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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2011 RTS, 91k miles, clean but sparse Carfax- $19k independent dealer

2007 RTL, 112k miles, clean Carfax including good record of basic maintenance - $14k independent dealer

For argument's sake consider that they're mechanically/cosmetically equivalent... so on age, miles, price and perhaps trim... is the '11 worth $5k more?

I'm leaning towards no as I only expect to put about 10k miles/year. But I'm not sure if there are compelling model year differences or if the 4 years of extra age justify the delta.

Thanks in advance!

Tony

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Personally I would opt for the newer, more expensive one. Those four extra years may be all that you use it for before the trade bug again bites. Just know that at 105K it'll be due a timing belt ($1K); for that matter - without proof the other vehicle owner may have skipped this item. That's one reason many older models are traded in - to avoid that expense.

And several of these older models are now being hit with an internal radiator problem that kills the tranny. Lots of stories about that issue on this sight. One posting here: http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/...iator-failure-tranny-drain-fill-question.html

Final note: if those are the dealers original asking prices they likely are still negotiable.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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There's also a significant difference in the trim lines between the RTS and RTL. This is not exactly an apples to apples comparison. In addition, the 2011 will offer a better towing experience with the engine and tranny tweaks that were done in 2009 and up.

And if you get the upgrade fever, you can swap in a J37 in the 2011 too. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the quick responses! This forum is a big plus for prospective RL owners.

Between the RTS and RTL it seems to me that the leather and sunroof are the big changes, am i missing any driving/performance deltas?

The timing belt/water pump and radiator replacements are all things I figured would be needed on the '07 immediately and within a year or so on the '11.

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Yes. In 2009, Honda updated the RL with some minor tweaks to the engine and transmission which improved torque and power... especially for towing. Also, from 2009 and up, the RTS and RTL models both include the full factory towing package (including the wiring harness missing on lower trim lines). The 2007 will have none of that unless a PO had it installed.

2009 and up have a trip computer and also added the MAF sensor (in addition to the MAP sensor which was on the 2006-2008 models).

The difference in price alone between the RTS and RTL is probably around $3000 as you get leather, sun/moon roof, heated side mirrors and probably a few other things I've forgotten. In my case, I do not care for the SR/MR and leather is a MEH to me... so the extra cost didn't represent value to me. If you have young kids or routinely carry pets, leather will be much easier to keep clean and you don't get the static shock from leather.

I personally prefer a 2009 and up due to the engine/tranny changes... and the trip computer. But I am somewhat of a gadget freak too. ;)

All that being said, if the 2007 has been better maintained and operated than the 2011, that could be a factor as well. But that can often be difficult to discern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great info speedlever! Towing isn't really on my radar though I guess it's a possibility. I do have the pet and will very soon have the kid which makes leather attractive.

I'm also pursuing a private party '07 RTL with 109k for $13k which might end up a winner. Looks like there are a bunch of decent options on the market right now.

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Be advised there is still no fix for the airbag issue at the present time. My RL has been in airbag jail since late February. Surely the fix is coming sooner rather than later though.
 

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I own a 2007 RTL with 153k miles on it. It's been the best vehicle I've ever owned. The updates to the 2011 may be nice, but it's still the same basic vehicle. If the timing belt or radiator replacement haven't been done on the '07 yet, work that into the negotiation. You know you're going to have to have them done pretty much directly after you buy it. So, factor in that $800-1000 for the TB and $400 or so for the radiator. The '11 won't be too far behind that with the mileage that's on it.

If you have a pet and a little one on the way (as do I), leather is a no-brainer. My dog had a motion sickness problem when she was a pup and would upchuck and drool all over the seats. They always cleaned up easily with no residue. That cannot be said for the fabric in the RTS. Also keep in mind that the RTL has heated seats. If you live anywhere that gets even moderately cold, it's one of the greatest features ever.

With the positives that the '07 offers as well as the maintenance hisotry, that would be my choice. Plus, you can negotiate strongly and pocket even more that $5000 for diapers. You're going to need it. Whatever dealership is selling that '07, they likely don't have more than $11k in that truck.
 

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Yes. In 2009, Honda updated the RL with some minor tweaks to the engine and transmission which improved torque and power... especially for towing. Also, from 2009 and up, the RTS and RTL models both include the full factory towing package (including the wiring harness missing on lower trim lines). The 2007 will have none of that unless a PO had it installed.

2009 and up have a trip computer and also added the MAF sensor (in addition to the MAP sensor which was on the 2006-2008 models).

The difference in price alone between the RTS and RTL is probably around $3000 as you get leather, sun/moon roof, heated side mirrors and probably a few other things I've forgotten. In my case, I do not care for the SR/MR and leather is a MEH to me... so the extra cost didn't represent value to me. If you have young kids or routinely carry pets, leather will be much easier to keep clean and you don't get the static shock from leather.

I personally prefer a 2009 and up due to the engine/tranny changes... and the trip computer. But I am somewhat of a gadget freak too. ;)

All that being said, if the 2007 has been better maintained and operated than the 2011, that could be a factor as well. But that can often be difficult to discern.
I prefer the 2009+ purely on looks alone, apart from the performance upgrades. I like the rectangular fogs, drl's, the updated grill and wheels. Worth the money in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I looked at another RL tonight but didn't pull the trigger... 2007 RL, 133k miles, clean Carfax but no maintenance history.

The car was wholesaled and is being offered by a guy who bought a lot of 5 Honda's. Mechanically looks OK, exterior(smoky blue) also looks good but the interior cloth and steering wheel are pretty rough.

I got him to $10,500 but I'm not comfortable with the lack of history even at that price point and I'd prefer 100k or less miles.

If it sticks around and some other leads dry up maybe I'll try coming back and doing a dealer inspection on it. The seller seemed like a good guy but he knows nothing about the car or is representing that he knows nothing.

I did have a good exchange with another guy a bit further out with a nice looking '06 RTL, 100k miles with immaculate records... fingers crossed!

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^^ That's really good that you're shopping around. Go with your gut. For the record, a 2007 RTS with 133k miles should not be selling for over $10k. Especially one from a private party with no maintenance records. Don't be afraid of the 06. There were a few small niggles with the first year, but those great records go a long way. I keep a book of every single thing that is done to my truck from the timing belt to wiper blades. I date the entry and log the mileage. Proper maintenance goes a LONG way. At 153k miles, my girl is still running like a top. Very regular fluid changes (all fluids) and general maintenance.

As a word of advice, the Gen2 truck will be on dealer lots within a matter of days. There will be a massive influx of Gen1 trucks that are traded in for the Gen2's. If you can wait a month or two, I think you'll see many great examples of Gen1 trucks hit dealer lots. Plus, this airbag fiasco is still ongoing. Honda dealers cannot sell Gen1 trucks that haven't received an updated driver's airbag. Once those parts become available, there will, once again, be more trucks available. Don't pass up a great opportunity for a great truck if you find one, but I think you'll have great luck with some patience.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks IanRTL! The shipping and has been pretty fun. No bad experiences with the couple of sellers I've dealt with so far. I'm definitely trying to keep the coming impact of the 2017's and the recall resolution in the front of my mind and it's helped me stick to firm lower offers or pass all together.

I'm really happy to hear your thoughts on the '06 s. The discussion with the seller of the '06/100k miles is going really well. It's a green RTL and the samples of maintenance records and Carfax back up the claims made in the ad. I've got it booked for a pre purchase inspection tomorrow morning at a Honda dealer. They offered me a1 or 2 hour inspection at their hourly rate... I opted for the 2 hour as this vehicle is 100 miles away from me and I don't want to waste the trip. Not only are the expected basic maintenance jobs accounted for but the timing belt/water pump was done back at 75k miles.

I'm hoping for a good report from the dealer so I can schedule my road trip to pick her up! (Whilst attempting to remain patient course)

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
One step closer... the Honda dealer's detailed inspection did reveal some issues the biggest being;

-passenger side engine mount turn, fluid leaking out
-front upper/lower control arm bushings are staying to tear
-alignment required after bushing replacement

Tires are mismatched in wear depth, spark plugs are getting close to being replacement, cabin and engine air filters are dirty.

All in all not so bad for 10 years, 100k miles I think. I've asked my local shop for a quote on the mounts and bushings. If it all comes together I'm considering doing that work along with the 2" truxx lift and upping the tire size with an alignment at the same time.

Fingers crossed, Monday is the day!

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One step closer... the Honda dealer's detailed inspection did reveal some issues the biggest being;

-passenger side engine mount turn, fluid leaking out
-front upper/lower control arm bushings are staying to tear
-alignment required after bushing replacement

Tires are mismatched in wear depth, spark plugs are getting close to being replacement, cabin and engine air filters are dirty.

All in all not so bad for 10 years, 100k miles I think. I've asked my local shop for a quote on the mounts and bushings. If it all comes together I'm considering doing that work along with the 2" truxx lift and upping the tire size with an alignment at the same time.

Fingers crossed, Monday is the day!

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All things that are wearable parts. The engine mount is fairly expensive for what it is, but it's not too bad. The labor involved is half the cost anyways. Bushings are easily replaced. You'll probably be $500-600 into it for those things. The spark plugs can be easily replaced on your own for about $60. Dealership will charge you over $20 PER PLUG and then about $100 in labor to change them. Stock iridium plugs can be purchased on Amazon for less than $10 per plug.

Is there any evidence of the radiator ever being replaced? That is one of the big things in the older RL's that is well documented on this forum. The tranny fluid fittings that run through the bottom of the radiator can corrode and fail causing a mixture of tranny fluid and coolant. It can spell disaster for the transmission and is really a bad situation if it happens to you. If it hasn't been done, I would suggest swapping the radiator for an aftermarket Spectra, Silla or Koyorad unit. Dealership will charge about $200-250 in labor to put it in, but it's a necessary preventative maintenance item.

Are there any pics or a link to the ad for this particular 06? I would still shop around, obviously, but I think you've invested yourself into this one already.
 

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I have noticed a considerable difference in the quality of fit and finish after the RL production went south (literally). The 2006-7 vehicles made in Canada were much better assembled. The RTL feels better inside than lesser trim levels too (subjective). I'd go for the '07 myself.
 
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