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I own a 2016 Ford F150 XLT supercrew 4x4. It is a great vehicle, but very difficult to park at my work. I hated the way the 2016 Tacoma drove, and I didn't bother looking at the Colorado/Canyon because of poor reliability ratings. I've been following the Ridgeline carefully as a mid-size truck seems like a great fit for me.

Well, I finally got to test drive one today. It was an RTL trim with AWD. The MSRP of the Ridgeline RTL is about $3000 less than my F150 sales price. I wanted to test drive one that cost near the same as my F150, but my choices were limited. A closer comparison with my truck would probably be the RTL-T or RTL-E Ridgeline since my XLT came with the 302a "luxury" package from Ford. I don't need to tow much, and my hauling is mostly kids, bicycles, groceries, and large items purchased from home improvement stores. The Ridgeline is enough truck for my needs.

Here is what I think after a test drive:

1. Handling: The Ridgeline has nice acceleration and handling. It drives more like a car than the F150. Getting around in traffic is a breeze. On the down side, the Ridgeline driving position is lower, giving less view of the road. Winner: Ridgeline

2. Comfort: The front driving position is comfortable in the Ridgeline, but my Ford is more comfortable. The Ford has more adjustments (telescoping steering wheel, adjustable pedals, and more adjustments on the power seats) to get the best driving position. The Ridgeline soaks up bumps in the road better and doesn't seem to hop like my Ford does when taking bumps on a turn. The back seats in the Ridgeline are awful in comparison to my Ford. I'm tall, and my knees were in the seat back when sitting in the rear. Winner: F150

3. Parking: This was my main reason for looking at the Ridgeline. It is easier to park, but surprisingly not much easier than my F150. The RTL doesn't have back up sensors, and my Ford does. I nearly backed into a post with the Ridgeline because I was using my side mirrors to squeeze into a spot. I was focused on the sides and not what was directly behind me. The Ridgeline seems as wide as my Ford. The Ridgeline is definitely shorter, through. A higher trim Ridgeline with back up sensors would be better. Winner: Ridgeline (not by much though)

4. Truck bed: The Ridgeline in-bed trunk is clever, but the lack of a locking tailgate is awful. My Ford has a bedrug carpet bed liner and tonneau cover. When I lock my tailgate, the entire volume under the tonneau cover is like a trunk in my F150. The Ford box-link system gives more options for cargo in the F150 bed. The F150 bed is deeper and therefore has a bigger volume to store stuff below the sides of the bed. The little storage compartment on the side of the Ridgeline is useless because the cover is made of flimsy plastic and it doesn't lock. Winner: F150

5. Electronics: The Ford Sync 3 system doesn't (yet) have Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. My F150 trim level doesn't have navigation. For fairness, a higher trim level Ridgeline that costs as much as my F150 would have these things. The RTL trim does not. Ford Sync 3 will have these things in 2017. My F150 also has a lot more power options, including TWO standard 115 volt 400 Watt outlets in the cab, more usb charging ports, and other charging ports. Winner: Tie

6. Towing and payload: The F150 has significantly higher tow and payload ratings. My F150 also has trailer backup assist that makes it easier for a novice to back up a trailer. Winner: F150

7. Off road: The F150 has a traditional 4x4 system that is manually selectable. The Ridgeline AWD system is always on and the computer handles everything. The F150 has higher ground clearance and a full sized spare tire. I would much rather have the F150 if I were heading out into the wilderness. On city streets with light snow or ice, the Ridgeline would probably be better. Winner: F150

8. Cost to buy and maintain: The sales prices are actually similar. Ford has a higher MSRP, but sells at deep discounts from that. The Ridgeline gets slightly better gas mileage than my F150 with the 2.7 L turbo 6 cylinder. The F150 body is aluminum, so it won't rust, but will likely cost more to repair after a collision. Honda has a reputation for reliability, but there is no information yet on the Ridgeline reliability. The F150 is rated fairly highly on reliability from Consumer Reports. Winner: Tie

So there you have my opinion. I think the Ridgeline is a good product that can compete against the Tacoma and Colorado/Canyon. The Ridgeline offers a far better driving experience than the Tacoma that I test drove. The Ridgeline is even competitive in a number of ways for customers like me who have purchased full sized trucks given the poor choices in the mid-sized segment.

Am I going to trade in my F150? No. The Ridgeline just doesn't offer enough of a compelling reason to take the financial hit that I would take on a trade. The F150 is more truck than I need, and I may eventually trade it for a Ridgeline when I am not regularly hauling kids in the back seat and when the Ridgeline has made some improvements (hopefully a locking tail gate and a way to securely carry a full sized spare tire).
 

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Hi Matt, why did you test drive the new RL after you bought your new Ford. Why join and come here to post such a thing if you like the Ford over the RL. Just wondering and do like ones that compare, do you have second thoughts even thou the RL kinda lost in your world, the Ford is a nice truck as are many others now.
 

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i think i'd rather have the ford right now, but everyone knows I was going to say that :p
 

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Complete preference but the F-150 does far more storage in the cab and has a console(almost too large ) but extremely comfortable and useful compartment.

The back doors open much wider and still offers the flip up seats and flat floor. Big time feature a so loved the flat floor on the gen1 it's just bigger now on F-150 but also doors open wider.

Another thing that I personally have found is the mpg is more or less on par to each other of course in different ways. One is quite a bit larger and heavier and is a true 4x4 model. Highway seems to be better range mpg on average then new RL but the city is not as good as new RL the equal out to be similar. However some will say not true they get 17-19mpg by the end of every tank. Just not the case for me so far. Im more 21-22.5. However on a trip per basis on highway it's truly a great performer. I have travelled over 200k and steady at 26-28mpg. Some stretches at 30+ just don't count on seeing it there as it averages out plus the differential between the what's real and what's been read by the computer. 1-2mpg out at any given time.

I would give a nod to the F-150 due to its size and more capability yet not having to give up much or anything at all in MPG. In some cases potential to be better.

NOTE: I'm pretty sure the tank is larger in the F-150 as well cost more in gas Per tank (not as economical as RL) but better range good for towing or long trips.
 

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NOTE: I'm pretty sure the tank is larger in the F-150 as well cost more in gas Per tank (not as economical as RL) but better range good for towing or long trips.
I've never understood people who judge a vehicle's economy by how much it costs to fill up their tank. That has nothing to do with fuel economy. I suppose those same people would consider a motorhome with a 10-gallon fuel tank to "efficient" and a Prius with a 40-gallon tank to be a "gas guzzler"! :)
 

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Let me see if I understand correctly.
The big truck did better at the stuff the big truck was designed to do better?
It did these things better only because it is bigger?
Ok, thanks for the tip.
FYI: A big rig FedEx truck has a larger volume, more weight capacity, and can go farther that the home delivery FedEx truck.
 

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Let me see if I understand correctly.
The big truck did better at the stuff the big truck was designed to do better?
If the RL did the things a small truck is supposed to do better, I would agree with you. It should be significantly cheaper. It isn't. It should be a lot easier to park, but it isn't. It should get significantly better mileage. It does get better, but not by a lot. The Honda rides better, but the Ford is more comfortable.

I'm cross-shopping both...
 

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Why would you trade a 2016 anything for a 2017 anything. Buying a new vehicle every year doesn't make much financial sense at all.

Seen a lot of that here, people driving something for 6 months then trading it, ouch on that depreciation hit.
 

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First off - you can't compare different trim lines, it should have been an RTL-E or Black edition - anything else pretty much negates a lot of these observations
#2 Comfort: The RTL-E would have all but the adjustable pedals which if you are as tall as you say, it wouldn't matter.(telescoping steering wheel, adjustable pedals, and more adjustments on the power seats)
#3 Parking : again the E and BE have all the back up assistance and would have been a slam dunk
#4 Sounds like you might as well have bought a van - They have even more space for carpeted storage
#5 How can you compare future Ford features that your Ford does not have (and never will) To AGAIN a lesser trim model.
#6 Well Yea it's a full size truck
#7 Again Yes it is a full sized truck
#8 Is just pulling BS out of one's arse

So what have we really learned here:
You Can't compare trucks with vastly different trim packages
Stating the obvious differences between any full size truck and mid sized truck is a waste of everyone's time
Oh and of course the obvious attempt at this guy to come on this site and stir the pot with a half baked review proved he wasn't clever enough to get away with it
 

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Why would you trade a 2016 anything for a 2017 anything. Buying a new vehicle every year doesn't make much financial sense at all.

Seen a lot of that here, people driving something for 6 months then trading it, ouch on that depreciation hit.
I kept my '16 CR-V for a whole two months - that's a record even for me. :)

I look at it this way: Even thought I trade frequently, I lose less on depreciation by shopping smarter than many (most?) buyers lose by overpaying due to add-ons, doc fees, financing, undervalued trades, third-party warranties, dealer markups, etc.
 

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If the RL did the things a small truck is supposed to do better, I would agree with you. It should be significantly cheaper. It isn't. It should be a lot easier to park, but it isn't. It should get significantly better mileage. It does get better, but not by a lot. The Honda rides better, but the Ford is more comfortable.

I'm cross-shopping both...
Because it's smaller? By this logic a Ferrari should be cheaper and get better gas mileage than both.

Price has nothing to do with size.

A full size truck can do different things than a mid sized truck - based on your needs you pick accordingly.

I think the F150 is a great truck, BUT for different reasons than the Ridgeline.

It's very obvious when someone is just trying being a troll.
 

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Hey Matt,

I drove the F150 Lariat with the 3.5 eco, and nearly bought it. At 58k though, the payment was $200 more a a month, and when it comes to parking, I'll have to disagree with you. The RL is a breeze to park. Did you use the backup camera in lieu of the rear sensors? Other than that though your report is spot on. The crew cab F150 is massive when it comes to rear leg room, and it drives like a caddy. I think the RL drives well too, but I digress. End of day, for me it was about daily driving and what I need to tow, which in this case is 3500lbs at most. That and the F150 won't fit in my garage. As a former G1 owner I would also say that you won't find a vehicle that handles better in the snow, that includes Subaru. I drove the Colorado, and the Tacoma, and neither holds a candle to the new RL unless your needs are very specific. I would encourage you to check out the upcoming pickkuptrucks.com report of midsize trucks. I can't see the RL losing to any of them with the exception of a diesel powered Canyon, and in that case, you are giving up the trunk and some rear leg room.

I'm from Colorado and just finished the Switzerland Trail which is a "moderate" 4X4 trail in Colorado. No issues at all. I do worry about ground clearance though so I'll be getting a leveling kit at some point.

I own a 2016 Ford F150 XLT supercrew 4x4. It is a great vehicle, but very difficult to park at my work. I hated the way the 2016 Tacoma drove, and I didn't bother looking at the Colorado/Canyon because of poor reliability ratings. I've been following the Ridgeline carefully as a mid-size truck seems like a great fit for me.

Well, I finally got to test drive one today. It was an RTL trim with AWD. The MSRP of the Ridgeline RTL is about $3000 less than my F150 sales price. I wanted to test drive one that cost near the same as my F150, but my choices were limited. A closer comparison with my truck would probably be the RTL-T or RTL-E Ridgeline since my XLT came with the 302a "luxury" package from Ford. I don't need to tow much, and my hauling is mostly kids, bicycles, groceries, and large items purchased from home improvement stores. The Ridgeline is enough truck for my needs.

Here is what I think after a test drive:

1. Handling: The Ridgeline has nice acceleration and handling. It drives more like a car than the F150. Getting around in traffic is a breeze. On the down side, the Ridgeline driving position is lower, giving less view of the road. Winner: Ridgeline

2. Comfort: The front driving position is comfortable in the Ridgeline, but my Ford is more comfortable. The Ford has more adjustments (telescoping steering wheel, adjustable pedals, and more adjustments on the power seats) to get the best driving position. The Ridgeline soaks up bumps in the road better and doesn't seem to hop like my Ford does when taking bumps on a turn. The back seats in the Ridgeline are awful in comparison to my Ford. I'm tall, and my knees were in the seat back when sitting in the rear. Winner: F150

3. Parking: This was my main reason for looking at the Ridgeline. It is easier to park, but surprisingly not much easier than my F150. The RTL doesn't have back up sensors, and my Ford does. I nearly backed into a post with the Ridgeline because I was using my side mirrors to squeeze into a spot. I was focused on the sides and not what was directly behind me. The Ridgeline seems as wide as my Ford. The Ridgeline is definitely shorter, through. A higher trim Ridgeline with back up sensors would be better. Winner: Ridgeline (not by much though)

4. Truck bed: The Ridgeline in-bed trunk is clever, but the lack of a locking tailgate is awful. My Ford has a bedrug carpet bed liner and tonneau cover. When I lock my tailgate, the entire volume under the tonneau cover is like a trunk in my F150. The Ford box-link system gives more options for cargo in the F150 bed. The F150 bed is deeper and therefore has a bigger volume to store stuff below the sides of the bed. The little storage compartment on the side of the Ridgeline is useless because the cover is made of flimsy plastic and it doesn't lock. Winner: F150

5. Electronics: The Ford Sync 3 system doesn't (yet) have Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. My F150 trim level doesn't have navigation. For fairness, a higher trim level Ridgeline that costs as much as my F150 would have these things. The RTL trim does not. Ford Sync 3 will have these things in 2017. My F150 also has a lot more power options, including TWO standard 115 volt 400 Watt outlets in the cab, more usb charging ports, and other charging ports. Winner: Tie

6. Towing and payload: The F150 has significantly higher tow and payload ratings. My F150 also has trailer backup assist that makes it easier for a novice to back up a trailer. Winner: F150

7. Off road: The F150 has a traditional 4x4 system that is manually selectable. The Ridgeline AWD system is always on and the computer handles everything. The F150 has higher ground clearance and a full sized spare tire. I would much rather have the F150 if I were heading out into the wilderness. On city streets with light snow or ice, the Ridgeline would probably be better. Winner: F150

8. Cost to buy and maintain: The sales prices are actually similar. Ford has a higher MSRP, but sells at deep discounts from that. The Ridgeline gets slightly better gas mileage than my F150 with the 2.7 L turbo 6 cylinder. The F150 body is aluminum, so it won't rust, but will likely cost more to repair after a collision. Honda has a reputation for reliability, but there is no information yet on the Ridgeline reliability. The F150 is rated fairly highly on reliability from Consumer Reports. Winner: Tie

So there you have my opinion. I think the Ridgeline is a good product that can compete against the Tacoma and Colorado/Canyon. The Ridgeline offers a far better driving experience than the Tacoma that I test drove. The Ridgeline is even competitive in a number of ways for customers like me who have purchased full sized trucks given the poor choices in the mid-sized segment.

Am I going to trade in my F150? No. The Ridgeline just doesn't offer enough of a compelling reason to take the financial hit that I would take on a trade. The F150 is more truck than I need, and I may eventually trade it for a Ridgeline when I am not regularly hauling kids in the back seat and when the Ridgeline has made some improvements (hopefully a locking tail gate and a way to securely carry a full sized spare tire).
 

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I think Matt's review comments are a very fair assessment, it gives people who might be on the fence some useful comparison data. I have been able to drive my Dad's new F-150 crew cab quite a bit, he got the V8 where I would have certainly chosen the 3.5 Ecoboost, but in all other respects the truck is optioned like I would want one. It's quite impressive and drives / rides very nicely. I think my Gen 1 has overall better handling, which means of course the Gen 2 is better still, but the F-150 has come a long, long way from the spartan buckboard it used to be. The new F-150s are honestly very good all around trucks, but for 90% of what I do with a truck every day the Ridgeline is a better option for me. For the other 10%, the F-150 is far better.

My Dad is still skeptical of the Ridgeline, but he has ridden in it enough to develop a grudging admiration for it - particularly the ability to open the tailgate to the side and have sacks of horse feed at waist height so easy to slide out and tote - it's something people just can't appreciate until they have a bad back and can compare the impact on the back versus dragging those same sacks across the tailgate of a full-size truck. Leaning forward and pulling back like that really does a number on the old lumbar vertebrae. But you can do the same chore with your Ridgeline, and not have even the slightest twinge from the back - a huge blessing. And as you get older, having a truck where the seat is right at butt height so you can slide right in without having to climb up or drop down, that's a great advantage too. There are a lot of elderly farmers and ranchers who lose their independence and ability to work their land, after a fall from their vehicle or tractor. A truck like the Ridgeline greatly reduces the risk of such a fall because it is so easy to get in and out.

If Honda had a program to let farmers and ranchers borrow a Ridgeline for a week to see just how convenient and versatile it really is, they'd sell a million of 'em.
 

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All the contractors I know that have Ford 150s like them very much. I have gone from a 2005 chevy 2500hd diesel 4x4 to a RTL-e and the chevy was a great truck for what is was built to do. I researched/tried to buy a Tacoma 4x4 for six months. I was set on a Tacoma but could not find what I wanted for anything under msrp (also no long bed for 6speed manual). Started to check out the Ridgline and for me its just about the perfect truck (would have preferred a manual 6speed and maybe a little more ground clearance). I think Honda has a real winner with the Ridgline. The midsize truck market is about to get more crowded with Nissan,Hundai, Jeep and Ford all coming out with midsized trucks in the next few years-- I can't wait to see what they bring to the game. There is a rumor that the Ford might be unibody. Even Tesla is getting into the game.
 
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