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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is my review of the new Honda Ridgeline and also of my Camp Ridgeline experience. I will do this in multiple posts because I don't have the attention span to write one well thought out review.

My favorite part of the trip was talking to Kerry McClure. He is the Chief Engineer at Honda R&D. It was awesome hearing how they make decisions and why they did certain things and not others. I was very happy that he reads this site so someone who makes very important calls on the truck actually does read what we say. I challenged him on so many things and also complained about lots of stuff. He took it all very well and did a good job explaining lots of stuff to me. Although Canada getting ventilated seats and no option for that in the US is crazy talk no matter what! But Kerry is a good guy and it was super fun talking to someone about Ridgeline R&D. My wife was entertained by how much I loved this conversation. The only question I forgot to ask him about was if the 9 speed with stupid button shifters was being considered for the future in the Ridgeline. I hate button gear shifting so I am hoping the answer was a no. But we did talk about the non-locking tailgate, no ventilated seats, why blind spot camera shows camera when turn right only, arm rests, no volume knob, and other stuff I am forgetting right now. But the important point here is our venting doesn't fall on deaf ears. As Morgan Freeman said in Deep Impact "I believe God hears all prayers, even if sometimes the answer is no". I am sure that quote originates somewhere else but I am a movie guy. I was happy the gas tank went up to 19 gallons. That is only up one gallon but with roughly 4 more miles per gallon that range is so much better than the 320 I am currently averaging.

End of Rant 1. Next up real life towing MPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
We did a bunch of driving with the Ridgeline but I did remember to reset the trip meter during one of the towing trips. The trailer was loaded with 3600 lbs of stuff. We drover pretty slow. My guess is around 30 mph. After a quick 7 mile loop the MPG was 16.3. All day I kept resetting MPG and was getting above published 17/21/25. I may have misquoted published numbers. I am writing from memory and too lazy to look up the real numbers.

It was also comforting that after I told some of the Honda people that I put 2200 lbs in the bed that they didn't jump up and down and raise alarms. To be clear they were in now way suggesting being dumb and violating rules of published numbers. I just got the sense that they know G1 is tough. I love my G1. It is tough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Random picture of me with the truck. I like the Black Edition but I would probably get the RTL-E version. I thought you could only get the red perf leather option in the black. But they had a truck there that was RTL-E with the fancier red leather inserts. Of course that doesn't mean it is an option but I think it is. This truck is so much cooler looking in person. Note to whoever picked the picture at the top of this site. That silver G2 at that angle is the worst picture Honda could possibly take of the truck. I lectured the web marketing people on the picture too. It makes it look horrible when it is really pretty cool. Way more masculine in person than in that horrible picture. Still no GMC Sierra tough looking, but totally cool enough for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Audio review: The 2014 Sport had the biggest joke of a stereo system of maybe any vehicle ever. I replaced it with awesome stuff. Kenwood DNXsomething, JL steathbox, 2 amps, and new speaks in the doors too. My test of the G2 was to determine how much I would be losing if I just traded in my truck and went to stock system in high trim level G2. Not much is the answer. The stereo sounded really really good. I may still rip out the stealth box and add it to G2 if I get one this summer but not sure I need to. If when selling it the person I am selling to really wants the sub then I probably leave it and just deal with factory G2. That factory G2 is good enough for me that I wouldn't really feel like I lost that much at all. Sure it can't shake the mirrors like my current G1 can but it sounded great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know there is a sell stuff section of the site. However doing this great public service I am giving myself permission to say my truck is for sale in my own thread :)

2014 Black sport
50k miles
Katzkin leather with heating and cooling and lumbar on driver seat
Kenwood head unit with cool stuff like HMDI cable and converter to play movies on the monitor. (parking break override too)
Viper remote start that works with phone app
JL stealth box, 500 watt app, and bass control knob mounted on dash
HID headlight conversion. They are all black
Bakflip cover. Whatever the expensive one was

I live in Michigan. The obvious question of how much is TBD. I just decided to say it was for sale right now not giving it any thought. But I am pretty sure I will get the G2 so selling seems better than trading in.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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....
I was happy the gas tank went up to 19 gallons. That is only up one gallon but with roughly 4 more miles per gallon that range is so much better than the 320 I am currently averaging.
You do realize that tank is actually down 3 gallons from the G1?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Back home and on with my review.

Torque vectoring! I was glad they had talked about this at length. The analogy used was when doing an athletic move pushing off with one leg to change directions. To help us feel this they had an area of the road designed for this. I got to do this 3 times in the Ridgeline, Colorado, and Tacoma. I basically drove at pretty sharp curve at around 30 mph. I would let off the gas before the curve like normal. However when in the middle of the curve I would give it gas. In the other trucks, and other cars I have driven, you get what you expect. You get power but you have to direct that power around the curve. The car wants to kind of fight off the curve. I was really surprised how different it felt with the Ridgeline. I am a skeptical person and I didn't expect it to feel much different. It felt noticeably different. Instead of feeling like I was pushed and fighting to stay on the curve it kinda of reminded me of a roller coaster. Where you hit the curve and use the curve to pickup speed. Obviously not as dramatic as being on roller coaster rails but for sure noticeable. Felt lots less effort to keep the power on the curve and actually felt like I was getting help keeping it turning while getting more power. Very cool. The Tacoma and Colorado both behaved like I am used to. Not bad but the Ridgeline for sure wins with cornering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Offroad thoughts. I am not an offroading person so not too much to say here. San Antonio has been experiencing floods so what we had was lots of mud. The course had very deep wet mud. My wife who never would try to drive over that stuff had no issue going into the deep mud, making turns in the mud while sliding, or climbing the big hill they had us climb. For me the most interesting part was going from normal to mud mode. Normal mode behaved like I would expect my G1 to behave. In deep sand it fought to get traction but in short order was making progress and gaining momentum. In sand mode I felt far less fight to get moving. It was like I was on less sand and more solid ground than the exact same conditions in normal mode. So the mode made a big difference in sand. I live in Michigan so would love to test snow mode vs normal mode. Or test how much better G2 is in the snow than my G1. I have never lost control of my G1 and I have probably put 20k miles on it in snow. Anyone who has a Ridgeline and drives it in the snow probably feels the same way I do about it. It is great in the snow. It feels heavy and blows right through slush and thick snow. I can't speak to how G2 will be in the snow but based on the offroad stuff we did it didn't struggle at all with what would be extreme conditions in normal circumstances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The no locking tailgate answer wasn't very satisfying. To be fair I don't think any of us who want that will be satisfied with anything less than we want. The first obvious answer is you have lockable storage in the truck. The second is around creating a false sense of security. Tonneau covers can be broken open or ripped. There might have been more answers but I was boozing and having a good ole time asking whatever I could remember so I can't remember more. Like I said, not a very satisfying answer. But I do think the request has been noted and heard. Maybe we get it at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Noise level: I think the G1 is loud. However my wife has a 13 CRV and THAT is super loud. Sounds like there is a hole in the floor and I am listening to the road via the open hole. I was surprised that while watching the TFL Truck review of the truck that Roman (or whoever it was) talked about it being the quietest truck he had ever been in. I have test driven the 2016 Sierra Denali about 5 times and THAT seems ultra quiet. Maybe he meant mid sized? Either way this G2 is quite quiet. Not to the level where I would be calling out the feature as super great. To me it seemed like meeting my expectations, not exceeding them. Maybe I would have felt differently if driving with the radio on like I normally would where the little noise I was getting would be further drowned out. But overall yes much quieter and pretty darn nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Things I really liked: Visibility! Thank the good lord I can see! Before I got my G1 I almost went with a Subaru Forrester. I liked that the XT was fast but mostly that you have such good visibility. Visibility isn't the sexiest feature but it is something you live with every moment you are driving. On the new G2 the visibility is great. Today while driving good ole G1 I was marveling at how confining it felt. In the G1 it feels like you are in something with a few places to look out. In the G2 it feels like you can see all outside with just a few things blocking here and there.

Acceleration: I can't say for sure what the Colorado and Tacoma had under the hood but this felt like no contest. Both competition trucks were $40k and up so assume they had their best engines. The Colorado was a total dog. Hit the gas and heard the noise but didn't feel the power at all. The Tacoma I felt the power and the noise, but it really kicked in around 40-50. I want the power earlier. The Ridgeline seemed to give it to you early and not as much late. It also seemed to scream a bit more loudly than what it was giving me. But regardless of the times it felt the most athletic and quick off the line. I got to do 3 0-60 type runs in the 3 trucks. Also slamming brakes and coming to a complete stop I felt most confident in the Ridgeline.

Space: I loved how roomy this felt. I like my G1 space but this felt better. I doubt it really is much bigger but that doesn't matter, it felt bigger. Felt like bigger windshield made it higher, doors felts like they were pushing away from me. Granted I did feel a little bit less "trucky" inside. This extra space didn't necessarily feel like truck space. It felt like big SUV space. But eh. If I want really "trucky" I will do a Sierra. Which who knows I still might.

Interior Quality: It goes without saying that it is an upgrade vs G1. What it was competing with for me was quality of Sierra Denali. Now I still prefer the Denali. But this was much much nicer than I was thinking it would be. I drove a Pilot which is basically the same but putting this in the Ridgeline felt different than when I was in the Pilot. I really liked it. It felt fancier in the RL than the identical interior in the Pilot. For me this interior was nice enough that if I do go RL G2 I won't feel like I gave up a ton of what I could have had with a Denali.
 

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Re: tailgate lock.
Someone mentioned the complication of having to lock both sideways and up/down latches. It seems to me that you only need to lock the mechanism for releasing the tailgate upper corner latches. That would prevent the sideways opening as well. Honda's rational for not providing a locking tailgate sounds very lame to me. Obviously, they think it doesn't matter to most buyers and omitted it as a cost-saving measure. We just need to change their minds and get it added for MY 2018.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Complaints! These are obviously small enough that I still think I will be buying a G2

The arm rest is a problem. I tried not to hate it. My wife has the fold down things on CRV and they don't bother me. these were different though. They have some weird fixed end point and you can adjust the angle up or down but the fixed end point stays the same. So if you want it to be flat and you are taller that isn't possible. I fussed with this thing a lot. Part of that was I kept switching trucks so I had to keep finding the best angle again but I never liked this. Especially not compared to G1.

No ventilated seats. But they have them in Canada where it is always fricking cold? This was probably the most upsetting for me. Leather gets hot and I sweat all the time. I want cooled seats! I guess I can try to do an aftermarket fix like I did for my G1. Sigh...

Bakflip knows people want tonneau to fold all the way up. You KNOW that is what we want. Why can't we have an OEM accessory that is better than aftermarket? WHY?!! Why does the OEM have to cost more AND be a worse product? WHY?! Oh well. This has easiest fix of all. Go Bakflip

Back to the accessory designer! Why does the bed extender have to be so tall that it can't be used with tonneau? I was looking at this thing for a long time and the part that is too tall seems entirely unnecessary. Seems like you could just hack it off and fix it. But why do I have to hack it up? I am sure there is some lame reason if Honda engineering can solve torque vectoring, adaptive cruise, and whatever other awesome stuff they do we know they could solve this too. We could have tonneau that folds all the way up and bed extender that could be on with the tonneau. Don't give me the reasons why it can't be done. Failure is not an option.

Bed seems really shallow. Why couldn't you make the side walls a bit higher? I don't actually care since I can just tie stuff down. This is just the complaint area so throwing that in there.

No volume knob. Again don't care that much. More annoying for my wife since I will be controlling volume from steering wheel but passenger having to use touch screen could be annoying.

Way less storage. This may not actually be true but as the driver I have what seem like endless options in my G1. In the G2 I was looking around for where to put my stuff. I have a big phone and it never seemed to find a good home. My wallet either. I am sure there are places but none as obvious and friendly as G1.

I am done for the day. Not that anyone cares but tomorrow I will post some pictures from the event. It was really cool.
 

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The arm rest is a problem. I tried not to hate it. They have some weird fixed end point and you can adjust the angle up or down but the fixed end point stays the same. So if you want it to be flat and you are taller that isn't possible. I fussed with this thing a lot.

No volume knob. Again don't care that much. More annoying for my wife since I will be controlling volume from steering wheel but passenger having to use touch screen could be annoying.
By this point, Honda is hopefully embarrassed and ashamed of those armrests. I sincerely hope they redeem themselves on this issue...quickly.

Adjusting the volume using touch-screen controls in a moving vehicle is like trying to shave with a straight razor in an airplane during turbulence.
 

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Also, what does the torque vectoring feel like when your cornering?
I am also interested in hearing about this. One thing I used to hate about my G1 was when the VSA would kick in and the truck would essentially stop power to all wheels as it engaged the AWD. It was the worst feeling to get the power interruption especially when you were expecting a bit of slip and had already compensated for it.
 

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...Either way this G2 is quite quiet. Not to the level where I would be calling out the feature as super great. To me it seemed like meeting my expectations, not exceeding them...
Which trim level of the G2 did you test? The RTL-E?

If a 1/2 ton pickup truck, for example the Sierra Denali, is ultra quiet in the cab, like a luxury car, does that mean it is not a real truck? ;)
 
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