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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started to wonder about this when reading some debate over on the "AWD or no AWD" thread...

I think FWD has merit in a pickup, but not in the fashion in which Honda has done it. To make it truly functional, it needs to be a separate design. If they don't have to deal with the AWD unit, then utilize that space for storage. Re-arrange the "bed" configuration so that you can have a lower bed, a larger, albeit shallower, trunk, and room for a full-size spare in the tray.

How many of you would trade AWD for a FWD, but a bed that is, say, 27" deep rather than 17" deep? Yes, that would be class-leading, and have more volume than many full-size trucks. And likely the lowest load height at the tailgate. It maximizes utility, but you have to take it as FWD only.

Most of us would probably still opt for AWD. However, if Honda offered a deeper discount on a stripper FWD in the above configuration, I think contractors would buy them all up anyway.

Maybe when G3 arrives with hybrid technology, we can have the above FWD configuration with the addition of RWD assist from electric motors at the rear wheels. That might make the most sense of all...
 

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good question. at first I am going to say that I would still take the AWD but also I am going to think on it a bit before signing off on that answer. Would this deep bed version still have the trunk?
I started to wonder about this when reading some debate over on the "AWD or no AWD" thread...

I think FWD has merit in a pickup, but not in the fashion in which Honda has done it. To make it truly functional, it needs to be a separate design. If they don't have to deal with the AWD unit, then utilize that space for storage. Re-arrange the "bed" configuration so that you can have a lower bed, a larger, albeit shallower, trunk, and room for a full-size spare in the tray.

How many of you would trade AWD for a FWD, but a bed that is, say, 27" deep rather than 17" deep? Yes, that would be class-leading, and have more volume than many full-size trucks. And likely the lowest load height at the tailgate. It maximizes utility, but you have to take it as FWD only.

Most of us would probably still opt for AWD. However, if Honda offered a deeper discount on a stripper FWD in the above configuration, I think contractors would buy them all up anyway.

Maybe when G3 arrives with hybrid technology, we can have the above FWD configuration with the addition of RWD assist from electric motors at the rear wheels. That might make the most sense of all...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
good question. at first I am going to say that I would still take the AWD but also I am going to think on it a bit before signing off on that answer. Would this deep bed version still have the trunk?
Yeah, it could still have a trunk, but shallower, maybe ten inches shallower? May depend on what you want for ground clearance, too. But could maybe be longer if the bed supports are reconfigured...
 

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I don't see any sensibility of a FWD pickup and I am clearly not in the off-road camp buying a new truck for play. I am not in the towing crowd not knowing if mid sized or full sized is correct for my needs. Many here and other places favor this over drive ability and overall ride quality. But if I was buying an SUV like Pilot or MDX it would be AWD version so the same for a pickup truck in which I would use like the SUV. I still don't believe it when Honda says people were really asking for a FWD only Ridgeline. I just see no sense in having FWD only Ridgeline. I don't consider the Ridgeline a work truck this is where a real strip down version would do. I am talking something of a work truck as a fleet pest control company. I see Ridgeline as personal truck that if someone uses it for their work it's a bit different than your regular strip version work truck.
I think your taking away the overall quality of the vehicle just to have a basic truck. The bases are already covered by other brands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess my point is that Honda is generally very good at making the best use of space. The AWD Ridgeline does that well (although not as well as G1, but that's another thread). The FWD Ridgeline does not take advantage of the extra space afforded by the loss of the iVTM4 system and driveline.

Honda could redesign the package to take advantage of that space, by offering a deeper bed and/or additional trunk space (how about an additional trunk in front of the rear wheels?).

Basically, it boils down to this: With the unibody package, Honda could offer much more space utility than a full-size truck, in a mid-size package. That would be a very attractive package to urban dwellers and contractors.

They can do even more if ground clearance is not a concern, which it typically isn't for urban dwellers and contractors. The large cargo vans have clearances around 3-4", because cargo space is so valuable.
 

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longboat, I think your idea has lots of merit. Hell I would kill for a 22 inch bed, never mind a 27 inch. It could be that 27 inches might be too much. It might make sense to convert some of that space into something else that's useful. But I love the notion of redesigning the pickup form factor. If I lived in California (as I did 20 years ago) I would have no trouble with a FWD pickup. It's really just a non-issue out there. You don't need four-wheel-drive so why would you need rear-wheel-drive? Because I live in the Northeast, though, I'm not going to part with my AWD.
 

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Personally, I am unwilling to give up AWD for the 5 days a year we really need it in my part of the country. In addition, I may also travel to other areas of the country which may offer even worse winter travel conditions than my home area.

I'll take the space I have and keep AWD, thank you very much!
 

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I'm in Atlanta...
My last pickup was RWD only, and never missed the 4-wheel... even towing and launching a 23ft. Sea Ray every weekend.
The RL FWD is an upgrade from RWD, and I won't miss the AWD... (and I no longer own, or will own, the boat).
 

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I don't know that there is a lot to be gained space-wise by losing the rear differential - the whole AWD unit fits within the chassis / rear suspension/ lower 'frame' itself (see the 'naked' pictures here http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/...ion-2017/141938-naked-ridgeline-pics-pt1.html). There wouldn't be some magical space freed up at the front of the bed for another trunk or a full size spare and all these extra depth changes you are proposing make a bed floor that is 10-12 inches lower than the bumper and tailgate.

As far as the feasibility of a FWD truck - seems like all the landscapers and auto parts delivery chains use base model RWD Tacomas and Frontiers, so I can't see why the RL couldn't fill that need. The main problem would be that a FWD RL starts about 12 grand higher than those stripper trucks.
 

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I have to admit that after reading the "AWD or no AWD" thread from one end to the other, because of the torque-vectoring driving performance in the G2 Ridgeline, I can't see myself giving up the AWD for the FWD even if I were in California – or anywhere else for that matter. That's just the reality. Doesn't mean I think FWD trucks are stupid or wrong in some way. I think it's a great option. But for them to be viable I think they need to get the price down.
 

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...I can't see myself giving up the AWD for the FWD even if I were in California – or anywhere else for that matter...
Actually Califirnia would be the one state where you would want AWD. From snowy mountains to sandy beaches and rocky deserts there's a lot of 4-wheelin' going on. I can ski on a snowy mountain and be at the beach in 70 degrees Fahrenheit in 3 hrs... How many other states have the various terrains of mountains, forests, deserts, valleys, lakes and beaches?
It's not all concrete jungle and Hollywood...
 
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Actually Califirnia would be the one state where you would want AWD. From snowy mountains to sandy beaches and rocky deserts there's a lot of 4-wheelin' going on. I can ski on a snowy mountain and be at the beach in 70 degrees Fahrenheit in 3 hrs... How many other states have the various terrains of mountains, forests, deserts, valleys, lakes and beaches?
It's not all concrete jungle and Hollywood...
I don't ski or off road. I've lived there and I have lots of relatives there. Let's say we were talking about a Tacoma in CA: I wouldn't bother getting part-time 4WD. Lot's of people don't there.

Now if I were a skier living in SF or anywhere within reasonable distance of the mountains to the east (sierra nevadas), I would surely get 4WD/AWD (and chains).

And my point was that I'd get G2 AWD anywhere.

:grin:
 

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I would think that a FWD economical pickup would be a disaster for the manufacture that produced it. FWD vehicles are a big expense to keep running when they get 5-10 years old, the cost of repair just isn't worth it. Ever worked on a FWD vehicle, I haven't, but the cost of repair is three times as much as the conventional style PU. Now you get to the Ridgeline, totally different animal, quality built and at a cost that says it, totally upscale vehicle and you pay for it. I never call my Ridgeline a pickup, it's a luxury SUV, with a box on the back and rides like my wife's Acura, what can I say. If you want a PU, Ford, Chevy, and Dodge built them, nice trucks for work and pleasure.

trainman
 

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FWD makes better sense then RWD, it’s just going to drive/handle better - no sand bags in the bed.

In sates that get bad weather people want 4WD/AWD vehicles, demand and resale major factors - 2WD trucks in NJ are a rare breed.

Service guys/ contractors using small 2WD trucks don’t drive crew cabs

Honda’s target market is people who are willing to spend extra money for quality/comfort – the service market would confuse the market place and erode sales.
 

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AWD > FWD > RWD for trucks in this class.
 

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I guess where you live a different type of vehicle is a factor, understandable, there in TEXAS where pickups, Tahoe's, and suburbans are king, I would say the Ridgeline is looked down upon by many and not even considered in the pickup class. I personally don't see a TEXAN going out to buy a new pickup and coming home with a Ridgeline, it just doesn't happen.

trainman
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't know that there is a lot to be gained space-wise by losing the rear differential - the whole AWD unit fits within the chassis / rear suspension/ lower 'frame' itself (see the 'naked' pictures here http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/...ion-2017/141938-naked-ridgeline-pics-pt1.html). There wouldn't be some magical space freed up at the front of the bed for another trunk or a full size spare and all these extra depth changes you are proposing make a bed floor that is 10-12 inches lower than the bumper and tailgate.

As far as the feasibility of a FWD truck - seems like all the landscapers and auto parts delivery chains use base model RWD Tacomas and Frontiers, so I can't see why the RL couldn't fill that need. The main problem would be that a FWD RL starts about 12 grand higher than those stripper trucks.
Those are good points. The chassis framework would need to be re-worked to lower the bed and/or increase trunk space. I think that would be a feasible engineering project.

As for bumper/tailgate, yes, those would need to be re-worked also. Take a look at some of the unibody cargo vans and their "bed" load heights...Honda could do similar. This may make a better case for their "barn-door" split tailgate design.

All I am saying is they could create better useable space if they didn't have the AWD restriction to work around.

Yes, there are cheaper trucks available. The calling card here would be more useable space than a full-size truck, but in a mid-size package.

Keep the towing at 3500, but increase payload to 2000-2500 to be competitive with the unibody cargo vans. Drop the club cab and add a short extended cab to get better bed space, also. Price it at 25-27k for stripper models, contractors will eat them up.

As for me oersonally, I will buy the AWD version. I am just throwing ideas out there for Honda when/if they decide to expand this truck line.
 

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longboat, I think your idea has lots of merit. Hell I would kill for a 22 inch bed, never mind a 27 inch. It could be that 27 inches might be too much. It might make sense to convert some of that space into something else that's useful. But I love the notion of redesigning the pickup form factor. If I lived in California (as I did 20 years ago) I would have no trouble with a FWD pickup. It's really just a non-issue out there. You don't need four-wheel-drive so why would you need rear-wheel-drive? Because I live in the Northeast, though, I'm not going to part with my AWD.
I believe my F-150 is 21" deep, 22-23" would be great. If they did that, the towing stayed at 5K, and they eked out an extra MPG or two better than today that would make me seriously consider a FWD. And I live in Minnesota. AWD is overrated.

But there's no chance of that happening. Personally I'd just rather see a deeper bed and a standard spare tire setup instead of the trunk.
 

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FWD makes better sense then RWD, it’s just going to drive/handle better - no sand bags in the bed.
Unless you're towing. When I was in college, my roommate's transmission went on his little Mazda truck. His mom came up with a FWD minivan and a Uhaul dolly to pick it up (still within the towing capacity). Being that neither of them had ever driven a trailer, I took the wheel. It was snowing, and it took 4 of us, plus my friends RWD Dakota to get that rig out of the parking lot. Then I got stuck halfway up a hill leaving the parking lot, but luckily there was a guy with a 4WD Silverado who pulled us up the hill no problem.

When you're towing, all the traction is at the rear wheels.
 
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