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2022 Ridgeline Sport
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I've briefly tried S mode with the paddles but I'm not sure if that can be done smoothly.
Yeah, I don't know if it's the rev matching or what, but it makes the paddles kind of useless for around town or "sporty" driving. I'm sure they're great for off road and controlling speed with engine braking on long descents, but those driving scenarios are few and far between for me.

It's been too long to say for sure, but I don't know if manual shifting on the ZF9 is really any better than it was on the 5AT on my Accord 10 years ago. All I know is that having a GTI with a DSG transmission in the interim has absolutely ruined manually shifting any other automatic for me :cry:
 

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I wasn't sure about the 9 speed when I first got it and sort-of prefer my old 6 speed. But it has grown on me. Idle driving or cruising I find D just fine. But S is much better for a more spirited, responsive drive. BUT I do not use the paddles. Remembering the old 6, it would hesitate at rolling junctions, sluggish on long uphill highways and loud. Ignoring the quirky downshifts, I now prefer the 9. Just drive it in S for a while, no paddles, and you might change your mind.
 

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2022 Sonic Gray Pearl RTL-E
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Ha, S mode brings it out of a coma to awake. I've briefly tried S mode with the paddles but I'm not sure if that can be done smoothly. Throttle mapping probably has a lot to do with the feel.

@fargin, 3 row's are tough. Highlander could be too small but no timing belt and Lexus like quality, Telluride tough to find although this won't have a resale problem. I think when the Pilot gets the 10 speed it will be an improvement.
The third row in many SUV's is certainly an after thought - think MDX. I owned a Highlander, and that is a tight fit for adults. Ascent owners think they have it better than Highlander owners, but I don't agree. Be sure you and/or your wife check out the third row for at least a trip around the block. Legroom is not the only consideration, there is also the matter of headroom in the third row.
 

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@fargin, 3 row's are tough. Highlander could be too small but no timing belt and Lexus like quality, Telluride tough to find although this won't have a resale problem. I think when the Pilot gets the 10 speed it will be an improvement.
Highlander is where I thought we would end up based on our great experience with her RAV4. But the 3rd row is too cramped and wife somehow couldn't get comfortable the driving position is somehow off for her.

The 2022 MDX would have had me on driving dynamics alone - I really like the 10 speed with the V6. But, 3rd row is worse than the Highlander and seems to me leaving out 3rd row air vents on a car with a standard pano roof was a bad idea. I would imagine the 2023 Pilot would drive just as well. But A) Not doing the first year Honda thing again, and B) With supply crisis and markups that I won't pay, I would be a year or more away from actually getting one.

Telluride in theory would probably be ideal. But they are super rare around me, and the one person I know that has one has a lot of weird electronic/electrical glitches. He has multiple Sorrento loaners in the past year while they try to figure out the root cause.
 

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The third row in many SUV's is certainly an after thought - think MDX. I owned a Highlander, and that is a tight fit for adults. Ascent owners think they have it better than Highlander owners, but I don't agree. Be sure you and/or your wife check out the third row for at least a trip around the block. Legroom is not the only consideration, there is also the matter of headroom in the third row.
Agreed. My criteria is that I had to be able to sit behind myself in all 3 rows. I can just make it in the Pilot and think I'd would take an hour long trip back there. An AWD Odyssey would be great but doesn't exist.
 

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2020 RTL-E Obsidian Blue Pearl
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Yeah, I don't know if it's the rev matching or what, but it makes the paddles kind of useless for around town or "sporty" driving.
I heartily disagree with your "useless for... 'sporty' driving" assessment. A DCT with paddles is seen as the ultimate tranny for racing and track (as your hands never leave the steering wheel to shift). No different with a RL.
 

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Please post links if you're going to make a statement like this, especially the Pilot. FCA yes, as the ZF has been sourced out to a third party, but as ZRoger73 pointed out, the ZF for Honda is made by ZF.

I have not read all but certainly there is some concerns from some members….
 

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I heartily disagree with your "useless for... 'sporty' driving" assessment. A DCT with paddles is seen as the ultimate tranny for racing and track (as your hands never leave the steering wheel to shift). No different with a RL.
I suppose one could opine that the Ridgeline's paddle shifters are "useless for sporty driving" on the premise that the transmission reacts relatively lethargically to gear change requests compared to DCT's and even some conventional automatics such as the ZF 8-speed in a Hellcat, 9-speed in an E36 S Wagon, or even the 10-speed in a TLX Type S. :)
 

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2022 Ridgeline Sport
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I heartily disagree with your "useless for... 'sporty' driving" assessment.
Fair enough. "Useless" may be a slight exaggeration, but in my personal experience, just leaving it in S mode (automatic shifting) versus manually shifting ("Sequential Shift Mode") yields better results. To each his own.
A DCT with paddles is seen as the ultimate tranny for racing and track (as your hands never leave the steering wheel to shift).
Absolutely agree 100%. But we aren't comparing apples-to-apples now (see below).
No different with a RL.
The ZF9 is of a novel design and packaging, but it still has a torque converter and does not shift anywhere near as quickly as a sport tuned dual clutch transmission like the DSG on my GTI.

*edited for clarity
 

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the transmission reacts relatively lethargically to gear change requests compared to DCT's and even some conventional automatics such as the ZF 8-speed
Absolutely. To make matters worse than having a GTI previously, I also sometimes get to drive my brothers Charger 392 with the 8HP70 (ZF8). In track mode the shifts are blisteringly quick and brutal! :devilish:

... but now I'm really going off the rails as far as an apples-to-apples comparison :p
 

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I have 2017 RL, and I can tell you a couple benefits you may not have notice with the 6spt. It’s awesome on snow covered roads for slowing down without having to break. The other is you don’t wear out brake pads as fast, I have 58,000 miles and sill have 75% break pads left, had them checked last month. When I was told, I said 75% worn? They said no, 75% left, I was like wow!
 

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Please post links if you're going to make a statement like this, especially the Pilot. FCA yes, as the ZF has been sourced out to a third party, but as ZRoger73 pointed out, the ZF for Honda is made by ZF.
A 20 second google search led me to this post on Piloteers 2016 Honda Pilot Touring AWD Transmission Replaced

This post on Odyssey club Transmission Survey + 9/10 speed detailed info (One...

This post on MDXers Death song of a 2016 ZF9 Tranny

This post on Passport forum (note this would be the 'upgraded as of 2019' Honda ZF-9) Major Transmission failure

A 800+ post thread on Piloteers (which zroger73 is also engaged in) with lots of complaints (in addition to support of) the 9-speed ZF Nine-Speed Transmission Problems, recalls and praise.

And many more.

It is also important to note that in the case of the Ridgeline we are comparing nearly 4-6 year old trucks and all of the miles they have accumulated to trucks that have been on sale for just over 2 years (most of which was during a time where people curtailed their travel) A much better look at this is on the Pilot, MDX and TLX forums where these transmissions have been in service for a lot longer.

After reading dozens of these threads over the years I've come to the conclusion you have two choices:

The 6AT, which is likely more fragile (overheating, judder etc) has drivability issues (for instance harsh shifts especially the 2-1 under deceleration) but its problems are well known (which is why I'm not linking anything, plenty of examples here), many times have simple fixes (pressure switches, shorter transmission fluid maintenance intervals), and sometimes leads to larger issues like torque converter or even entire transmission replacements (but usually with some warning).

The ZF9, which is probably stronger on the whole (especially if towing or off-roading) but is much more complex and has had most of the reason (mpg) for that complexity programmed out due to its inherent issues with smoothness (Next-Generation Ridgeline general comments...), can have its own drivability issues with odd feeling shifts when the dog clutches are in play, clunks (ZF Nine-Speed Transmission Problems, recalls and praise.) hesitation (Hesitation on acceleration), erratic shifts, ( Transmission issues with the Passport Elite ) and when it does fail (many times out of the blue ( 2018 EXL.....transmission failure at 5,634 miles) it almost always ends up as a full transmission replacement.

This is a lot like arguing politics. Your choice is between two turd sandwiches, so figure out which is better for you and pick your poison.

Oh, btw, the Honda 10-speed has its own issues, so the grass really isn't greener anywhere Search results for query: 10-speed
 

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I love my 9 speed. It shifts so smoothly that it amazes me at how well it juggles all those gears.
I agree…in D mode, it is very smooth…almost like it neuters the engine to achieve that…and then when its time for engine braking…..it neuters that too!
 

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I had a 2017 RL for 5 years and have had a 2022 RL for a little over 6 months.

Observations: I liked the overall performance of the 6-sp until it failed @78K miles. The 9-sp seems slightly faster, the dog clutches are noticeable, especially during deceleration -annoying to me, love the ability to select and remain in a certain gear in off-road situations and for engine breaking. The push button delays are slight negatives as far as I’m concerned. If each had the same reliability, I’d likely choose the 9-sp.

Which do you prefer and why?
My 15yr old gen 1 4 speed is solid as a rock. 60 yrs of 3 or 4 speed auto tyranny's with zero failures. More gears = more complexity = grief.

~ Old school
 

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I have 2017 RL, and I can tell you a couple benefits you may not have notice with the 6spt. It’s awesome on snow covered roads for slowing down without having to break. The other is you don’t wear out brake pads as fast, I have 58,000 miles and sill have 75% break pads left, had them checked last month.
The 9-speed can do that even better because you can manually select any of the 9 speeds using the paddle shifters. The 6-speed is limited to automatically shifting from 1-2, 1-4, or 1-6.

It is also important to note that in the case of the Ridgeline we are comparing nearly 4-6 year old trucks and all of the miles they have accumulated to trucks that have been on sale for just over 2 years (most of which was during a time where people curtailed their travel) A much better look at this is on the Pilot, MDX and TLX forums where these transmissions have been in service for a lot longer.
Also, don't forget that the Ridgeline started with the 9-speed that had hardware and software improvements and debuted in the 2019 Pilot.
 
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