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Jack Walsworth Twitter
Automotive News
January 13, 2016 - 2:29 pm ET

DETROIT -- Honda’s newest Ridgeline looks truer to a pickup while retaining platform ties to its Honda siblings, namely the Honda Odyssey minivan and Pilot crossover, and the Acura MDX crossover. Here’s what some critics, analysts and others think about the redesigned truck:

“Here's the best thing we can say about the new Ridgeline: it will continue to be a stellar tailgating partner. The first-gen truck was perfect for partying before a big game. There was room for four, and the ample bed had plenty of room for stuff and featured a unique dual-opening tailgate for easy unloading. The highlight, though, was a drainable, water-tight, 8.5-cubic-foot compartment built into the bed. A bed to sit in, and a place for the drinks. And a secure place to hold cargo the rest of the time. Those innovative features are joined by an industry first in-bed stereo system. In the cabin, that stereo system will be able to pump out the tunes from an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes complete with Apple Car Play and Android Auto.” --Brandon Turkus, Autoblog

“One of the keys for success for the Ridgeline may be features it offers beyond traditional truck features. Two-way liftgate and a ‘trunk’ inside the bed all were unique differentiators for the prior version. In a segment that has been dominated by other brands, unique features may be what define success for Ridgeline.” -- Akshay Anand, Kelley Blue Book analyst

“Honda figures that the odds are fairly good that you, dear civilian pickup owner, don't spend much time off-road, or on the jobsite, or moving a hobby farm's worth of agricultural equipment around on a daily basis: You own a truck because it's a fun, functional lifestyle vehicle -- which is exactly what the new Ridgeline aims to be, only without any of the compromises of its old-fashioned, body-on-frame competitors (or so goes the sales pitch).” -- Graham Kozak, Autoweek

“Honda has possibly created the most clever pickup truck with the new 2017 Ridgeline and, in doing so, also incorporated the world's best ending for every fortune cookie into the truck's engineering ethos. That's because Honda has incorporated "in-bed" technology into the design of the second-gen Ridgeline, and we're tasked with reporting about this without giggling like 8th graders. Go ahead, add "in bed" to the ending of any fortune cookie ... we'll wait. Try not to laugh.” -- Nick Kurczewski, New York Daily News

“While it isn't the most rugged midsize truck on the market, it does add some interesting competition for the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Toyota Tacoma. Like the previous-generation Ridgeline, it's less of a traditional truck than the others in the segment, but with that comes improved day-to-day practicality.” -- Collin Woodard, Road & Track

“In contrast to the original Ridgeline, which had somewhat awkward-looking, buttressed C-pillars, a droopy rear end, and a tailgate that looked one size too small, the new Ridgeline looks like a proper, four-door pickup. Compared with the Pilot, the Ridgeline’s front end is considerably more butch, with a low front bumper giving it an appropriately strong and wide visage, though stylists gratefully resisted the urge to slap on an artificially huge grille and drench the thing in cladding and chrome. Indeed, taste has prevailed from stem to stern, with subtle body-side surfaces and fender arches, normal-sized mirrors, and simple taillamps with a C-shaped illumination pattern.” -- Steve Siler, Car and Driver

“American Honda Motor Co. Inc. has transformed the Honda Ridgeline pickup into an everyday lifestyle midsize pickup, taking the most popular features of the first-generation truck and combining them with stylish new looks and functionality truck buyers seek.” -- Melissa Burden, The Detroit News


Photo credit: REUTERS

“Many weekend warriors were pleased when Honda introduced its 2005 Ridgeline, considered a smaller, lighter pickup than its work-bred competitors. Rather than being a simple machine, like a conventional truck with a body-on-frame design and live rear axle, the Ridgeline uses unit-body construction and an independent rear suspension like a mild-mannered SUV. Customers flocked to it initially, but after a few years it seemed everyone who wanted an unconventional truck had bought one. Ridgeline sales faded so much that Honda dropped it from the 2015 and 2016 model years. This new one looks more conventional, with a longer, flatter hood and a flat-topped bed, rather than the sloping sides that consumers found to be obstacles when loading some cargo. But the Ridgeline retains the key ingredients of unit-body construction (sharing its architecture with the Honda Pilot SUV and Acura MDX, also owned by Honda) and innovative features like a tailgate that can swing open like a door or flip down in normal fashion and a lockable trunk-like cargo space beneath the bed floor.” -- Consumer Reports

“The Honda Ridgeline should surprise people -- it actually looks like a real truck this time! I was really impressed with it, and it kept some unique features like the swing-out tailgate. Current Ridgeline owners will really be excited about this truck, and it will draw in new buyers, too.” -- Rebecca Lindland, Kelley Blue Book senior analyst

“Think about it: do most people really need an insane hauling and towing rating, or do they just need something that has a bed and can carry stuff on occasion? This is a fantastic truck for normal folks. I like this truck a lot, even if it doesn’t look like Chuck Norris from the front.” -- David Tracy, Jalopnik

“The midsize truck segment has exploded over the past 12 months, largely due to GM’s introduction of two new models and followed by Toyota’s release of an all-new Tacoma. Current economic factors also are playing into truck sales, making it an excellent time for Honda to unveil its all-new Ridgeline. This is essentially an open-bed version of the company’s new Pilot, which bodes well for the new truck given the success Honda has experienced with its Pilot. Truck buyers are among the most loyal, making it difficult for nontruck brands to grab market share. Yet Honda will try again with this new Ridgeline, even after a somewhat muted market response for the outgoing model.” -- Karl Brauer, Kelley Blue Book senior analyst
 

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The link below shows a nice summary of many initial reviews by people in the industry:

http://www.autonews.com/article/201...les:-what-people-think-of-hondas-17-ridgeline

Definitely positive :act035:
I guess the almost 53,000 posts in one of the new threads alone indicate this is true - although some are more excited than others:

Current Ridgeline owners will really be excited about this truck, and it will draw in new buyers, too.” -- Rebecca Lindland, Kelley Blue Book senior analyst
 

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I'm very interested and will drive one this spring/ fall when its available! I want a truck, but I don't need to tow more than 5k once in a great while. But I do need an urban truck as a home owner in the DC suburbs. The Ridgeline is perfect for parking in tight spots and driving in heavy traffic (I95). I never go offroad, but need the ability to drive in snow and fowl weather. I think Honda made this truck for me.
 

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We live next to a guy who recently moved in with his kids. Besides a sedan and compact his kids drive, he mostly drives a big 80's Ford pickup with huge wheels/tires, jacked way up. I can see he did a quality job on customizing it but can't figure out what he does with it other than commute.
It would be a hassle loading and unloading the bed while having to use a step ladder. He does have a drop hitch for pulling a trailer. Imagine having to use a trailer behind this scaled down Monster truck to carry normal loads. It just boggles the mind. I guess it is just a toy that he hates to part with. Just seems to be such a waste of space and functionality.
 
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