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Discussion Starter #1
I'm shopping around... There's private seller seeking a 2011 with 63k miles for $16k with two sets of tires (in vt, snow tires are a must have) and a dealer with a 2006 RTL with 93k miles for $13000

The 2006 looks like it was babied. Its been treated with underbody corrosion protection and has a torneau cover.

The 2011 has lower miles, but was a work truck. The previous owner mentioned it needs new brakes (he estimated $200 each x 4) and there are some stains on the rear seat that he said would cost around $160 to reupholster.

Car fax on the 2006 look really clean with regular maintenance all done at the dealership.

...

There is also a 2006 rtl I'd have to fly down she drive 240 miles back that has only 63k miles, but Carfax shows 3 accidents and two owners (no airbags deployed, so maybe just minor fender benders?) - based on that I'm not as enthused about that one. It's also $13,500

Any of you with more experience able to help me judge if the added age / miles means I'll be spending a ton on maintenance sooner on an 06, or are Ridgelines really as bullet proof / maintenance friendly as they have a reputation for being?
 

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I'm shopping around... There's private seller seeking a 2011 with 63k miles for $16k with two sets of tires (in vt, snow tires are a must have) and a dealer with a 2006 RTL with 93k miles for $13000

The 2006 looks like it was babied. Its been treated with underbody corrosion protection and has a torneau cover.

The 2011 has lower miles, but was a work truck. The previous owner mentioned it needs new brakes (he estimated $200 each x 4) and there are some stains on the rear seat that he said would cost around $160 to reupholster.

Car fax on the 2006 look really clean with regular maintenance all done at the dealership.

...

There is also a 2006 rtl I'd have to fly down she drive 240 miles back that has only 63k miles, but Carfax shows 3 accidents and two owners (no airbags deployed, so maybe just minor fender benders?) - based on that I'm not as enthused about that one. It's also $13,500

Any of you with more experience able to help me judge if the added age / miles means I'll be spending a ton on maintenance sooner on an 06, or are Ridgelines really as bullet proof / maintenance friendly as they have a reputation for being?
I'd absolutely grab the 2006.... condition, treatment, and maintenance are more important than miles in my mind. BUT, you need to get the price down about a grand if the timing belt service has not yet been performed (or get the dealer to throw that in... if it's a Honda dealer. That service is due @ 105,000 miles, presuming you're not at the north pole.
You also didn't mention your area, so I'm not considering any regional issues, if there are any. You might consider the condition a trade off on the miles, but if the condition is not as good, the miles are probably harder as well. Just my 2 cents.
(All of the above presumes priority is your daily driver, not down the road resale value)
There may be even better deals out there for you, but between these two, that's my call.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I'd absolutely grab the 2006.... condition, treatment, and maintenance are more important than miles in my mind. BUT, you need to get the price down about a grand if the timing belt service has not yet been performed (or get the dealer to throw that in... if it's a Honda dealer. That service is due @ 105,000 miles, presuming you're not at the north pole.
You also didn't mention your area, so I'm not considering any regional issues, if there are any. You might consider the condition a trade off on the miles, but if the condition is not as good, the miles are probably harder as well. Just my 2 cents.
(All of the above presumes priority is your daily driver, not down the road resale value)
There may be even better deals out there for you, but between these two, that's my call.
Thanks for the advice... For a daily driver is what I'm considering. I'm in Vermont so regional issues are definitely road salt (so the 06 with what appears to be babying and undercarriage treatment that extra age on vt roads is a concern, but maybe less so due to the undercoating that the previous owner seemed to have done regularly. It's not mentioned on the carfax but the dealer sent me a video of him walking around the car and pointed it out as being visible through the wheel well)

The '06 is here: http://www.handytoyota.com/mobile/Used-2006-Honda-Ridgeline-RTL-St-Albans-VT/vd/24364972

The carfax doesn't mention timing belt. The dealer was listing it at $13,999 and dropped the price yesterday to $12,999.

As far as mileage goes - I estimate that I will drive around 9k miles per year (26 commuting miles per day, plus weekend excursions etc thrown in).

The dealer is listing it at 96k miles but one thing on the carfax says something was checked at 97,791, so maybe they are off by 1k miles. The dealer has a good reputation and very high scores on dealerrater.

The main thing I need a truck for is two months out of the year I need to haul around 200 gallons of maple sap at a time in a tank in the truck bed - and drive it about 3 miles up the road. The rest of the year I don't really need a truck... I've thought about just getting a $1500 beater truck that I'd park at a friend's place most of the time and sticking with a sedan, but if I wanted to just have the convenience of a truck when I need it the ridgeline has both. Having a truck in the summer time would be a big help with yard work and hauling yard waste to a composting place too.

One thing that I'm not 100% sure of how I'll enjoy is getting it through my 8 foot garage door (there are a number of threads that seem to indicate it's possible but not pleasant to do) - my wife's side has a 9 foot door but the Odyssey lives on that side and I'm not about to suggest a switch. (I think the Odyssey has close to the same width between mirrors as the ridgeline - we can get it in the door on the 8 foot side but it requires a little thought / effort vs a sedan where you can just whip right in.
 

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Well I'd go for the 11 (which if you notice is what I'm driving). 5 years newer and 30K miles less, is worth $3K to me. Dealers routinely take in dirty vehicles and make them look like new. Budget another $1000 for a timing belt/water pump (at 105K miles) on either vehicle.

If I lived in snow country then this extra set of snow tires would clinche it. Brakes at only 63K miles - obviously I don't know but I doubt it; if necessary, are likely $200 per axle.

Not to dissuade you but another option is simply a small trailer for these needs.
 

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Thanks for the advice... For a daily driver is what I'm considering. I'm in Vermont so regional issues are definitely road salt (so the 06 with what appears to be babying and undercarriage treatment that extra age on vt roads is a concern, but maybe less so due to the undercoating that the previous owner seemed to have done regularly. It's not mentioned on the carfax but the dealer sent me a video of him walking around the car and pointed it out as being visible through the wheel well)

The '06 is here: http://www.handytoyota.com/mobile/Used-2006-Honda-Ridgeline-RTL-St-Albans-VT/vd/24364972

The carfax doesn't mention timing belt. The dealer was listing it at $13,999 and dropped the price yesterday to $12,999.

As far as mileage goes - I estimate that I will drive around 9k miles per year (26 commuting miles per day, plus weekend excursions etc thrown in).

The dealer is listing it at 96k miles but one thing on the carfax says something was checked at 97,791, so maybe they are off by 1k miles. The dealer has a good reputation and very high scores on dealerrater.

The main thing I need a truck for is two months out of the year I need to haul around 200 gallons of maple sap at a time in a tank in the truck bed - and drive it about 3 miles up the road. The rest of the year I don't really need a truck... I've thought about just getting a $1500 beater truck that I'd park at a friend's place most of the time and sticking with a sedan, but if I wanted to just have the convenience of a truck when I need it the ridgeline has both. Having a truck in the summer time would be a big help with yard work and hauling yard waste to a composting place too.

One thing that I'm not 100% sure of how I'll enjoy is getting it through my 8 foot garage door (there are a number of threads that seem to indicate it's possible but not pleasant to do) - my wife's side has a 9 foot door but the Odyssey lives on that side and I'm not about to suggest a switch. (I think the Odyssey has close to the same width between mirrors as the ridgeline - we can get it in the door on the 8 foot side but it requires a little thought / effort vs a sedan where you can just whip right in.
Sounds like the perfect home for a RL.... and with that few miles per year expected, you'll get a LOT of useful years out of either truck. I'd still opt for the one that's been pampered.

FYI, if you do get one & decide to add a trailer hitch (presuming it's not there already), use ONLY the OEM harness for that.... RLs are infamous for having electrical problems when using an aftermarket trailer harness. It runs about $150.

Also there's one peculiarity you might want to be aware of... in case the wife might be sensitive????? The older models (pre-2009) had dual climate control capability on the RTLs.... while they dropped that dual control feature on the newer models. This means you can control each side (driver vs. passenger side) heating/ac separately on the old one, but not on the newer one. There are other minor changes in the pre vs. post '09 models, but you'll probably find more differences between the RTL vs. RT that you might want to review. The RTL is a higher priced (more high end features) than the RT to begin with. Just FYI.
 

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That's a tough call. The trimlines are about as widespread as you can get on the RL. RT will not have climate control, RTL has climate control. Cloth vs leather. Non heated side mirrors vs heated side mirrors, etc. Then consider condition and maintenance.

The 8 ft garage door is not an issue. We manage to get a Pilot and a RL through 8 ft doors. Yes, I've scraped my passenger side mirror a couple of times, both due to being distracted while pulling into the garage. No real damage to speak of.

The 2011 might be better for towing in that it has the upgraded tranny ratios and has a MAF sensor rather than the MAP sensor. (Actually it has both, but the 2006-2008 only have the MAP sensor).

In 2006, the RTL had the SR as an option. If the 2006 under consideration has a SR, that may be a plus or a negative for you. The RT will not have a SR.

Car fax is not 100%. Verify condition by your trusted mechanic.

Good luck.
 

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Definitely a tough call. I'm a huge fan of older babied low mileage vehicles, but for 5 years newer and 30k miles less for only $3,000 difference? I honestly think I would go with the 2011.

If you get the 06 I would really push for another thousand or so. Great call on the WP/TB. That will set you back a grand right away.

I'd check them both out in person and drive them. Both sound like great vehicles and I'm sure you will get lots of use out of the RL. Let us know what you decide to do!
 

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Another thought comes to mind, the rusted radiator/tranny coolers, somewhat common on the 06's, may be more common as years go by.
With that in mind I'd personally avoid the older one.

Note, it wouldn't matter if you changed the coolent annually, this is a problem. I'll leave it to someone else to provide a link about this potential disastrous problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I test drove them both today, and I think I'm going to go for the 2011.

5 years of Vermont winters take a toll on any vehicle (lots and lots of road salt is used here) - the 2006 had a little rust, but not a ton... But the 2011 was pretty rust free.

The difference between a 10 year old RTL and a 4 year old RT are noticeable, but the extra age takes a bit of the "luxury" away from the added features. (Leather isn't cracked, but is definitely worn). The biggest feature I'll miss on the RTL is probably the heated side view mirrors. Heated seats are nice, but if you have cloth seats they generally are nowhere near as cold when you get in them...

If the RTL had a more impressive center information display showing individual tire pressure etc (similar to the one on the odessey touring trim level) or navigation standard (again similar to the touring trim on the odyssey) or had built in integrated Bluetooth, or had parking sensors standard, or a backing camera standard, or had even so much as a headphone jack aux in standard, it'd be more compelling.

The 2011 had impeccable service records as well - all service done at a dealer according to maintenance minder etc.

So... I'll drain a bit more out of my savings and get the 2011 and maybe in the next year replace the stereo with one with nav and Bluetooth or do some other mods...

Thanks for the advice. I was really wanting the 2006 to make the most sense because I like the look of the all black one with the black tonneau and the black wheels (I hadn't seen those before) - but... the excellent value of the private party seller cant be beat in this case.
 

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I would keep looking. An RTL is so much nicer now and when you sell it. For 16k you could do better.
 

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Define nicer. Do you mean paying more for features that have no value to some people (sun roof, hot leather seats?).

I think you've made a fine choice, enjoy your new "fully winterized" (spare winter tires) Ridge.
 

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Honda defines it for me. While a tiny percentage may like a stripped down model most would be happier with something better equipped.
 

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While I won't argue that many want more features, I would say that Hondas RT Ridge is not missing any of the worthwhile amenities. Modern safety features, 4 wheel drive (when necessary), power doors and windows, radio, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's a fair point. The integrated home link is nice, the heated side view mirror is nice... Heated leather seats solves a problem that leather seats themselves create - they get really friggin cold in the winter.

The clincher for me was the 4 to 5 less harsh winters having their way with the vehicle, and the extra set of tires.

There are a lot of features Honda could put into the RTL that would have made it a must-have, but in 2006 (and even recently) they didn't have them on their radar or feel they were worth it. (I think many would trade a powered rear window for bluetooth and an aux in jack)

I don't see a lot in the 16k range that are as new as 2011 or with 63k miles - I saw a few 2009s or 2008s that matched that price, but at least in this region I didn't see many better priced options.
 

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Because you're living in cold country, I can see your appreciation for heated mirrors and seats. They'd be useless to me - I seldom even have frost. I would use a home link garage door opener, but I already have the one that came with my opener.

I like the electric rear window (std on RT), something I wish my plain jane F250 had. No Bluetooth toys for me, thank you. Smartphone and FM radio work ok.

Some folks like powerful sound systems, I don't know if the RTL is really much better, many folks upgrade even that one. I do think mine could be improved on but I don't use it too much.
 

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Yep of those two I would have bought the '11 too. I put a BT/BU camera/Nav stereo in my 06. Then I put '13 wheels on it and it feels like a new one. I'm sure you could add a BT stereo and be quite happy. No way I woud buy an 06 this year either.
 

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.................There are a lot of features Honda could put into the RTL that would have made it a must-have, but in 2006 (and even recently) they didn't have them on their radar or feel they were worth it. (I think many would trade a powered rear window for bluetooth and an aux in jack)................
Just FYI, The 2006 has an Aux-In jack in the left side of the recessed 'cubby' area above the glove box.
 

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Just FYI, The 2006 has an Aux-In jack in the left side of the recessed 'cubby' area above the glove box.
Only the RTL w/ nav. The regular RTL with the 6-disc changer doesn't have the aux in jack.
 

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I stand corrected.... learned something new today. Thanks Ian.
Haha! No problem. I still can't believe that a 2014 vehicle that costs over $30,000 wouldn't have at least an aux in, but the regular RTL does not. With the recent news that the Pilot will be at the Chicago auto show along with many more details about the new RL, I'm hoping Honda knocks it out of the park with a new infotainment system.
 
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