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2017 Honda Ridgeline: Refreshing or Revolting?


Reading the comments, it appears the general perception has been engrained from the previous Gen and just reinforced with the similar spec sheet of this Gen 2. Have a feeling sales will be strong at first and then fall in line with Gen 1. Meaning Gen 2 will be the last iteration.
 

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It's great to have all the comparison pics.
 

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...Have a feeling sales will be strong at first and then fall in line with Gen 1. Meaning Gen 2 will be the last iteration.
It could easily go that way. However, Honda seems initially more committed to promoting the Gen2, including the accessory line up. As Joe warned, though, they risk it all if they roll out the new truck with poor fit and finish and the same known flaws of the Pilot. I think they need to be ready to tweak it with some interior changes to set it apart from the Pilot, starting with a different center console. The 10AT (after proving itself in the new Ody) could also add appeal and keep the truck at the front of the pack for gas fuel efficiency.

It's hard to gage acceptance of the new design from online comments alone. I think the Gen2 styling is much less polarizing than Gen1, and buyers may be willing to consider the many advantages that this mid-sizer offers for daily drivers. Only time will tell...
 

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I prefer the looks of the Gen2 RL. A couple of woodshop members have Gen1 RL's. From what I have seen of the Gen1 and what is out about the new RL, it does have much to offer for a daily driver vehicle.

I have used pick ups as my daily driver pretty much my whole life. In the next 12 months or so when I am ready to buy, on road performance and ride quality is at the top of the list. I know I still want/need a pickup and a mid size will do just fine. From what I have seen a good AWD system will do me just fine.

Hopefully, the new RL will meet my requirements.
 

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............ As Joe warned, though, they risk it all by rolling out the new truck with poor fit and finish and all the known flaws of the Pilot....
Of course that would be a risk.... as it would be to roll it out with missing doors. I just wish we as a group would refrain from applying speculative, & presumptuous faults on a truck we have not really seen yet. First copies at a car show shouldn't count either way (better or worse).
Fact of the matter, we DON'T know if Honda will have those Pilot issues resolved on the Ridgeline G2, and we have absolutely no way of knowing whether the production RL will have any fit & finish issues. Why would we smear it like that before we've even seen it (the production trucks at our dealers). Just seems petty to me.

But then, I'm a glass half full kind of guy. Swing away if you must.
 

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I just get a kick reading articles still after 10yrs that the Ridgeline is not a truck or pickup truck real truck. It's enough criticism on here like girly, wuss and ladylike. But reading the comments from some of these other publication articles is a blast. Some of these guys about to have heart attacks or piss in their pants when articles call the Ridgeline a truck. The 2nd Gen Ridgeline well sell well regardless of the bed audio like/dislikes the overall package is good. I would have preferred a 360 camera or locking tailgate. But I don't know where these unwritten and strange ideas come from about what a pickup truck is. The Pilot with a bed is okay with me.
If would get F-150 RAM Titan Tundra Canyon or any other would use it the same way.
 

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I just get a kick reading articles still after 10yrs that the Ridgeline is not a truck or pickup truck real truck. It's enough criticism on here like girly, wuss and ladylike. But reading the comments from some of these other publication articles is a blast. Some of these guys about to have heart attacks or piss in their pants when articles call the Ridgeline a truck. The 2nd Gen Ridgeline well sell well regardless of the bed audio like/dislikes the overall package is good. I would have preferred a 360 camera or locking tailgate. But I don't know where these unwritten and strange ideas come from about what a pickup truck is. The Pilot with a bed is okay with me.
If would get F-150 RAM Titan Tundra Canyon or any other would use it the same way.
Most of those guys posting that it is not a real truck are just really insecure. That, or they work for the other mfrs.
 

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...First copies at a car show shouldn't count either way (better or worse)...Why would we smear it like that before we've even seen it...
No smear intended...just repeating Joe's words which do give cause for concern. I could be wrong, but I seem to recall hearing that the show trucks are among the first production vehicles. Certainly Honda would want to put its best foot forward for the RL debut at a prestigious auto show like the NAIAS. So if Joe saw fit and finish issues in the show trucks, I read that as a legitimate omen for what might show up on dealer lots. Another main concern is that the RL has the Pilot's touchscreen infotainment system, which even CR describes as convoluted and frustrating to use. I haven't tried it out yet, but I did sit in a new Pilot and immediately noticed the obnoxious screen glare and profusion of fingerprints.

But my hope is that Honda is listening to all of the feedback and will fix this stuff before sending those Gen2s out the factory door (we already know the RL gets upgraded audio software). I want the new RL to be a success, even though I'm years away from buying one. BTW, I've inserted an "if" in my previous post to change the tone to cautionary, as it was intended, rather than a presumption of fault. When viewed in the context of all the really serious slamming that the Gen2 has gotten on the ROCF, my post was pretty mild and ended on an upbeat. 0:)
 

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...First copies at a car show shouldn't count either way (better or worse)...Why would we smear it like that before we've even seen it...
When viewed in the context of all the really serious slamming that the Gen2 has gotten on the ROCF, my post was pretty mild and ended on an upbeat.

Ha ha I know how you feel because my lose words at times I get roasted by a few based on my opinions which in some case are just that but to keep it level for the sensitives types I try to base opinions on facts or at least from good sources. Some are positive posts others sorry not so much. Like anything there are good things for gen 2 not all bad.

I agree with what you said and Joe knows more about this truck then anybody! He may be a bit angry and rightfully so but his understanding of its abilities and quality are probably bang on and it's painful to watch happen. Doesn't mean others believe it or I think don't want to believe it, but based on the last gen 1 this truck is not as good or marginally better In the above, abilities and quality. If it's truly a lemon then there could be trouble. I also agree based on new looks it could sell better in first few years without any of these problems to burry it alive. Honda will need to address the Pilot asap and as soon as they can adapt the parts to the RL. How long that will take who knows. We will find out its true fate in the next few chapters.
 

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Yes, I try not to take any of this stuff too seriously, when reading or writing comments. There's good information here, buried in lots of opinions! And that's fine with me. I am interested to see how the Gen2 fares in the market, but in the end, it's just a motor vehicle.
 

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Just to clarify my opinions on the new Ridgeline... the new Ridgeline will be better in most every way. Better performance, better fuel economy, tighter turning circle, much more aerodynamic, quieter, and will have a lot of optional technology. The iVTM-4 system is much better than the previous generation. It's more capable in most every way.

What I have problems with are mostly interior. When I get into my first generation Ridgeline it feels like a truck. When I get into a next generation Ridgeline I feel like I'm in a Pilot or minivan. No truck feel to it at all. Some may like this. I don't want it to ride like a truck, but I want it to have some truck feel to it. That's gone.

When I get in my first generation Ridgeline I'm comfortable, have plenty of storage space, and can find the buttons I rarely use (bed lights, VSA off, etc.) very easily. It's not a perfect truck by any means. The Bluetooth is absolutely terrible. The SiriusXM volume bug annoys me. Since I like tech the lack thereof makes me feel like I'm driving something much older than it is.

If I were going to design a new vehicle one of my primary goals would be to minimize driver distraction. I'm not going to fight about texting and driving, but rather fact the fact that people are going to do it and therefore need to make it a simple process that minimizes driver distraction. The same thing goes for changing radio stations, volume, navigation, and all the other things drivers need to do on a regular basis. This is where I feel that both the new Pilot and Ridgeline fail miserably. These are not vehicles that you can buy sight unseen (which I've done dozens of times) get in it and drive it off the dealer lot (at least at higher trim levels). These are vehicles that will require a good half hour training session from the salesperson to explain the basics. There are a myriad of small buttons with tiny symbols and at least three different ways to do most things. To do anything that is not routine driving will result in driver distraction... a lot of it. Much of the information needed is on the 8" touch display that is just plain terrible. It's very glossy and it's easier to see your fingerprints than the underlying content. At the wrong sun angles the glare is terrible. The response of the touch screen is frustrating. In summary there seems to be a lack of coordination between the various features and what coordination there is ends up on a terribly glossy touch screen that's in the wrong place, at the wrong angle, and results in driver distraction.

Then the other thing I notice when I get in a new Ridgeline is "where am I going to put all my stuff?" The first generation Ridgeline had more usable storage space than just about any other vehicle I know of. I don't carry a lot of items, but there's a good place for everything I do carry with me. The new Ridgeline has very limited storage space. Yes, you have a place to put your cell phone, and yes there's a nice platform to put your purse (does not apply to me), but other than that you have few options. I don't like that.

I'm not a big person but when I get in the new Ridgeline I feel cramped up. With the armrest down there's less driver room despite what the numbers say. I miss my center console armrest and wish they had used the console out of the MDX (which is very similar to the first generation Ridgeline) instead of the Pilot. I feel like I'm in a cockpit and don't have room to move around much. I'd like the cockpit design in a sports car but this is supposed to be a truck. It just doesn't work for me.

The above is how I feel. You may have completely opposite opinions. Maybe the new Ridgeline will grow on me, but I'll never forget how versatile the first generation Ridgeline was and will miss it.

So on paper the new Ridgeline is better in nearly every way. It's the things you can't put on paper that I don't care for. Everyone has their own opinion and mine means no more than the next person's. There will be a lot of reviews showing up on YouTube soon... most of them are people that never drove a first generation Ridgeline, or if they did it was years ago. Those of us going directly from the first generation to the new generation Ridgeline are the ones that will notice such things. We know better!
 

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but in the end, it's just a motor vehicle.
Yes, this is true. But, for most, a vehicle is our second biggest purchase. So, if the average buyer is like me, we are looking for style (including fit) comfort and reliability. Accessories could account for a fourth requirement. Remember, we want it all!

In the past, Honda's Gen I hit the trifecta on the requirements. I can not speak for anyone else, but I am hopeful that the GenII hits a home run involving our needs. If it does, we all win.

I have been spoiled with my Ridgeline. If my Ridgeline was totaled today and I would have to replace it tomorrow, I truly do not have any idea what I would place it with. In my mind nothing comes close.
 

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Just to clarify my opinions on the new Ridgeline... the new Ridgeline will be better in most every way. Better performance, better fuel economy, tighter turning circle, much more aerodynamic, quieter, and will have a lot of optional technology. The iVTM-4 system is much better than the previous generation. It's more capable in most every way.

What I have problems with are mostly interior. When I get into my first generation Ridgeline it feels like a truck. When I get into a next generation Ridgeline I feel like I'm in a Pilot or minivan. No truck feel to it at all. Some may like this. I don't want it to ride like a truck, but I want it to have some truck feel to it. That's gone.

When I get in my first generation Ridgeline I'm comfortable, have plenty of storage space, and can find the buttons I rarely use (bed lights, VSA off, etc.) very easily. It's not a perfect truck by any means. The Bluetooth is absolutely terrible. The SiriusXM volume bug annoys me. Since I like tech the lack thereof makes me feel like I'm driving something much older than it is.

If I were going to design a new vehicle one of my primary goals would be to minimize driver distraction. I'm not going to fight about texting and driving, but rather fact the fact that people are going to do it and therefore need to make it a simple process that minimizes driver distraction. The same thing goes for changing radio stations, volume, navigation, and all the other things drivers need to do on a regular basis. This is where I feel that both the new Pilot and Ridgeline fail miserably. These are not vehicles that you can buy sight unseen (which I've done dozens of times) get in it and drive it off the dealer lot (at least at higher trim levels). These are vehicles that will require a good half hour training session from the salesperson to explain the basics. There are a myriad of small buttons with tiny symbols and at least three different ways to do most things. To do anything that is not routine driving will result in driver distraction... a lot of it. Much of the information needed is on the 8" touch display that is just plain terrible. It's very glossy and it's easier to see your fingerprints than the underlying content. At the wrong sun angles the glare is terrible. The response of the touch screen is frustrating. In summary there seems to be a lack of coordination between the various features and what coordination there is ends up on a terribly glossy touch screen that's in the wrong place, at the wrong angle, and results in driver distraction.

Then the other thing I notice when I get in a new Ridgeline is "where am I going to put all my stuff?" The first generation Ridgeline had more usable storage space than just about any other vehicle I know of. I don't carry a lot of items, but there's a good place for everything I do carry with me. The new Ridgeline has very limited storage space. Yes, you have a place to put your cell phone, and yes there's a nice platform to put your purse (does not apply to me), but other than that you have few options. I don't like that.

I'm not a big person but when I get in the new Ridgeline I feel cramped up. With the armrest down there's less driver room despite what the numbers say. I miss my center console armrest and wish they had used the console out of the MDX (which is very similar to the first generation Ridgeline) instead of the Pilot. I feel like I'm in a cockpit and don't have room to move around much. I'd like the cockpit design in a sports car but this is supposed to be a truck. It just doesn't work for me.

The above is how I feel. You may have completely opposite opinions. Maybe the new Ridgeline will grow on me, but I'll never forget how versatile the first generation Ridgeline was and will miss it.

So on paper the new Ridgeline is better in nearly every way. It's the things you can't put on paper that I don't care for. Everyone has their own opinion and mine means no more than the next person's. There will be a lot of reviews showing up on YouTube soon... most of them are people that never drove a first generation Ridgeline, or if they did it was years ago. Those of us going directly from the first generation to the new generation Ridgeline are the ones that will notice such things. We know better!
Thanks for the clarification. Your posts are informative and well stated.

I am one that has only looked at a first gen RL. So I really won't have anything to compare with accept the Tacoma.

Guess I am going to go in with an open minds and see how I like the new RL. I am not into all the high tech stuff. Heck, my cell phone is still a flip phone.
 

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Joe, considering there is a console that exists (like you mentioned in the MDX). Would it be possible that someone could buy the entire console from honda or some OEM parts and replace it in the G2 ridgeline? or is the fit of the MDX console too different that it wouldnt work?
 
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Just to clarify my opinions on the new Ridgeline... the new Ridgeline will be better in most every way. Better performance, better fuel economy, tighter turning circle, much more aerodynamic, quieter, and will have a lot of optional technology. The iVTM-4 system is much better than the previous generation. It's more capable in most every way.

What I have problems with are mostly interior. When I get into my first generation Ridgeline it feels like a truck. When I get into a next generation Ridgeline I feel like I'm in a Pilot or minivan. No truck feel to it at all. Some may like this. I don't want it to ride like a truck, but I want it to have some truck feel to it. That's gone.

When I get in my first generation Ridgeline I'm comfortable, have plenty of storage space, and can find the buttons I rarely use (bed lights, VSA off, etc.) very easily. It's not a perfect truck by any means. The Bluetooth is absolutely terrible. The SiriusXM volume bug annoys me. Since I like tech the lack thereof makes me feel like I'm driving something much older than it is.

If I were going to design a new vehicle one of my primary goals would be to minimize driver distraction. I'm not going to fight about texting and driving, but rather fact the fact that people are going to do it and therefore need to make it a simple process that minimizes driver distraction. The same thing goes for changing radio stations, volume, navigation, and all the other things drivers need to do on a regular basis. This is where I feel that both the new Pilot and Ridgeline fail miserably. These are not vehicles that you can buy sight unseen (which I've done dozens of times) get in it and drive it off the dealer lot (at least at higher trim levels). These are vehicles that will require a good half hour training session from the salesperson to explain the basics. There are a myriad of small buttons with tiny symbols and at least three different ways to do most things. To do anything that is not routine driving will result in driver distraction... a lot of it. Much of the information needed is on the 8" touch display that is just plain terrible. It's very glossy and it's easier to see your fingerprints than the underlying content. At the wrong sun angles the glare is terrible. The response of the touch screen is frustrating. In summary there seems to be a lack of coordination between the various features and what coordination there is ends up on a terribly glossy touch screen that's in the wrong place, at the wrong angle, and results in driver distraction.

Then the other thing I notice when I get in a new Ridgeline is "where am I going to put all my stuff?" The first generation Ridgeline had more usable storage space than just about any other vehicle I know of. I don't carry a lot of items, but there's a good place for everything I do carry with me. The new Ridgeline has very limited storage space. Yes, you have a place to put your cell phone, and yes there's a nice platform to put your purse (does not apply to me), but other than that you have few options. I don't like that.

I'm not a big person but when I get in the new Ridgeline I feel cramped up. With the armrest down there's less driver room despite what the numbers say. I miss my center console armrest and wish they had used the console out of the MDX (which is very similar to the first generation Ridgeline) instead of the Pilot. I feel like I'm in a cockpit and don't have room to move around much. I'd like the cockpit design in a sports car but this is supposed to be a truck. It just doesn't work for me.

The above is how I feel. You may have completely opposite opinions. Maybe the new Ridgeline will grow on me, but I'll never forget how versatile the first generation Ridgeline was and will miss it.

So on paper the new Ridgeline is better in nearly every way. It's the things you can't put on paper that I don't care for. Everyone has their own opinion and mine means no more than the next person's. There will be a lot of reviews showing up on YouTube soon... most of them are people that never drove a first generation Ridgeline, or if they did it was years ago. Those of us going directly from the first generation to the new generation Ridgeline are the ones that will notice such things. We know better!
Thanks for taking the time to provide us with this objective assessment. Sometimes a reset is helpful.

I am also curious about the MDX console swap feasibility (cost not withstanding). I'm doubtful, but what do you think about prospects to shoehorn that into the new RL?? Does it look compatible at all?
 

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I read the comments associated with this article and it's the same old sheet about the RL not being a "real" truck, a minivan with a bed, and all that rot. I'm sure the majority of the comments are made by those guys with a "big 3" truck, lifted about 6", with the huge tires, loud after-market exhaust, along with a set of "hitch nuts"...to compensate for their extremely small penis. I actually started typing a reply but I stopped...I mean, what's the point...the haters are gonna hate no matter what a current RL owner says.

Also, I agree whole-heartedly with what Joe said, especially about the interior. Almost everything I really like about the interior of my RL is gone with the 2nd Gen. No storage cubby above the glove box, the space between the console and the dash and...even though a lot of folks did not like them...the big door handles. All of which I use on a daily basis and I like.

Like Joe said, on paper, the 2nd Gen RL is better, in almost every way, than the 1st Gen. For me, the jury is still out, and I will have to see one in person and take it for a test drive. But, for now, I am thinking I am gonna put a few $'s into my 1 Gen and drive it for a while longer.
 

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................... But, for now, I am thinking I am gonna put a few $'s into my 1 Gen and drive it for a while longer.
^^^^^^^^^^^^
DITTO THAT ............. I'm planning on probably 5+ more years on our still-very-nice 160K mile 2006 RTL. Will have to sink a few refurb bucks in her as you said; for me that will include:

Front driver's seat rehab (still haven't done that)
Paint mirrors & hood dings
Paint plastic roof panel @ high-center brake light
Touch-up Retrax tonneau cover paint scratches
Refinish chrome wheels (starting to blister @ center)
New radiator somewhere down the road
Stab end-links & bushings (no issues to date)
Refinish (polish) or replace front headlights
Maybe get away with existing shocks / axles for the duration (easy miles)

That's a pretty minimal expense to get a great truck back to looking & feeling great.
 

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I really appreciate Joe's additional perspective and comments.

I actually like most aspects of the Gen 2 exterior and basically all my functional concerns have been satisfied. Still a slight concern about ACM, but either by running in non- eco mood or possible availability of disabling devices will probably be OK for me. Wonder if the ACM might be disabled or overridden when towing? If so, wouldn't it be great if a dummy plug in the trailer wiring hookup could disable it! At least no twin tubo or direct injection worries.

I do share many of the same concerns about the new interior, but there are some improvements there too. I've had 2 Gen 1's but am apparently in the minority as I almost never use or even think about the floor space in front of the console. My current console is full of stuff I seldom need because I don't think access to it is particularly convenient. The new console will be better (for me) in that regard. My biggest concerns are 1) the armrest, although I've driven new Pilots several hundred miles and once I stopped thinking about it didn't find any discomfort........2) Digital touch screen stuff and instrumentation, which I don't like on practically any of the new vehicles, regardless of manufacturer. I prefer analog style........and 3) Push button start. Wife's car has it and I know everyone is going to it, but I hate them! As far as I'm concerned, it's a stupid solution to a problem that doesn't exist, is marketed as a "feature" but is really just a way to save $. It will bite me one day I'm sure! Old fart rant is now over lol!

Although I'm in my 60's and far from a small person, I may not mind the new "cockpit" layout, as I'm ready for something a bit different. I also have two sports cars that I still drive a lot so it is a familiar "feel" for me. It just needs to be comfortable seats, leg position, etc.

The only other vehicle I may consider is a F-150 crew cab. It's a great truck, and certainly has more "truck capability" than a Ridgeline. However, even though I tow boats, watercraft, and snowmobile trailers fairly regularly (and a small Kubota loader-backhoe/trailer occasionally), as well as make frequent trips to Lowes and my local lumber yard, The Ridgeline does what I need very competently. Plus, it is great in the snow, handles and rides very well, takes less garage space, and Gen 2 will likely get better gas mileage. Gen 2 will still retain the unique features of the in-bed trunk and dual action tailgate that no one else offers....and both are extremely useful to me.

I would probably be interested in a Gen2 RTL level and perhaps add optional wheels and possibly flares. I'm anticipating MSRP of that to be around $40k. I know some will think that's too expensive, but a similarly equipped F-150 will be $50 k plus. Probably half of the difference can be mitigated by periodic Ford incentives, but cost will still be several thousands more. Then add things like bed liners, wheel well linings, and a few other things that are standard on Ridgeline. BTW, I am a retired engineer, but work part time for a dealer doing swaps, deliveries, buys, etc. all over New England. It's kinda fun and provides a little extra "play money". Plus I get to drive a variety of new vehicles. Dealer has both Honda and Ford dealerships........as well as Nissan, GMC, Chevy, Ram, and a couple others, so I get to try 'em all.

Despite what we may like/dislike about Gen2, it will remain unique and meet the needs of some better than anything else available. I'm glad it will be available as an option.
 

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I see several comments comparing the G1 with the G2 interior as well as the pilot front end.

I suspect these G2 changes are primarily for safety and fuel economy. i.e. reduce the rake (lifting the front end by an inch) and reduce fuel economy and potentially increase injuries to a pedestrian in an accident. How about that G1 interior? Lots of open cubbbies to pitch your junk in. A tape measure, phone or monkey wrench all make great projectiles in an accident.

And, as much as folks say they liked the G1 interiors because it is supposedly more truck like... that's exactly the same argument used by the 5/4 scale pickup truck people when they look at the RL exterior.
 

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Joe, considering there is a console that exists (like you mentioned in the MDX). Would it be possible that someone could buy the entire console from honda or some OEM parts and replace it in the G2 ridgeline? or is the fit of the MDX console too different that it wouldnt work?
I really doubt we could retrofit an MDX console into a Pilot or Ridgeline.

The first problem is that the MDX console is push button shift only so that would be a problem. The Pilot 6 speed automatic and the Ridgeline are nearly identical.

I also remember hearing a comment that the console also contained part of the a/c system... thus the reason it can't be open at the front like the first generation Ridgeline. The details of that are foggy in my brain, but I think that's what I heard.
 
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