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Discussion Starter #1
I live near Annapolis, MD. My mother lives in Thompson, CT, about as far away in CT as you can get (next house over is in MA). On Friday, I drove up with my two kids (girl age 8, boy age 10) in the back seats. Gave my wife the weekend off. :) Trip is around 380 miles. With stops for lunch and whatnot, and the usual traffic you hit after the GW Bridge in NY, takes aruond 8 - 8 1/2 hours.

RTL-E. You can see photos here:
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/26-greetings-introductions/152665-new-rtl-e-owner.html

Some random observations from the trip:

  • Overall, I was quite pleased. Both kids in the back were perfectly comfortable. They had iPads plugged into the charging ports and had the middle arm rest down with a place to put their cups. We even managed to hit a few Pokestops at rest areas.
  • In-cabin road/wind/etc noise is not luxury-level, but it was much better than my Pilot. Definitely decent. Presumably the acoustic glass is somewhat responsible there. Additionally, I know from past experience with a different vehicle that the wind deflectors you get for the front or moon roof, or doors add a TON of noise, so I didn't get them for this vehicle.
  • Used econ mode on the way up. It was pretty much ideal conditions minus my speed (75-80 most of the way up 95). With econ on, I hit 26mpg according to what the computer reported. But with econ on, it felt like the Odyssey. Super boring to drive, but very practical.
  • On the way home today, drive was a bit nuts because the wind was insane. Wind warnings all over the place. Box trucks on the bridges were dangerous. I thought the RL wouldn't blow around all that much, but it does blow around like a CR-V I once owned, and more than the pilot I had. One minor minus there.
  • Other than the wind, handling was great. Don't tell my wife <g>, but I took one of my favorite back roads to my mother's house, through a place called Bigelow Hollow. A little curvy. Very hilly. Tons of fun at speed. My kids enjoyed it. :)
  • I didn't use econ mode on the way home. Not sure what the MPG was for the trip home, but if I had to guess, it was likely around 19-21.
  • A suitcase fits in the trunk with enough room for jumper cables and the usual flotsam folks keep back there. Without that junk, you might even fit two suitcases in there.
  • Lane keeping assist is SUPER annoying on narrow back roads and on the highway when the wind is blowing you all over the place. Turned it off.
  • The automatic braking doesn't like winding back roads at all. I've had it go off a couple times when a vehicle was on-coming around a tight corner. Nothing dangerous, but a slight annoyance. I've left it on in any case.
  • I'm getting used to parking it in lots. It's almost 2' longer than the Pilot I had, so I have to make sure I pull in as far as possible.
  • Blind spot indicator is very useful.
  • Auto dimming lights are pretty good. Every so often, I come around a corner and blind someone, but they otherwise work as well as a person.
  • Back up camera and cross-traffic detector are both excellent. Really getting used to that. Super helpful in busy NJ Turnpike rest stop parking lots
  • The Honda in-car computer needs some user experience work. For example, I hate having to jump through a couple menus just to get back to the "now playing" after looking at the map. The "Audio" button on the top should, IMO, just go back to the FM station display or Bluetooth audio display corresponding to what you're hearing. There's just a lot of bouncing back and forth into menus to do basic things. I know Honda will say not to do them while driving, but who is going to pull over just to do something simple like change an audio source?
  • I don't miss the volume knob at all. I've completely adopted the steering wheel controls there. I don't even bother touching the capacitive controls for volume.
  • In MA, I fit three adults (including me) and two kids in the truck for an additional 90 mile trip (each way), and everyone was comfortable. Unlike most trucks, the back seat is very usable.
  • GPS is fine. Typical in-vehicle fare. These are always way outdated compared to phones after a few years, but I'll use it while it works. The voice sounds like something from 10 years ago, though. I know the whole thing is Android-based, but even Android is much better on speech synthesis than that now. Seems that Honda just hasn't caught up. I've muted the voice.
  • Probably my phone's problem because I run developer/pre-release builds of the OS on it (bonus/hazard of working in the Windows org), but it's been hit & miss with Bluetooth audio. Sometimes it seems the car does audio only and not info/control. I'll have to figure out what's up there, but if anyone with iOS/Android has run into that, I'd like to know to help narrow down what's up.
  • Speakers are excellent. I don't get the rattle in the door others have reported. It's not my studio monitors at home, but it is better than other vehicles I've had.
  • Storage space under the seats was good only for a couple small things. My son's tiny suitcase just fit under there. Definitely had to get more creative with packing than I had to with the old Pilot. I now understand why people get tonneau covers, even though I still don't want one. :)
  • Some gas pump nozzles get a little hung up in the capless filler this has. Have to be careful when removing as I can see this eventually getting damaged if you're not paying attention. You do have to be careful to straighten the nozzle out before removing.

Before I went on this trip, I got some seat back covers because the black leather shows every tiny bit of dirt, and they were already all scuffed up (just dirt, it will wash off) from the kids coming with me to pick this up. I just got inexpensive black ones from Amazon that use elastic straps to go around the headrest posts and the bottom of the seat. Not pretty, but they work well and I avoid constantly telling my kids to watch their feet. They were only around $12 for the pair.

Pete
 

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I'm excited for tomorrow - we're doing our first road trip in the RL!

[*]I'm getting used to parking it in lots. It's almost 2' longer than the Pilot I had, so I have to make sure I pull in as far as possible.
I'm not used to parking mine yet. ~1/3 of the time, I get back in to adjust it after I realize I'm the jerk who parked his truck sideways in the spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Try the Tappanzee Bridge and then 684 to 84 east next time. Not that many more
miles but a way more enjoyable ride than GW Bridge onto 95.
Thanks. We used to go that way, but have since found that as long as I time the GW correctly, and don't hit it anywhere near rush hour, it's faster. The narrow lanes in my new truck were a bit stressful, though.

I've been stuck in serious traffic near the Tappanzee a few times, especially while they were busy rearranging the roads there.

It is a slightly more scenic ride, though. :)

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm excited for tomorrow - we're doing our first road trip in the RL!

I'm not used to parking mine yet. ~1/3 of the time, I get back in to adjust it after I realize I'm the jerk who parked his truck sideways in the spot.
Yeah. I'm far from perfect yet. I still don't center it properly and tend to hug the passenger side line too much. This is the first vehicle I've had that problem with, and I also drive our Odyssey.

At home, I've gotten used to backing it in so I can hang the bed over the back of our driveway. Pulling in front-first made it more difficult for my wife to get the Odyssey out and around that tailgate. Camera helps a ton because if I back up too far here, I'm going to wreck the truck.

The parking area at our house is built up to around 2' above the grass because the land slopes a bunch and then ends in basically a cliff.



My wife parts the Odyssey on what is the passenger side of the RL in this pic.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Awesome report! in your opinion then, RTL-E > RTL-T?
Thanks.

Depends on what you want. The one big thing that I couldn't possibly care less about is the in-bed speaker/exciter. I'll never use it.

But I wanted a moon roof, the towing wiring harness, the better cabin audio, etc. Some of the things turned out to be slightly less useful, like the lane-keeping assist, but may be good if you do a lot of highway driving. Biggest thing for me was AWD. You can get it on the RTL-T, but it's not automatically there.

The -T is pretty nice, though.

Unfortunately, Honda has completely broken their Ridgeline comparison table or else I'd remind myself what the other differences were. :)
Compare Vehicles - Official Honda Web Site

Pete
 

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