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2020 RTL-E
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I mean no disrespect when I say I laughed at this, I think its awesome that you are so thorough when buying a vehicle but the effort and work here is insane, I wish I had the fortitude to do this during new car purchases. I will come and kidnap you next time I buy a new vehicle and make you evaluate them all. :ROFLMAO:
This is exactly how I ended up at choosing the Ridgeline. My last vehicle purchase was a 2014 Jeep Cherokee and it was based on looks, cost, and function. Had I done the right research, I would have found out about all the reliability issues. Well, I wasn’t going to let that happen to again. For three years I analyzed my top five vehicles. Drove my wife (girlfriend at the time) nuts with all the research. One of the main selling points was the safety record. I couldn’t make a purchase knowing that some vehicles might not adequately protect my passengers. The RL was the leader of the pack. The RL also led in reliability. Then one morning I woke up and thought to myself, can it haul a sheet of drywall. I mean, I’m getting a truck it better. It was going to be my first truck and I had no idea you had to build contraptions with other trucks just to support the drywall in the bed. Turns out, RL led that effort in class as well. I scheduled a test drive that afternoon and it was parked in my driveway by dinner time. In just one year of owing it, I’ve used it to haul a tree that fell in my backyard, a new recliner, a huge armoire from NJ to VA, 40 bags of soil to fill in a sink hole, a new grill, weekend camping gear, propane tanks, a climbing tree stand and game cart on multiple hunting attempts. We have taken it on long car trips as well to the Poconos and the St. Lawrence River. The ride is super smooth, gas is good for its class, and I don’t regret buying it during quarantine (only have 6800 miles on it). I regretted buying the Jeep 15 minutes after I left the dealership. Only time I was happy with it was when I handed the keys to Honda dealer.
 

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Those of us old enough that bought new cars in the late 60's-80's have to crack a smile on some of the issues that are on auto forums today. Issues back then were, My cars rusted out in 2 years of service or my engine crapped the bed with 85 miles of service. Lets not forged the new car warranty a very generous 12 month /12k miles. If you got 100k miles on it you were one of the lucky ones. Autos today are leaps and bounds better then they were then. Back then you bought a car every 3-4 years if you wanted one or not. Just saying :)
Yeah don't forget the infamous Tacomas rusting out, leading to a huge class action lawsuit. Some people still think current Tacomas are prone to rust (they're not; that was a design issue with the 2G that was fixed).

The above is why my dad traded cars every 2-3 years when I was a kid. We went through a lot of interesting cars, some of which I wish I still had today--1967 Mercury Marquis in ivy green for instance.
 

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Those of us old enough that bought new cars in the late 60's-80's have to crack a smile on some of the issues that are on auto forums today. Issues back then were, My cars rusted out in 2 years of service or my engine crapped the bed with 85 miles of service. Lets not forged the new car warranty a very generous 12 month /12k miles. If you got 100k miles on it you were one of the lucky ones. Autos today are leaps and bounds better then they were then. Back then you bought a car every 3-4 years if you wanted one or not. Just saying :)
I've thought/said this so many times. 100k miles was incredible back then. Batteries and tires failed left and right, and also exhaust systems, and the braking, steering and overall handling - relatively horrible. People broke down in 2-3 year-old cars all the time. Not that long ago "power steering", "power brakes" and "power windows" were high-end options. My brother in law has a 65 Mustang - very nice to look at, but difficult to drive because of no power options. Radial tires were a new extravagance even in the late '70s. Today's vehicles are relative spaceships.

And today's vehicles are generally faster too. Took my driver's test in a 2 year old 1972 Olds Cutlass with a 350ci "rocket V-8", and it felt very quick....but its 1/4 mile and 0-60 times were only almost as good as my Ridgeline's today.
 

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Things to keep in mind.

1. Forums are by-in-large frequented by those who are simply looking for quick information, and those (of us) who are a bit more fanatical about whatever topic it is. We (including myself here!) are likely a bit more picky and anal retentive about our vehicles.

2. My first Ridgeline had a big, nasty water leak. The dealer took care of me and I enjoyed my second one. Had only a few minor quibbles about the assembly and issues with it.

3. It's a really, really compelling truck that fits the needs of most truck buyers. It looks better now (In my, and most others opinions).

4. (back to 1 and 3). Most of us here actually REALLY like the Ridgeline and want it to be "perfect" or darn close. The truth is it is indeed really close. It rides great, the features from the trunk, to composite bed, to the dual tailgate are really smart. It's quiet, it now looks good. But.. in the name of "perfection" yes the build quality could be better/more consistent, the stereo has some issues, they should have ventilated seats in the upper trims etc... I would call it as much a list of "wants" as it is complaints.

5. If you want a vehicle with no, or very, very few issues - I firmly recommend a Toyota 4 Runner. I've owned a few. Truth is before going back to a 2021 Ridgeline I drove a couple again trying to convince myself that the lack of hassles (because other than a poor sounding stereo which is easily fixed), they are what they are. Hold value great, look cool, very few issues. BUT... they are slow, the gas mileage is terrible, they are not real comfortable, the 4wd works great, but AWD in the Ridgeline works better for most of us. In many ways I WISH I could have been happy going back to one (and who knows, maybe someday I will), but the Ridgeline is just so much better in many ways I went with one again.

But... those are just my thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
this really was a cathartic exercise for me. i figured the masses would chime in to talk me off the ledge. Besides, if the ridgeline doesn't end up being what i am hoping for, i will still have the outback at my disposal
 

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Things to keep in mind.


5. If you want a vehicle with no, or very, very few issues - I firmly recommend a Toyota 4 Runner. I've owned a few. Truth is before going back to a 2021 Ridgeline I drove a couple again trying to convince myself that the lack of hassles (because other than a poor sounding stereo which is easily fixed), they are what they are. Hold value great, look cool, very few issues. BUT... they are slow, the gas mileage is terrible, they are not real comfortable, the 4wd works great, but AWD in the Ridgeline works better for most of us. In many ways I WISH I could have been happy going back to one (and who knows, maybe someday I will), but the Ridgeline is just so much better in many ways I went with one again.
I thought about a 4Runner to replace our Grand Cherokee a couple years ago, but they had stopped making it with a V8 a few years earlier. Did wind up with its dressier cousin - Lexus GX460. We'll see how it lasts, but it really seems to be built like the proverbial tank!
 

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I was about to place an order on a 2021 Ridgeline (just trying to decide between steel and red), thought I would read the TSB and issues forums just to see what issues to potentially look for. Wow, was that a mistake, I am having severe reservations about placing my order as the overwhelming consensus of that forum is that the Ridgeline is wrought with assembly issues and defects.
I'm coming from a Subaru outback with over 300,000km that i have literally done nothing but wheel bearings on. I got the urge for a change and was going to give the Subaru to my 17yr old son. Now I wondering if i should go for 400,000km on the Subaru and wait for something better to come along. I realize that the TSB forum is a forum for the vocal minority to voice there concerns and issues, but it doesn't seem like some of these issues are one off's. Water intrusion, wind noise, ill-fitting trim, a stereo so bad you can't listen to it, poor adhesive/sealant and paint, etc.
Are these things being blown out of proportion? If you had it to do all over again, would you?
I'm at about 22k miles on my 19 with no issues. It is sad that Honda is still having water intrusion issues. For those that have been unfortunate to have this issue, talk about a pita and would definitely frustrate me to no end. Hopefully Honda makes it right for them. I believe the fuel injectors were fixed in 19 sometime and obviously transmission was swapped out in 20 and the new one seems to be doing better (so far my 19 hasn't had the 6 speed issue). I think the water intrusion is probably the worst current issue, maybe you can take your test drive through a carwash? The Ridgeline is still perfect for me and fun to take cross country, and hopefully I continue to have trouble free miles :)
 

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In March I purchased a '21 RTL. This is my first Ridgeline and my first truck. I did a fair amount of research into the RL and perused this forum quite a bit. I always try to remember forums are typically a concentrated view of all the issues with a vehicle. But, the forum helps me know what to look for and where the common issues are. It does seem that Honda quality is not quite what it used to be. I have more that I need to be aware of now and the forum helps with that. My RL does have the phasing issue with the sound system. I only notice it when using CarPlay. I changed a setting on my phone it seems to have worked as a workaround for the issue. Hopefully Honda comes up with a fix. I'm not expecting to see one though. At 1400 miles I am still happy with my purchase.
 

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The overwhelming consensus of that forum is that the Ridgeline is wrought with assembly issues and defects.
I realize that the TSB forum is a forum for the vocal minority to voice there concerns and issues, but it doesn't seem like some of these issues are one off's.
Water intrusion, wind noise, ill-fitting trim, a stereo so bad you can't listen to it, poor adhesive/sealant and paint, etc.
Are these things being blown out of proportion? If you had it to do all over again, would you?
How did you come to the conclusion that "the overwhelming consensus of that forum is that the Ridgeline is wrought with assembly issues and defects"?
I'm a very detailed, analytical person and don't see anything on this forum to back up that assertion.

You are correct that there is a vocal minority that have had issues.
You are also correct that some of these issues are not one-offs.
But it appears to me that for every truck with issues, there are hundreds (or even thousands) without these issues.

I've owned two Gen 2 Ridgelines.
So far, I've not experienced any of the problems you mention above, with the exception of a few "ill-fitting trim" issues on my 2021 (which I was able to fix myself in 5 minutes).
 

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I picked up my ridgeline last week. So far so good. The fit and finish is good, the ride is smooth and quiet, handling is awesome. The sounds system is decent, but it is an upper level trim. If you want a more lavish driving experience go for the RTL-E or BE. if you are more interested in utility and affordability, go for a sport or RTL. I've had it less than a week, but no complaints so far. I expect reliability from a Honda, something I didn't get with my F150.
 

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I bought a 2019 RTL FWD back in October. No regrets. Get 30 mpg on trips lower 20’s in local stop and go. Went with fwd since don’t intend to tow, drive on beach etc. plus if it snows, I’m retired… go back to bed.
Anyway, ride is comfortable, utility great etc. Odd so many negatives with newer models…gotta admit I would not want the engine off crap at lights etc. Honda, listen to what folks complain about. This truck is perfect for me and many others. But sounds like there are some issues you need to fix/tweek..
 

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Those of us old enough that bought new cars in the late 60's-80's have to crack a smile on some of the issues that are on auto forums today. Issues back then were, My cars rusted out in 2 years of service or my engine crapped the bed with 85 miles of service. Lets not forged the new car warranty a very generous 12 month /12k miles. If you got 100k miles on it you were one of the lucky ones. Autos today are leaps and bounds better then they were then. Back then you bought a car every 3-4 years if you wanted one or not. Just saying :)

I was just thinking a while back. When I was growing up in the 1960's gas stations did not have convenience stores. Most had a pop machine with overpriced and undersized bottles or cans (remember those horrid 10 oz. "non-returnable" bottles?), and a very few had a candy machine where you could get a stale snickers bar or a small bag of rancid potato chips (waxed paper was not the most airtight packaging material). But, every gas station had at least one, and usually more, service bays with lifts to perform work on vehicles, which were in constant need of repairs or maintenance. Today, outside of a dealership and a sprinkling of independent repair shops, you see no service bays. I can't tell you when I last saw one attached to a gas station that wasn't being used just for general storage. And on the same topic, do they even make engine overhaul kits today? Oh the joys of being old and reminiscing on the "good old days" :p.
 

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Those of us old enough that bought new cars in the late 60's-80's have to crack a smile on some of the issues that are on auto forums today. Issues back then were, My cars rusted out in 2 years of service or my engine crapped the bed with 85 miles of service. Lets not forged the new car warranty a very generous 12 month /12k miles. If you got 100k miles on it you were one of the lucky ones. Autos today are leaps and bounds better then they were then. Back then you bought a car every 3-4 years if you wanted one or not. Just saying :)
 

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I had the same reservations about my Titan, horror stories about engine replacements, tranny reprogramming , transfer case problems, but none of these happened to me. The engine thing prompted me to trade it in, plus resale now is great. You'll find most forums are people who find problems, and some ARE justified for sure, but most simply require a dealer to fix or adjust something. I haven't found any problems with paint, fit or finish---yet. The headlights are fine for me, and gas mileage is spot on . But for every person complaining on a "forum" their are hundreds that don't. Every Ridgeline owner isn't on here. You want real horror stories, go to a Ford or Chevy forum.
 

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I am 100% satisfied with my 2020 Ridgeline Sport. Purchased it new as a holdover in March. I have already put nearly 3,500 miles on it with less than 8 weeks of ownership.

I came from a 2019 Ford Ranger. I put 30k miles on that truck. I will 100% say that without a doubt I love my Ridge more than I ever loved my Ranger.

I know I am still young (nearly 30) but I have already learned that no vehicle is perfect. Every vehicle I have owned has had its ups and downs. If there was a perfect vehicle, everyone would have one. As far as I am concerned, you can’t beat the Ridgeline for the Mid size market. Before I owned the Ranger, I test drove the Canyon and the Colorado. I rode in a Tacoma multiple times. The only truck I have no experience with is the Frontier.

At the end of the day, you have to love what you drive. I would continue to do your due diligence. I would encourage you to not make a purchase decision solely based off what people in the forums say however.
 

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Listen to this! You need to weigh what's important to you and get what fits your needs and comfort level the best.
 

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For whatever it's worth, I am very happy with my 2017 (late 2016 build) RTL. It is the first vehicle that I purchased, drove the one my parents gave me for 13 years, and feel like it was savings well spent. I am at 98k miles on the truck and I would do it all over again. It checks all the boxes in a vehicle I want and need. Daily driver and weekend warrior. I ride in comfort and safety for my 86 mile round trip commute. I'm constantly filling the bed with wood chips, fencing materials, hay, bagged feeds and all kinds of goodies of which I can get into trouble with! Just brought home a 16 foot cattle panel... for a project TBD. I love this truck and at nearly 100k miles, I feel like it should be able to fly through the next 100k no problem!

Only issues:

1) Blower fan got squeaky and was replaced under warranty at 35k miles. Not uncommon and someone without high end hearing may have never heard it.

2) Transmission judder at ~93k miles. Known TSB issue. Fixed with a 3x drain and fill. Solution = change your transmission fluid every 30k. The MM has you wait too long between changes. When I got the judder, I had only been prompted to change the transmission fluid 1x at ~47k miles. Not nearly enough. No problems since! My SO had a 1997 CRV, in which I believe the transmission was touchy there too. He now has a 2016 Subaru Forester and often day dreams abut getting something else.
 

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Any forum is going to list a high number of defects for any vehicle.

It is human nature to complain!
 

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I have a '19 RTLE and this is by far my favorite vehicle that I have owned; I've had Toyota trucks, domestic trucks, European SUV's... Its capable, comfortable and provides me the utility of the a pickup with the comfort of a sedan. I regularly use it as a truck for hauling and towing, and this has become our go to road trip vehicle as it is incredibly comfortable and the driver aids makes long trips a walk in the park! The innovative features like the dual swing tailgate and trunk are features that I'm not sure I could live without. Full disclosure, I did have one issue towing a large enclosed empty trailer shortly after taking delivery. Since then, I have had no issues and believe I was probably towing that trailer too fast, too long and if there had been some weight in there, I doubt it would have triggered the warning light from the transmission temps. I believe the new 9-speed would have remedied that as well.

That being said, for those of you who are nervous and doubtful - don't buy one. Should anything happen to my beloved Ridgeline, I'd like there to be inventory so I can IMMEDIATELY replace it - even if I have to pay sticker! My father is taking up some of the scrimpy inventory and will be taking delivery of his new RTLE as soon as it hist the dealer lot this week. He didn't get the deal I did when I bought my '19, but compared to the completion, this truck is a steal - even at sticker.
 
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