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This is the closest I've seen to a right on review, except for the part about the longer bed - the bed extender works great for me.


Panache provides an excellent description for the RL!
 

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In my humble opinion, this is the most important review yet. I was attracted to consider the Ridgeline due to a review by Pulitzer Prize winning LA Times auto reviewer Dan Neil. His views were confirmed, in my mind, by my own test drive and bumper to bumper review. I then bought a Ridgeline, to my great satisfaction. Subsequently, the auto reviewer I respect the most, Consumer Reports, rated the Ridgeline tops.

The power of the Business Week review though, is the audience. These are the people buying Hummers and BMWs and Mercedes, and the like. If the both the pragmatists and those with unlimitted resources are equally attracted to the Ridgeline, we may be the prow of a sadly large ship moving inexorably toward success. One wonders, is it better to be a maverick or to be a trendsetter? I lean towards the former and lament becoming the latter.
 

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I don't know about the most important review. A whole bunch of Business Week's "subscribers" are free subscribers (like me :) ). They line their offices with them and occasionally read them when they have a moment. It's not like BW is a cover to cover read for executives. I did like the stock market symbols in the text :)

As much as I disagree with how they rate products, and especially how they assign reliability data, it would be hard to argue against the Consumer Reports review as the most important review. It's the publication that millions of consumers look to for advice. The web has changed that somewhat, but it's still the big kahuna.
 

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I agree with your point about Consumer Reports. I suspect the lower teir auto reviewers look to CR as well, so it has a magnifying effect. The thing is though that the Ridgeline is a unique vehicle in many ways, not the least of which are styling and primary use by design. I hate to say it, but it's something of an inexpensive luxury SUV that offers the benefits of a truck. That's not a slam, just a sense of how to describe it.

As great of a vehicle as the Ridgeline is, the market has got to be something of a niche, even if it is the most highly rated crew cab by CR. That's because if you want a truck for hauling or for real work, this isn't the truck in my opinion. I say that, incidentally, having already taken about five loads of yard waste to the landfill with it piled high (the bed net is really valuable for this). In my area (San Diego) just about every Tundra and Titan I see is shiny, waxed, and unscratched. Even most of the F-150s. In other words, they are not being used for their theoretical primary purpose, but as cars. Nevertheless, those who want them may feel good about owning a truck that is a real truck, even if they aren't going to use it for same.

Turning to the SUV crowd, many if not most of those buyers are really using the things as minivans they can drive without embarassment. In other words they may say, "This think can climb mountains," when in reality, "This thing is a great ride to the Day Care Center and people don't know that's where I'm going." Those people may feel they need the rear enclosed space of an SUV for extra kids and enclosed gear.

Point being that regardless of being tops in the ratings, the Ridgeline does not, in my view, target the mainstream truck buyer or the mainstream SUV buyer. Rather, it creates a crossover market of people dissatisfied with either. These are people who don't have a big family and want a really nice ride, with the occasional benefits of a truck. The question is, how big is that market?
 

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Lifesaver1 said:
These are people who don't have a big family and want a really nice ride, with the occasional benefits of a truck. The question is, how big is that market?
I definitely fit in this category, as I think are most people who purchase Ford Explorer Sport Track, Taco Crew Cab, etc., and also for those buying mid-size SUV's such as the Nissan Xterra. I think there's definitely a market for this type of vehicle beyond niche.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifesaver1
These are people who don't have a big family and want a really nice ride, with the occasional benefits of a truck. The question is, how big is that market?

Add to that my need for towing and off-road capability .
 

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I think the market is waaaaaaaaaay bigger than 50,000 units.
 

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Lifesaver1 said:
Point being that regardless of being tops in the ratings, the Ridgeline does not, in my view, target the mainstream truck buyer or the mainstream SUV buyer. Rather, it creates a crossover market of people dissatisfied with either. These are people who don't have a big family and want a really nice ride, with the occasional benefits of a truck. The question is, how big is that market?
Up to maybe 1998 one would be hard pressed to find many 4 door trucks because for the most part trucks were work/utility vehicles. In fact, 4 door trucks really took off somewhere around 2000 and account for the majority of truck sales today. Why? Very few people NEED a truck for truck purposes and truth be told, most people rarely maximize the payload capacity of most trucks on the road today, nor do they take them off-road that often either. Like most truck owners, I NEED a truck for convenience. I am a weekend do-it-yourselfer that will want to haul stuff from time to time and a truck fits that bill perfectly. The rest of the time, my truck basically takes me and sometimes the kids from point A to B.
The Ridgeline meets that NEED perfectly because when I go grocery shopping I no longer have to worry about where to put the bags - I now have a TRUNK - (how cool is THAT! :cool: ). When I need to haul 2x4 or sheet rock, or bags of concrete, or mulch, or yard debris, or new lawn equipment I have a bed big enough and strong enough with all the payload I NEED to get the job done. When I go to the Dolphins games this year I can use the trunk again to chill burgers and beer, and use the bed to haul my grill and tent for the tailgate party with my buddies. When I need to take my wife out to a swanky restaurant I can travel in civility in my RTL S/R, cranking out love tunes on my 160 watt system (with upgraded Infinity speakers) and XM radio...AND I can proudly toss my keys to the valet guy and confidently say "Take care of my ride son! :cool: "
So, to answer your question: the engineers/designers at Honda scored a touchdown with the Ridgeline and I'm sure a few years from now Detroit will be having their "ME TOO!" offerings to get into this HUGE market segment where Honda is now the only player.
The only caveat is how much higher gas prices will rise...that is the only thing I see preventing Honda from surpassing their 50,000 goal.
 

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Great review, but they all have been except the Edmonds off road glitch. That one I discount as most people are not buying this truck for its rock crawling ability any how.

It is spot on for me, 5000 miles and no complaints. I have started to push it a few times and the harder I push it in the corners the more I appreciate it. And yes it is a truck
I have filled the bed to the brim several times.

With all the great reviews I am surprised that they are not selling better. As the price of gas goes higher it should only help sales 16-21 is not great but it better than most of the competitors. The fact that Chevy and Ford have started to almost pay people to drive their trucks off the lot has likely not helped, but people will eventualy see the light.

Some post indicate adds have increased from Honda, maybe my market is different, I still see no adds for this truck, with the exception of a tag on to CRV and Pilot adds stating that it is now available.

Great sports sedan truck limo, thanks Honda
 
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