I owned 4 of the first version and it was a great truck but I agree with what you are saying. Compare it to other trucks and you will understand why, which I did by they way.I have seen so much nitpicking of the new truck on here that I thought a good positive thread was in order.
I like the G2 a lot, and I consider it a huge improvement for several reasons.
1. It looks much, much better.
Not all of us bought the first generation 10 years ago and spent the last decade convincing ourselves it looks nice. It does not look nice, at all. It is one of the most universally disliked designs created in the last decade, which is why such a good vehicle sold so poorly. The new vehicle looks much better in person. It does not look like a pilot with a bed, it looks like a sleeker truck.
2. The bed is much better.
It is weird to me that people are freaking out that the bed is a bit shallower towards the back and not acknowledging that the bed is simply much larger than the old bed. The old Ridgeline's bed was comically small, while the new bed is longer than the short-beds of all of the competitors and as wide as the full-size trucks.
I am sure that the extra length and width more than makes up for the decrease in height, but there are also a ton of cheap fixes for bed height for the rare occasion you are hauling huge amounts of loose cargo like dirt.
But something tells me the wider and longer bed will come in handy much more often, and will fit more dirt anyways.
3. It is faster and handles better.
Go drive one. It is actually shocking how nice a truck of that size drives.
4. The interior is much nicer.
The interior of the new Ridgeline is in a completely different class than the old one. The seats are the most comfortable I've sat in, and I have been shopping for the Colorado, Canyon, Tacoma, Grand Cherokee, and BMW X5.
You miss the "cubbys"? There are several in the door. But honestly, being forced to unclutter your truck with visible nick-nacks is probably a good thing. Nothing is more anxiety-inducing than getting into somebody's car and every single surface and hole is filled with crap. Use the glove box, use the door cubbys, use the center console. Still got more stuff? Seek a therapist, hoarder. For the rest of us, we appreciate a clean interior where things are properly stored out of sight.
5. The gas mileage is much better.
A faster, more powerful truck, with much better gas mileage.