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So a bit off topic, but I see that the 2020 Ford Explorer will be available in a hybrid V6 version that can tow up to 5,000 lbs. With "Intelligent 4WD", the SUV is rated 23 city/26 hwy/25 combined mpg, giving it a potential 450 mile range per tank. OK, that highway rating is not impressive but the city and combined ratings are pretty good, as is the towing capability. I doubt that powertrain would fit in the new Ranger but Ford might have hybrid plans for it too. One thing is certain: mid-sized truck competition is only going to get tougher for the RL. Is Honda up to the challenge?
I looked at getting one of the new Explorers (and the Aviator) with the hybrid powertrain. The Explorer hybrid is a mechanical AWD setup with a "modular electric motor" (their words) at the transmission. We decided against the Explorer and I am glad we did. Ford is having a very hard time with that vehicle right now, check this out for instance: https://www.autoblog.com/2019/09/16/2020-ford-explorer-lincoln-aviator-quality-control-issues/

The interior of the Explorer just does not do it for me either, I thought it did look interesting. I just don't think the reliability is going to be there in the 2020 Explorer/Aviator after seeing the issues they are having.

I prefer Honda's 2-motor hybrid setup as it makes sense to me personally...I just don't know if they will ever get it to tow anything. I also like the 2-motor setup because it reminds me of how diesel freight train locomotives function and I am a weird train guy so there. I actually thought GM would have done this first since they used to own Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) and had this setup for decades, guess it didn't dawn on them to try it in a car.
 

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Every manufacturer has first year yips with new models, some are better or worse than others and I do think they are a lesser severity than 20 or more years ago. I still have it in me to avoid first year vehicles.
 

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I would like to see an independent reviewer tow a 4500lb trailer with the Ridgeline and the Tacoma back-to-back in a variety of situations (not just up the Ike) and see which rig they felt more comfortable with towing the load. Most towing reviews are made by truck guys, and they typically have preconceived notions going into the review.
We've been towing around 5500 pounds with ours this summer and so far the drivetrain has not nuked itself. The Honda tows that weight like a dream.

Keep in mind I'm not a novice, and I know how to set up a trailer and hitch. I've owned and towed trailers where the trailer alone weighed more than our current Honda and 21' TT combined.

I have zero reasons to tow our current trailer with a Tacoma. I have access to a 2016 Tacoma as well. While it's a pretty decent little truck I have zero want's to own one. When our current business lease runs out on the Honda we will likely be going to something with a larger Tow rating as Honda refuses to come to their senses.

Not like I've been holding my breath lol.
 

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Every manufacturer has first year yips with new models, some are better or worse than others and I do think they are a lesser severity than 20 or more years ago. I still have it in me to avoid first year vehicles.
I know it's not for everbody, but ours has never returned for repairs since Oct 2016.
 

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We've been towing around 5500 pounds with ours this summer and so far the drivetrain has not nuked itself. The Honda tows that weight like a dream.

Keep in mind I'm not a novice, and I know how to set up a trailer and hitch. I've owned and towed trailers where the trailer alone weighed more than our current Honda and 21' TT combined.

I have zero reason to tow our current trailer with a Tacoma. I have access to a 2016 Tacoma as well. While it's a pretty decent little truck I have zero want's to own one. When our current business lease runs out on the Honda will will likely be going to something with a larger Tow rating as Honda refuses to come to their senses.

Not like I've been holding my breath lol.
Have you upgraded your trans cooler? If not, I'd check and change your trans fluid often. I believe there was a tsb on trans fluid breaking down faster than anticipated, likely due to heat, likely as a result of towing.
 

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Have you upgraded your trans cooler? If not, I'd check and change your trans fluid often. I believe there was a tsb on trans fluid breaking down faster than anticipated, likely due to heat, likely as a result of towing.

It still has the factory trans cooler behind the grill / bumper cover.
 

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Oh, It's not subtle - I assure you. :) You'll also see the tachometer go to zero. Dozens of conditions have to be met for the idle stop feature to stop the engine - the battery has to be fully charged, the cabin temperature has to be within a certain range, the powertrain has to be at operating temperature, the wheel has to be pointed straight ahead, the vehicle can't be on an incline, etc. Idle stop won't always stop the engine every time you stop and it will sometimes restart while you're stopped which is when it's really noticeable.

Speaking of batteries, assuming the 2020 Ridgeline gains idle stop, it will also switch to a more expensive AGM battery. There's a chance it won't get idle stop since the 2018-2019 Odyssey LX through through EX-L had the 9HP without idle stop.
Besides the battery, what other, beefier (and costlier) components are needed for these stop-start systems? In other words, how much does it increase the price of the vehicle.
Don't EPA regs require quite a number of diagnostic tests to be performed at every start, or does EPA allow those to be skipped for a start due to stop-start?
 

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Don't EPA regs require quite a number of diagnostic tests to be performed at every start, or does EPA allow those to be skipped for a start due to stop-start?
I'm thinking the EPA regulations are more of a performance standard than a design standard.
 

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Yesterday, I happened to drive by one of the local Honda Dealerships storage lots and I saw about 30 Ridgeline (most of them white) sitting there. While they were all parked forward facing away from the street, I could NOT see the front. I could not see any rear styling changes. What really got me to thinking.... hum, are these 2020's? Especially when the dealers inventory of the Ridgeline shows under 20 in stock, and I'm looking at 30 on the storage lot.

Strange, yet somewhat exciting.
 

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So do you think idle stop on the 9AT plays any role in the EPA city mpg rating?
I suspect idle stop plays a significant role in achieving that additional 1 MPG city rating.

The 9HP's ratio spread is wider than the 6AT's. Generally, lower gears = lower fuel economy and higher gears = higher fuel economy. In the case of the 9HP, the opposite is true - it doesn't yield any better highway fuel economy while the city fuel economy is slightly better.

Besides the battery, what other, beefier (and costlier) components are needed for these stop-start systems? Don't EPA regs require quite a number of diagnostic tests to be performed at every start, or does EPA allow those to be skipped for a start due to stop-start?
The primary components that are upgraded for idle stop are the battery, starter, and evaporator. The vehicle keeps track of the number of starts. After 100,000, a warning appears and the idle stop system is disabled at which point you would normally replace the starter and have the dealer reset the counter. The vehicle will continue to start normally, though, and most owners should never see this during the life of the vehicle (rural mail carriers might, though).

The vehicle's emission system is monitored continuously while the engine is running.

What really got me to thinking.... hum, are these 2020's? Especially when the dealers inventory of the Ridgeline shows under 20 in stock, and I'm looking at 30 on the storage lot.
I don't believe those are 2020's. Honda hasn't released the PDI instructions for a 2020 Ridgeline to dealers yet. Also, new models are generally stored on regional lots and aren't delivered to dealers until the vehicle is officially announced. I see that of those 20 listed in inventory, only 10 are white.
 

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Dealers around this neck of the woods are still adding in 2019s to their inventory, will they quit stocking new 19s before taking in new 20s?

Bill
Year model production can overlap, so there may be a period where dealers receive both 2019 and 2020 year models.

BONUS: GM has been known to continue making old models even after a new one is introduced. The 6h generation Malibu appeared for the 2004 model year while the 5th generation maintained production for the 2004 and 2005 model years as the Chevrolet Classic for rental and fleet use. They've done this with the Silverado as well.
 

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The 9HP's ratio spread is wider than the 6AT's. Generally, lower gears = lower fuel economy and higher gears = higher fuel economy. In the case of the 9HP, the opposite is true - it doesn't yield any better highway fuel economy while the city fuel economy is slightly better.
So if the 9HP starts out in 2nd gear under normal acceleration, is that a lower or higher ratio than 1st gear in the 6AT?
 

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Year model production can overlap, so there may be a period where dealers receive both 2019 and 2020 year models.
You know, if the 2020s come out with all the "bad" upgrades that you all are predicting, I wouldn't be surprised that a dealer with left over 2019s might be able to make a killing?

Bill
 

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So if the 9HP starts out in 2nd gear under normal acceleration, is that a lower or higher ratio than 1st gear in the 6AT?
1st in h6 is lower than 2nd in zf9. 1st and 9th in zf9 are pretty crazy, a crawler and a low rpm od at 80mph. Spread between 1-6 in h6 is wider than 2-8 in the zf9.
 

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So if the 9HP starts out in 2nd gear under normal acceleration, is that a lower or higher ratio than 1st gear in the 6AT?
Including the final drive ratio:

1st in 9HP is 20.426:1
1st in H6 is 14.276:1
2nd in 9HP is 12.317:1

The 2018 9HP Pilot started in 1st. The 2019 9HP Pilot started in 2nd. The fuel economy ratings are the same, but there are likely fractional differences that didn't change the rounded whole number rating.
 

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The H6 will downshift only into 2nd gear and not go into 1st gear going down a hill, what is the lowest gear that the 9HP will hold?

Bill
The 9HP can be shifted into any lower gear provided that the desired gear will not cause the engine to exceed redline.
 

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This would have come in handy yesterday. Bride and I took a visit our youngest daughter in college and took the Accord V6. Over the 160 mile drive (one way) there is a 60 mile stretch of country back roads with speeds that range from 55 down to 30 as you go through small towns..Some sections are like a roller coaster where engine braking would help. Even the sport mode in the Accord was no match to bleed off enough speed to avoid brake application. I predict that D4 in the RL won't do much. If the 9 speed can actually hold a gear it could be worth it for someone who encounters this stuff regularly. How this works is important because if it just redlines any gear that you choose and tries to run away that would be a fail IMO.. I would hope it would approximate the control you get with a manual. I also wonder how the regenerative braking of a hybrid helps in situations such as this.
 
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