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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little background on me for perspective: I drove a Toyota truck in high school for years and really enjoyed it but after that most the vehicles I’ve owned are cars and SUV’s. As a new home owner, I really have a need for a truck to be able to do yard work and others things around the house. I live in the city and do a daily commute. Most of the time, I really don’t need a truck though. I’ve a tech head and technology is really important to me.

Straight to the point: The Ridgeline works for me.

Performance wise, it handles like a car and I can get in and out of traffic smoothly and easily. I have more than enough power to get up to speed quickly. It’s acceleration really impresses me as 60mph comes along very rapidly. It has a bit of growl when in its non-normal drive modes, I’d like more but I really enjoy how quiet the vehicle is in cabin (compared to the 2012 CRV I have, which is very noisy).
The windshield gives me a great view of the road and traffic; the somewhat small back window isn’t a hindrance though as the rear view mirror pairs well with it. I’m not sure if my dealership put Rain-X or it came with some kind of weather coating but rain beads right off of it as if Rain-X is applied (I apply it on a regular basis). The wiper mechanism covers the windshield perfectly without any dead spots / non-wiped parts which pops up in some Honda’s. Side mirrors are great looking and have the blind spot notifications by them on the interior. It took me a bit to get used to these but find them indispensable having put 400ish miles on the truck in traffic. The sliding glass mirror in the back, which is powered, is pretty small but makes a huge difference in looking at traffic in the rear view mirror. It’s a bit odd to see traffic so clearly and it being powered is something I still grin about whenever I use. The moon roof is really nice and sports an awesome crenelated look from the front when open (it matches the bottom of the front end where the skid plate typically is) giving it some additional aggressiveness. When used as a sunroof, the glass dims the sunlight decently but when open completely, totally overpowers the touchscreen display.

Speaking of the display, the technology is great but takes some getting used to. The display is flat. Completely. There are no knobs, switches or other things. It’s basically a tablet display (indeed it runs an older version of the Android tablet software). Using it is very familiar especially if you’ve come from a satellite navigation package on an older Honda or one of the newer models. Even with the familiarity, it’s not easy to navigate via the display. I use the steering wheel controls which do most of the typically used functions (skip, go back, volume up and down, source and more).

As a tech heads go, I’m a big Android guy so Android Auto was a big selling feature for me in going with a higher trim level such as the Black Edition. It requires a wired cable but luckily there is a grippy space just above the gear shifter for your phone and a 1.5 powered USB plugin to use. Once in Android Auto, your display is taken over in a simplified Android O/S with maps, phone/messaging, music and some other button that seems to always want to “Take Me Back to Honda” which I’ve never used (but now I think it might take you back to the default display).

Android Auto in a nutshell is the best of what you want in your car but done by Google. Maps show real time traffic congestion and navigation is by voice. Most car navigation systems are pretty ****ty when it comes to voice recognition but Google has it down for the most part. Press the talk button and it’s pretty much “OK Google” commands. Tell it to go somewhere and it’ll pop in navigation (which is the best navigation I’ve seen and used). Ask it a question and if it’s an audible answer that OK Google would give, you’ll hear it. Ask it how tall Tom Cruise is – it’ll tell you. Or ask for a weather forecast. The beauty of this is you don’t have to upgrade your car to take advantage of new technology. Just upgrade Android Auto.

For those that are Apple people, there’s the Apple counterpart to Android Auto. For more information on that, go to YouTube and check it and Android out. As the program is based on your phone, you take your “O/S” with you, so to speak. This should appeal to a wide variety of folks with different tastes in phones which is a real big deal to people. The stock navigation is serviceable but mostly unimpressive compared to the above.

The Black Edition sports a great array of speakers and very nice, punchy sub-woofer. On closer inspection, you’ll find a center channel on top of your dash, which could probably qualify as surround sound, very much like a home theater. You’ve got sparkling highs, throaty mids and deep satisfying thump that can replicate from classical, metal, oldies, jazz, hip hop and rap. I find myself mostly listening to Amazon music stations by decades and I find the system brings new life to older hits of yesteryear. The in bed audio exciters are almost like a novelty but in reality are a true trendsetting innovation, but I’ll talk about that later.

The interior of the truck is very spacious and roomy in the front. The seats feel great, like a nice leather recliner. I’m a 6 ft. tall large guy and like to stretch my legs. I can mostly do this without issue except for my left leg comes up wanting a bit more room to move. It’s a minor thing but taller folks would probably feel a confined on that side. Right leg space is ample and comfy. Drivers side seat has the typical powered seats, lumbar support and climate control. The steering wheel is heated as well and warms up quick. Passenger side has power but is 4 points compared to 6 on the driver’s side.

The backseat is spacious and can fit a normal adult without issue. The seats raise up and lock into position allowing you to fit all manner of things in it. I really like that you have space under the seats and I have several folding camp chairs under there for camping and tailgating. The only real problem I see about the back seat is that the doors only open so much. I saw some videos of this complaint before I bought and thought that I’d be okay with it and I am. It’s not a big deal for kids and young adults, which is my intended audience. If you were hauling guys to a job site or adults on a regular basis, you’d be better off with a Toyota Tundra with a large crew cab. Honda knows their audience though and my family of two adults, two kids, probably is right in their wheelhouse.

So now we can get to one of my favorite parts of the truck: the bed. It around the same size of the Tacoma and the Colorado but it’s unique features are really what makes this a great truck. The bed lining is super tough, no need to go get a Rhino lining or something similar, this stuff is tuff! It comes with tie downs in all four corners, both on top and at the bottom, really solid ones too. The wheel wells are around an inch or two tall, barely enough to notice and you’re able to lay most things down flat. Honda says that a typical sheet of plywood will fit and lay flat in the Ridgeline. The “smuggling compartment” is my Millennium Falcon’ish node to the in bed cargo area. It’s large enough to hold a very large cooler or it can become a cooler with its drain plug. My first camping excursion I was very tempted to ice down the back but opted for a medium size cooler instead. I was able to fit it and most of our camping gear (day camping) in here with room for more. Having the swing out tailgate makes getting into this a breeze as well as getting in and out of the bed (pull up a camp chair and climb aboard).

Other thoughts:

I did get all weather mats and illuminated side steps put on. My only issue has been the left drivers side vent not opening (part is on the way). I really didn’t want the Black Edition at first but it’s grown on me and I looks way better in person that online. It’s an attention grabber and looks great coming or going. I feel like I overspent on it by paying MSRP but I couldn’t be any happier with it and it fulfills everything I want out of it.
 

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Great review. Looking forward to reading how the Ridgeline handles an Alaskan winter!
 

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Great post thanks for the insight, I feel my use would be very similar. Still waiting for the model, color to come to a dealer in the area. Saw one but they have it 4K over MSRP!
 

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Good review, BrandoRex. You and I have a few things in common except I'm an Apple user instead of Android. One thing I'd like to comment on is engine sound. The G1 was actually tuned to sound a bit "trucky" and you could tell there was more of a growl in the Ridgeline compared to other Hondas with similar powertrains such as the Odyssey and Pilot. I even had a few "real truck guys" ride in my G1s and positively comment about the engine's sound (even if that's all they had good to say about it). In the G2, you can definitely tell that Honda tuned the engine sound for "quiet" vs. "trucky". No arguments here - I've never card for "throaty" intakes or "rumbling" exhausts. The less mechanical ruckus I hear, the better - I'd rather hear the radio, my passengers, or my own thoughts.
 

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Great report. I'm having a similar experience with my new RTL-E. Hope we both continue the "love" relationship with these things.
 

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I bought my G1 Ridgeline without any concern for what others thought about my "fake truck". I bought my G2 BE under the same mind frame. This is a truck for anyone who buys one. Everything the OP stated sums up what I have experienced in my first 400mi. Great acceleration, smooth ride, room for my kids, lots of tech, transported 800 lbs of cargo in the bed and the truck definitely turns heads and starts conversations.
 

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It's definitely head turning. Drove my BE to the grocery store tonight and while I was admiring it from inside, two people went up and walked all around it, checking it out. I hope they liked it, cause I sure do.
 

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While driving home yesterday after work I got a thumbs up from someone on the highway. He sped up and stuck his thumb out his window. Making sure I saw it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nice well-written review, Sounds like the new Ridgeline is just about perfect for you!

Maybe you could share some pix??!!
Here's some non-Hollywood pics!

1) The dealership brought it in all washed up into the showroom so I could look at it while I signed. I didn't want to drive it out - they gave me the option but no way!

2) The kids wanted to get in the trunk right away, "never thought I'd be smuggling myself kid".

3) Inside shot, pre all weather floor mats

4) Tailgating the first day!

5) Another shot of the kids in the trunk

6) Our driveway packed with Honda's!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
1) Tailgating / Day-camping at Nancy Lake, Alaska. Couldn't be happier with the in bed audio and getting in and out of the bed.

2) Chilling out in camp chairs.

3) Shot of the tailgate from the in bed, standing position.

4) Overhead shot of the trunk.

5) Putting the truck to work! The tie downs / cleats that are in the bed (all corners, top and bottom) work really well. Flat bungie cords can attach to the bottom and can get wrapped around the cleat to tighten up the cord. Every truck should have these standard!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
1) The Cylon back end light.

2) Roof shot with moonroof.

3) Looks good in the driveway - black chrome is really sharp.

4) Plenty of room for our little barbarian (his name is Conan).

5) That's all folks! ;act028:
 

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Cute kids! Obviously, a great family vehicle! (Except for the Black since your son isn't old enough to wash it, quite yet!)

Thnx for the pics!
 

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Great review, thanks. Picked up. BE this afternoon.
 

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BrandoRex,

I recognize that dealership! :laugh: I went in a couple weeks ago to window-shop as the Continental site showed -2- in stock. I figured they wouldn't put pre-sold units up on the inventory, right? I was wrong - a new sales guy I didn't recognize said both RLs had already been picked up (yours being the B.E. it appears) but more are to follow before too long. I didn't ask if those were pre-sold as I'm not in a hurry to buy, just curious to see one in person after all the wait and hoopla.

from all the reviews, sounds like most of the hoopla is for real (the wait sure was...).

nice write up, great pics and good work being the first or second local in a G2! you might want to amend your color? (Crystal Black for the newer Black units; Formal Black was for the older G1s, '06-'08 I think).

and of course putting the best location in your profile :wink:

*** for those of you new members who haven't yet (and some long time folks too), consider putting your -location- in your profile. it doesn't have to be the specific city/state if you don't want, just generic "central Iowa" or "Nashville suburbs", etc will do. but it really -does- help everyone know 'where you're coming from' perspective/regionally speaking w/ your posts. just w/ BR's post, 2 folks commented on the impending Alaska winter. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
BrandoRex,

I recognize that dealership! :laugh: I went in a couple weeks ago to window-shop as the Continental site showed -2- in stock. I figured they wouldn't put pre-sold units up on the inventory, right? I was wrong - a new sales guy I didn't recognize said both RLs had already been picked up (yours being the B.E. it appears) but more are to follow before too long. I didn't ask if those were pre-sold as I'm not in a hurry to buy, just curious to see one in person after all the wait and hoopla.

from all the reviews, sounds like most of the hoopla is for real (the wait sure was...).

nice write up, great pics and good work being the first or second local in a G2! you might want to amend your color? (Crystal Black for the newer Black units; Formal Black was for the older G1s, '06-'08 I think).

and of course putting the best location in your profile :wink:

*** for those of you new members who haven't yet (and some long time folks too), consider putting your -location- in your profile. it doesn't have to be the specific city/state if you don't want, just generic "central Iowa" or "Nashville suburbs", etc will do. but it really -does- help everyone know 'where you're coming from' perspective/regionally speaking w/ your posts. just w/ BR's post, 2 folks commented on the impending Alaska winter. :smile:

It was an interesting experience at the dealership. I had been talking to someone in their internet sales department for awhile and said I was ready to buy and what I wanted (RTL-E, Modern Steel Metallic). Several back and forth emails with a lot of "not a lot of details" and then finally radio silence. So on a whim, I called the dealership and spoke with who ended up being my salesman, Nate (great guy by the way). He told me there were 4 on the way, so I went down to put a deposit on one. The one I wanted wasn't coming in, would be likely another 4 months or so. There was only 2 available. I'm really curious about the other 2 - perhaps some folks in the dealership were taking these out for personal reasons? Anyways, no RTL-E and I didn't want to wait so I went with the Black.

I suspect them letting folks look at them, even mine being pre-sold is just good business. I don't mind - no non-Honda people drove it outside of me. Hell, I'm happy to let people check it out. Call me an Ridgeline evangelist now :grin:

It has been pretty neat to have the only Black Edition in the state. I'm pretty sure that's something most folks can't say (except maybe Hawaii?).
 
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