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I can't bring myself to take my unscratched, cherry $30,000 vehicle smashing through mountainous Connecticut logging roads. I did get a farmer neighbor to let me cruise around his snow covered hay field in exchange for a turn behind the wheel. Not serious terain (2-8" of old snow over level soft grass/mud), but enough to get a feel for the AWD and ABS breaks.

I couldn't get the smile off my face for a few hours. When you hit a soft spot or deeper snow it digs in and keeps moving. Noticed very slight under steer if I pushed it hard through a fast wide turn and slight oversteer through slower but powering sharp turns. All very manageable. I could not get it to spin out but it may be possible if you tried real hard. I'm still babying it.

The ABS is a gentle vibration. You hear it more than feel it. I stomped on the break at about 35 mph over the snow/grass and it stayed straight and stopped as well as could be expected on that surface. Didn't try hard turning while breaking.

Could spin some wheels from a standstill, but it was hard to tell which ones. I played with the rear (VTM 4 lock) differential but only because I wanted to try it, not because I was stuck. Couldn't tell any difference from inside the cab. I guess I'll have to wait for a real sticky situation to find out how well this works.

I don't know how the Ridge would do in the Baja but I'm very happy with the slippery surface handling I had the balls to try.

It looked GREAT covered in mud, but a trip to the carwash had it looking like new again. Still unscratched!
 

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Side airbags

Question: On Toyota and Lexus they have a cutoff switch so the rollover airbags don't deploy when off-roading on steep hills.

How does Honda handle this concern?

-W
 

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Re: Side airbags

Whaleya said:
Question: On Toyota and Lexus they have a cutoff switch so the rollover airbags don't deploy when off-roading on steep hills.

How does Honda handle this concern?

-W

I find that very hard to believe. Are you sure? Most makers don't allow you to disable such safety systems (other than stability control).
 

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I don't think that even Jeep has such a switch. I lurk around the Jeep forums from time to time (I was thinking of getting a Wrangler at one time) and those guys are always trying to find ways to disable the airbags.
 

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RSCA cutoff

Yes, The Lexus and Toyota SUV have the switch and the Toyotas pickups with side curtain airbags have one as well. Toyota is concerned that if you are off road and driving on a steep (sideways) slope, but not steep enough for a rollover, that the airbags don't deply.


From the 2005 4Runner brochure: "front- and second-row roll-sensing side curtain airbags (RSCA)1 with cutoff switch"

I assume there is some sort of auto override on the switch, maybe a MPH limit or the transfer case needs to be low, ect.


-W
 
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