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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I spent the evening after work crawling in and around a few G2s at a local dealer. They had 5 in stock and there were 2-3 people looking at and test driving each one, so I had to wait a while for my test drive while I looked over other models.

My initial impressions were...

1. Definitely looks and feels smaller than the G1 - the exterior more so than the interior.

2. Wow - there is absolutely no question that the opening angle of the rear doors is more limited than it should be. This wasn't even on my mind when I first opened the rear door. In fact, I thought something was wrong before realizing what others have said about the opening angle. Larger people may need to plan their ingress and egress carefully. This is going to be a problem not only for some people, but for a lot of cargo.

3. Fit and finish seemed acceptable - much better than my 2014.

4. Yup - the trunk is even smaller and the bed is shallower than I had imagined. It's much easier to reach over into the bed, though.

Now on to the test drive...

5. The engine started with a light, easy, quick, and refined sound - definitely a more "upscale" starting feel.

5.5. Steering - less effort required than the G1. I like "easy", over-boosted steering so you can spin the wheel with your pinky. It's not near that light, but it's definitely easier, smoother, and more consistent - an advantage of electric power steering over hydraulic. The steering wheel came across as being a bit too large. I like itty-bitty steering wheels like the 2016 Civic has. I don't know why - I just do.

6. Throttle tip-in: It takes a lot of firm, intentional pedal movement to accelerate. A pedal with lighter resistance would give the impression of more power.

7. Despite weighing slightly less than the G1, it felt much heavier - not necessarily in a bad way, but in a way that imparts a sense of substance, refinement, safety, and luxury.

8. The ride was luxury-car smooth. Very impressed here.

9. On smooth pavement, it was impressively quiet - easily the quietest Honda yet. On coarse, rough pavement, it was a bit noisier than I had hoped for and expected, but still a definitely improvement over the G1.

10. Despite having 30 more horsepower, the truck didn't feel noticeably quicker than the G1. Perhaps my expectations were too high and I'm sure an instrumented test will confirm, but I'd guess around 7-7.5 seconds 0-60 - a bit faster than the G1, but slower than the 6.x range estimated by Car & Driver.

10.5 Transmission - while it shifts smoother than the G1's 5AT, another two or three gear ratios would be a welcomed addition. It certainly serves its purpose, but a few more gears would really kick the whole vehicle up a notch to the next level of performance, efficiency, and refinement. Some may be wise to wait for the 10AT since the 6AT comes across as a limited-effort in an otherwise impressive powertrain.

11. Braking felt very natural. The pedal was easy to modulate for both quick stopping and light braking - still not as reassuring as it could be, but a noticeable improvement over the G1.

11.5 Honda Sensing - I'm familiar with the features in this package on my CR-V. There was something wrong with the Ridgeline's steering - it kept beeping and shaking the steering wheel even though I was centered in my lane. My CR-V has never done this. I've read stories of Honda Sensing features going crazy. The only real issue I have with those features on my CR-V is it will sometimes unexpectedly and suddenly grind to a halt if I'm too close behind someone who is turning into a parking lot or if someone cuts me off - the car overreacts and slows down unnecessarily - and sometimes dangerously.

12. Those armrests. Oh, those "ratchet" (pun intended) armrests. Honda, why has thou forsaken me? I stated this would be a deal-breaker months ago. I hate them in the Pilot. I hate them in the Ridgeline. They are unnatural and uncomfortable to me.

13. The touch screen is as much of a glare hazard and fingerprint magnet as has been complained about. Shame on you, Honda.

14. The in-cab audio system sounded...okay. Certainly better than the G1, but not as good as I had hoped. Based on specifications, I had high expectations, but I was somewhat disappointed.

15. The in-bed audio was...well... Given the technology and design, I had very low expectations of sound quality, so I wasn't surprised with the way it sounded.

Back at the dealership...

16. The "frontal plastics" were nearly touching the parking lot curb. One encounter with a higher-than-average curb or parking stop is going to ruin someone's day.

17. The rear seating area felt very familiar coming from a G1 - lots of "cut and paste" went on here, but that's okay. I never really had a problem with the G1 in this area.

18. The interior needs a some more luxury touches to match the price range and car- or SUV-like aura. Perhaps some fake woodgrain trim or brushed aluminum or more chrome. As it is, it still came across as somewhat monotone and plain - again, better than the G1, but not quite as visually appealing as I would prefer.

So, my final verdict?

There's no question it is a different vehicle than the G1 Ridgeline. Those wanting more truck-like capability will be disappointed. Those wanting more car-like comfort and features will be impressed. It has some flaws which will vary from insignificant to major depending on your needs, but so did the G1 - there's no perfect vehicle.

Based on my initial impressions and my test drive, I'm interested in buying one at this point, BUT... It's going to take a significant discount off MSRP to offset my dislike for the armrests.
 

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Based on my initial impressions and my test drive, I'm interested in buying one at this point.
You said what now, really ... No misaligned or loose panels ... I don't believe it?

Jut kidding, nice review :)
 

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Z, which trim level did you test drive? I'm wondering about road noise in the lower trim levels.
I know there's additional noise reduction materials and acoustic windshield materials in the upper trim levels.
Thanx for the review!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Z, which trim level did you test drive? I'm wondering about road noise in the lower trim levels.
I know there's additional noise reduction materials and acoustic windshield materials in the upper trim levels.
Thanx for the review!
I looked at, sat in, and started up an RTL and Sport, but only drove the RTL-E since that was the only model that interests me.
 

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My dealer only had the E and RTL. After seeing the "rape" of the RTL I would not even sit down in it. Guess I will wait on the T before I get the urge to jump into the GEN II world; but wait, where is the sun roof and the sliding back window all of the RTL owners of the past have enjoyed.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Something I just realized and found very interesting...

As I mentioned, people were literally crawling all over the 5 Ridgelines that the dealer got late last week. It just occurred to me that they still have the same 5 Ridgelines almost a week later. Each of the three I looked at already had dozens of test-drive miles on them. They haven't sold one yet.
 

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Something I just realized and found very interesting...

As I mentioned, people were literally crawling all over the 5 Ridgelines that the dealer got late last week. It just occurred to me that they still have the same 5 Ridgelines almost a week later. Each of the three I looked at already had dozens of test-drive miles on them. They haven't sold one yet.
This part Saturday my dealer had a black edition, 2 silver one blue.

This evening the blue and a gray they didn't have last weekend.

Kind of like the dark gray the best.
 

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ZRoger, I have not posted in a while because I sold my Ridgeline and bought another vehicle four years ago as I was tired waiting for Gen2. I do check in now and then however. But I must say that your review and impressions merit a comment and I'll give it to you in one line, a couple words actually - VERY good! I learned more about this vehicle from what you have said than virtually any other post or thread I've read. Especially since it is so credible, coming from an owner and an engineer with an eye on the important stuff, not just the fluff. Was your dealer in Longview? I bought my 2006 Ridgeline from Brew but they are now long gone. BTW, are you aware that Chris and a few of the E. Texas Hot Springs employees have left and started their own business next to the Harley Davidson dealership? I have to go see him soon and see what the tubs look like that he is now selling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ZRoger, I have not posted in a while because I sold my Ridgeline and bought another vehicle four years ago as I was tired waiting for Gen2. I do check in now and then however. But I must say that your review and impressions merit a comment and I'll give it to you in one line, a couple words actually - VERY good! I learned more about this vehicle from what you have said than virtually any other post or thread I've read. Especially since it is so credible, coming from an owner and an engineer with an eye on the important stuff, not just the fluff. Was your dealer in Longview? I bought my 2006 Ridgeline from Brew but they are now long gone. BTW, are you aware that Chris and a few of the E. Texas Hot Springs employees have left and started their own business next to the Harley Davidson dealership? I have to go see him soon and see what the tubs look like that he is now selling.
I appreciate the feedback. I tried to give an honest, unbiased review based on my observations during a test drive. Having owned three G1s gave me a baseline for comparison. I don't work for Honda nor have they done anything to me that would influence me to say anything good or bad about their product - my opinions are strictly my own. I still like Honda, but I'm not married to them. If there never was a G2 Ridgeline my life would carry on. If I end up with a G2 in my garage in the coming weeks, life will carry on. Hopefully, I'll buy many more vehicles whether or not any of them are Ridgelines.

Yes, the dealer I visited was Tower Honda. Absolutely awful customer service, outrageous pricing, intrusive marketing, arrogant staff, overpriced parts... I just can't find anything positive to say about them. Before Tower bought them, they were Fenton Honda who were briefly at the old Brew location after buying them. Fenton were better than Tower, but not as good as Brew. I might use Tower for warranty service, if required, but that's about it.

I knew about Chris and company. I've visited Time Machine Hot Tubs a couple of times. Chris is an awesome dude. I really like him. I'll continue buying my chemicals from him, but I still maintain that Hot Spring is the best brand of hot tub despite the fact that mine is now 8 years old and is showing its age. I see that TMHT sells Bullfrog and an "off brand" or two. La-Z-Boy is one of them. Yup - the furniture people. Years ago, the top hot tub brands were well made...and expensive! It seems like particularly in the last few years as cheap hot tubs flood the market, the one top-tier brands have had to cheapen their products to compete. I don't think there is any brand of hot tub as well made as some of the top-tier brands from 10+ years ago. It's hard to convince the masses why they should spend $10K to $15K on a hot tub when they can buy a bigger one that looks cooler for 1/3 that price (even though it'll fall apart in a very short time). The Bullfrog tubs he's selling aren't bad, per se, but I'm not convinced they're better than Hot Spring. I rarely use mine anymore and probably won't replace it if and when it needs a major repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I made an offer on a white w/ black RTL-E at a Houston, TX dealer this morning. Based on what others here have reported paying, I don't expect them to accept it. If they do, I'll drive my CR-V down to Houston in the morning and drive back in a G2. If not, no big deal.
 

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I made an offer on a white w/ black RTL-E at a Houston, TX dealer this morning. Based on what others here have reported paying, I don't expect them to accept it. If they do, I'll drive my CR-V down to Houston in the morning and drive back in a G2. If not, no big deal.
Even with those nasty, terrible armrests? :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Even with those nasty, terrible armrests? :wink:
That's one of the reasons I won't buy at MSRP. I'm going to have to be "compensated" for my discomfort and frustration. :)

As far as my offer went, I couldn't even get a response. I had to make contact a few more times before someone finally wrote back a short and sweet "no" and made no attempt to counter. Another response a while later said "sorry - that one sold already - we're trying to find another", but that's not true because it's still on their lot. There are currently no other white/black RTL-Es within 150 miles of me which is the farthest I'll drive. I have a search on cars.com saved that will email me as they become available at which point I'll continue my offers. I considered a BE since they are much more available, but after seeing one in person yesterday it's definitely off the table - not necessarily due to the price, but because it's too black and actually comes across as "cheaper" and "less sophisticated and luxurious" than the RTL-E.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
As of this afternoon, the GM of Jack O' Diamonds Honda has a white/black RTL-E on order for me that is expected to arrive in about 4 weeks. Since it's coming directly from the factory, it won't have any add-ons or been test driven. We've not yet discussed price. He's aware of my feelings about dealerships and the G2 Ridgeline in general. He promised to "make things right" because: 1) He's my neighbor, 2) I was told incorrectly that they couldn't sell the loaner CR-V I tried to buy months ago, and 3) he didn't get any of my emails I sent last week because he didn't realize they were going to a dealer marketing account that he doesn't personally check. As a person, he's a nice guy. We'll see how he functions as a dealer employee in a few weeks.
 

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Good luck. Let us know how it turns out. That the GM is your neighbor makes a world of difference. I met and spoke with the sales manager at Jack O'Diamonds a few weeks ago. Actually, it was the Jack O'Diamonds store in Tyler and it was their Lincoln division. It is highly unusual to have a Lincoln/Honda dealership but that's what Jack O'Diamonds is in Tyler (not sure about what brands your dealer in Longview handles besides Honda). The Lincoln is a stand alone entity next door to Honda but they are both owned by Jack O'Diamonds.

My Mercedes has just gone out of warranty (four years) so it is time to look for something else, even though it still drives like brand new and has low mileage. I saw the 2017 Lincoln MKZ and Continental at the Dallas Auto Show and was very impressed with both. But the sales manager said it would be a while before they get any in. Hopefully I can test drive them this fall and then make a decision. I'm ready for a sedan now and my choices are narrowed down to 2017 E class, Volvo S90 and the Lincolns. As my "spare", I would love to have another Ridgeline but I have to wait for more reviews from people like you before I even consider it. Oh, and don't forget to post the pictures when it comes in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
He passes my house twice a day on his way to/from work, so he knows what I'm driving. JoD Honda in Tyler is the dealer I'm working with. Tower Honda in Longview is closer to me, but they have bad problems - I have never seen a dealer screw people so bad out of so much money in my life. I can protect myself, but when they screwed family and friends that was the end. The GM of JoD says "no accessories" and "below MSRP" and "if you'll make a reasonable offer on it I'll just go with it and eliminate the car game completely". Sounds nice, but we'll see if he means it.

From what I've seen in photos and read online, the 2017 Continental is going to be one sweet ride. Such a vehicle is outside my price range and category, but it sure would be nice to have a shiny, black-on-black example sitting in my garage to cruise around in on the weekends!

I'd choose the E class if I were going for brand panache, the Continental as the closest to a traditional, American luxury car, and the Volvo as the smart choice. However, something about Volvo now being owned by a Chinese company alters my perception of them.
 
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