg average.

I bet you could do 27mpg in a Ridgeline.
 
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