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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The world being what it is, every Ridgeline owner has heard the "It's just a minivan with a bed." and other epithets from "Real Truck" owners.

Of course, the devil's advocate, in me, is all to happy to engage them.

We know we won't be doing any Rock Crawls in our RL's but we also know the strengths of our vehicles are missed or ignored by the detractors.

During my debates with these folk I've been forced to do my research and produce a few graphics to pepper my arguments with.

I thought I share a few things I learned and created. If this is all old news I apologize in advance.


  1. The Ridgeline is not a bed mated to a Pilot. Kerry McClure, the RL project leader let drop in an interview that the RL frame and drive train were originally designed for a Pickup but that marketing priorities saw it applied first to the MDX and Pilot. so in contrast to the claims the Ridgeline is a Pilot with a bed stuck on it. The pilot is actually more like a Ridgeline with the bed removed and a third row added.
  2. Unibody on a truck is neither fragile or unique. I recently learned that Jeep used what they slyly call Uniframe or some of their off road vehicles. One of the great debates is when will Jeep make that switch for the Wrangler.


I also kept hearing that the alternatives could tow and carry more. Better haulers was the term used. One went so far as to claim a $25,000 Tacoma was the equal of the much more expensive Ridgeline.

So I looked for the lowest priced tacoma with 4X4 that could tow more that 3500 lbs.

Turned out that the Tacoma must have the V6 and a $650 Tow package to exceed 3,500 lbs rating of the base model and that combination only comes on the double Cab. That ballooned the price delivered to $31,335 not $25K. And that is with 16 inch steel rims and missing a number of standard features on the base RL.

One more myth shot down.



I also put together my own comparison chart.




Lastly I came across an interesting PDF on repairing the 2017 body and frame. Including that the Ultra high strength door frames must be brazed and not welded in order to preserve their heat treatment.

https://rts.i-car.com/images/pdf/oem-info/honda/body-repair-news/24807.pdf
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Interesting chart and comparison. I see that your RL price includes the AWD option and delivery charges. Very nice. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting chart and comparison. I see that your RL price includes the AWD option and delivery charges. Very nice. ;)
I went for the least expensive truck in each product line that had 4x4 and towed at least 5,000 lbs. those were the only criterion.

Any bed size or cab configuration was ok.

In the Toyota case The SR5 is a closer match feature wise and cost more than the RL but I was accused of cherry picking so I reverted to the least expensive. Still if you add the alloy wheels to the Tacoma it is almost identical in price to the RL. And, You don't see many Tacos with steel wheels.
 

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The pilot is actually more like a Ridgeline with the bed removed and a third row added.
Exactly what I said in another thread. If you look only at appearance, the RL is a "Pilot with a bed". If you take a more accurate look (especially at the all-important structure) and look at how development of the two vehicles was done, it turns out that calling a Pilot a "Ridgeline without a bed" is more accurate.
 

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Don't forget that many of the large commercial/industrial cargo vans are unibody. Case in point: Mercedes Metris, 2500lb payload and will fit in you garage. The Ram and Ford cargo vans are also unibody. The Sprinter will tow 5k and haul 3k, also.

The Nissan is the only widely-available BOF cargo van, and is also resold as the Chevy Express.

If unibody wasn't tough, why is the commercial/ industrial world buying these vans like they are going out of style?
 

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Don't forget that many of the large commercial/industrial cargo vans are unibody. Case in point: Mercedes Metris, 2500lb payload and will fit in you garage. The Ram and Ford cargo vans are also unibody. The Sprinter will tow 5k and haul 3k, also.
And why would that be?

Answer: Commercial buyers buy based on capability and price, not "tough guy" image
 

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Great research, spylake! Too lazy to do it myself, I just assumed that the oft-repeated critiques must be valid -- until I saw your chart. Those ground clearance figures were a real surprise! :surprise:

It would be interesting if your chart started popping up as a reply to every thread bad-mouthing the RL on those other forums. >:) Heh, heh, heh!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great research, spylake! Too lazy to do it myself, I just assumed that the oft-repeated critiques must be valid -- until I saw your chart. Those ground clearance figures were a real surprise! :surprise:

It would be interesting if your chart started popping up as a reply to every thread bad-mouthing the RL on those other forums. >:) Heh, heh, heh!

Thanks. To be fair to the other brands I only created the chart to counter the claim that the Honda was priced dramatically higher than comparable Tacoma's and Colorado's etc.

There were a lot of interesting results in my compiling the list. For example, to get the Tacoma with the highest bed load you have to revert to the 4 cylinder and 2WD which surprised the heck out of me. I just assumed the 4X4 variants would have the better load carrying capacity.

 

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2017 Honda Ridgeline Is More Than Ready to Compete - PickupTrucks.com News

Just read/watched the pickuptrucks teaser for tomorrow's results and can't help but laugh at Oxi and Tom's comments at the bottom.

Oxi: Here we go, focusing on car categories instead of truck ones! If a truck has a 4x4 option, off-road is the ONLY test needed! The rest are for grocery getters!

Tom: Oxi can go back to his woods and boonies. Everyone else lives where there's pavement. Idiot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It is a pilot with a bed. But that doesn't bother me. And I prefer the unibody! Just tell them body on frames handle like chit. The RL will outhandle, on road, any truck made, period.
Does it handle a logging or fire break road? Cross a stream? Climb a sand dune? Get me to the Ski Lodge? Then I'm good. Serious bolder crawling I'll leave to others.

When I put together my comparison chart I noticed that Toyota, for instance, makes a lot of Truck models with 2WD that can only tow 3,500 lbs. So the myth that the Honda is not a real Pickup because it only tows 5,000 lbs. is obviously nonsense.
 

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Good post but I really don't understand why many RL owners are so sensitive toward criticism of the RL... Is it the whole "not a real truck" thing implying that you aren't a "real man" if you drive a RL? Not all RL owners are like that, but there seems to be an incredibly defensive attitude that many have. Don't take criticism of the RL or someone saying a different truck is better for X, Y and Z reasons well at all.

I didn't end up choosing a RL when I just bought my new truck. I got a Ram 1500 and listed my reasons why in a different post. I immediately was replied to with a comment essentially implying that my opinions are wrong and proclaiming their own opinion as fact. This even though the RL was my second choice of all trucks on the market... Kind of like a weird inferiority complex.

I love the RL, but it just wasn't quite enough for me in the areas where it clearly lacks. I just find things like this and the general sensitivity from RL owners amusing at this point. I know people get emotional about their vehicles. It is a big investment and a big part of your life. But you buy a truck/car for yourself because it is what you like. You shouldn't and don't need to defend your decision to anyone, or go after others who disagree with you. Who cares if someone says a Tacoma is better or that the RL is a Pilot with a truck bed because let's be real... it is. It really doesn't matter that they developed the chassis for the RL initially. It is still a flippin' Pilot with a truck bed and if you like it there is nothing wrong with that.
 

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... Who cares if someone says a Tacoma is better or that the RL is a Pilot with a truck bed because let's be real... it is. It really doesn't matter that they developed the chassis for the RL initially. It is still a flippin' Pilot with a truck bed and if you like it there is nothing wrong with that.
Yes, same as a Silverado is just a "Suburban with a bed". :p

Seriously, enjoy your Ram. It is second choice for me behind Ridgeline. In my case, RL wins for me because I don't tow over 5k and it fits in my garage, and the wife loves it. Yeah, it's got issues, biggest one right now being unavailability.

I think people defending it has largely become a knee-jerk reaction to constantly having to debunk all of the myths that other-brand fanboys love to spread. You got caught in some friendly fire....
 

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Good post but I really don't understand why many RL owners are so sensitive toward criticism of the RL...
Thin skin, and purchase justification. The sooner you quit giving a g damn what anyone else thinks but you, the richer your life will be. You should care what your family and friends think, but strangers? Who gives a damn? They aren't paying your bills. My routine response in my Gen 1 RL when talking to truck guys was "Neat." Trust me, I never initiated the truck debate, so that's what I'd say every time "Neat."
Then I'd ask what the heaviest load they had towed was, or the last time they were rock crawling. Answer, not verbatim, every time was "That's not the point." Well hell yes it is. Why would I buy chit I don't need? Image, and only image. Some of us just aren't interested in the image life. Strangers approval of my purchases matter zero.

Around here full size lifted trucks with 33's on them are common. Nevermind there isn't a dirt road or area to drive them in a 30 mile radius and I never see a spec of dirt on them. My favorite is when gas hits $4 a gallon. They are crying at work, I mean crying. They've jacked up their truck, which didn't get great MPG as it were, stock, and they've made it worse. And insult to injury they've moved way out from the office to have more "space." Then it's the double sided sword because now that area is super populated because everyone had the same idea as them. And they get to make their traffic filled, bumper to bumper stop/go commute in a big heavy gas suckling full size truck with 33's on them. You couldn't make this chit up. People go broke and are in deep credit card debt for image.
 

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2017 Honda Ridgeline Is More Than Ready to Compete - PickupTrucks.com News

Just read/watched the pickuptrucks teaser for tomorrow's results and can't help but laugh at Oxi and Tom's comments at the bottom.

Oxi: Here we go, focusing on car categories instead of truck ones! If a truck has a 4x4 option, off-road is the ONLY test needed! The rest are for grocery getters!

Tom: Oxi can go back to his woods and boonies. Everyone else lives where there's pavement. Idiot.
I saw this crap spewing stuff and for give me off-road is not my thing. I would really like to know where this stuff came from. I am saying in my mid 50s now but when younger got Auto Magazines monthly from age 18 to about 5yrs ago. I know you had 4 wheeling from way back but this craze of off-road stuff. What I saw was Jeeps and some pick-ups doing this I know Big Foot monster trucks type back in the 80s got my god daughter a toy big foot truck that ran over everything. But the average truck buyer was the work truck or recreational fishing hunting towing type not off-road as a hobby. All these people care about is if it can go off-road. If this is what like why should I care. But they call the Ridgeline a grocery getter. So I say what do you do with your very special off-road truck only go off-road? You don't sneak to the store and get groceries in your off-road truck. This way of thinking just gets my goat. I care about parallel parking in tight spaces on narrow streets. I care about how the vehicle will get up to speed when merging onto a crowded highway. Real world paved street handling where that off-road vehicle got to go at some point.
 

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Wait a little longer and you'll be able to add the Hyundai Santa Cruz to the competition....

Hyundai: Santa Cruz pickup "almost ready" | LeftLaneNews
what are they smoking?
Hyundai expects to sell between 50,000 and 70,000 examples of the Santa Cruz annually. Pricing is tentatively set to start in the vicinity of $25,000, a figure that will make it about $5,000 cheaper than the Ridgeline and roughly $5,000 more expensive than the Colorado.
Show me a 20,000 dollar colorado. they don't exist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Good post but I really don't understand why many RL owners are so sensitive toward criticism of the RL... Is it the whole "not a real truck" thing implying that you aren't a "real man" if you drive a RL? Not all RL owners are like that, but there seems to be an incredibly defensive attitude that many have. Don't take criticism of the RL or someone saying a different truck is better for X, Y and Z reasons well at all.

I didn't end up choosing a RL when I just bought my new truck. I got a Ram 1500 and listed my reasons why in a different post. I immediately was replied to with a comment essentially implying that my opinions are wrong and proclaiming their own opinion as fact. This even though the RL was my second choice of all trucks on the market... Kind of like a weird inferiority complex.

I love the RL, but it just wasn't quite enough for me in the areas where it clearly lacks. I just find things like this and the general sensitivity from RL owners amusing at this point. I know people get emotional about their vehicles. It is a big investment and a big part of your life. But you buy a truck/car for yourself because it is what you like. You shouldn't and don't need to defend your decision to anyone, or go after others who disagree with you. Who cares if someone says a Tacoma is better or that the RL is a Pilot with a truck bed because let's be real... it is. It really doesn't matter that they developed the chassis for the RL initially. It is still a flippin' Pilot with a truck bed and if you like it there is nothing wrong with that.
Can't speak for anyone else but I don't mind the negative attention. It strikes me as odd why any other truck owner would care what I drive. But they sure seem to. I know in my case I never seek out Tacoma Reviews to comment on or any other truck for that matter. Yet they all seem to need to comment in every RL comment section.

Odd. Bizarre even. Almost like they are insecure in their manhood.

And, when pressed most admit they have never even driven a RL.
 
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