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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know on paper the ground clearances are stated basically the same but if you look at the new RL it appears to be higher. I know the suspension parts are the same which would make the ground clearance similar but it appears to me that the actual body is higher on the frame. That would make some of the other components higher off the ground would it not? Has anyone actually done a measurement to compare the two? Contemplating an upgrade from expiring 2019 lease to a 2021.


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The Ridgeline is unibody - there's no separate frame for the body to ride on. Even if there was and the body sat higher on the frame, the overall height would be greater for the 2021, which it is not.
 

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I would suspect that's an artefact of the graphics boys getting an email to make the thing look more trucky without having to change any expensive parts.

When I get my 21 in a few months I will comment further if the chin spoiler clears stuff that my current truck grinds on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would suspect that's an artefact of the graphics boys getting an email to make the thing look more trucky without having to change any expensive parts.

When I get my 21 in a few months I will comment further if the chin spoiler clears stuff that my current truck grinds on.
Even looking at them in person they seem higher. The amount of room from the top of the tire to the fender looks to be larger. You just don't think about taking a tape measure to the dealership....


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When the online parts suppliers start showing parts diagrams for the 21 Ridgeline then we can compare suspension components etc. My expectation is that there aren't any changes to the suspension etc that would result in a change of ground clearance. The increase in track is almost certainly a result of the change in wheel offset. I would speculate that any difference in the ground clearance spec is related to the front fascia changes.
 

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Did anybody ever figure out if the Passport suspension components, if retrofitted to a Ridgeline, would increase ground clearance?

I know the increase would be minimal, compared to an aftermarket 1.5" lift, but it would play well with the rest of the suspension. I don't think anybody ever figured out exactly what Honda did to the Passport to gain the extra clearance. Did they alter the control arms at all, or was it just a factory spacer lift?
 

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My suspicion is the 2021 lost that 0.23" of ground clearance to the center rerouted tubing for the fake dual exhaust. The front fascia on the 2017-2020 was not the lowest point but it did limit the approach angle. I doubt that the front fascia on the 2021 is lower than the 2020, but I can't confirm that. If I have my numbers right, the approach angle on the 2021 increased a tiny bit (20.4 degrees vs. 20.1) while the departure angle dropped from 22.1 degrees to 19.6, apparently due to the dual tailpipes hanging below the rear bumper.

There was a brief mention in one of the car mags that the Passport used slightly longer front struts than the Pilot or Ridgeline to gain a little ground clearance. The end links would have to be slightly modified to accommodate the longer struts but the control arms may not have required modification.

(editted with more info)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
While I haven't put a tape measure and done any scientific studies, I can say for sure that my 2021 RTLE has a higher seat position than my 2019. And I don't mean that the seat is raised higher. The truck body is definitely higher up to me. Since it is on the same frame and is slightly heavier, that is likely why it has a slightly lower stated ground clearance in my opinion. I would like to get a tape measure side by side and measure specific components and similar points on both vehicles to prove my point but at this time, my reportings are not scientific.
 

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If Honda's published specs are to be believed, vehicle height did not change for the 2021. I don't see how seat height can be higher unless the seat was actually raised, which doesn't seem likely. The ground clearance limitation on the 2017-2020 RL is measured below the engine where a structural support crosses in front of the oil drain, IIRC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If Honda's published specs are to be believed, vehicle height did not change for the 2021. I don't see how seat height can be higher unless the seat was actually raised, which doesn't seem likely. The ground clearance limitation on the 2017-2020 RL is measured below the engine where a structural support crosses in front of the oil drain, IIRC.
I am not questioning Hondas specs. I do believe that the body is slightly higher on the frame than my old 2019. I had a 2017 BE and 2019 RTLE and I know how high the seat and ride was. Definitely seems higher to me.


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That's why we always take the wife's Outback when we need the extra ground clearance, 8.7"
 

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I am not questioning Hondas specs. I do believe that the body is slightly higher on the frame than my old 2019. I had a 2017 BE and 2019 RTLE and I know how high the seat and ride was. Definitely seems higher to me.
I believe that the ride seems higher to you. But you do realize the RL doesn't have a body sitting on a frame. It is a unitized body vehicle -- the major body components are welded together, not bolted to a separate subframe. Honda can't raise the body unless it modifies the suspension, and that would change the vehicle height.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So when I traded my 2019 RTLE, I left the aftermarket black rims on it and kept the factory rims in my storage room at office. The dealer wanted the original rims so they could sell as certified pre-owned so I took the factory rims to them. They just called and have them switched out so I am going to go pickup the aftermarket black rims today. I am going to take a tape measure with me and get some NON scientific measurements to prove or disclaim my thoughts of the 2021 RTLE being higher in the air. I will report my findings to the group.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
And the results are in......The 2019 was in the service department so it was difficult to get a lot of measurements but it was on flat ground. I took measurements at the top of the wheel wells, center of back bumper, inside front door jamb, and to the bottom of the door handle. Knowing the 'official' specs had the 2021 slightly lower most likely due to being slightly heavier than the 2019, I was SURE the 2021 was higher off the ground, and most everyone here said basically that I was crazy. Well everyone here was RIGHT. At each measuring point, the 2021 was 'roughly' 1/2" lower. I stand corrected but still say that the 2021 'feels' like I am higher off the ground when driving it. Only thing I can attribute that to is the new design of the front end and higher hood visibility on the 2021.
 

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I stand corrected but still say that the 2021 'feels' like I am higher off the ground when driving it. Only thing I can attribute that to is the new design of the front end and higher hood visibility on the 2021.
@GreginJaxFL noticed the same thing when he went from a 2020 to a 2021.

This has come up before on this forum with the first generation. The consensus was the difference was due to compression of the seat foam over time. Your suspicious about the hood design could very well be a factor.
 

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And the results are in......The 2019 was in the service department so it was difficult to get a lot of measurements but it was on flat ground. I took measurements at the top of the wheel wells, center of back bumper, inside front door jamb, and to the bottom of the door handle. Knowing the 'official' specs had the 2021 slightly lower most likely due to being slightly heavier than the 2019, I was SURE the 2021 was higher off the ground, and most everyone here said basically that I was crazy. Well everyone here was RIGHT. At each measuring point, the 2021 was 'roughly' 1/2" lower. I stand corrected but still say that the 2021 'feels' like I am higher off the ground when driving it. Only thing I can attribute that to is the new design of the front end and higher hood visibility on the 2021.
Sigh. Very disappointed with this. My 2 main gripes about this awesome truck continue to be:
1. Lower ground clearance than a regular Subaru Outback (HONDA: at least match this !!!!! come on!)
2. No front or rear tow hooks for easy recovery (i can solve the rear with tow hitch adapter, but front is a challenge still unresolved.... I'm not an engineer but a screw-in tow hook would be acceptable)

I'm going to be removing the 2" lift kit tomorrow as the adjustable ball joint required for proper camber is just not safe for towing or light off roading (came loose yet again). My yearly trip off light off roading will be a bit more challenging next year. I still think I can make it but it sucks to have less clearance than a freaking Outback!
 
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