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Thanks for the story link.

It teaches me a valuable lesson for the 500th time. Although it is generally factual and presents some good comparisons and speculation from known sources, it only tells 10% of the story.

I need to remember this when I read other stories about all things that I know much less about.
 

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The article reminded me that pickup trucks continue to be the hottest segment of the auto market and Honda still wants a piece of that action. Buyers and industry analysts will definitely pass judgment on the next gen RL as Honda's second (maybe last) attempt to crack that market. With limited production capacity, Honda only needs to guide the new Ridge into that niche we all know exists. But will the G2 live up to the revised expectations of today's mid-size truck buyer? The success or failure of the new RL may not have much impact on Honda's bottom line, but it will certainly affect their image as a competitor in the US market.
 

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With limited production capacity, Honda only needs to guide the new Ridge into that niche we all know exists. But will the G2 live up to the revised expectations of today's mid-size truck buyer? The success or failure of the new RL may not have much impact on Honda's bottom line, but it will certainly affect their image as a competitor in the US market.
Yes well said and is exactly how I have felt from the beginning of the news there would be a gen 2 Ridge. It will work for a niche market, but to really make a statement the truck needs to have more then just average specs. Some here are hoping it will only be niche truck. I think they prefer owing a unique truck to themselves that very few see marketable. The F-150 is the complete opposite to that. To this point I really believe they will indeed get their wish and majority of others will be looking elsewhere. However...

The truck that gets the best mpg and has decent specs will win this race. If its Honda they will sell a lot no matter what perhaps not as many as Tacoma or Gm but a strong growing number I would think. If its ugly won't matter so much, because mpg is a big seller now. I understand why Ford or even GM is sensitive to mpg due to they need to sell full size trucks at the same time but Honda is in a league of their own with one truck only.

If they could have just advance their engine technology when they had 5-6 years of downtime during weak dealer sales on gen 1, I think you would see it be successful right now! They would have been ready and organized to do some damage. At this point they are in the same boat as the rest maybe a bit less so really it now comes down to what it can do. Can if tow and haul well compared to others? Is it better looking and offer more space and storage? We know its very reliable and tougher then it gets credit for. Fix MPG and overall specs to a bit closer to others this truck could do quite well.
 

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When the G2 RL comes out, it's a safe bet that it will be directly compared to the BOF midsize truck competition. The reviewers will run it through the same on-road and off-road challenges as those other pickups. I expect the RL to do better than the competition in some test categories and not-so-great in others. But I don't expect any reviewers to make excuses for it because "it's really in a different niche than other trucks". They might not judge it too harshly in the boulder crawl, but if it gets high-centered or damaged on a rutted dirt road, I really doubt they will say "That's no big deal because over 90% of pickup owners never take their vehicles off the pavement."
 

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When the G2 RL comes out, it's a safe bet that it will be directly compared to the BOF midsize truck competition. The reviewers will run it through the same on-road and off-road challenges as those other pickups. I expect the RL to do better than the competition in some test categories and not-so-great in others. But I don't expect any reviewers to make excuses for it because "it's really in a different niche than other trucks". They might not judge it too harshly in the boulder crawl, but if it gets high-centered or damaged on a rutted dirt road, I really doubt they will say "That's no big deal because over 90% of pickup owners never take their vehicles off the pavement."
Correct not at all, in fact it will be judged heavier then it was before imo. It will take more to impress. In other words people who review will likely be more critical on its performance this time around. If its the same as before (gen1) would they praise it as highly? or would they give it a average mark or worse even a below average grade. Some people could care less what any of these critics say they are buying one hands down done deal no matter what. IMO it needs to be very good but that starts with class leading specs. MPG being probably highest for Honda. I don't think they win in the tow or hauling or climbing off-road aspect. They need that fuel milage to be high. Can they do it?
 

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MPG is a big deal to the regime in Washington DC and perhaps in Ottawa, but not to the majority of vehicle buyers. See sales trends of higher mileage cars vs. lower mileage trucks and SUVs. Most people buy on the basis of current gas price and don't think about "what if it's $4 a gallon in two years". Currently regular unleaded with the required 10% ethanol (another not so great government mandate) is running ~$2.25 in my area.

The first question I always get from BOF truck owners is always about mpg, as though there's no other reason to buy something other than a truck whose shadow would shade a small state. A trunk, no expensive to fix turbos, fits in parking spaces, secure in his manhood, those aren't reasons. :act035:
 

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(responding to post #6)

Reviewers tend to compare vehicles to the competition but do take notice of changes from the previous generation. We already know that the G2 RL will be lighter, more powerful, faster from 0-60 mph, more fuel efficient, more rigid, more safe (i.e., better braking, better crash protection, stronger roof, etc.), more capable in AWD (iVTM-4), more spacious in bed length and much more technologically advanced than the 2014 RL. As for looking good, the bar is pretty low from the first gen -- my apologies to G1 owners but most people think the RL's styling was, to be nice, "polarizing" (yes, I know many of you hate the new Pilot's minivan look). That doesn't leave a lot for the G2 to fall short of the G1 on, except off-road capability and "truckiness".

So, IMO, the testers will focus more on how the G2 compares to the competition, and the credible reviewers will have to back up their judgments with real performance data rather than preconceived bias against the Ridgeline. But I could be wrong...
 

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Unfortunately, Honda will not go out of its way to improve MPG. As Joe has mentioned ed, they do not sell enough RLs to make a dent in their CAFE, so they are not going to put much money into making MPG a high priority. Basically, we get what the Pilot gets - it's the price we pay for having a Gen2 at all.

I don't necessarily agree with the bean counter philosophy. They may be penny-wise and pound - foolish in this case, as class-leading MPG will probably do way more for their reputation (and longterm bottom line) than anything else. They can make it class-leading MPG, but I am afraid they won't because they don't want to put the R&D resources into it that it would require. The beancounters will see to that.
 

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Honda needs to intro the RL2 to the public (and reviewers) as a "different kind of utility truck", not to be compared directly with other trucks. So what if it's a minivan with a bed? A minivan is one of the most useful vehicles made, regardless of the stigma. The RL sure doesn't look like a minivan, and that will be most important to most buyers.
 

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There was a time when the minivan segment was on fire with sales. To this day they still have more utility than SUVs for the way the typical SUV is used (I think the term was "mall-crawling"). Styles change and I think a big factor in that was the way lots of minivans were driven - slow and seemingly always in the way.
 

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The article also neglected to mention that the country went into a recession in 2007. That alone could have been the death knell for the RL, particularly if it wasn't a "filler" vehicle.

I think Honda would do well to market the RL2 to SUV buyers rather than traditional truck buyers. {Need a car/SUV and a truck? Just buy one vehicle - the all-new Ridgeline!} Cut to scenes of the RL with family of four, hauling ATVs, dirt bikes, mulch, 4x8 sheets of plywood, washer/dryer, towing g a boat, etc. Smart people will get the message.
 

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This whole line of thought just outlines how the passage of time shifts perceptions about great stuff.
Once upon a time, Station Wagons were the greatest thing since sliced bread. And they WERE in fact great family utility vehicles for their time. Then they got poo-poo'd by the cool crowd.

Next Mini Vans were the new, improved concept (remember the "Magic Wagon" commecials anyone?)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K-Lz5S7TV4
These were OUTSTANDING vehicles for all kinds of family use.... a great improvement over too-small sedans, awkward vans, and not-so-accommodating station wagons. Soon the mini-van got bashed as "soccer mom" vehicles by the folks that didn't like them, mostly because by now there was another 'cooler' choice: the S. U. V. .... oooohhhhh. New marketing words......
This mini-van bashing is not so different from "truck guys" bashing our RLs because they didn't like them; don't you think?

So what's getting bashed now?... "gas guzzling SUVs"? There are even people who deliberately vandalize SUVs just because they are SUVs. How crazy is that.

But what is the latest sweet-heart vehicle.... Oh yeah... the "crossover".

New vehicle terminology & catchy buzzwords for a different type of vehicle configuration that does something else for somebody. If you like it, it's a winner, if you don't then you don't..... and you might bash it, depending on your inclinations. Or you might love it, but bash it later when some new fangled deal turns you fickle.

Point is: There are different cars/trucks for different people/situations... and different times and places. AND there's nothing inherently "wrong" with a mini-van, or an SUV, or a station wagon for that matter; or vans or small truck or big trucks, etc. (did I leave out El Camino/Ranchero types?.... don't know what to call them).

So in my mind it's kind of petty to stab at ANY vehicle by calling it a minivan with a bed or (fill-in-the-blank). Sort of defines double standard when you think about how much it has been complained about when past critics labeled our G1 RL the same way, don't you think.

I guess I just don't think you have to bash one thing in order to cheer for another. Seems small minded to me. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Maybe Chrysler (since Plymouth is gone) should produce the "Magic Wagon" again.... 37mpg highway/ 25 mpg city!

Dnick, agree with your comments completely.

My RL is used exactly the way "longboat" describes; it replaced 2 vehicles I had. It would do Honda some good to market to SUV buyers!
 

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Honda needs to intro the RL2 to the public (and reviewers) as a "different kind of utility truck", not to be compared directly with other trucks. So what if it's a minivan with a bed? A minivan is one of the most useful vehicles made, regardless of the stigma. The RL sure doesn't look like a minivan, and that will be most important to most buyers.

Articles always want to point out the ridgeline sharing its platform with the MDX and pilot, or calling it a minivan with a bed. The ironic thing is that the platforms that SUVs ride on was originally made for the 2009 ridgeline, which never made it to production (per Joe). They borrowed the it first! I like to think that the Ridgeline is finally making it home.
 

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I am sure that the subject I am about to address has been covered many times.

But the obvious seems to go by the wayside far too frequently.

We can talk about all the vehicles ever manufactured and none of them will do exactly what a pickup will do. Who wants to dump a bunch of old logs in the back of an SUV or a wagon or a minivan? The back of a pickup however was engineered just for that purpose.(Also lest we forget, try transporting in any vehicle besides a pickup, potted plants, or any tall object, that are several feet tall) The modern day four or five passenger four-door pickup is a very, very, versatile piece of transportation. The Ridgeline has characteristics that few other pickups have. Automatic four-wheel-drive, lockable large trunk in the pickup bed. And a length that will fit in most garages. This is very seldom mentioned, but is a very big issue for me, as I like to have all of my vehicles parked in my garage.

I am very confident that the new revised second-generation Ridgeline will have many added beneficial features. Let's just hope that Honda does an adequate job of promoting this vehicle so that its future is assured.
 

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This whole line of thought just outlines how the passage of time shifts perceptions about great stuff.
Once upon a time, Station Wagons were the greatest thing since sliced bread. And they WERE in fact great family utility vehicles for their time. Then they got poo-poo'd by the cool crowd.

Next Mini Vans were the new, improved concept (remember the "Magic Wagon" commecials anyone?)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K-Lz5S7TV4
These were OUTSTANDING vehicles for all kinds of family use.... a great improvement over too-small sedans, awkward vans, and not-so-accommodating station wagons. Soon the mini-van got bashed as "soccer mom" vehicles by the folks that didn't like them, mostly because by now there was another 'cooler' choice: the S. U. V. .... oooohhhhh. New marketing words......
This mini-van bashing is not so different from "truck guys" bashing our RLs because they didn't like them; don't you think?

So what's getting bashed now?... "gas guzzling SUVs"? There are even people who deliberately vandalize SUVs just because they are SUVs. How crazy is that.

But what is the latest sweet-heart vehicle.... Oh yeah... the "crossover".

New vehicle terminology & catchy buzzwords for a different type of vehicle configuration that does something else for somebody. If you like it, it's a winner, if you don't then you don't..... and you might bash it, depending on your inclinations. Or you might love it, but bash it later when some new fangled deal turns you fickle.

Point is: There are different cars/trucks for different people/situations... and different times and places. AND there's nothing inherently "wrong" with a mini-van, or an SUV, or a station wagon for that matter; or vans or small truck or big trucks, etc. (did I leave out El Camino/Ranchero types?.... don't know what to call them).

So in my mind it's kind of petty to stab at ANY vehicle by calling it a minivan with a bed or (fill-in-the-blank). Sort of defines double standard when you think about how much it has been complained about when past critics labeled our G1 RL the same way, don't you think.

I guess I just don't think you have to bash one thing in order to cheer for another. Seems small minded to me. Just my 2 cents.
Your post reminded me of the movie Vacation with Chevy Chase? They drove that massive station wagon. It was what most families wanted in the 80's The magic wagon with the panel doors was the cream of the crop. The white colour with the fake huge wood panel. I remember because even I was putting the heat on as a young kid for my parents to get one. It had the digital compartment located on the headliner between the two front seats it could tell time and outside temperature. It was a huge deal back then and a expensive option. Realistcally although it was trendy it was a terrible vehicle. Transmissions and engine problems caused havoc on the models. They are much better now of course.
 

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Honda needs to intro the RL2 to the public (and reviewers) as a "different kind of utility truck", not to be compared directly with other trucks. So what if it's a minivan with a bed? A minivan is one of the most useful vehicles made, regardless of the stigma. The RL sure doesn't look like a minivan, and that will be most important to most buyers.
Bingo I think you are right! People right out of the gate might get hung up on the term truck and instantly compare it. It might happen anyways. I worry about the budget restricting the full potential of the product. It's the right call though either way. I don't think they want to battle the other makes in the truck segment if they did I would have to believe the specs would be more in line with what we are seeing. What we are hearing is not what one might expect to be more "truck like" (eg arm rest/no console?) that is a straight out of minvan land, and that alone is not doing them any favours to sell it as a truck in the North American market.

This alone is a bit of a disappointment to me as I want a lifestyle truck that fits in a garage easy to park etc but also want it to be the same specs or better as the competition for work duty. 5k is not bad but compared to others its not great either. The engine is ok it's probably smooth and reliable but it's weak torque numbers is not wonderful either.

I have to say all signs point toward a utility family SUV like truck so if you want this then I think you are in business. It will probably be a very good vehical.
 

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An E-mail buddy in another state wanted to look at a Ridgy --I told him to go to any Home Depot Or Lowes and look in the parking lot --none of the dealers close to him had any?? It worked --now he wants one of mine?? I hope Honda does more advertisement this time too!!
 
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