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As a somewhat long-time owner (2 previous G1s and now a G2), gosh I really hate to think about this unique vehicle going away. But Honda must sell vehicles to maintain a brand, and things don't look very good in that regard. And that's sad to me.

How to solve the problem? I for sure will not claim any unique insight, but I will offer an observation from my perspective. So fundamentally, why do people spend money on something? At the most basic level, they perceive that a commodity has value for them, so they fork over some cash. For probably lots of reasons, Honda has not succeeded in creating a value perception among a competitively large universe. As one who has spent money on Ridgelines, I've regularly drilled down to why we have bought Ridgelines . . . and for us it has always come down to: versatility/utility. And I personally see a huge failure on Honda's part to effectively communicate this strategic advantage over its competition.

Rehearse these points with me: For neither generation has appearance been an advantage (the G1's looks only a mother could love and the soft profile of the G2). For neither generation has raw performance been an advantage (realistic, but no "wow factor" in HP, torque, payload capacity, tow rating, etc.). For neither generation has user oriented technology been an advantage (good grief, the G1 stayed in the dark ages forever and the G2 has lots of competition for safety features and user tech, etc.). You get my train of thought here. Kind of stating the obvious points that have been well discussed here and elsewhere.

I sit on corporate boards (but not Honda's), and many/most of you understand strategic decision making and the factors that go into it. The bottom line is to generate profits and create cash flow for sustainability, among other things. So trying to look at Honda's options, do they spend capital on retooling a plant to modify the truck's appearance? Do they spend cash on developing a higher performance version to create a "wow factor" that is competitive in the mid-size truck arena? Do they tweak their technology offerings in each trim to find an edge there? Well, maybe, on that point. Each of those choices involves some speculative investment that may or may not generate a return.

For me, if I were to have a vote in management, I would strongly advise Honda's Marketing Department to devise a strategy that leverages the key advantage that the Ridgeline offers over its competition: versatility/utility. Marketing dollars are cheaper than capital dollars, and the marketing/advertising labor costs are more limited than ongoing manufacturing costs.

But it seems to me that one constant throughout the entire life of the Ridgeline is its limited marketing - particularly focused on the things the truck does so well over and against its competition. We've complained about this for ages. And in the face of a lack of focused marketing, so many of us are stopped in a parking lot by someone who is amazed at the dual action tailgate, for instance. You could rattle off lots of your own examples, but collectively those examples illustrate why you bought the truck. It is so darn useful across so many applications! We've seen hints at some good marketing attempts - like a current Honda Days TV spot running that actually briefly features the Ridge's in-bed trunk (but look quickly or you will miss it). And of course the Super Bowl launch spots that focused on the in-bed sound capabilities (a feature I've come to love and use a lot), but it came across as almost toy like. Cute buzz, but how's that going to help me get my gear to the deer lease?

So this has turned into just a huge personal rant, I guess. But it does reflect why we chose to spend lots of dollars on each of our Ridgelines: it performs very well across the full regime of our vehicle performance needs. Is it the best looking? Nope. Is it the best performing? Of course not. Does it offer a unique set of technology offered no where else? It's competitive, but not a deal maker. To change any of those factors would require lots of capital investment by Honda, and to this point it doesn't appear that they are motivated to spend those kinds of dollars.

What Honda could do is amplify what our own independent mechanic told us back in 2010 when we needed a better tow vehicle for our ski/fish boat (only ~3800lbs when fully loaded up). He said, "take a look at the Ridgeline. It will certainly tow your boat, but it will also do so much more and do so dependably. I know how you use your vehicles, and this will be your best bet." So we, in our total ignorance, started shopping used Ridgelines to get our toes wet and found a very gently used 2009 RTS. And our mechanic was right. Sure, it did a great job towing our boat, but all of a sudden we began to experience the excellent handling and ride and functionality for a daily driver truck. Then went on to get a new 2011 RTL, and we continued to introduce friends and strangers to what our truck could do. And that was considerably amplified when we raised the performance stakes higher when we matched that RTL to a wonderful travel trailer. Towed that TT for over 12,000 miles with that 2011 until we opted to trade it in for our current 2018 RTL-E. And we continue to ask that truck to do an amazing array of tasks - including an even better towing experience with our ~4650lb travel trailer (when fully loaded). And I catch holy hell on RV forums by our selection of a tow vehicle. But the virtually universal common thread to the arguments that "real truck" drivers offer is based on pure ignorance and false perception. They don't know and they don't want to know.

So I'm back to my original thought. As I posted a few years ago about our then owned RTL, something like "this truck does so much so well" - just out of the pure joy of appreciating its versatility/utility - I think Honda has its best shot of increasing its sales numbers by marketing the obvious: its versatility/utility. If they are motivated to increase Ridgeline sales numbers, redreaming their marketing/sales strategy seems to be the best bang for the buck pathway ahead. Create the need in people's minds/hearts that will help them understand why it would be worth it to spend their money on a Ridgeline, because it does so much so well.

But what do I know? I've just bought three of them over the years, and tried very hard not to buy our most recent '18 RTL-E, but it once again came down to the truck's versatility/utility over and against some other great 1/2 tons and mid-size offerings. Not enough boxes checked across the board - for how we use our truck. Is it the answer for everybody? Of course not. But I'm confident that there are enough other potential buyers out there for Honda to speak to who simply do not know . . . yet
For a good reason: Not well designed / planned or executed...
I don't think it will last long... even though I just bought one a few days ago.
 

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I got my RTL-E a few months ago and I love it. Prices are steep at this trim level but I wanted the safety features for when my son starts driving. I think every car should have blind spot detection these days. I don't need truck bed audio but I have it. Honda should offer these critical safety features at lower levels, like at the Sport level. My dealer in Seekonk, RI had about 10 Ridgelines in stock and I don't think that they were moving. I basically got it for invoice around $37K. Great dealer BTW, ask for Cliff.

I had a 95' Tacoma and drove like a truck, not sure how they drive now. It was loud on the highway with a rough ride. Long trips were exhausting. AWD beats 4WD hands down on snowy roads. My Tacoma would fishtail on snowy roads even in 4WD. I've also compared the bed sizes of the Ridgline with the crew cab Tacomas, Colorados and even some F150s (is there a short/long bed option on the F150?) and there's not a huge difference. Their beds are bit deeper. So not sure what Honda can do, I like the style but maybe it needs a bit of a step up in macho style. Tacomas have gone for a bit of a military-type style which looks pretty good.
I just bought my 2019 HR Black Edition (traded in a 2018 RTL-E) because I wanted one, not that I needed one. Asking price was $44500 and I got it for $38000. If someone got theirs for $35000, good for them: I am happy LOL. I had it for exactly 2years, with 16000 miles. ABSOLUTELY gorgeous truck! I had a poor childhood and now at my advanced age, I tend to buy whatever I want...much to my better half's chagrin. Did I say I like this truck? I do, but that's just one person's opinion. To all the naysayers out there, this "TRUCK" is not for everyone: but I like it! Oh, yeah, I got $32000 for my 2018. If someone got $35000, good for them: I am happy lol.

Moderator Note: Posts Merged

Thanks to this website I bought the below accessories:
Diamond acrylic paint protection
Running boards
Hood deflector
Moonroof wind deflector
Hood hydraulic struts
Window rain deflectors
Side molding
Front skid pan
6" drivers side arm rest
Back up alarm ( so old(er) senior citizens can hear me lol
Back up lights ( I live in the mountains and need extra light when backing up my driveway) (plus I'm old....lol
Front parking alarm...Hopkins 60100VA nVISION Back Up Sensor System This gives me EXACTLY 1' notice re parking ( in and out) Love this gadget...Have it on 2 other cars....

I think I have almost $2.00 left to spend...Think I will go look at AMAZON and see what I can get for 2 bucks.....

NOTE: I kept my like new Ridgeline mats, front, rear, and under backseat. If someone whos has a RL that they will fit, and lives near Franklin, NC, can pick them up, buy me lunch, and they are yours....PM me.
 

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The Ridgeline is still a great vehicle I could care less about the body on frame trucks. We use the Ridgeline for
travel long road trips. This is like DC or MD to say Myrtle Beach SC. I know 2nd Generation is much better than G1. But instead of buying crossover Suv the Ridgeline makes an excellent choice.
I think it has been lack of knowledge about Ridgeline even this many years. Honda stI'll doesn't advertise it like they should. The appearance has to change some not square jaw look but more aggressive. They could do dual square exhaust like on Acura. US versions should have got turn signal mirrors. Honda * foots around with this kind of stuff. They could add this stuff and not raise price on Ridgeline to make it more complete package.
This vehicle is not competition for any vehicle in Acura line-up. Accord/TLX Pilot/MDX CRV/RDX ect.
Not to offend anyone’s opinion but the same people that complain about the look of the RL being not “trucklike” seem to rave about that Tesla monstrosity that looks like something from a 1980’s computer space game. I mean really, that’s a truck?
The RL is a niche vehicle. If you want to plow snow, pull a horse trailer or haul sheet rock all day, there are plenty of vehicles out there.
I see the RL as a modern day El Camino or Ranchero with the advantage of awd and a back seat. I think that’s pretty cool.
 

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Back in 2008, I traded in my "truck," a 1985 C2500 with a 6.2 diesel and TH400, for my G1, which I also would consider a truck. I don't haul gravel, rocks or pallets of sod like I used to, but I can seat 5, have AWD for snow and still tow enough occasionally.

My issue with the G2 is that it didn't advance in the power department like other trucks. 250 HP was substantial in 2006, but now, just adequate. Everyone else upped their game and Honda is treading water with the 3.5, and now with VCM, yay - rather not. How about the 3.7 tuned a bit to get to about 325 HP to stay in the race? I've read about the person that did the conversion here on the site. Nothing blew up and it drove well, so where's Honda?? He showed them how to do it...

Still, a Ridgeline is the right size and has the capability that I need. Unless I move out west, I will trade the G1 for a G2. Probably level the back and get some 255 or 265 tires on 20" rims mostly for on road use. I guess Honda will still get my dollars but I won't feel as good about it as when I got my G1.
 

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What tough and tumble truck guys want isn't what the Ridgeline is. The concept shown at Sema would sell. It's not a UTV and it's not a truck. It's a 'tween market vehicle but would be road legal. That's where the UTV market and rough and tumble crowd go. The softie truck we know and most of us on here love isn't what a truck market is. Honda didn't care and just decided to market their version of a truck. They get what they sow in this case. And that's limited sales to soft truck buyers. (me included as remember, I keep mentioning how I didn't want a truck... I wanted the utility of a truck with a SUV under it.)

IMO, if they would "fix" the front end and make it truck looking, and pipe in some Hemi noise into the cab, make a low end truck model for entry and market it as a reliable Honda truck (think Toyota marketing of rough and tumble on tv). It would do better. But, if they are content with it still as a "add on" marketing vehicle with limited sales then nothing is going to change. Trucks have their own factory, trucks have their own marketing, trucks sell in numbers like Fords F150 at almost 800,000 units a year. Why wouldn't they want some of that market ? Seems stupid to me. But it would require a very very VERY large effort that I don't think Honda USA has and could pull off. They don't have the design group, they don't have the marketing for it, they don't have the engineering (think 4wd systems like trucks have) and they don't have a V8 engine or a decent 350hp V6 to offer up. They are screwed due to all of that. So, we get what we get. A soft SUV like truck that doesn't have truck marketing appeal or desire.

Steve
Tough and tumble guys don't want the Tacoma either....I sold my Tacoma for a Ridgeline after an honest assessment determined that the Ridgeline would do 95% of what my Tacoma could with a better ride, interior, electronics, and taigate/trunk. I detested my Tacoma's 4 wheel drive front tire scuffing (ancient 4 wheel drive system) and horrible brakes. I contend that the Tacoma is selected primarily by younger buyers due to its more "masculine" design looks.
 

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You can cherry pick aspects to support you argument and by your definition a lawnmower with a bed on it could be called a truck, can't deny that from your macro perspective. If you had a checklist of components and checked off the boxes it's a Pilot with a bed but ahh since Websters says it's truck if it has a bed then in your world you have a truck. When you use words like "real" IMO that's just childish language. To me it's about functionality and purpose of which the RL is pretty dialed in for my needs.but at the end of day, it's a Pilot with a bed.
[/QUOTE]
Agree with the gist of that, but while it shares a lot with the Pilot, there are heaver suspension and steering components that result in the RL's 1500lb+ payload and 5000lb towing capacities. The G2 also has torque vectoring/more of a RWD bias (you can feel it) than other AWD (vs. 4WD) vehicles, though, as you noted, no transfer case.

Sounds like you & I both are OK that it's not a Silverado, etc. - it suits what we're doing. I've always felt like it's a "sport utility truck", which is exactly what I need it to be. Over time we'll see if my new G2 works as well.

BTW I have two brothers in law with F150s - and my sister drives a nice one too! - and I like them. I'm happy to borrow one to carry a longer ladder around, etc. - they're great for bigger stuff, heavier towing, etc.
 

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Tough and tumble guys don't want the Tacoma either....I sold my Tacoma for a Ridgeline after an honest assessment determined that the Ridgeline would do 95% of what my Tacoma could with a better ride, interior, electronics, and taigate/trunk. I detested my Tacoma's 4 wheel drive front tire scuffing (ancient 4 wheel drive system) and horrible brakes. I contend that the Tacoma is selected primarily by younger buyers due to its more "masculine" design looks.
I’m an old Boomer and I got rid of a Tacoma before buying my Ridgeline. You are correct, the Toyota’s 4WD system is old and cumbersome like the Wranglers I’ve also owned. OK if you want to use the vehicle for mostly off-roading but cumbersome for run of the mill daily driving in challenging weather. Also, the interior of the Tacoma was incredibly uncomfortable for my aging body. Hated getting in and out of that truck.
Wish I’d have found the RL several vehicles ago. If I had, I’d be driving the Black edition right now rather than a Sport.
 

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Have not followed this thread but will offer this opinion: we were looking at a Pilot in Feb of 2005 when the Ridgeline was about to hit the dealerships and we got an RTL instead. LOVED LOVED LOVED the fact that it rode not like a truck but instead like a nice sedan, and the hidden trunk. Great for our life in the extreme country where we went into town every other week on "stock-up" trips. Loved also the UNIQUE LOOK of the vehicle.

We still have the 2006 and still love it--just turned 100,000 miles. But whereas we drove a new (or 2019, not sure) Ridge recently as a loaner, and liked it enough to buy a Passport on-the-spot, the wife absolutely does not care for the looks of the new G2 and I am "meh" about it. I think if/when we replace the Ridgeline it will be with an F150 or some other manly vehicle.

I haven't followed any of the G1-to-G2 transition articles or discussions and assume Honda has its reasons for changing the design, but we would have to say it was a big mistake because again, 1 of the two of these original owners just don't care for the new look. Too bad for Honda, though we did buy that 2019 Passport!

:cool:
 

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The G2 also has torque vectoring/more of a RWD bias (you can feel it) than other AWD (vs. 4WD) vehicles, though, as you noted, no transfer case.
I'm a tad confused on this. I keep seeing people saying this, but as I understand it, AWD models dont send power to rear wheels unless A) a non-Normal terrain mode is selected, or B) slippage/traction issues are detected.

Am I wrong? As far as I can tell, the RL AWD is a FWD vehicle until AWD is actually needed. I could be totally wrong though.
 

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Discussion Starter #210
I'm a tad confused on this. I keep seeing people saying this, but as I understand it, AWD models dont send power to rear wheels unless A) a non-Normal terrain mode is selected, or B) slippage/traction issues are detected.

Am I wrong? As far as I can tell, the RL AWD is a FWD vehicle until AWD is actually needed. I could be totally wrong though.
Yeah - you're totally wrong. ;)

The Ridgeline always sends power to the rear wheels when accelerating even when there is no front wheel slip. How much power is determined vehicle speed, throttle position, and terrain mode.
 

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I'm a tad confused on this. I keep seeing people saying this, but as I understand it, AWD models dont send power to rear wheels unless A) a non-Normal terrain mode is selected, or B) slippage/traction issues are detected.

Am I wrong? As far as I can tell, the RL AWD is a FWD vehicle until AWD is actually needed. I could be totally wrong though.
I've had a few AWD vehicles and that's always been my understanding too, but when accelerating - especially, say, uphill and turning - I can feel my '19 Ridgeline pushing , even when there's no wheel slip.

The torque vectoring is discussed in this Savagegeese review (which is really good throughout, BTW) starting at about 9 minutes and runs through about 10:30. Toward the end of that clip he discusses the rear-wheel bias. savagegeese ridgeline - Bing video
 

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Back in 2008, I traded in my "truck," a 1985 C2500 with a 6.2 diesel and TH400, for my G1, which I also would consider a truck. I don't haul gravel, rocks or pallets of sod like I used to, but I can seat 5, have AWD for snow and still tow enough occasionally.

My issue with the G2 is that it didn't advance in the power department like other trucks. 250 HP was substantial in 2006, but now, just adequate. Everyone else upped their game and Honda is treading water with the 3.5, and now with VCM, yay - rather not. How about the 3.7 tuned a bit to get to about 325 HP to stay in the race? I've read about the person that did the conversion here on the site. Nothing blew up and it drove well, so where's Honda?? He showed them how to do it...

Still, a Ridgeline is the right size and has the capability that I need. Unless I move out west, I will trade the G1 for a G2. Probably level the back and get some 255 or 265 tires on 20" rims mostly for on road use. I guess Honda will still get my dollars but I won't feel as good about it as when I got my G1.
Horsepower was bumped up 11% to 280 in generation 2, and torque went from 247 to 262 ft-lbs. Not tire-frying, but an increase.
 

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Discussion Starter #214
Interesting, I swear I had read it's FWD until needed. Perhaps, is the G1 that way? Maybe I read about it there.
No, again. :)

The VTM-4 system in the G1 send power to the rear wheels when accelerating, too. This is an operating characteristic of all Honda models with VTM-4, iVTM-4, and the Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System. The Real Time AWD (without Intelligent Control System) used on the previous-generation CR-V was a reactive system only - it sent power to the rear wheels only after front wheel slip was detected.

VTM-4 and iVTM-4 use two clutches (one for each wheel) to transfer power through a right-angle drive (referred to as a "differential", although that's not entirely accurate). RTAWD and RTAWD w/ICS use a single clutch to transfer power through a conventional, open differential.
 

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No, again. :)

The VTM-4 system in the G1 send power to the rear wheels when accelerating, too. This is an operating characteristic of all Honda models with VTM-4, iVTM-4, and the Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System. The Real Time AWD (without Intelligent Control System) used on the previous-generation CR-V was a reactive system only - it sent power to the rear wheels only after front wheel slip was detected.

VTM-4 and iVTM-4 use two clutches (one for each wheel) to transfer power through a right-angle drive (referred to as a "differential", although that's not entirely accurate). RTAWD and RTAWD w/ICS use a single clutch to transfer power through a conventional, open differential.
I read (or saw a video) somewhere that the rear-wheel bias % is a little more in the G2 than the G1. Can't think of where I learned that though....
 

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The thing I noticed is the only trim levels I wanted to look at were the T or E due to the creature comforts and NAV. I suppose most people agree in my area since dealers that got a new T or E trim on the lot sold it within 5 days while RT and Sports sat for weeks if not months and RTLs somewhere in between. I think the average dealer stock was between 8-13 RLs normally all Sports or Rts. If you shop for a Ford, GM or Ram pickup I bet you will find a lot more available stock in the upper level trims. The used market also reflects the same pattern in my area. I found a used 2017 E out of state with low miles and so far am really happy with it.
 

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Today I saw on the You Tube channel "TFL Truck" that the Ridgeline sales for 2019 were up 9% (y) They're still second to last in the mid sized market only beating out the GMC Canyon.
 

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Today I saw on the You Tube channel "TFL Truck" that the Ridgeline sales for 2019 were up 9% (y) They're still second to last in the mid sized market only beating out the GMC Canyon.
…..and the Canyon and Chevy Colorado are essentially the same vehicle - combining their sales volume seems more realistic.
 

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…..and the Canyon and Chevy Colorado are essentially the same vehicle - combining their sales volume seems more realistic.
I think the Colorado was #3 on the list. (Not Sure) Gee combining the two GM mid sized trucks would make the RL last on the list. (Bummer) I was not surprised that the Tacoma was #1 but I was surprised that it sold more than five times the RL. WoW! I drove the Tacoma and had I bought it I would have hated it before I back home.
 
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