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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a proud owner of a 1st Gen 2014 RTL AWD, with just over 108k miles on it. Bought used with 58k miles, 3 years ago. My employer is moving to a new facility, making my daily commute almost triple. I have the option of moving closer and keeping my current Ridgeline, or staying where I am, and upgrading my Ridgeline to a used 2nd Gen. I have driven the 2nd Gen's when I've gone in for service at the dealer, so only have very small amount of mileage with them. I'm not planning to haul much of anything, and if I do, it would be very small amount. I do want the AWD, preferably the RTL-E. My question is this: is there a better year than another, or are they all good? What I have heard is that the 2nd Gen is a smoother ride than the 1st Gen. The 100 - 120 miles a day commute will be almost all highway miles at 65mph or greater. If I don't buy a 2nd Gen, is there a way to change out or upgrade some items to make the 1st Gen ride better? I maintain the vehicle as it should be, and have brand new tires on it, but it still is not as smooth as I would like it. Any help is appreciated.
 

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It's pretty much been proven that the Gen1 is more reliable overall in 99% of the cases than the Gen2 is reliable at somewhat less than that 99%. (no guess as to what it actually is because forums are biased with failure case examples) But, it's a good guess that your Gen1 and especially a 2014 would be ultra reliable for many many miles to come. Yes, you will need to replace the timing belt water pump and idler pulley along with the engine seals for crank and possibly cams and your control arms will eventually go along with ball joints, cv joints and yada yada but, overall those costs are far lower than buying a new 2020 and driving it. Personally having a 2017 with the questionable fuel injector issue along with whatever question mark the transmission is makes keeping a Gen 2 long term more of a question than a given. Hence why a 2014 is a good thing to keep around if it's been good to you.

IMO
Steve
 

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2021 Radiant Red RTL
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It's pretty much been proven that the Gen1 is more reliable overall in 99% of the cases than the Gen2 is reliable at somewhat less than that 99%. (no guess as to what it actually is because forums are biased with failure case examples) But, it's a good guess that your Gen1 and especially a 2014 would be ultra reliable for many many miles to come. Yes, you will need to replace the timing belt water pump and idler pulley along with the engine seals for crank and possibly cams and your control arms will eventually go along with ball joints, cv joints and yada yada but, overall those costs are far lower than buying a new 2020 and driving it. Personally having a 2017 with the questionable fuel injector issue along with whatever question mark the transmission is makes keeping a Gen 2 long term more of a question than a given. Hence why a 2014 is a good thing to keep around if it's been good to you.

IMO
Steve
I am right there with you, @stevem5215.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Yep, if the 2014 is in good shape, it's a lot cheaper to maintain and continue with the 2014 than buying a later model G2. A couple thousand bucks should get you the TB/WP/spark plugs/radiator/coolant/valve adjustment/serpentine belt and tensioner, etc. Keep fluids and filters changed and drive it another 120k miles. Rinse and repeat.

Come back at a half million miles and tell us how it's going.
 

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2019 RTL awd, MSM
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So.... i think the crux of the OP's question, if he were to keep the G1, is how to make it ride better.

Does the truck ride like it did when new? That is hard to gauge, as ride quality can deteriorate so slowly over time that you don't notice it.

Is the ride jarring when going over bumps?

Do you know anyone else with a G1 where you can compare ride quality??

Tires are a huge component of ride quality. You say you just got new tires: 1) new tires usually improve ride quality for a short period of time, and 2) what TYPE of new tires did you put on the truck? Are they highway tread, A/T, M/T, etc.? Give us a brand and model of the tire. Are you running tire pressures at factory recommendations, or higher psi?

Perhaps some new suspension components would breathe life (comfort) back into the old suspension. There are many here that are well-versed in the G1 (much more so than me) and they can advise on replacement of struts, bushings, etc.
 

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Let's get this out there... I'm torn between the G1 and G2 Ridgeline. I owned a G1 2014 Special Edition and absolutely loved it but life required a different vehicle.

I'm looking to pick up another Ridgeline this year and have started my Pros and Cons list. I'm fully aware that the G1 is only available used and the G2 is a mix of new and used. Price is a factor but so is reliability. Please take a look and help modify it as you see fit but keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list.

The frame of reference for this list is the top of the line models for each generation - 2014 RTL and 2019 RTL-E.

Common across both G1 and G2
  • J35 V6 w/ 250+ HP
  • Automatic transmission
  • 4WD / AWD driveline
  • 1450lb payload capacity
  • 5000lb towing capability
  • Seating for 5 w/ heated front seats
  • Sliding rear window and Moon roof
  • Backup Camera
  • Navigation
  • Bedliner / Composite bed
  • In-bed storage

G1 Pros
  • Average price is $25,000
  • Tried and true J35 V6 with NO VCM or Direct Injection
  • Unique Truck-ish appearance not shared with other Honda models
  • 4WD low speed locking
  • Rear doors swing wide open
  • No ANC
  • 8.2" ground clearance
  • 4WD Locking ability
  • Deeper bed compared to G2

G1 Cons
  • Fisher Price edition infotainment
  • 20% less fuel efficient
  • 5 speed automatic
  • Dated interior
  • Only available used
  • Backup camera guidelines are fixed
  • Navigation is meh..
  • No smart phone integration
  • Shorter bed compared to G2

G2 Pros
  • 280hp
  • 6 speed transmission
  • Rear air conditioning and heat
  • Bed A/C outlet
  • Different AWD modes
  • Updated infotainment
  • Safety features - Lane Keep, Crash Mitigation, etc...
  • Updated navigation
  • Backup camera guidelines move with steering wheel
  • Android Auto and Apple Care Play integration
  • Longer bed compared to G1

G2 Cons
  • Average price is $42,000
  • Not a fan of the Pilot front end
  • New design J35 V6 engine w/ VCM and Direct Injection
  • Rear doors open 60 degrees compared to 85 degrees on G1
  • 7.28" ground clearance
  • Rear leg room compared to G1
  • Shallower bed compared to G1

There you have it - the major differences that I can remember off the top of my head.

Please review and update as you see fit.

$17,000 is a big swing from a 2014 G1 to a 2017 G2 but there are many updates for the money
 

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2019 RTL awd, MSM
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Let's get this out there... I'm torn between the G1 and G2 Ridgeline. I owned a G1 2014 Special Edition and absolutely loved it but life required a different vehicle.

I'm looking to pick up another Ridgeline this year and have started my Pros and Cons list. I'm fully aware that the G1 is only available used and the G2 is a mix of new and used. Price is a factor but so is reliability. Please take a look and help modify it as you see fit but keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list.

The frame of reference for this list is the top of the line models for each generation - 2014 RTL and 2019 RTL-E.

Common across both G1 and G2
  • J35 V6 w/ 250+ HP
  • Automatic transmission
  • 4WD / AWD driveline
  • 1450lb payload capacity
  • 5000lb towing capability
  • Seating for 5 w/ heated front seats
  • Sliding rear window and Moon roof
  • Backup Camera
  • Navigation
  • Bedliner / Composite bed
  • In-bed storage
G1 Pros
  • Average price is $25,000
  • Tried and true J35 V6 with NO VCM or Direct Injection
  • Unique Truck-ish appearance not shared with other Honda models
  • 4WD low speed locking
  • Rear doors swing wide open
  • No ANC
  • 8.2" ground clearance
  • 4WD Locking ability
  • Deeper bed compared to G2
G1 Cons
  • Fisher Price edition infotainment
  • 20% less fuel efficient
  • 5 speed automatic
  • Dated interior
  • Only available used
  • Backup camera guidelines are fixed
  • Navigation is meh..
  • No smart phone integration
  • Shorter bed compared to G2
G2 Pros
  • 280hp
  • 6 speed transmission
  • Rear air conditioning and heat
  • Bed A/C outlet
  • Different AWD modes
  • Updated infotainment
  • Safety features - Lane Keep, Crash Mitigation, etc...
  • Updated navigation
  • Backup camera guidelines move with steering wheel
  • Android Auto and Apple Care Play integration
  • Longer bed compared to G1
G2 Cons
  • Average price is $42,000
  • Not a fan of the Pilot front end
  • New design J35 V6 engine w/ VCM and Direct Injection
  • Rear doors open 60 degrees compared to 85 degrees on G1
  • 7.28" ground clearance
  • Rear leg room compared to G1
  • Shallower bed compared to G1
There you have it - the major differences that I can remember off the top of my head.

Please review and update as you see fit.

$17,000 is a big swing from a 2014 G1 to a 2017 G2 but there are many updates for the money
Three of those G1 cons can be eliminated with an aftermarket infotainment system. OTOH, the infotainment unit on the RTL-E cannot be upgraded - you're stuck with it as long as you have your truck.
 

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Three of those G1 cons can be eliminated with an aftermarket infotainment system. OTOH, the infotainment unit on the RTL-E cannot be upgraded - you're stuck with it as long as you have your truck.
To the same note the G2 con of rear door openings can be fixed with front door checkers.
 

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To the same note the G2 con of rear door openings can be fixed with front door checkers.
And the 2016-19 RTL and Sport models have the "color" radio, which can be upgraded. Not nit-picking; just happen to have a 2019 RTL with the dinky radio. Also, don't know if there are any new 2019 RTL or Sport models still in stock anywhere, so possibly irrelevant.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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From what I'm seeing here, the 5AT/G1 is superior to the 6AT/G2. Check out the transmission failure thread for the G2.

The G2 trunk is smaller than the G1 trunk. The G1 bed is deeper than the G2, but the G1 bed is shorter than the G2.

Personally, I'd be inclined to look at the 2020 with the 9AT over the 2017-2019 with the 6AT.

I don't think anyone is blown away by Honda's old tech for infotainment systems... even in the latest models.

In your common list, only the AWD models have 5000 lb towing capability. FWD models (G2) are limited to 3500 lbs, iirc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks for all of the info. The tires are the Michelin Defender LTX M/S. I have changed the timing belt recently, and take it in for service at my local dealer as scheduled. The 2 things that I would love is the in dash backup camera via an Apple Car Play head unit and memory seats. A G2 would take care of this, or I just spend a grand on a new head unit and deal with the rest. I don't want to get into transmission issues. If there are things I can do to make the suspension or ride quality better, that might be the route to take. The answers in this thread show me that the G2 is not perfect, and that I really need to consider the PROs and CONs. The other issue is that my G1 is just now being broken in. It has some cosmetic issues, and I use it for work. If there is a scratch here or there, it doesn't bother me. A new G2 would have to be babied way too much. Not to mention that the cupholders are way smaller than what I am used to. Please keep posting and I will keep reading and replying.
 

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AWD G2 ground clearance is 7.87"...so about 0.3" less than G1. Good skid plates are available in the aftermarket. Lift kits are also an option but involve compromises and consequences.
 

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2019 RTL awd, MSM
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1) you need to step up to the E/BE to get the memory seats

2) you might post in the G1 forum specifically asking (in the thread title) for suggestions on improving ride comfort

3) you might also find someone with a G2 that regrets their purchase and might consider a trade back to the G1
 
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