Honda Ridgeline

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Honda Ridgeline
2006 Honda Ridgeline RTS -- NHTSA 2.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Honda
Production 2005–14, 2016-present
Model years 2006–14, 2017-present
Assembly 2005-08: Alliston, Ontario, CA
2008-14: Lincoln, Alabama, US
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size Sport utility truck
Body style 4-door Sport utility truck
Powertrain
Engine 3.5 liter V6

The Honda Ridgeline is a sport utility truck by Honda. It has a unibody construction, a dual-action tailgate, an In-Bed Truck, and comes in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive unlike most pickup trucks. It was released in January 2005 going on sale in March as a 2006 model and was initially built by Honda of Canada Manufacturing until 2008 when assembly relocated to Honda Manufacturing of Alabama. Production ended in mid-2014. Despite its low sales numbers,[1] the Ridgeline was one of the more profitable vehicles for Honda.[2] In 2013, Honda announced an all-new Ridgeline is planned for release.[3]

First generation[edit]

Honda Ridgeline
2006 Honda Ridgeline RTS -- NHTSA 1.jpg
2006 Honda Ridgeline RTS
Overview
Production 2005–Aug 2014
Model years 2006–2014
Body and chassis
Layout Transversely-mounted front engine, all-wheel drive
Related Honda Pilot (31% shared parts)[4]
Powertrain
Engine 3.5 liter V6
2005-2008: 247 hp (184 kW), 245 lb·ft (332 N·m)
2009-2014: 250 hp (190 kW), 247 lb·ft (335 N·m)
Transmission 5-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 122 in (3,099 mm)
Length 2006-2008: 206.8 in (525 cm)
2009-2011: 207 in (526 cm)
2012-2014: 206.9 in (526 cm)
Width 77.8 in (1,976 mm)
Height 70.3 in (1,786 mm)
2012-2014 RTL: 71.2 in (1,808 mm)
Curb weight 2006-2008: 4,491–4,552 lb (2,037–2,065 kg)
2009-2011: 4,504–4,564 lb (2,043–2,070 kg)
2012-2014: 4,491–4,575 lb (2,037–2,075 kg)

Design[edit]

Drawing of first generation Honda Ridgeline's high strength steel-reinforced, closed-box, unibody frame

The file above's purpose is being discussed and/or is being considered for deletion. See files for discussion to help reach a consensus on what to do.
Rearview of a 2009-2014 Honda Ridgeline (Note the unique side panels, rear roof garnish, and tailgate height. All work in concert to reduce air turbulence while maintaining visibility.)

It was designed and engineered in Honda R&D Americas, led by designer Gary Flint who took about four years[5] and around $250 million to develop the vehicle.[2] It has a steel reinforced unibody frame with a rear suspension design that provided space for a storage area below the bed.[6] The design of the hood allowed a cold air intake system for the engine that draws outside air from above and in front of the radiator to support torque production during high engine temperature conditions[7] and supports deep water fording.[8] This also allowed engineers to build environmentally protected windshield wipers that were also heated to improve winter performance.[9] The rear side-panels, roof garnish, and tailgate were built to maintain good aerodynamics and reduce turbulence between the cab and the tailgate while maintaining driver visibility. This aerodynamic design allowed them to create a rear garnish that shields the rear glass window so when it's opened at speed there is no buffeting or rainwater intrusion.[9] The bed is built out of steel-reinforced sheet molding composite (SMC) that is dent resistant, corrosion resistant, and is covered with a non-slip coating. It is supported by high strength steel-reinforced crossmembers (three under the bed and two in the rear cabin wall) to safely secure and support loads,[10] even under conditions that would cause the SMC to fail.[11]

Specifications[edit]

Rear passanger area of a 2009-2014 Honda Ridgeline RTL (US), EX-L (CA), and Touring (CA) trim with the short portion of the split bench-seat stowed highlighting its flat load floor

It has a 5 ft (1.5 m) cargo bed, similar to the Chevrolet Avalanche,[12] which can be extended to 6.6 ft (2 m) with the tailgate down.[13] The bed's width between the wheel-wells is 4.1 ft (1.2 m)[13] With little wheel-well protrusion in the bed, the overall bed width is about the same.[10] The Ridgeline's drivetrain, frame, and suspension design allowed engineers to build the "industry's first"[14] lockable, watertight, and drainable 8.5 cu ft (240.7 l) In-Bed Trunk at the rear of the bed.[10] The cabin can accommodate five full-size adults and has a flat load floor with 2.6 cu ft (73.6 l) of under-seat storage in the second row[13] or 41.4 cu ft (1.2 m3) when the rear 60/40 split bench seat's bottom cushions are folded up.[15] It has 8.2 in (20.8 cm) of ground clearance with approach, departure and breakover angles of 24.5º, 22º, and 21º respectively while maintaining a comfortable entry/exit height for passengers.[10]

Depending on model year and trim level, the first generation Honda Ridgeline weighs between 4,491 lb (2,037 kg)[16] and 4,575 lb (2,075 kg) with a 52/48 (front/rear) weight distribution.[13] It has a total payload capacity ranging from 1,559 lb (707 kg) to 1,475 lb (669 kg), depending on trim level.[13] The SUT's steel-reinforced SMC bed is designed to handle loads of up to 1,100 lb (499 kg).[17] The bed has six (2006-2008 models) or eight (2009-2014 models) tie down cleats in a high/low configuration, rated at 350 lb (159 kg) each, and has special guides built into the bed to help accommodate multiple off-road motorcycles.[10][13] The Ridgeline’s bed is also equipped with four bed lights that are integrated into its walls providing a minimum of ten lux of illuminance throughout the bed.[11] In addition to built in lights, the forward section (close to the cab) of the SUT's right bed wall has a hidden spare tire mount that can accommodate either a temporary or full-size spare for times when access to the spare tire service tray, via the In-Bed Trunk, is impractical.[17] Inside the In-Bed Trunk are integrated cargo hooks and organizer slots to help manage the up to 300 lb (136 kg) of material that it can securely stow.[10] The tailgate has a dual-action hinging system that allows it to be opened like a traditional tailgate but can also be swung open either 30º or 80º to the side.[11] When in the down position, the Ridgeline's tailgate can handle dynamic loads of up to 300 lb (136 kg).[11] When equipped with a roof rack, the Ridgeline's roof structure is designed to handle a total load of 165 lb (75 kg) to 110 lb (50 kg), depending on model year.[17][18]

Honda lists a 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) towing capacity. Honda accounts for an additional payload of between 594 lb (269 kg) and 510 lb (231 kg) (depending on trim level) while towing its maximum capacity.[13] All models came with a heavy-duty radiator, integrated transmission and power steering coolers, dual 160W radiator fans, and were pre-wired for a trailer brake controller and a four and/or seven-pin (depending on model year) trailer wiring harness.[9][11][13] Also, depending on trim level and model year, a class III tow hitch with a four and/or seven-pin trailer wiring harness was either standard equipment or dealer installed options.[17][19][20]

The Ridgeline has a four-wheel independent suspension with MacPherson struts in the front and a multi-link design, with trailing arms, in the rear.[13] It has a turning diameter of 42.6 ft (13.0 m) using a variable power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering.[13] It has four-wheel disk brakes with 13.1 in (33.3 cm) ventilated front disks, with floating twin piston calipers,[21] and 12.6 in (32 cm) solid rear disks with integrated emergency/parking brake drums; the rear brakes use floating single piston calipers for the disks and dual uposing brake shoes for the drums.[22][23] The disk brakes are controlled via a four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist.[10] Although 60 mph (97 km/h) to 0 stopping distances of 117 ft (36 m)[24] to 195 ft (59 m)[25] have been reported, the average appears to be between 140 ft (43 m)[26] and 147 ft (45 m).[27]

Powertrain[edit]

According to Gary Flint, the truck's Variable Torque Management Four-Wheel Drive (VTM-4) system --co-developed with BorgWarner[28]-- "provides front-wheel drive for dry-pavement cruising conditions and engages all-wheel drive when needed to improve stability or maneuverability"[29] and supports medium duty off-road use.[10] The electromagnetically driven clutch-operated differential[28] can be manually locked (VTM-4 Lock) to help the truck better handle adverse terrain or become unstuck.[10] It also has a four-channel fully automatic Vehicle Stability Assist system that is designed to enhance control during acceleration, cornering, and collision-avoidance maneuvers and can be manually disabled when required.[10][29]

The Ridgeline is powered by a transverse mounted J35A9 (2006–2008) or J35Z5 (2009–2014),[20] 3,471 cc (211.8 cu in) V6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and a 22 US gal (83 l) fuel tank; no powertrain variations were offered.[13] Both engines have an aluminum block with overhead camshafts, 24-valve Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control system, with 10.0:1 compression, Honda's Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system, and a variable-length intake manifold which respond to the Ridgeline's electronic throttle that's also linked to the VTM-4 and VSA systems.[10][20] The automatic transmission uses a four-shaft design with a flat lock-up torque converter that's managed by the PGM-FI's central processing unit that maintains a communication link with the engine. A direct-control real-time pressure management system coordinates engine and transmission operation to minimize driveline shocks and a Grade Logic Controller prevents gear hunting when climbing hills or when more engine braking is required.[10]

All of the aerodynamic and drivetrain design as well as the overall weight of the Ridgeline produced a truck that, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing, can achieve 15 mpg-US (15.7 L/100 km) city, 20 mpg-US (11.8 L/100 km) or 21 mpg-US (11.2 L/100 km) highway (depending on model year), and 17 mpg-US (13.8 L/100 km) combined.[30][31]

Equipment[edit]

Front passanger area of a 2009-2014 Honda Ridgeline RTL (US), EX-L (CA), and Touring (CA) trim

In addition to the features described above, the Honda Ridgeline came equipped with numerous other standard equipment that was uncommon for its time, including:[17]

The 2009 model year brought more unusual standared equipment such as a seven-pin trailer wiring harness to the standard equipment list for Canadian models and a class III tow hitch for all versions of the truck.[33] Just like the 2009 model year, the 2013 model year brought even more unusual standard equipment, such as a rearview camera.[34]

Front view of a 2012-2014 Honda Ridgeline Sport (US and CA) and RTL (MX) exterior trim (Note the grille and rims that set it apart.)

For the US market, it was produced in six different trim levels through its lifetime: RT, RTX, Sport, RTS, RTL, and SE.[13][19][35][36] The short lived RTX trim was a base RT model with a beefed-up exterior; what set it apart was its factory class III tow hitch with four and seven-pin trailer wiring harness, large honeycomb style black grille, and alloy rims.[19] The Sport trim replaced the position once held by the RTX and came with some unique exterior features, such as an exterior blackout treatment, fog lights, a saw-tooth style black grille, special 18 in (45.7 cm) alloy rims, as well as some interior enhancements such as a black interior trim package, MP3/auxiliary input jack, and steering-wheel mounted audio controls.[35] The RTS trim lacked many of the exterior treatments found in the RTX and Sport but had numerous interior enhancements not found in the other packages, such as a ten-way power driver's seat with manual lumbar support, dual-zone climate control, and a Pioneer Premium 160W six-CD changer with upgraded speakers and a subwoofer.[13][37] —Power-adjustable lumbar and MP3/auxiliary input jack were added to the RTS in the 2009 model year.[20] For all but the last year of production, the RTL was the highest trim package available and came with both exterior and interior enhancements; some of the more noteworthy enhancements were found in the interior such as leather trimmed upholstery and steering wheel, heated front seats and side view mirrors, and the addition of XM® satellite radio.[13] —Unique 18 in (45.7 cm) alloy rims, fog lights, and a 115V/100W AC outlet were added to the RTL in the 2009 model year.[20] Optional on the RTL was a power moonroof and an Alpine Global Positioning System navigation (GPS nav.).[13][15][17] This GPS nav. option replaced the Pioneer Premium audio system with a Clarion 160W XM head unit, a Panasonic 8 in (20.3 cm) infotainment touchscreen, and a separate multi-format six-CD changer[38] located behind the touchscreen which pivots down for access.[39] —The power moonroof became standard equipment on the RTL in the 2007 model year.[16][40] A rearview camera, Bluetooth, and Honda's HandsFreeLink were added to GPS nav. equipped RTLs in the 2009 model year.[20]--[10] The SE trim was the top-of-the-line model for the 2014 model year which included every option available for the RTL and added the Sport trim's blackout treatment and grille, unique 18 in (45.7 cm) polished aluminum rims, and a black interior with matching leather upholstery.[13][36]

For the Canadian market, it was produced in seven different trim levels: LX, DX, VP, Sport, Special Edition, EX-L, and Touring.[10][41][42][43] The LX and DX were the base trim packages, similar to the RT.[10][41] The VP trim was the next in the lineup, sitting somewhere between the RT and RTS.[41] The Canadian Sport was the third fanciest in the lineup and was very similar to the Sport trim sold in the US.[42] The Special Edition was next in the lineup; although it shared the SE's unique rims, grille, badging, and black leather interior, its features put it somewhere between the Sport and RTS trim packages.[44] The EX-L and Touring trims were at the top of the lineup and were similar to the RTL with one exception; until the 2009 model year, a moonroof as well as GPS nav. were part of the EX-L's optional equipment[10][41] while the Touring package came standard with both.[42] This made the Touring trim the top-of-the-line Honda Ridgeline for Canadian buyers, similar to the SE.[43] Although there were differences between the US and Canadian trim packages, the technical differences were the use of daytime running lights on all trim levels and model years, metric system gauges, and Honda's bilingual (English and French) voice recognition system.[17][43]

For the Mexican market, only an RTL trim package was available and was equipped similarly to the older Canadian EX-L.[45] A review of used Honda Ridgelines for sale in Mexico as well as 2013 and 2014 Mexican brochures showed the Mexican RTL had a few twists to its packaging that set it apart from its US and Canadian counterparts.[45][46][47] The Mexican RTL came equipped very similarly to the Canadian EX-L and retained the optional moonroof of the early EX-L.[45] Unlike the EX-L, GPS nav. was ever a factory option.[45][46] Also, the Mexican RTL came equipped with the 2006 through 2008 EX-L rims until the 2012 model year when it was updated with the US and Canadian Sport's exterior trim package.[46][47]

With the exception of the trucks sold in Mexico (MX),[45] the Honda Ridgeline was offered in a variety of exterior colors with minor changes made during the truck's early and late years of production.[16][43][48][49] There were few interior color options with most variations found in the upholstery; however, these interior colors were mated to specific exterior colors and trim levels.[43][49] These parings meant the prospective Ridgeline owner had little choice in the color of their truck's interior.

In addition to the different features and accessories one could obtain by purchasing certain trim levels, Honda offered many accessories as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) items that could be ordered and installed at the dealership. Additionally, there were numerous Honda accessories that did not come on any trim level which could be purchased and installed at the dealership including brush guards, roof racks (with a variety of accessory mounts), storage organizers, bed extenders, and more.[50]

Updates[edit]

For the 2007 model year, the RTX trim package was introduced in the US market as a unique tow-ready version of the RT trim with some exterior treatments that helped set it apart from the rest of the lineup.[19] Also for the 2007 model year, Honda made the moonroof standard equipment on the US RTL trim.[16][40]

For the 2008 model year, Honda replaced its two-tone fabrics and leather upholsteries for monotone versions and the RTS and RTL trims received more plished versions of their existing alloy rims.[51]

Engine power and torque comparisons between the 2006-2008 J35A9 and 2009-2014 J35Z5 engines of the 1st gen. Honda Ridgeline

For the 2009 model year, the Ridgeline received its most significant updates with over 50 different changes, including the removal of the RTX trim from the US lineup, exterior and interior updates, as well as drivetrain improvements. Some of the more noticeable changes were a new front end with daytime running lights, new brake light covers, new rear step-bumper with integrated class III tow hitch, two additional bed cleats, new instrument cluster, a new steering wheel, driver and front-passenger active head restraints, and more. In the US, the RTS trim gained a power-adjustable lumbar, a MP3/auxiliary input jack, and a seven-pin trailer wiring harness. The RTL trim gained the same seven-pin harness and received new 18 in (45.7 cm) alloy rims and a 115V/100W AC outlet; if equipped with GPS nav., the RTL also received a rearview camera and class II Bluetooth with Honda's HandsFreeLink system.[20][33] For Canadians, a new lineup of trim levels were introduced that more closely resembled the United States.[41] A new V6 engine (the J35Z5) was introduced that produced up to 10 ft·lb (14 J) more torque at lower revolutions per minute (rpm) than its predecessor as well as 3 hp (2.2 kW) more at 5,700 rpm. The transmission was revised to take advantage of the new engine's power curve and to help increase towing performance with the greatest differences found in both third and fourth gear with approximately 5% lower ratios.[20]

For the 2012 model year, a new Sport trim was introduced in the US and Canada, and the Canadian EX-L was replaced by a new Touring trim package. Also, a new grille was introduced for all but the Sport model for the US and Canadian market.[35][52] For Mexico, their RTL trim received the US and Canadian Sport's exterior package while retaining its Canadian EX-L interior.[46][47] Lastly, aerodynamic improvements were made to the body and friction reduction measures were made to the J35Z5 engine; these improvements helped increase highway fuel economy by 1 mpg-US (2.4 L/km), according to EPA testing.[35]

For the 2013 model year, Honda began including rearview cameras in as many vehicles as they could,[34] which included all of the Ridgeline's trim levels.[53] For those Ridgelines not equipped with the GPS navigation, the rearview camera monitor was imbedded in the left-half of the rearview mirror, which could not be seen unless illuminated from behind the mirrored glass.[53]

For the 2014 model year, Honda removed the VP trim from the Canadian lineup and replaced it with a new Special Edition package.[44] In the US, the SE trim was introduced surpassing the RTL as the new top-of-the-line model.[36]

Changes in Honda Ridgeline's trim levels over time
Model year United States Canada
2006 RT, RTS, and RTL (with/without moonroof or moonroof and GPS nav.)[17] LX and EX-L (with/without moonroof or moonroof and GPS nav.)[10]
2007-2008 RT, RTX, RTS, and RTL (with/without GPS nav.)[19]
--No change--[48]
2009-2011 RT, RTS, and RTL (with/without GPS nav.)[20] DX, VP, and EX-L (with/without GPS nav.)[33]
2012-2013 RT, Sport (US), RTS, and RTL (with/without GPS nav.)[35] DX, VP, Sport (CA), and Touring[52]
2014 RT, Sport (US), RTS, RTL (with/without GPS nav.), and SE[36] DX, Sport (CA), Special Edition, and Touring[44]

Comparisons[edit]

When attempting to compare one vehicle to another, one can look at the manufacturer's numbers as well as independent testing. Given that environmental conditions can change a vehicle's performance,[54] looking at real-world tests that were performed at the same time, at the same location, with like configured vehicles should yield the fairest results. All comparisons referenced below are made with four-wheel drive, crew-cab (where possible), short box versions of the same model year mid-size trucks as the Honda Ridgeline that were sold in North America.

When you compare the Ridgeline's advertized interior/passenger volume and total payload with the Toyota Tacoma,[55] Nissan Frontier,[56] Suzuki Equator,[57] Dodge Dakota,[58][59] Ford Explorer Sport Trac,[60] Ford Ranger,[61] and GM's Colorado/Canyon,[62] the Ridgeline has greater interior space and hauling capacity than its competition. However, when comparing the manufacturers' tow ratings, --even when performing a towing, curb weight and GCWR calculation to get a more accurate number-- the Ridgeline falls short putting it at the bottom of its class for towing. Otherwise, the Ridgeline falls in the middle of these mid-size trucks' published specifications.[13]

The Ridgeline is the first four-door pickup truck to win the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) five-star safety rating for both front and side impact crash test performance and it had the highest rollover resistance of any pickup NHTSA ever tested.[63] Also, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the Ridgeline with its highest crash safety scores giving it the "Top Safety Pick" designation[64] while the Toyota Tacoma,[65] Nissan Frontier,[66] Suzuki Equator,[67] Dodge Dakota,[68] Ford Explorer Sport Trac,[69] Ford Ranger,[70] and GM's Colorado/Canyon[71][72] had one or more less than good rating(s).

In 2012, PickupTrucks.com --a subsidiary of Cars.com-- conducted a mid-size truck comparison with six of the eight trucks listed above (minus the Dakota and Sport Trac) and the Honda Ridgeline. With the exception of a 2011 super-cab Ford Ranger, all test vehicles were 2012 models and all but one had V6 engines (the Colorado was equipped with the LH8 small-block V8). The head-to-head tests focused on numerous attributes including objective tests on 0-60 mph (97 km/h), 60-0, and quarter-mile (0.4 km) times with maximum payloads as well as empty beds; dynamometer tests; and real-world fuel economy tests. Subjective tests included expert driver impressions, best value estimates, and an off-road course.[73] Of the seven mid-size trucks tested, the Ridgeline ranked third overall.[74] Of the objective tests, the Ridgeline had the highest scores for payload[75][76] and real-world fuel economy[77] while ranking lowest in torque delivery at the wheels;[78] otherwise, the Ridgeline ranked in the middle of the other objective tests.[75][78] Of the subjective tests, the Ridgeline was judged second in expert impressions, third in best value, and last in the off-road course.[76][79]

Marketing and sales (1st Generation)[edit]

According to Automotive Design & Production, Honda was slow to enter the minivan market as well as the SUV market, so "given that track record it is no surprise that Honda has just now [2005] gotten around to building a pickup truck" that is not designed to compete against the traditional F-150, Silverado, or Ram domestic models, but to "give the 18% of Honda owners who also own pickups a chance to make their garages a Honda-only parking area."[80]

The Ridgeline is more aptly classified as a sport utility truck with the only direct rivals being the full-size Chevrolet Avalanche[81] and the smaller Ford Explorer Sport Trac.[60] Other less direct rivals include the four-wheel drive, crew-cab, short box versions of other mid-size pickups of that era such as the Toyota Tacoma,[55] Nissan Frontier,[56] Suzuki Equator,[57] Dodge Dakota,[59] and GM's Colorado/Canyon.[62]

2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL with OEM brush guard,[82] small honeycomb style black grille,[83] black roof rack,[84] body side protectors,[85] and splash guards[86] towing a large sport boat[87]

According to Bloomberg Business, Honda hoped buyers would find it an attractive alternative to large SUVs, and conventional pickup trucks.[63] Some in the press that have evaluated the Ridgeline, such as PickupTrucks.com, consider it "one of those odd vehicles."[88] They wrote, "The Ridgeline can't really do what most people who like trucks need it to do."[88] While AutoTrader.com wrote, "Sure, some homeowners and weekend warriors may actually need a 10,000-lb towing capacity, but the Honda Ridgeline is probably just right for most."[89] Others in the automotive press, such as The Driver's Seat TV, call the Ridgeline, "the Swiss Army Knife of trucks," due to its functionality, and "the anti-truck," due to Honda's lack of following the rules when it comes to truck design; they summarized the truck as scoring "high on practicality but very low on image."[90]

Hanover, New Hampshire Police Department's custom 2009 Honda Ridgeline RTS police cruiser[91]

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, "Since its March [2005] debut, Honda's first pickup for the U.S. market is slow to gain traction. Nissan's full-size Titan pickup also has fallen short of sales targets in this all-American segment, which ... is proving tough for outsiders to crack."[92] According to Bloomberg Business, early slow sales can partly be attributed to the expense of the vehicle, which some considered "over-priced." Consequently, dealers began to discount the truck and sales increased.[63] Regardless, sales were still slow compared to other Honda vehicles[1] Despite the Ridgeline's slow sales, Honda gave it a facelift for 2009 and added a lower-priced Sport model for 2012, but sales remained "lackluster," according to AutoBlog.com.[93]

Automobile Magazine wrote, "The reaction among pickup buyers has been a collective yawn." "Volume dropped by half from 2008 to 2010 and then fell another 40 percent last year [2011]. In fact, a few months ago, Honda felt compelled to post on its media web site an open letter from the company's head to truck product planning, denying rumors that the Ridgeline would be dropped and insisting that a pickup truck will remain part of the company's portfolio."[94] According to Automobile Magazine, parts shortages, due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, put production on hold and "this setback likely impacted sales of the already slow-selling pickup," but the company announced that the Ridgeline would "continue production through 2013."[95]

Honda Ridgeline's sales figures in the United States and Canada[1][96]
Calendar year United States Canada
2005 42,593 3,512
2006 50,193 4,988
2007 42,795 4,519
2008 33,875 3,987
2009 16,464 3,546
2010 16,142 3,200
2011 9,759 1,713
2012 14,068 2,226
2013 17,723 2,122
2014 13,389 1,803
2015 520

The first generation Honda Ridgeline ended production in mid-2014.[97] The automaker planned to continue production until the second generation Ridgeline was introduced; however, "slow sales of the truck have prompted the automaker to pull it sooner than expected."[98] Despite this, the Ridgeline was one of Honda's more profitable vehicles due to the company's frugal nature that allowed them to develop the Ridgeline for under $250 million (half of what General Motors would normally pay), maximizing Honda's profit margin.[2]

Second generation[edit]

Second Generation Honda Ridgeline
2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-T.jpg
2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-T
Overview
Production May 2016-present[99]
Model years 2017-present
Assembly Lincoln, Alabama, US
Body and chassis
Layout Transversely-mounted front engine, front-wheel drive/all-wheel drive
Related Honda Pilot (50% shared parts)[100]
Powertrain
Engine 3.5 liter i-VTEC V6
280 hp (210 kW), 262 lb·ft (355 N·m)
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 125.2 in (3,180 mm)
Length 210.0 in (5,334 mm)
Width 78.6 in (1,996 mm)
Height 70.2–70.8 in (1,783–1,798 mm)
Curb weight 4,250–4,500 lb (1,928–2,041 kg)

On November 3, 2015, the public got their first glimpse at what the second generation Honda Ridgeline would look like when Honda unveiled their 2016 Ridgeline Baja Race Truck at the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas, Nevada.[101] Soon thereafter, Honda's new race vehicle went on to win its class at the 2015 SCORE Baja 1000.[102] On January 11, 2016 at the North American International Auto Show, Honda unveiled the second generation Honda Ridgeline to the public.[103]

The second generation Honda Ridgeline retains some of the unique features from the first generation, such as the In-Bed Trunk, dual-action tailgate, a flat bed, and a rear 60/40 split bench seat with flat load floor.[103][104] Like before, the 2017 Honda Ridgeline is a unibody vehicle but uses Honda's new "ACE body structure" and has a wider and longer bed than the first generation truck.[103] The front-half of this new truck comes with many of the same components and features as the 2016 Honda Pilot, such as the Earth Dreams 3.5 liter SOHC direct injection i-VTEC V6, Intelligent VTM-4 (known as "i-VTM4"), Intelligent Traction Management, Honda Sensing,[103] front fascia (but with a different grille), front doors and mirrors, dashboard, instrument cluster, front seats, and center console (but with a more traditional gear selector).[105][106]

Despite its more conventional truck styling, the 2017 Honda Ridgeline has roughly the same hauling and towing capabilities as the first generation Ridgeline. However, the second generation Ridgeline does enhance its hauling and towing performance with a bigger but shallower bed with a new scratch resistant surface, a more powerful engine --producing 12% more horsepower and 6% more torque at the top end--, a six-speed transmission --with 20% wider gear ratios including a lower first gear and a higher top gear--, the i-VTM4 system, and Trailer Stability Assist.[107]

The big differences between the first and second generation Honda Ridgeline are styling, technology, and trim levels. One of the more striking features of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline is an optional in-bed audio system where the bed walls are turned into speakers using six "exciters" spread around the bed. Also, this second generation Ridgeline is now offered in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive while the first generation was only available in all-wheel drive.[103][107]

Awards and accolades[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Honda News and Views, Reports, 2014 Digital FactBook, Honda, dated 27 January 2015, last accessed 19 September 2015
  2. ^ a b c Driving Honda: Inside the World's Most Innovative Car Company, by Jeffrey Rothfeder, 1st published 2014, paperback with "afterword" published 2015, last accessed 27 November 2015
  3. ^ All-new Honda Ridgeline Pickup to Debut Within Two Years, Honda, dated 10 December 2013, last accessed 7 November 2015
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External links[edit]