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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy folks,

My wife and I are in the market for an SUV or truck with AWD/4WD (I'm leaning toward a pickup) and I have to be honest we never even considered looking at a Ridgeline... until recently. We first looked at the Explorer which had great power but the interior seemed cheap and it wasn't very quiet on the highway. The ride was also a bit harsh. We tried the Chevy Traverse and a Kia Sorrento which were improvements but I'm quite tall and couldn't get comfortable in the driver's seats. I also felt the doors came up too high so I felt I was sitting in a hole. Then we test drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee and the new Dodge Dakota. These experiences weren't much better than the Explorer but the Dakota did have the best factory stereo (by far) of anything we've test-driven this year. Besides, I've owned a Jeep and it was the least reliable of anything I've ever owned which included various models from the big three, which I never had much luck with either. There are a few other brands/models that I didn't list, but this is because they fell into one of two categories... Vehicles that our research showed were just too unreliable or vehicles that we deemed too ugly to own. That being said, Kia, Nissan, and Toyota have all served us well over the past decade. We recently test drove a new Tacoma and while I'm a huge fan of Toyota's build quality, reliability, and resale value, the Tacoma is (out) dated and doesn't offer much in the way of creature comforts. We were really disappointed in the ride and handling of the Tacoma. A smooth ride really is the number one item on our list of priorities, but we do need something that can tow a 4k# trailer now and then and still get good mileage when we're not towing. This rules out full-sized pickups altogether. I've owned several and their mileage sucks, regardless of how you drive them.

The Ridgeline seems to tick all the boxes, but we haven't taken one for a test drive yet. We're really hoping this vehicle doesn't disappoint us like everything else we've driven over the past few months.

Fingers crossed
 

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When you check one out, I suggest you pay attention to build quality, brake pedal travel, and infotainment. Ridgeline does check a lot of boxes. Everything you read that's negative about towing, transmissions and fuel injectors is now moot for the 2020's as different parts are used. I would hope these are non issues now but there's no data yet. The AWD in foul weather is outstanding and remember the RL doesn't have a transfer case. Good luck wirh your decision.
 

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It appears that the Ridgeline would be up to the task for all of your needs. Since you mentioned that ride quality is a high priority, I think you will be more than pleased with the Ridgeline. I specifically chose the Ridgelline because as a truck driver (Class B), I was used to bouncing around in the cab while working, and did not want that same experience in my personal vehicle.

I commend you on checking out/driving all of the alternative vehicles BEFORE buying. Most of the inadequacies of the Ridgeline have been resolved, as mentioned by @14v6. I would make sure though that the Ridgeline can handle the weight of your loaded trailer.

Hope your test drive goes well.
 
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Had a 2007 Ridgeline that served us very well. My wife never cared for driving the 2007, but when we test drove a 2019 last Fall she said immediately "I wouldn't mind driving this at all", which is helpful.

Our 2019 RTL AWD has been excellent so far - 9 months, almost 10k miles. We drive it to the family lake cabin often - 50 miles, much of it winding country roads, including 3 miles of hilly, rutted gravel - and I have to say the ride & handling are remarkable, I think in large part due to the advanced AWD system. Ours has the 6 speed automatic that was replaced with the 9 speed (with paddle shifters) for 2020.

Here's a review that helped me toward making the decision to go ahead with the generation 2 Ridgeline. There've been a few changes since then (mainly the transmission) but basically the same truck:

Best of luck, whichever way you go.
 

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Then we test drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee and the new Dodge Dakota. These experiences weren't much better than the Explorer but the Dakota did have the best factory stereo (by far) of anything we've test-driven this year.
The last new Dakota rolled off the assembly line on August 23, 2011.
 

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Also, don't forget the Ram 1500 Eco Diesel. It'll get good mileage when not towing too. And ride is similar to Ridgeline. I've seen those trucks in Diesel configuration on Cargurus for up to 20k$ off sticker. Amazingly cheap at $37k

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think he meant Durango.
Doh! You're absolutely right. Dakota? What was I thinking? :)

Also, don't forget the Ram 1500 Eco Diesel. It'll get good mileage when not towing too. And ride is similar to Ridgeline. I've seen those trucks in Diesel configuration on Cargurus for up to 20k$ off sticker. Amazingly cheap at $37k

Steve
Yea, I REALLY don't want a diesel. I have one now and when something does go wrong it costs big $$$ to fix.

But I appreciate it.
 

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The AWD in foul weather is outstanding and remember the RL doesn't have a transfer case. Good luck wirh your decision.
Educate me. Why is this important? I assume the computer is smarter and quicker than I in any driving situation. Or this is more for drivers who want total control and decision making.

No RL yet for me, I just want to make the best decision for me too.
 

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Educate me. Why is this important? I assume the computer is smarter and quicker than I in any driving situation. Or this is more for drivers who want total control and decision making.

No RL yet for me, I just want to make the best decision for me too.
Op said he was researching pickups. RL is the only pickup I'm familiar with that doesn't have a transfer case. Just wanted to point that out if overlooked. If you are going off the pavement to something other than a light trail IMO a transfer case would be preferred. If you are on the road, AWD is preferred. The Colorado can be had with a transfer case and a 4 Auto mode. That might be the best of both worlds for some. Gladiators IMO are wonderful toys for rich guys.
 

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Educate me. Why is this important? I assume the computer is smarter and quicker than I in any driving situation. Or this is more for drivers who want total control and decision making.

No RL yet for me, I just want to make the best decision for me too.
The biggest advantage of the transfer case is that you can stay in 2wd until you absolutely need 4wd. This allows the powertrain to be more efficient, with less parasitic loss throughout the drive train.

On the flip side, if you're cruising down the interstate and it's covered in patchy ice or snow, you must choose between 2wd (dangerous for you) or 4wd (dangerous for the truck). You don't have to make that choice with AWD, as it automatically provides what is safest for you and the vehicle.

A transfer case is also nice if you want to do some technical offroading where slow speed rules the day. Shift the transfer case to 'Low' and crawl your way through rocks and mud with little concern for overheating the transmission. Some guys also use the Low range to tug a heavy load across the yard or to pull small tree stumps or brush, or pull a heavy boat up a steep slippery boat ramp.

The 2020 G2 does have a lower first gear than previous Ridgelines, but it remains to be seen if this can bring most of the advantages of a Low range to AWD. You still have clutches spinning and generating heat in the "differential" as well as the transmission.
 

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Op said he was researching pickups. RL is the only pickup I'm familiar with that doesn't have a transfer case just wanted to point that out if overlooked. I see you are looking at Gladiators too.
There's also the 2wd pickups that don't have transfer cases, but nobody buys those anymore. 😁
 

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The biggest advantage of the transfer case is that you can stay in 2wd until you absolutely need 4wd. This allows the powertrain to be more efficient, with less parasitic loss throughout the drive train.

On the flip side, if you're cruising down the interstate and it's covered in patchy ice or snow, you must choose between 2wd (dangerous for you) or 4wd (dangerous for the truck). You don't have to make that choice with AWD, as it automatically provides what is safest for you and the vehicle.
I like the way the RL's AWD system automatically apportions power to each of the 4 wheels as you go - even in dry conditions. I believe the G2's system is dialed into more rear-wheel bias than the G1's....and unless it's my imagination, I feel it.

One thing I liked on the G1 was that you could lock it into 4wd while in 1st, 2nd or reverse by pushing a button on the dash. Once in a while I drive my truck up a big steep grassy hill (at the family lake cabin) and it was reassuring to pop it in a lower gear and push the button before starting up the hill. Gotta just trust the G2 to give me enough of all 4 wheels, but so far, so good.
 

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Definitely let your wife do test drives herself. Having my wife feel comfortable driving a truck around was one of the primary reasons we chose a Ridgeline over other mid-sized trucks. The downside is that there’s a 50/50 chance it won’t be in the garage if she leaves before I do. ;)
 

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Definitely let your wife do test drives herself. Having my wife feel comfortable driving a truck around was one of the primary reasons we chose a Ridgeline over other mid-sized trucks. The downside is that there’s a 50/50 chance it won’t be in the garage if she leaves before I do. ;)
You nailed this point on both counts. My wife wasn't crazy about driving our 2007 RL, but she liked the 2019 right away at the test drive....and as you noted, sometimes I get to the driveway and it ain't there, lol.

We had the 2007 for 8+ years, and I thought it logical to at least look at a couple others. We drove an F150 right after the RL, and she said "Get whatever truck you want, but this is waaaay too big for me to drive. And I can't see you being happy with a truck without a trunk."
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I keep reading a lot of disconcerting posts my members here who speak of transmissions over-heating. Also, apparently there is a class-action against Honda for some fuel pump issue on the G2's?
 

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I keep reading a lot of disconcerting posts my members here who speak of transmissions over-heating. Also, apparently there is a class-action against Honda for some fuel pump issue on the G2's?
Transmission overheating and/or failure appears to be much more common in the 2017-2019 Ridgeline than it was in the 2006-2014. Shift quality aside, I haven't seen any overheated or failed 9-speed transmissions in the 2020 Ridgeline so far.

The 2017-2019 Ridgeline was recalled to install a shield over the fuel pump to prevent car wash detergent from causing cracks.

Millions of DENSO fuel pumps in several different brands and models of automobiles are being recalled due to the potential for the impeller to swell and stop pumping fuel, but it does not appear to affect the Ridgeline at this time.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Transmission overheating and/or failure appears to be much more common in the 2017-2019 Ridgeline than it was in the 2006-2014. Shift quality aside, I haven't seen any overheated or failed 9-speed transmissions in the 2020 Ridgeline so far...
We won't be buying a 2020 or 2021; we don't buy brand new cars anymore. The initial off-the-lot depreciation just isn't worth it for us. We're specifically looking at a 2017 year model because it's the far more attractive second generation and the oldest (least expensive) year of the second generation.

So, does your research show that these transmission issues are only related to towing? or are these issues occurring during normal operation? I ask because if it's simply a matter of installing a trans-cooler (or a much larger one) that's not a deal-breaker for us. We also wouldn't be towing that often or going very far as we are surrounded by ATV trails.
So no mountain towing or long distances, just half an hour here every other weekend.

Thanks
 

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I have a 2017 RTL awd and have 37,000mi on it. It's been perfect with no repairs (just the one gas pump cover recall) and never been to the shop or dealer yet. (i do the maint as it's simple really). As for a cooler ? I'd say buy a RL and see if yours has issues. If you really want to monitor the trans temp (i haven't felt the need and have towed maybe 3000mi on mine) then get one of the ones mentioned here on the group and keep an eye on it.

IMO the transmission temp thing is overblown on here. Only a small percentage of issues out of thousands of RL2's. And I'm sure there's manufactured problems in some of these things as NOTHING and I mean NOTHING manufactured by mankind is made perfectly 100% of the time. So think out of 1,000,000 RL's and Pilots and others with the 3.5 engine there's going to be a percentage of failures that's acceptable. That's engineering. And manufacturing of any product.

Steve
 
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