1.24.2017

The Truck With a Trunk...and Tricks: The 2017 Honda Ridgeline

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD Black Edition
The 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD Black Edition.
There was talk that the Honda Ridgeline (at the time ten years into its first and only generation) would leave us about mid-decade.  Honda instead gives us an all-new one, just in time for the boom in mid-size pickup trucks.  And the good news is that this Ridgeline is still weird.



Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD Black Edition
2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD Black Edition.
Weird in this case means "not like every other truck".  Honda, as it does when it is at its best, has come up with the vehicle most truck owners really need instead of what they think they want.  That formula pretty much shifted the family sedan market from the Chevrolet Impala to the Honda Accord over the past 35 years.

The Ridgeline is a maneuverable size, isn't packing overkill under the hood (though with the current rush in most vehicles to 2-liter turbocharged fours, a 3.5-liter V6 is on the large side), and it delivers and EPA fuel economy estimate of 18 city/25 highway.

Thoughtful touches abound.  The tailgate folds down like any other truck's, but it also opens out like a door.  Then there's the lockable compartment underneath the truck bed:

Trunk in 2017 Honda Ridgeline
2017 Honda Ridgeline trunk.
Yes, it's a truck with a trunk.  And most of us who use a truck most of the time for hauling people and not things, will find that handy.  Also handy is the fact that the trunk is lined in plastic and has a drain plug at the bottom, because you can do this:

Trunk/ice chest of 2017 Honda Ridgeline
2017 Honda Ridgeline trunk/ice chest.
Apparently, there is a phrase in Japanese for "tailgate party", and Honda is familiar with it.

What about things that won't fit in the trunk under the bed, and that you don't want to leave in the bed?  The Ridgeline has that covered, too:

Rear seat of 2017 Honda Ridgeline
2017 Honda Ridgeline rear seat.
There is significant space under the rear seat, all the way across, for storage.  And if that's not enough:

Folding rear seat of 2017 Honda Ridgeline
2017 Honda Ridgeline folding rear seat.
That same rear seat, folds up, allowing for large items, from boxes to a bicycle.

Interior view of 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD Black Edition
2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD Black Edition interior.
Our tester was the top-of-the-line AWD Black Edition.  $42,870 is what it costs and it comes with every feature Honda offers in the Ridgeline...a leather-trimmed interior, leather-wrapped heated steering wheel (Sidenote: In my first real winter....yes, this is my fourth, but the drought meant more sunny, warmer days the past three winters) back in Northern California, I have become a huge fan of the heated steering wheel), an eight-speaker premium audio system with subwoofer, Apple CarPlay, navigation, tri-zone climate control, heated power front seats with memory for the driver, and Honda Sensing, a safety suite including collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and road departure warning.

In other words, one seriously loaded truck,,,for one price.  Add in $900 destination and handling charges, and it stops at $43,770.  Which, these days, is reasonable money for a truck, let alone one with the features and usefulness of the new Honda Ridgeline.  We're fans and we hope there'll be a generation three after a long and successful run for this one.

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