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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all.
I just joined the forum forum, did not get a Ridgeline yet, hope experienced members here help me to make a decision.
I'm coming from the 3rd Gen 4Runner that I recently sold and I was all set to get new 5th Gen 4Runner or best of all a 2020 Tacoma.
To my huge disappointment Tacoma is pretty constrictive in the cabin. I do not consider myself overly big guy, but I'm 6'3" and have long legs and arms and I just couldn't get comfortable in the Tacoma. Even less space than in 2002 4Runner.
Now 2020 4Runner has more space on the inside, still wouldn't mind a little more, but I could live with it, after few test drives I realized that I'm not a big fan of its overly blown body, even though the truck is more then capable for what I need.(that is another queston: Do I really need SUCH a truck?)
However I really wanted a small to midsize pickup. So, I checked Colorado, good overall truck, the space inside is ok, but seats are like your kitchen stools.
Then someone suggested to look at the Ridgeline. I was skeptical, but took a drive to nearest honda dealer. I was surprised by the comfort of the cabin. It's not overly big, but somehow I fit and feel fine inside, given that the seat is moved all the way back and steering extended to the max. I live in the city and seriously considering it now as I really the idea of the small pick up. BUT, I'd like your suggestions and opinions on the following:

1. I don't do hardcore off-roading, but I drive on sand a lot. I'm sure some members here do the same. How does it behave on sand? Does the "Sand Mode" really help? Do you have to air down if the sand is soft and dry? Another concern is the clearance. Is 7.8" enough for sand? Remember I'm coming from 9"... Honestly Ridgeline's front looks really low to me.
2. How does it do on snowy hills? And on snow in general? Does the "Snow Mode" help it?
And again about the clearance: Can Ridgeline accommodate larger tires without lifting the body? What size would be the max if so?
Can Ridgeline be lifted without sacrificing the comfort and safety?

I'm sure most of those topics were discussed here, but I'm really new to the site, so any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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1. Behaves excellent in the sand. Has "sand mode" provided you buy AWD and not FWD. Lots of folks have taken their G2 Ridgelines to the beach and driven in the sand with no issues. Honda put a sand mode on the AWD system specifically for this purpose.
2. I will leave this to the owners up north but I've read the reports, excellent snow handling. No issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Tommy.
I'm in the North East and I drive up north a lot in the winter to ice fish and in some places we even park trucks right on the lakes if the ice is over 15" thick. Getting over the ridge could be an issue for a low clearance vehicle. Can Ridgeline accommodate larger tires? Or even better: can I put 17" or 16" wheels on it? Will it clear the rotors and calipers? I like the idea of having taller sidewall on the tire.
 

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Hello all.
I just joined the forum forum, did not get a Ridgeline yet, hope experienced members here help me to make a decision.
I'm coming from the 3rd Gen 4Runner that I recently sold and I was all set to get new 5th Gen 4Runner or best of all a 2020 Tacoma.
To my huge disappointment Tacoma is pretty constrictive in the cabin. I do not consider myself overly big guy, but I'm 6'3" and have long legs and arms and I just couldn't get comfortable in the Tacoma. Even less space than in 2002 4Runner.
Now 2020 4Runner has more space on the inside, still wouldn't mind a little more, but I could live with it, after few test drives I realized that I'm not a big fan of its overly blown body, even though the truck is more then capable for what I need.(that is another queston: Do I really need SUCH a truck?)
However I really wanted a small to midsize pickup. So, I checked Colorado, good overall truck, the space inside is ok, but seats are like your kitchen stools.
Then someone suggested to look at the Ridgeline. I was skeptical, but took a drive to nearest honda dealer. I was surprised by the comfort of the cabin. It's not overly big, but somehow I fit and feel fine inside, given that the seat is moved all the way back and steering extended to the max. I live in the city and seriously considering it now as I really the idea of the small pick up. BUT, I'd like your suggestions and opinions on the following:

1. I don't do hardcore off-roading, but I drive on sand a lot. I'm sure some members here do the same. How does it behave on sand? Does the "Sand Mode" really help? Do you have to air down if the sand is soft and dry? Another concern is the clearance. Is 7.8" enough for sand? Remember I'm coming from 9"... Honestly Ridgeline's front looks really low to me.
2. How does it do on snowy hills? And on snow in general? Does the "Snow Mode" help it?
And again about the clearance: Can Ridgeline accommodate larger tires without lifting the body? What size would be the max if so?
Can Ridgeline be lifted without sacrificing the comfort and safety?

I'm sure most of those topics were discussed here, but I'm really new to the site, so any help is greatly appreciated.
I would venture to say that the Ridgeline is THE best pickup truck for sand and typical snow driving.

Sand: The AWD and "sand mode" are key here. If it's fluffy sand, air down to 15psi, it will make a huge difference. Ground clearance shouldn't be an issue in the sand, especially if you are aired down.

Snow: AWD always trumps 4wd in nearly all snow driving situations, especially when driving down roads with patchy ice and snow, which is probably the most common winter driving scenario. With the stock tires, you should be ok if you drive sensibly. With good snow tires, the Ridgeline will be a beast in the snow, unstoppable up to 14-15" or so. Yes, a jacked-up 4x4 with lockers might get you through deeper snow, but how often do you need that?

Don't forget that chains (cables) are also an option.

Tire size: you can go up to 265/60R18 tire size, DEPENDING ON THE BRAND. Some rub, some don't. Read through the 265 tire threads on the Tires sub-forum. Bear in mind that you will not be able to use snow cables with the larger tires.

You can go up to 1.5" lift to gain ground clearance, but kit needs to be installed correctly. There have been several instances on this forum where lifts have presented problems, most likely due to poor installation. The lift kits don't install like a kit for a typical 4x4 truck, so there is ample opportunity for even professional 4x4 shops to mess it up. You will lose some MPG with a lift, but the truck will look better and have better ground clearance. Handling will be poorer, and jury is still out on how the lift affects safety sensing and crash performance. Popular lift kits are Truxx, Traxda and JSport.

Bear in mind that a lift may reduce your ability to run larger-than-stock tires, as counter-intuitive as it may seem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Longboat.
I will research.
Another question: is this equipped with the skid plates?
Is it possible to remove that low plastic underlip in the front? That low hanging piece, I just think it's there for decoration and serves no functionality. I might be wrong.
 

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Thanks Longboat.
I will research.
Another question: is this equipped with the skid plates?
Is it possible to remove that low plastic underlip in the front? That low hanging piece, I just think it's there for decoration and serves no functionality. I might be wrong.
The vehicle is not equipped with skid plates but there is aftermarket support for that. I have the front skid plate and am contemplating getting the rear. I have done some milder Jeep trails. By taking it slow and knowing when to turn around if the trail gets too rough, you should be fine. I haven’t tried to remove the front lip, someone else may have information on that.
 

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Research G2 angle-of-approach -- it's also significantly lower than Taco and 4Runner. The small air dam under the front bumper can be removed but won't gain you much GC or AoA. When you see how vulnerable the oil pan is, you will want a real skidplate for off-road adventuring.

Choosing larger tires is a balancing act of weight, rubbing, wheel offset (yes there are numerous 17" wheel options), mpg and performance compromises. Time spent reading the tires/wheels/suspension threads is worthwhile but may leave your head spinning. Honda could save us a lot of hassle by offering a mild off-pavement edition but that's not likely to happen.
 

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You can't go up in tire size much without a lift. I understand you want more ground clearance, but you would be surprised how much a set of all terrains will perform compared to the standard all seasons in the stock size.

I would say think about how much you need off road capability. Are you driving to work 95% of the time and ice fishing/going on sand 5% of the time? I've taken mine in the sand once, and the most off roading it will see is gravel forest service roads. I would not sacrifice the daily comfort for a more off-road capable Tacoma, Tundra, Etc. I'd hitch a ride with a friend to go ice fishing before I did that. All depends on your priorities.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I will be driving on sand 2-4 times per week from September to the end of December. And ice fishing hopefully every other weekend from December to March. That’s why I take it’s capability kind of serious.
 

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In that case maybe get something else. I like the look of the leveling kits, but some owners have experienced premature cv-joint failures after installing them.

If I needed more off road capability, I would get a used Raptor. They ride surprisingly nice on the road, not at all like you would imagine. They are over engineered and torture tested. Hold their value well too. I would not buy a regular F-150. Since you like the Colorado's size, maybe try a ZR2. I haven't driven one, but it may ride very well on road too, thanks to it's shocks.
 

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Is it possible to remove that low plastic underlip in the front? That low hanging piece, I just think it's there for decoration and serves no functionality. I might be wrong.
Good luck with your research and final decision. As for the low hanging bit, if I had to surmise a guess, it would be for aerodynamics. A lot of little hanging tabs and such, like the ones by the wheels, are for this purpose, along with the truck's quite wide hip's that encourage laminar airflow to stick to the vehicle as long as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
In that case maybe get something else. I like the look of the leveling kits, but some owners have experienced premature cv-joint failures after installing them.
If I needed more off road capability, I would get a used Raptor. They ride surprisingly nice on the road, not at all like you would imagine. They are over engineered and torture tested. Hold their value well too. I would not buy a regular F-150. Since you like the Colorado's size, maybe try a ZR2. I haven't driven one, but it may ride very well on road too, thanks to it's shocks.
Raptor in the city?? No thanks )) I currently debating RL and New 4Runner. RL has surprisingly comfortable interior and sitting position for a tall person and a bed (speaking of which I will definitely
need a cap for it) Plus it's not overly long. A big plus for city driving.
Whether 4Runner is a proven and tested work horse. Looses a bit on the interior and comfort, but more than capable of doing anything I'd throw at it. But no bed... and I'd really like one (bed).

Good luck with your research and final decision. As for the low hanging bit, if I had to surmise a guess, it would be for aerodynamics. A lot of little hanging tabs and such, like the ones by the wheels, are for this purpose, along with the truck's quite wide hip's that encourage laminar airflow to stick to the vehicle as long as possible.
Thanks, that's what I thought also.
 

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I just got a 2019 RTL-E and actually sold my 2000 4Runner(255k) I have been really happy with it and there are just a couple things I like more about the 4Runner. The sunroof was bigger, and it had more front ground clearance. I plan on putting the 1.5 inch leveling kit on the front of the Ridgeline. The rear of the Ridgeline though, actually sits a lot higher than the 3rd Gen 4runner, which sagged. Overall, I've been really pleased with my decision. I got a Leer camper shell and put racks on it, so it is much roomier than the 4runner with much more cargo space and the ability to seat 4. I test drove the ZR2 and I really liked it, but it didn't offer the in bed storage, which I like for my surf gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think you and I are in the most alike situation. You mention Surf Gear, that implies that you drive on sand, am I right? That is one of my biggest concerns. How does it do without leveling kit and without airing down?
I just got a 2019 RTL-E and actually sold my 2000 4Runner(255k) I have been really happy with it and there are just a couple things I like more about the 4Runner. The sunroof was bigger, and it had more front ground clearance. I plan on putting the 1.5 inch leveling kit on the front of the Ridgeline. The rear of the Ridgeline though, actually sits a lot higher than the 3rd Gen 4runner, which sagged. Overall, I've been really pleased with my decision. I got a Leer camper shell and put racks on it, so it is much roomier than the 4runner with much more cargo space and the ability to seat 4. I test drove the ZR2 and I really liked it, but it didn't offer the in bed storage, which I like for my surf gear.
 

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To be honest I haven't taken it on any trips down to Mex yet to try it out. I live in San Diego so it has mostly been parking lots for me so far. I'll let you know when I do. There are some Honda Ridgeline sand dune youtube videos that show that they do pretty well!
 

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There is a YouTube video is a 2nd gen Ridgeline going up and down a sandy hill. Go search for Ridgeline sand and you should find it.

We had a decent snow last March and I had no issues at all driving around. I even dropped a work friend off at home then gassed it up his hill to try and get some slip but I felt nothing but traction and go. I asked him and he said it sounded like I was just driving away normal. The roads were mostly plowed and the truck did just fine. Playing around in my driveway I was able to get the back end to slide by having snow mode on and turning traction control off. I wished I could find some where larger to play more, but nothing close I was willing to go to.

I went "off road" at my neighbor's yard a few weeks ago. They are clearing their land with a tractor, taking down trees everywhere. It was not smoothed out yet so made a great test for simple off roading. I drove in to pick up the logs for firewood. Truck was bouncing around and my front bull bar was clanging on sticks and roots but it drove through in normal mode just fine. I was worried about ground clearance but never had an issue. Side note, The truck with trunk holds as much wood or more than my friend's Tacoma with 6ft bed. And while working with quieter stuff like electric chainsaw, music in the bed is fun to have.
 

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By far one of the biggest selling points for me on the truck vs competitors is the rear seats actually fold up to give massive interior storage along with the trunk storage. It really is amazing how much the truck can hold compared to the other trucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah, I noticed large capacities in the back too. Did you have AT tires on or just regular tires when drove up the snowy hill?
 

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Thanks Tommy.
I'm in the North East and I drive up north a lot in the winter to ice fish and in some places we even park trucks right on the lakes if the ice is over 15" thick. Getting over the ridge could be an issue for a low clearance vehicle. Can Ridgeline accommodate larger tires? Or even better: can I put 17" or 16" wheels on it? Will it clear the rotors and calipers? I like the idea of having taller sidewall on the tire.
Came from a 2010 Tacoma myself. You can put larger tires on with smaller wheels (taller sidewall as you mentioned). I was able to put 17" steelies with 235/70's. Going from 5.7" to 6.5" sidewall, gaining ~1/4" ground clearance. I have heard you can put up to a 30.5 w/o any lift/rubbing issues, but will depend on the tire type.

Can't speak to sand mode yet, but you should always air down on sand. When overland driving at the cape, 11psi is the rule. Night and day difference.

Where in the NE are you from?
 

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Came from a 2010 Tacoma myself. You can put larger tires on with smaller wheels (taller sidewall as you mentioned). I was able to put 17" steelies with 235/70's. Going from 5.7" to 6.5" sidewall, gaining ~1/4" ground clearance. I have heard you can put up to a 30.5 w/o any lift/rubbing issues, but will depend on the tire type.

Can't speak to sand mode yet, but you should always air down on sand. When overland driving at the cape, 11psi is the rule. Night and day difference.

Where in the NE are you from?
Thanks, I'm in NY.
Actually, I just remembered, I had 1999 Chevy Astro AWD and drove it on the beach. That was quite an experience. Got stuck about 3-4 times over the course of 4-5 years, but that's about it.
 
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