Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums banner

4,500 Mile Report

1939 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Lifesaver1
A couple of weeks ago I posted a 2,000 mile report. We’re at 4,500 miles now, so thought I would update and provide some additional information. Here’s the prior post

Gas mileage improved with tire pressure – see report at end of post.


Missing screw in key position on a front wheel well, very slight scratches in chrome behind one of the windows (probably sustained in transit to the dealer), and very occasional problem where car won’t start, which has always resolved itself.


Definitely a bit less space and stashing area from the 2006. For example the cubby in the dash is gone and the center console is not as useful. Also, the cup holders are in an awkward location for the driver. I spilled a can of soda when distracted and trying to put it back because I hit the shifter. Because the back seats are higher, there is more room underneath, which is good. Because the floor in the front is now separated by the console, there is less floor space which is a bummer on an eight hour trip.

Narrower Rear Door Opening Angle

I thought this was going to be a big issue. It hasn’t been so far, but it still seems to me to be a design defect.

Climate Control


Adaptive Cruise Control

Major stress reliever on long trips when stuck behind blocking traffic. Great for carpool lanes and construction lane restrictions.

There is a learning curve here regarding the capabilities and limitations. For example, when pulling out from a line of cars moving slower than your target speed rate into the passing lane there is meaningful hesitation for a few seconds that is a problem, but you can overcome it with the accelerator. You just have to anticipate it.

This feature will also slow the car, sometimes very abruptly, if it senses something in front of it. On a curving highway, it sometimes picks up cars in another lane and brakes. So it seems best to restrict use of it to fairly straight highways.

Lane Departure Warning

Great safety feature on long trips and not at all intrusive from my perspective. The gentle steering wheel vibration gets your attention and while not always necessary, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. However, in a few cases it has tried to save me from nothing. Example: Driving in the right lane of a two lane highway that curves to the right sharply and cars in the left lane, the car has tried to steer me away from a collision, even though I am solidly in the right lane and the other cars solidly in the left lane.

Object Warning

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. Note: The problem noted in the lane departure warning may have been from this. Not sure.


We have an IPod plugged in to the center console which we update with podcasts, books on tape, etc., as well as all of our music. By plugging it into the USB port you can run it from the main screen pretty well (takes some learning), while it stays charged and out of sight. Great feature.

XM radio has 100 more channels than in the 2006 Ridgeline.

Finally we have a mute button, which is on the touch screen.

As for the truck bed audio, it has been mostly a fun thing to show people, but we found a great use for it. Nieces and nephews took it to the drive-in movies and sat in the bed while the movie audio played over the FM radio. They liked that a lot.

Phone and Bluetooth

This has worked great for both Android and Apple, handling incoming and outgoing calls nicely.

Navigation and Customization

Obviously most of our mileage has been on interstates and in areas with which I am unfamiliar. I wipe down fingerprints at start of each long drive. The glare is a significant issue in certain sun angles.

Garmin versus Android Auto versus Google Maps: Because the Garmin system is embedded in the overall system, it generally integrates much better with other aspects of the system and you get some added features. That includes the upcoming turn instructions on your instrument panel, the posted speed limit information (very useful in areas where speed limit signs are far apart), and ease of finding the nearest gas station, etc. Address or place of interest verbal input is very clunky and awkward compared to Google. Also, the Garmin traffic information is quite limited geographically, whereas the Google traffic seems to be available almost everywhere. But Garmin rerouted us on local streets during a major backup on I-90 which we independently confirmed on Google Maps and basically did exactly what we needed in that instance without prompting. In the end, at least on interstates where Garmin seems to do OK with traffic, it seems like the better option versus Android Auto (or trying to use the smartphone).

Electronic Customizing

As for the overall touch screen system, it has many capabilities that allow users to customize their experience. I am guessing that less than 50% of owners are ever going to go through all these and use them (or realize they can), but for those of us who do, there are lots of what might be considered free add-ons in the way of customization. It's a little like moving from a basic phone to a smartphone. Daunting at first, but if you learn even half of the customization features, you find a lot of great stuff available to you. Change whether the seats lower when you stop and rise when you get in. Change when the car locks. Etc.


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.

The backup camera is great, although sometimes easier to just look. The cross traffic information on backing up is fantastic, especially backing into busy streets, although it is a bit over sensitive. 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.

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). Also a beep if you forget.

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. It’s imperfect, but probably better than you trying to remember to turn them up and down.

Hidden Key

A major question for me was whether we could have a hidden key. To me this is absolutely essential because if you lose the fob, you are toast. The car won’t start without it.

Here’s my solution: I bought a second Driver 1 fob at a dealer in Nebraska which charged $140 total including programming — took them awhile as they had never done this before. I bought a small RFID blocking pouch on Amazon for $30. I removed the key from the fob and used my prior magnetic key holder to secure it in a hidden location under the truck. I put the fob in the RFID pouch in a hidden place inside the car. So now if I lose the original fob, I can open the door with the hidden key, pull the fob out of the pouch, and I’m good to go. Meanwhile, the fob in the pouch doesn’t interfere with the original and I can lock the car with no problem. This may seem expensive, but new keys on the 2006 were over $100 as well. Here’s the RFID case I bought (which will actually hold two fobs):


Mats: We got the all-weather mats and mat for under the rear seat. They seem good quality and secure to the tabs like the carpet mats. Have subjected them to lots of sand, not yet snow. They may not be as nice as the Weather Tech may eventually be and don’t cover quite as much on the driver side as the one’s I had on my 2006, but similar pricing from one of the discounted Honda parts sites.

Nose Guard: For me this is essential if you will be doing long distance interstate driving. Cost is a little under $150 online. Fits well. Reasonably easy to install. My 2006 got tons of gravel dings on the forward area of the hood over 150,000 miles on interstates. I don’t plan to have this on much of the time. Only when on extended trips, but it seems to protect precisely the area of problem on the 2006. One note: The upper part is really easy to install and protects the leading edge of the metal hood. The lower seems to protect only plastic parts that are unlikely to need the same protection. I may decide to use only the upper.


I’m at 50% oil life.

Gas Mileage

The vast majority is interstate highway driving, open roads across the US. Speeds ranging from 65 - 85. Mostly light traffic. Heavy use of adaptive cruise control. Various terrain. My actual gas mileage and the area where I drove is below. I have not found the dashboard estimates to be anywhere near accurate, but I have only checked once specifically. See the very last of the checks.

The best mileage I got, which you will see on the two trips toward the end were after I bumped the tire pressure to 37 (versus the recommended 35). Seemed to make a significant difference. The onboard reading of the tires when warmed up was 40. Bottom line is that I was able to get a bit over 25 in two cases with the tires over-inflated a bit. All this with two humans, one dog, and a moderate amount of stuff under the back seat and in the trunk.


This is a superior open road vehicle. It is a major improvement from our 2006 Ridgeline, which we loved for the open road.


See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 5
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Good report. I had to go check -- RTL-E has standard AWD -- so your mileage seems to be as predicted.

Will you be driving your RL back west as well? Can we look forward to an 8k miles report in a few weeks?
Good report. I had to go check -- RTL-E has standard AWD -- so your mileage seems to be as predicted.

Will you be driving your RL back west as well? Can we look forward to an 8k miles report in a few weeks?
Thanks. The return trip won't be until September. I need time to recover! But yes, I'll try to post the 9,000 mile report then.

The EPA mileage rating on the AWD is: 18 City, 25 Highway, 21 Combined.

Honda states that the tires should be filled to 35 PSI, which I would presume is how the predicted mileage is supposed to be calculated. When I was at 35 PSI and (almost) all highway, the MPG was around 22. When I inflated to 37 PSI it was over 25 in two instances. In my very limited experience, I would say this suggests that the vehicle is not getting predicted mileage at Honda specified PSI. I need to do a lot more driving to see if I can go back to 35 and get the 25.

To my understanding, recommended PSI is set based on a variety of factors including safety and tire wear, so consistently running over recommended PSI would have other negative impacts.
To my understanding, recommended PSI is set based on a variety of factors including safety and tire wear, so consistently running over recommended PSI would have other negative impacts.
this subject will be argued till the end of time on the internet so I am not arguing with you, I will just say my experience with tires is set it to the recommended PSI on the door jamb for a smooth ride, and set it to the tires MAX PSI for max MPG, tire life and handling. Nothing handles well with a soft tire. And I like high mpg. (himpg is my plate on a motorcycle :grin: )
  • Like
Reactions: 1
How is the road noise on various surfaces?
Really quiet, especially compared to the 2006. Of course, most of the time we're listening to something on the audio system, but even so.
Great report - gives one confidence in the truck.

On tire pressure, mine was filled to 35-36 at the dealer but noted that after 20 miles or so at highway speed that had climbed to 38-39. Is that what you experienced?
Not especially hot out, 70-80 degrees.
Great report - gives one confidence in the truck.

On tire pressure, mine was filled to 35-36 at the dealer but noted that after 20 miles or so at highway speed that had climbed to 38-39. Is that what you experienced?
Not especially hot out, 70-80 degrees.

I think they always refer to proper tire pressure as "cold." Not sure what that means really considering you could live in Minnesota in winter and cold would be a lot different than Alabama in summer. But I have no idea really as I have never had a TPMS readout on the dash. Bottom line for me was that a "cold" fill of 37 PSI at 70 degrees turned into a "hot" ride at 40 PSI at ambient temps of around 75.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.