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Hello All,

Long time listener, first time caller, who needs some insight/advice.

I'm on the precipice of buying a RL. I've test driven a couple of G2's and absolutely love the truck, even though I'm a die-hard Toyota guy (the Taco's rear seating is just too tiny for my two kids to grow with).

I have a chance to buy a 2011 RTL-E Navi with only 80,000KMs on it (50,000mi) for about $20K CDN ($14K USD), but I have the money available to buy a 2017 Touring Edition (or EX-L), which run about $32K CDN ($23K USD) in these parts for a low-priced one. A 2011 with that low mileage is almost brand-new.

What will this truck be doing for me?

  • It will be my daily driver. Every day, I drive about 25km (15mi) each way to/from work. The catch is I work on top of a mountain. I literally drive from sea level to 1100ft ASL every day. The trip up chews gas, but coming down is great. The drive is nearly all highway, and fairly free-flowing. It will also do usual family duties. In the winter, this drive can prove treacherous with all of the snow.
  • Each year we head out into the Northern Canadian bush for about a month for a holiday to go fishing. I tow a ~2200#, 19' boat trailer (picture attached). We have a lake we camp at, but every day while there, we drive out some forestry road, about 40KM from camp, into the bush to hit even more remote lakes. Some of these forestry roads are "maintained" gravel, and some are... interesting... and require 4/AWD.
So, the majority of its life will be a city truck, but it will be doing some fairly hard time in the bush.

Currently, I have a 2003 Toyota 4Runner with the 4.7L V8 in it. This will be going to my wife for her daily driver as she's driving a Volvo XC70 right now that is starting to have too many things fail on it and needs to be curbed yesterday. Besides, my 4Runner has ~340,000KM (~210000mi) on it. She's done her bit for king and country (still tight as a drum though), so its time to give her the easy life now.

With all of that said, I honestly do not know if the extra $12K (this is before taxes) is worth it to jump to the 2017 RL over the 2011. I understand the technological differences, as well as structural, as I've been researching RL's for about a year and a half. I know what each truck is about, I just dont have the experience with either to say if the 2017 is that much better of a truck to justify the extra $. A quick test drive with a car salesman in the back seat doesnt exactly tell you what a vehicle is about.

Is the newer engine really that much stronger for towing? Going up North is a hard drive with some crazy, crazy long, steep hills, in blistering heat.

Is the longer bed in the '17 with the shorter sidewalls more convenient for "trucky things"?

Is the bigger trunk in the '11 that much better than the smaller one in the '17?

I would really like to hear from those who have gone from a G1 to a G2, or those who decided to just stick with the G1, from a family hauler point of view.

iVTM-4 vs VTM4 w/ locker?

I should also note, I'm a guy who keeps his vehicles a long time. This will be a minimum of a 10-year vehicle for me and my family.


In a vacuum, the 2017 is a no-brainer. For an extra $12K... I dunno... that makes the issue very cloudy for me.
 

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[1] Is the newer engine really that much stronger for towing?

[2] Is the longer bed in the '17 with the shorter sidewalls more convenient for "trucky things"?

[3] Is the bigger trunk in the '11 that much better than the smaller one in the '17?

[4] iVTM-4 vs VTM4 w/ locker?
Welcome to the Ridgeline Owners Club, @SuicideRabbit! I numbered your questions for reference. I owned three 1Gs and two 2Gs.

1. Both the 1G and 2G are rated for, capable of, and proven to tow 5,000 lbs. The 2G will accelerate faster than the 1G in all situations without question. You won't be winning many stoplight races in a 1G, but it gets the job done. I've seen more reported instances of transmission overheating or failure in the 2G than in the 1G. Unfortunately, I was one of those victims - my 2019's transmission failed at 14,000 miles.

2. I've hauled lumber and motorcycles and furniture and lawn mowers and bicycles and recyclables and landscaping materials in both. I can't say one is particularly better - just slightly different. The 2G's shallower bed is easier to reach into.

3. I can still fit blankets, straps, compressors, groceries, etc. in my 2G's trunk just as easily as my 1G's. I've never missed the 1G's larger trunk. If it's important to you, the 1G's trunk can hold a full-size spare.

4. Either system is still more advanced than most other AWD and part-time 4WD systems. iVTM-4's torque vectoring and taller overdrive most certainly improves the handling and feel of the 2G during spirited driving, but it's not something you notice or benefit from in normal driving - even on slick surfaces.

Overall, I'd say if comfort, features, and performance are more important, choose the 2G. If reliability is more important, choose the 1G.
 

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I think those are hard choices, and frankly, with your off-road adventures, I'm not sure either Ridgeline is ideal. The tranny issues on the G2 Ridgeline concern me, and the G2 Ridgeline has slightly less GC than the G1 Ridgeline.

I think I'd be tempted to save the cash and try the G1 Ridgeline, all else being equal. While the off-road adventures should be pretty easily handled by either, I have to wonder how much GC you need. I think there's about a half inch difference between the G1 and the G2 which may not make any difference in your application.

@zroger73 can address this, but I suspect the G2 Ridgeline has a lower first gear and might be a better crawler than the G1. I don't know myself.
 
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I think there's about a half inch difference between the G1 and the G2 which may not make any difference in your application.

@zroger73 can address this, but I suspect the G2 Ridgeline has a lower first gear and might be a better crawler than the G1. I don't know myself.
The 1G has 1/3" more ground clearance than the 2G.

The 1G develops a maximum of 247 lb-ft of torque at 4,300 RPM for a maximum wheel torque of 3,020 lb-ft.

The 2G develops a maximum of 262 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 RPM for a maximum wheel torque of 3,740 lb-ft - that's almost 24% more torque than the 1G.
 

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The 1G has 1/3" more ground clearance than the 2G.

The 1G develops a maximum of 247 lb-ft of torque at 4,300 RPM for a maximum wheel torque of 3,020 lb-ft.

The 2G develops a maximum of 262 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 RPM for a maximum wheel torque of 3,740 lb-ft - that's almost 24% more torque than the 1G.
Thanks for that clarification.

Now how about that first gear difference between the two generations? Is the g2 a better crawler in first gear?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the replies so far everyone. Much appreciated.

think those are hard choices, and frankly, with your off-road adventures, I'm not sure either Ridgeline is ideal. The tranny issues on the G2 Ridgeline concern me, and the G2 Ridgeline has slightly less GC than the G1 Ridgeline.

I think I'd be tempted to save the cash and try the G1 Ridgeline, all else being equal. While the off-road adventures should be pretty easily handled by either, I have to wonder how much GC you need. I think there's about a half inch difference between the G1 and the G2 which may not make any difference in your application.
I should clarify the off-roading.

1. I'm an extremely experienced off-roader. I took my 1989 Mazda B2200 King Cab 4x2 to places most people would not have even dreamed of. Patience and picking your line are far more important than the vehicle's hardware. My '95 Pathfinder and my 4Runner have been more than enough for what I do. I'm not a rock crawler, but dragging my boat into and out of some of those remote lakes... I'm more than confident in either the G1 or G2's capabilities.

We really wanted to go with a Tundra. Unfortunately, that would make for a horrible daily driver. The cost of gas would be crzay. It's bad enough right now with my V8 4Runner. I live in a major city, and I do have to go downtown. Parking a full size truck downtown? Holy hell. Not an option. So, I tested a friend's Tacoma Crew Cab. The back seat is tiny. I mean, really bad. My kids are 10 and 12. In a few years, I have to think about the comfort of two teenagers on a 10 hour drive into the middle of nowhere. My son at 12 sat in the back of the Taco, and we looked at each other and immediately said "No way.". At 12 his knees were almost touching the back of the driver's seat. The RL is the only truck where all 4 of us went, "This is awesome!". Also, the engine in the Taco is anemic. Stomp on the gas it makes noise but does nothing. The Honda V-Tec? What a power plant, especially when the V-Tec kicks in! Sounds and pulls nicely. It's no V8, but it sure is better than the Toyota V6.


2. With all of that said, when looking at the G2's, I plan on dropping down to 17" rims, 265/65R17 tires, a 2" lift, and a set of Burtman Industries skid plates (front and rear) for armor. That will be more than enough for what I need.


Welcome to the Ridgeline Owners Club, @SuicideRabbit! I numbered your questions for reference. I owned three 1Gs and two 2Gs.

1. Both the 1G and 2G are rated for, capable of, and proven to tow 5,000 lbs. The 2G will accelerate faster than the 1G in all situations without question. You won't be winning many stoplight races in a 1G, but it gets the job done. I've seen more reported instances of transmission overheating or failure in the 2G than in the 1G. Unfortunately, I was one of those victims - my 2019's transmission failed at 14,000 miles.
Thanks! Glad to be here. Great forum you are running.

I've seen the overheating thing reported sporadically. I saw "the offroad video" by The Truck Guys, but even in that video where the tranny overheated, he admitted to picking the incorrect line. Even so, it shouldnt overheat like that.

The only time the vehicle will "crawl" with some needed grunt, is getting the boat out of the water. All of the launches in the bush are narrow and steep. Not only that, they're dirt/rock/gravel and are usually wet/muddy to a degree.

This is where I'm thinking the G1's locker would be very handy to have. However, the "Mud" or "Sand" setting on the G2, with careful throttle input, should accomplish the same feat.


What are your thoughts on the safety features of the G2 over the G1, over a 10 year ownership window, hauling a family (and dog) on long road trips?


Overall, I'd say if comfort, features, and performance are more important, choose the 2G. If reliability is more important, choose the 1G.
Cant I have both?... :)

Again, thanks for the input everyone. I'm just trying to gather as much experience from others as I can...
 

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I was about to recommend waiting for the border to open up and then buying a used G2 from Canada and doing whatever paperwork / import / taxing is necessary to bring it to the USA because the Canadian models have options that are completely unavailable on the US ones...

But then I saw the Canadian flag next to your name. I'd say get the G2 in a higher trim level and then periodically post questions on here just to jab things in the faces of us poor US owners... You can periodically start a thread like:

"Will my windshield heater be slowed down if I have my front seats ventilating while my rear seats are heating and the mirrors are folding in and out? I know I can just sit and listen to a CD on the included CD player while it does it, just curious if it has any impact."

Just to troll us all.
 

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Well it sounds like you have done and are doing your homework. So whichever way you go, I think you will be as well prepared as can be.

Good luck with your decision.
 
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I just traded my ‘11 for a new ‘20 RTL-E.. as a city truck, Honda made a lot of nice upgrades.. the truck is awesome!
That said, the generation one trucks are bulletproof. If I was spending that much time in the “Bush” I’d lean toward the simpler, more proven vehicle. They still handle better than any other other truck on the road (except the G2!)!!!
You will have no problem towing that small skiff. I think the deeper bed is also a real asset for you...
Buy the less expensive truck and spend the cash you save on bait and tackle!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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I had a 2007 from 2011 until 6 months ago when I moved to a 2019 RTL AWD. Zroger73 covered the differences nicely.

Loved my G1 - still in the family; sold to son in law - but the refined G2 AWD system is even better in terms of roadhandling. They're both competent in off-pavement conditions, though I never truly "off roaded" either, and as you no doubt know, the 4Runner is truly built for that. Also I believe the G1 had a little better ground clearance - maybe an inch?

My G1 was extremely reliable/durable. Have only had the G2 for 6 months/7k miles, so "to be determined" for me.

Both are really good passenger haulers, IMO. For example, yesterday we drove to the family lake cabin - an hour each way, including 3 miles of steep, windying gravel roads - and my son, who's 6'3" or a little more, said he was comfortable in the back seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If I was spending that much time in the “Bush” I’d lean toward the simpler, more proven vehicle. They still handle better than any other other truck on the road (except the G2!)!!!
You will have no problem towing that small skiff. I think the deeper bed is also a real asset for you...
Buy the less expensive truck and spend the cash you save on bait and tackle!
This is what I'm thinking on the "pro" side for the G1...


Both are really good passenger haulers, IMO. For example, yesterday we drove to the family lake cabin - an hour each way, including 3 miles of steep, windying gravel roads - and my son, who's 6'3" or a little more, said he was comfortable in the back seat.
That's really good to know. Thanks.
 

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Hello,
With the helpful support I've received from ROC, I feel compelled at times to give what I can in return.
Even though I can't answer your questions, I would like to contribute to the conversation. My contribution may be the size of a peanut and it most likely will not influence your decision, but I find it interesting enough to share.
IIHS
2011
2017
Keep in touch and let us know how you make out.
Take care,
2d1c
: ^ )
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hello,
With the helpful support I've received from ROC, I feel compelled at times to give what I can in return.
Even though I can't answer your questions, I would like to contribute to the conversation. My contribution may be the size of a peanut and it most likely will not influence your decision, but I find it interesting enough to share.
IIHS
2011
2017
Keep in touch and let us know how you make out.
Take care,
2d1c
: ^ )

That's actually really helpful. Tyvm!
 

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Neither GenI or GenII are really conventionally truck-like. That said as Honda's go, the experience in the GenI is more truck and GenII is more car.

They both should be able to do what you seem to need reasonably well. I think it comes down to how much you want to spend and what matters to you the most.

There is no denying that that GenII has updated infotainment and electronic safety equipment. It has a more fuel efficient and more powerful engine. It also has a more sophisticated AWD system and quieter more comfortable ride. Its bed is longer and wider but not as tall.

For my own personal decision matrix . . When my 06 was totalled, I tested out the GenII extensively. For my needs (construction work and family hauling) I didn't like GenIIs smaller trunk / shallower bed, its limited opening to the rear cab (door frame is a much smaller opening,) its smaller rear window opening, its lack of a front pass through, AND the minivan exterior and interior (front). The GenII just didn't have that truck like utilitarian feel to it. That and I would have cost 15k$ more than the almost new 2014 GenI that I ended up purchasing. Its been rock solid reliable for the 30k miles I have owned it

Good luck
 

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I used the G1 bed extensively/constantly for 8+ years, and I while the G2 bed evidently measures smaller, t I sure haven't noticed that in day-to-day use.

Right now mine contains a pretty good sized tool box, a cordless circular saw, a pole saw (small chain saw on end), a small air compressor, a cordless drill, two ratchet straps, some bungie cords - those are the items I can remember - and it's not jammed full. I did get some trunk dividers for the G2, and now wish I had for the G1 - really great for keeping things less akimbo/neater.
 

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I used the G1 bed extensively/constantly for 8+ years, and I while the G2 bed evidently measures smaller, t I sure haven't noticed that in day-to-day use.
...
The G2 bed is bigger in LxW dimensions, and is only smaller in height. The beauty of this is that you can always build the sides up (e.g., with plywood) if you need a deeper bed for hauling large lighter loads.
 

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The G2 bed is bigger in LxW dimensions, and is only smaller in height. The beauty of this is that you can always build the sides up (e.g., with plywood) if you need a deeper bed for hauling large lighter loads.
I must be a little tired, because when I wrote "bed", I meant "trunk". The trunk sure doesn't feel smaller, usability-wise, than my G1's did. I have all those listed items in my trunk right now, and it's not really packed full; in fact it still looks pretty neat.

About the bed though.... I was worried that I wouldn't like the G2's shallower bed, but on a daily basis I've enjoyed the advantage of being able to reach right into it to grab an item from any point along the sides. The G1's tall "buttress" sides by the cab made hauling, say, a refrigerator seem extra secure, but so many times I'd have to stand on the tire or climb into the bed to reach something. The shorter G2 sides are thus a godsend, and the wider/longer dimensions help too. For example, a month or so ago my son bought a washer and dryer from Lowe's, and together they fit perfectly front-to-back with the tailgate closed. There's really a lot of "real estate" in the new bed, and since I strap large items down, the lack of depth hasn't proved to be detrimental.
 

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The G1 at that price is the superior value.
 
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