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Discussion Starter #1
Pardon a noob

I'm looking into a new "midsize" truck and I've got a Ridgeline, Frontier, and Tacoma on my list. In most every respect the Ridgeline wins for me, but I do have one pretty serious concern - I tend to spend a fair amount of time offroad. Not hardcore, mind you - but some fairly rutty areas with occassional mud and snow. I know the Frontier and Tacoma win hands down in this regard, but if the Ridgeline can handle my needs I'd rather have it because it's easier to live with otherwise. Anyway, onto my specific requests:

1 - Do you think the Ridgeline is adequate for this type of moderate stuff, and

2 - If anybody has any pics offroad showing the type of terrain you've been on, trail shots of a Ridgeline showing flex, etc it would really help me out (I've already seen the Honda video, I was hoping for some real-world user feedback and images).

Thanks! :)
 

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Take a look at this video:
http://www.vtec.net/articles/view-article?article_id=325157&page_number=1

Also... the Ridgeline suffers from lack of ground clearance. Even deeply rutted dirt roads can cause significant problems. It's a great vehicle, but its roots are a passenger vehicle... yes they've toughened it up but it's not an off road vehicle.

I doubt the suspension could handle very much larger wheels and tires. The unsprung weight would become an issue.

I love the Ridgeline but the off road features are not its strong point.

On the other side of the coin... due to the way VSA and VTM-4 work together you will have better traction in snow and mud conditions than the competition as long as you don't run out of ground clearance.
 

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csimo said:
Wouldn't be cool if Honda would put together a "Honda Driving Experience" simialar to what Land Rover, Hummer and Jeep do. Heck I would love to just go and do that course Gary just showed us.

Honda if your out there this could be HUGE for PR. Have a bunch of us average off-road RL owners at a camp some where in the middle of nowhere. Just cameras, a few mechanics, and fun. You can bring the waivers to it will me the lawyers happier.
 

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If you can deal with the limited ground clearance then the Ridgeline will work for you. The four wheel drive system works very well with a good check on wheel slip. On moderate off-road desert trails here in California the Ridgeline worked out just fine. It would have been nice to have a little extra ground clearance but as you are familiar with going off-road then you also know to keep the wheels going over the high rocks and do not try to straddle them.

I believe your only concern should be with the limited ground clearance.

 

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It shouldn't be a problem.

My friends beat the hell out of a Honda Pilot at a Honda VIP day a couple winters ago. They had a Honda engineer in the back seat with them and apparently he couldn't stop laughing at the stuff they were doing. I know at one time they were booting down some abandoned rail tracks with several inches of snow on the ground, and they didn't get it stuck.

Overall, the Ridgeline will be fine. Skidplates will be available shortly, and if you go with a 2" lift (at some point, it'll be available) and some 265/70R17 BFGoodrich A/T's, you'll have much more offroad performance than you'd probably ever need.
 

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Who is going to offer the skidplates?
 

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Who is going to offer the 2" lift?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow - I've been busy and haven't checked back in awhile, so thanks for all the replies.

Anyway, I guess I have what most of you will deem sad news: I got a Frontier (Off Road 4x4). I really liked the Ridgeline but I was just too concerned about it's off road capability and long term durability on the rough stuff. I actually convinced my Honda dealer to let me take a Ridge on a quick and fairly mild off road test drive, and it was up on 3 wheels a lot and the drivetrain was making some scary sounds. Anyway, I just felt like the Fronty was a better fit for me and so far it's been great. For kicks I took it over the same terrain as I went through in the Ridge and it just rolled through without any drama or difficulty at all.

Thanks for all the advice - I'm sure it will help out other potential buyers. :)
 

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I'm sure you'll enjoy your Frontier. I was considering one of those until the RL came out (couldn't pass up the trunk and car-like ride).

I am surprised about the 3 wheel comment though. I would think the Frontier would be more likely to be on 3 wheels because of the live axle. Seems the independent suspension would be more likely to allow all 4 wheels to stay on the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
swampler said:
I am surprised about the 3 wheel comment though. I would think the Frontier would be more likely to be on 3 wheels because of the live axle. Seems the independent suspension would be more likely to allow all 4 wheels to stay on the ground.
Actually solid axles flex a lot better than independent suspensions.
 

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mayberidgeline said:
Actually solid axles flex a lot better than independent suspensions.
Huh???????????
 

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Discussion Starter #18
swampler said:
That was my reaction. Just figured it was pointless to argue.
Not sure what you mean by that - it's not really a disputable fact: solid axles flex better than independent suspensions. Why do you think all the hardcore jeep guys were so pissed when the Cherokee (solid front and rear) turned into the Liberty (with IFS) and the WJ (solid front and rear) turned into the WK (again, with IFS)?

Spend about 2 minutes on google and it's pretty obvious. If you guys really need me to I can post some pictures that illustrate the difference, but it seems a bit strange that you don't get it.

No offense - I realize this isn't really an off-road oriented crowd, but this is pretty basic stuff... :confused:
 

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mayberidgeline said:
Not sure what you mean by that - it's not really a disputable fact: solid axles flex better than independent suspensions. Why do you think all the hardcore jeep guys were so pissed when the Cherokee (solid front and rear) turned into the Liberty (with IFS) and the WJ (solid front and rear) turned into the WK (again, with IFS)?

Spend about 2 minutes on google and it's pretty obvious. If you guys really need me to I can post some pictures that illustrate the difference, but it seems a bit strange that you don't get it.

No offense - I realize this isn't really an off-road oriented crowd, but this is pretty basic stuff... :confused:
yes, please post some pics...i don't really know what you're talking about.
and yes, i'm not an off roader, the only time i go offroad is with a mountain bike or hiking boots.
 

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mayberidgeline said:
Not sure what you mean by that - it's not really a disputable fact: solid axles flex better than independent suspensions. Why do you think all the hardcore jeep guys were so pissed when the Cherokee (solid front and rear) turned into the Liberty (with IFS) and the WJ (solid front and rear) turned into the WK (again, with IFS)?

Spend about 2 minutes on google and it's pretty obvious. If you guys really need me to I can post some pictures that illustrate the difference, but it seems a bit strange that you don't get it.

No offense - I realize this isn't really an off-road oriented crowd, but this is pretty basic stuff... :confused:
I suppose a solid axle would have to flex. Maybe the difference between the left and right wheel can be high enough that the independent suspension won't reach far enough? Otherwise, I can't picture what you're saying.
 
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