Honda Ridgeline (2017–present)

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Second–generation Honda Ridgeline
2018 Honda Ridgeline RTL-T-on ice.jpg
2018 Honda Ridgeline RTL-T
(with aftermarket BAKFlip F1 tonneau cover[1])
Overview
Also called"Pilot Ridgeline" (Colombia)[2]
ProductionMay 2016[3]–present
Model years2017–present
AssemblyFlag of the United States.svg Honda Manufacturing of Alabama
Body and chassis
ClassClass 1 (front-wheel drive) or
Class 2a (all-wheel drive) light truck
Body style4-door pickup
LayoutTransversely-mounted front engine, front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive
RelatedGen3 Honda Pilot and Passport
Powertrain
EngineJ35Y6 (Earth Dreams) V6 (gasoline): 280 hp (210 kW)/262 lb⋅ft (355 N⋅m)
TransmissionH6 6-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase125.2 in (3,180 mm)
Length210.0 in (5,334 mm)
Width78.6 in (1,996 mm)
Height70.2–70.8 in (1,783–1,798 mm)
Curb weight4,242–4,515 lb (1,924–2,048 kg)

The Honda Ridgeline is a pickup truck by American Honda Motor Company, Inc.[4] and is categorized by some as a lifestyle pickup.[5] The second–generation (Gen 2) Ridgeline (2017–present) is one of only two pickup trucks currently produced by the Honda Motor Company—the second being the Honda Acty mini-truck.[6] Both generations of the Ridgeline were/are built using a unibody frame, a transverse-mounted engine, and was/is only offered in a crew-cab short-box configuration with one powertrain.[4][7] According to Honda and automotive journalists, the Gen2 Ridgeline has some additional noteworthy designs, including[8][9]

2017 Ridgeline RTL with dual–action tailgate opened laterally 80° and the in–bed trunk opened

The Gen2 Ridgeline took a different approach in design from the first–generation (Gen1) Ridgeline (2006-2014) by sharing Honda's new "global light truck platform,"[7] found in the third generation (Gen3) Honda Pilot as well as other large Honda vehicles.[10][11] However, Honda did have to create or modify components in order to support their next generation pickup, including:

  • Extending the wheelbase[12]
  • Modifying various parts to support heavier hauling, towing, and more aggressive off-road use[13]
  • Incorporating notable features from the Gen1, such as the dual–action tailgate and in–bed trunk[4][7]
  • Adding new exclusive features, such as Honda's truck bed audio system[7]

Despite these modifications, Honda has stated that 73% of the Gen2 Ridgeline's components remain common in some way with the Gen3 Pilot.[12]

With the mixed success of the Gen1 Ridgeline,[14] Honda posted "an open letter from the company's head of 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."[15] With that proclamation, Honda became committed to the development of a new Ridgeline. After a one-year hiatus in Ridgeline production, the Gen2 of their mid-size truck went on sale in June 2016 as a 2017 model year vehicle.[16] According to Honda, the Ridgeline was not designed to steal sales from the more traditional trucks sold in North America, but was developed to "give the 18% of Honda owners who also own pickups a chance to make their garages a Honda-only parking area."[17]

Design[edit]

According to Honda's research clinics, they found that buyers made assumptions about toughness and payload based on the gaps between the tires and the truck's wheel arches, the vehicle's stance, and whether or not it had a tow hitch.[18][19] Jim Loftus—the Gen2 Ridgeline's Performance Lead Engineer—said, "Those things were honestly kind of 'aha' moments or big surprises to us as a project team..."[18] So the team—lead by Large Project Leader and Chief Engineer Kerry McClure[19]—went back and incorporated all of those messages into their next generation pickup.[18] In November 2015, Honda presented its new Ridgeline Baja Race Truck at the 2015 SEMA Show, giving the public some insight into the design language that would be used in the next-generation Ridgeline.[16] Two months later, at the North American International Auto Show, Honda unveiled the production version of the Gen2 Ridgeline.[16]

Gen2 Ridgeline unibody frame design

The Gen2 Ridgeline is based on what Honda calls its new "global light truck platform."[7] Its unibody frame uses a modified version of the Gen3 Pilot's "three-bone" spine—vs the four–bone spine of the Gen1 Ridgeline—with Honda's next generation advanced compatibility engineering (ACE) front structure and has optimized material grades composed of aluminum, magnesium, and various composites and steels—such as a laser welded door ring made of hot-stamped ultra-high strength steel.[12] Honda developed a new C-pillar design that can distribute large loads across the unibody frame without buttressing, helping to maintain a more traditional truck profile. According to Steve Behm—the Gen2 Ridgeline's Principal Underbody Design Engineer—using boxed sections for their bed rail, C-pillar, and the back wall of the cab culminated in a critical joint where the bed rail ties in with spot welds, structural foam, and bolts allows there to be a 95° angle between cab and bed vs the 135° angle of the Gen1's buttress style C-pillar.[12][20]

Despite similarities with the Gen3 Pilot, Honda has stated that nearly every major component has been beefed up with a 17% stronger front structure, a 31% sturdier rear,[21] and 50% of the chassis's components changed or strengthened for the Gen2 Ridgeline.[13] According to TorqueNews, the Gen2 Ridgeline's suspension components, spindles, hubs, casings, and other stress and ware components were cast and tooled 50% larger than those found on the Gen3 Pilot.[22]

Honda's new global light truck platform, specifically the Gen3 Pilot and the 2019–present Honda Passport, include many features and capabilities that are shared with the Gen2 Ridgeline, such as:[7][10][11][23][24]

  • Earth Dreams V6 engine with variable cylinder management—which is designed to operate in three-cylinder mode when not under load—(all models)
  • Intelligent-variable torque management four-wheel drive (I-VTM4)—which progressively distributes torque between the front and rear axles and dynamically distributes torque between the left and right rear wheels—(select models)
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)—independently modulates braking power at each wheel to help the driver retain control during heavy braking—(all models)
  • Electronic brake distribution—automatically proportions front–to–rear brake force based on the vehicle's dynamic load on each wheel—(all models)
  • Brake assist—recognizes emergency braking and applies added braking force to ensure maximum stopping force—(all models)
  • Vehicle stability assist (VSA)—works in conjunction with the drive-by-wire throttle and the four–channel ABS system to enhance control while accelerating, braking, cornering, aggressive maneuvering, and provides a limited-slip differential effect to a slipping wheel thereby redirecting driving force to the wheel with more traction—(all models)
  • Intelligent traction management—which offers different drive modes [normal and snow for front-wheel drive (FWD) and adds mud and sand for all-wheel drive (AWD)] that adjusts throttle mapping, shift points, power distribution, and VSA responses—(all models)
    Honda Intelligent Traction Management parameters.svg
    • Snow mode: Throttle input is made less aggressive to minimize pedal travel and make launching easier[25]
    • Mud mode: Throttle input is made more aggressive, torque vectoring is disabled, more power is sent to the rear wheels, the transmission delays upshifts, and traction control allows for more wheel-slip[25]
    • Sand mode: Similar to mud mode but with more aggressive setting, maximum rear-wheel bias, and the rear-differential is locked[25]
  • Eco assist system—which adjusts engine performance, throttle response, cruise control, and climate control reactions to improve fuel economy[26]—(all models)
  • Agile handling assist—which utilizes brake vectoring to improve turning response and overall cornering ability—(all models)
  • Hill start assist—which prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards when the driver switches from the brake to the accelerator while stopped on a hill—(all models)
  • Honda sensing—which consists of a suite of systems (collision mitigation braking system, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist system, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control) that improve driver awareness and helps maintain lane position—(select models)
  • Honda LaneWatch or a blind spot information system with rear cross-traffic monitor—which enhance the driver's awareness of different blind-spots around the vehicle—(select models)
  • Motion-adaptive electric power steering—which gives the driver steering inputs to correct vehicle direction in turns and in slippery road conditions—(all models)
  • MacPherson strut-style front suspension—but with heavier-duty knuckles, hubs, and bearings to better support heavy loads—(all models)
  • Multi-link rear suspension with tubular stabilizer bar—but with heavier-duty knuckles and control arms for increased load capacity—(all models)
  • Amplitude reactive dampers—although modified for truck duty,[13] these dampers have two hydraulic circuits, one tuned for ride quality and one for large/harsh undulations, that improve ride quality and stability on and off-road—(all models)
  • Tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) with tire fill assist—which provides audio and visual alerts to users when correct air pressure is reached during tire inflation—(all models)
  • 8 in (20.3 cm) Android based infotainment touchscreen system—with Garmin based Honda satellite-linked navigation,[27] Honda HD digital traffic,[28] HD Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Pandora Radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay with Siri eyes free, HondaLink, HondaLink assist (for emergency services support), Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, short message service (SMS) text messaging, and an independent web browser—(select models)
  • Tri-zone climate control—which provides different climate settings for the driver, front-passenger, and rear-passengers—(select models)

Differences from Gen1 Ridgeline[edit]

The Gen2 Ridgeline's new composite bed design
The new C-pillar and bed design improve side access while supporting the same bed loads as the Gen1[29][30] (2017 RTL)
If equipped, the right-rear bed compartment will house the AC outlet with sufficient space to store a power-tool charging station[13] (2018 RTL-E)
If equipped with the truck bed audio system, the backside of each bed panel will have mounted special exciters that turn them into audio speakers[7][13] (2017 RTL-E)

Both Honda and automotive journalists alike have denoted the Gen2's new truck bed audio system—where the bed walls are turned into speakers that can be controlled via a Bluetooth enabled smartphone—a bed-mounted 115 volt (V)/150–400 watt (W) alternating current (AC) inverter, and best in class gasoline V6 AWD/four-wheel drive highway fuel economy.[7][13][21]

The Gen2 Ridgeline's new structure gives it an average 78 lb (35 kg) reduction in weight from the first-generation pickup[7] while improving strength[12] and protection.[7] The C-pillar and rear sub-frame were strengthened giving this new mid-size truck 28% more torsional rigidity over the Gen1 Ridgeline.[12][31] In addition to this mid-size truck's new underpinnings, there are noise, vibration, and harshness improvements as well, such as active noise cancelation (all models), active control engine mounts (all models), and an acoustic windshield (select models).[7]

Additionally, the Gen2 Ridgeline AWD models offer the same or improved hauling and towing performance when compared to the Gen1 Ridgeline, for example:[4][7][30][32][33]

  • Same published weight limits of 1,100 lb (500 kg) in the bed, 300 lb (140 kg) dynamically on the tailgate, 165 lb (75 kg) on the roof, and 5,000 lb (2,300 kg) towing, but this time the towing capacity is Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2807[34] certified[35]
  • An increase in rear seat storage with 2.9 cu ft (82.1 l) in under-seat storage and 50.2 cu ft (1,421.5 l) in overall second row storage, a 518 cu in (8.5 l) and 8.8 cu ft (249.2 l) increase respectively
  • A bigger bed at:
    • 5.3 ft (1.6 m) long with tailgate up, an increase of 3.9 in (10 cm)
    • 6.9 ft (2.1 m) long with tailgate down, an increase of 3.6 in (9 cm)
    • 5 ft (1.5 m) wide, an increase of 4.8 in (12 cm)
    • 4.2 ft (1.3 m) wide between the wheel wells and D-pillars, an increase of 0.5 in (1.3 cm)
  • A more durable non-painted and textured steel-reinforced sheet moulding composite bed—developed by Continental Structural Plastics—[13][36] that is reportedly stronger than its competitor's[37]
Gen1 vs Gen2 Ridgeline transmission gear ratios[7]
Gear 2009–2014 2017–2019
1st 2.697 : 1 3.359 : 1
2nd 1.606 : 1 2.095 : 1
3rd 1.071 : 1 1.485 : 1
4th 0.765 : 1 1.065 : 1
5th 0.538 : 1 0.754 : 1
6th
0.556 : 1
Rev. 1.888 : 1 2.269 : 1
Final 4.533 : 1 4.250 : 1
Power and torque comparison between the 2009–2014 J35Z5 and the 2017–2019 J35Y6 engines
  • A similar J-series 3.5 l (212 cu in) 60º aluminum alloy V6 engine design with belt-driven single overhead camshafts, 24-valves, and an aluminum variable-length intake manifold but has been improved with:
  • A 150 Amperes (A) alternator (up 20 A from the Gen1) with a battery management system that optimizes alternator use, extends battery life, and prevents unintended battery drains
  • An improved transmission with:
    • Six versus five forward gears with a 24.5% lower first-gear, a 20.2% lower reverse gear, and a 3.3% higher top (overdrive) gear with an overall 20% wider gear spread
    • Reduced friction
    • Improved lock-up clutch
  • An improved AWD system (I-VTM4) that is:
    • Hydraulically actuated
    • 22% lighter
    • Able to handle 20% more torque
    • Able to dynamically distribute torque between left and right rear-wheels
    • Capable of overdriving the outside rear-wheel by 2.7% for improved cornering performance (a.k.a. torque vectoring)
  • Improved suspension via new amplitude reactive dampers—that reportedly hold up better under severe stress[38]—as well as stronger and/or larger knuckles, hubs, bearings, and control arms
  • An almost identical hydraulic braking system but with enhanced brake ventilation and a 23% reduction in drag
  • A steering ratio reduction of 15% at 15.95 : 1
The multi-view rear camera display provides distance guidelines of 1.7 ft (0.5 m), 3.3 ft (1 m), 6.6 ft (2 m), and 9.8 ft (3 m)—note the dashed 20 in (51 cm) guideline. which indicates the distance required to open the tailgate without hitting other objects—(2017 RTL-E, wide view)[30]
  • An enhanced rear-view camera with wide, normal, and top-down viewing angles with guidelines that change based on steering angle
  • An auto-tilting side-view mirror, for close-in visibility when backing up
  • A trailer stability assist system
  • If equipped, better night visibility via light-emitting diode (LED) projector headlights that add 100 ft (30.5 m) in beam-depth and 35 ft (10.7 m) in beam-width over traditional headlights
  • Better AWD fuel economy with improvements of:[39][40]
    • City: 3 to 4 mpg‑us (EPA) and -2.4 to -3.3 L/100 km (NRCan)
    • Highway: 5 to 6 mpg‑us (EPA) and -1.8 to -2.4 L/100 km (NRCan)
    • Combined: 4 mpg‑us (EPA) and -2.1 to -2.9 L/100 km (NRCan)
EPA and NRCan fuel economy ratings for the 2017–2019 Ridgeline[39][40]
Categories
EPA NRCan
FWD AWD AWD
City 19 mpg‑us 18 mpg‑us 12.8 L/100 km
Highway 26 mpg‑us 25 mpg‑us 9.5 L/100 km
Combined 22 mpg‑us 21 mpg‑us 11.3 L/100 km
Generational differences in the Ridgeline's in–bed trunk design
Gen1 Ridgeline in–bed trunk (2014 RTL)
Gen2 Ridgeline in–bed trunk (2017 RTL)
Despite the Gen2 Ridgeline's smaller in–bed trunk, Honda states its shape is more conducive to hauling large items, such as an 82 US qt (78 l) cooler[7] versus the Gen1 Ridgeline's ability to store a 72 US qt (68 l) cooler, despite the Gen1's larger volume[4]
OEM rim and tire being used as a full-size spare being mounted to the bed's alternate spare tire mount[30]—(2017 RTL-E with aftermarket Pop & Lock and Rugged Liner tonneau rails)

Despite these improvements, the Gen2 Ridgeline does have some numerical disadvantages from the Gen1, such as:[4][7][32][30]

  • AWD and FWD gross combined weight rating of 9,987 lb (4,530 kg) and 8,201 lb (3,720 kg), a reduction of 98 lb (44 kg) and 1,884 lb (855 kg) respectively
  • AWD and FWD gross vehicle weight rating of 6,019 lb (2,730 kg) and 5,710 lb (2,590 kg), a reduction of 31 lb (14 kg) and 340 lb (150 kg) respectively
  • Payload capacities of 1,444 lb (655 kg) (top trim) to 1,543 lb (700 kg) (base trim), a reduction of 31 lb (14 kg) to 16 lb (7.3 kg) respectively
  • Passenger volume of 109.7 cu ft (3,106.4 l), a reduction of 2.3 cu ft (65.1 l)
  • 13.0 in (33.0 cm) solid rear disc brakes, a reduction of 0.1 in (2.5 mm)
  • A shallower bed
  • Less bed illumination
  • A smaller but deeper in–bed trunk at 7.3 cu ft (206.7 l), a reduction of 1.2 cu ft (34.0 l)
  • Shallower spare tire storage, preventing the storing of a full-size spare; however—like the Gen1 Ridgeline—there is a hidden auxiliary tire mount integrated into the left-side of the forward bed panel which is capable of accommodating a full-size spare tire
  • Less ground clearance
    • FWD = 7.3 in (19 cm) with approach, breakover, and departure angles of 19.2°, 18.5°, and 21.4°; a reduction of 0.9 in (2 cm), 5.3°, 2.5°, and 0.6° respectively
    • AWD = 7.9 in (20 cm) with approach, breakover, and departure angles of 20.1°, 19.6°, and 22.1°; a reduction of 0.3 in (1 cm), 4.4°, 1.4°, and 0° respectively
  • A larger turning radius at 44.4 ft (13.5 m), an increase of 1.8 ft (0.5 m)[41]
  • A smaller fuel tank at 19.5 US gal (74 l), a reduction of 2.5 US gal (9 l)
  • No power steering cooler

Equipment[edit]

For the US market, the Gen2 Ridgeline was initially offered in seven different trim levels: RT, RTS, Sport, RTL, RTL-T, RTL-E, and Black Edition.[7][42][43][44]

Interior layout of the Gen2 Ridgeline
Note the similarities with the Gen3 Pilot and the two-tone upholstery, exclusive to the RT and RTS trims when painted in Modern Steel Metallic or Obsidian Blue Pearl[7][42] (2017 RTS)
The 60/40 split rear-seat, in stow position, highlights the flat load floor that carries over from the Gen1 Ridgeline (2017 RTL)
Some examples of the Gen2 Ridgeline's external differences by trim
Ridgeline RT—note the chrome window garnish and the rim design, which is shared with the RTS and Sport trims but with a light-gray finish—(2017)
Ridgeline Sport—note the lack of a chrome window garnish and shared rim design with the RT and RTS but with a dark-gray finish—(2017)
All Gen2 have the same grille, however the Sport and Black Edition trims have subtle changes that help distinguish them—note the red SPORT badge on the lower-right grille denoting this Ridgeline as the Sport—(2017)
Ridgeline RTL series—note the rim design used on all RTLs; the side-view mirrors can be used to denote each RTL trim: matt-black housings=RTL, right-side LaneWatch camera housing=RTL-T, and gloss-black housings=RTL-E—(2018 RTL-T)

Some of the Gen2 Ridgeline's standard features available on the RT trim include:[7][42]

  • FWD
  • 18 in (45.7 cm) gray aluminum alloy rims
  • TPMS with Tire Fill Assist
  • Amplitude Reactive Dampers
  • Class III tow hitch
  • Pre–wired for electric trailer brake controller and seven–pin trailer wiring harness
  • Multi-angle rearview camera (with guidelines) in the 5 in (12.7 cm) LCD audio screen
  • Dual–stage, dual–threshold front and side-curtain airbags with rollover sensor
  • Rear 60/40 split bench seat with Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) and flat load floor
  • Two overhead rear-passenger map lights
  • Automatic climate control with multiple front and rear passenger controlled air vents with an air–filtration system
  • Driver and front-passenger bucket seats with independent armrests
  • Two telescoping sun visors
  • Overhead console with two map lights and an integrated sunglasses holder
  • 4.2 in (10.7 cm) multi-data information display
  • Trailer Stability Assist
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Intelligent Traction Management
  • Agile Handling Assist
  • Cruise control
  • Security system
  • Push button start
  • Panasonic 200 W audio system with AM and stereo FM receivers, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, Bluetooth streaming audio, a 3.5mm tip, ring, sleeve (TRS) stereo input jack, a 1.0 A Universal Serial Bus (USB) input jack—supporting File Allocation Table 32 (FAT32) formatted devices with MPEG-2 Audio Layer III (MP3), Windows Media Audio (WMA), and/or Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio files—and seven Pioneer speakers with subwoofer[45]
  • Halogen projector headlights with auto-off
  • Daytime running lights
  • 2017 model year only, AWD and seven-pin trailer wiring harness were optional
  • 2019 model year added a 2.5 A USB charging port inside the center console.[46][43]

In addition to the standard equipment found in the RT trim (listed above), the RTS trim added:

  • Remote engine start
  • Smart key entry
  • Tri–zone automatic climate and humidity control
  • Fog lights
  • 18 in (45.7 cm) machine finished aluminum alloy rims
  • Optional AWD and seven-pin trailer wiring harness

The Sport trim takes the RTS and adds:

  • 18 in (45.7 cm) dark-gray aluminum alloy rims
  • "SPORT" grille badge
  • Black exterior
  • 2018 model year added additional exterior color options

The RTL trim takes a different approach with the RTS by adding:

  • 18 in (45.7 cm) polished aluminum alloy rims with black trim
  • Leather-trimmed interior
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated side-view mirrors (AWD only)
  • Ten-way power driver's seat
  • Driver seat adjustable armrest
  • Acoustic windshield
  • Halogen projector headlights with auto-on/off
  • 2019 model year added a power moonroof and power sliding rear window[46]
LaneWatch on the Gen2 Ridgeline's RTL-T trim
A special camera is integrated into the right side-view mirror
When active, a calibrated image displays in the infotainment touchscreen
The 80° field of view along the right-side of a vehicle provides four-times more visibility than traditional side-view mirrors;[7] 10 ft (3 m), 36 ft (11 m), and 78 ft (24 m) guidelines help driver's judge distance behind the rear bumper assisting lane changes,[47] especially when towing.[48]

The RTL-T trim takes the RTL and adds:

  • Clarion 225 W audio system with 8 in (20.3 cm) infotainment touchscreen with seven Pioneer speakers, including subwoofer[49]
  • LaneWatch
  • Additional 1.5 A front and two 2.5 A rear USB outlets
  • Automatic dimming rearview mirror
  • Driver and front passenger illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lights
  • 2019 model year added a power moonroof and power sliding rear window[46]
A 2017 RTL-E dashboard with OEM accessory CD player[50]—note the gloss-black trim on the dashboard and center console, unique to the RTL-E and Black Edition

The RTL-E trim takes the RTL-T and adds:

  • Blind spot monitoring, which replaces LaneWatch
  • Clarion 540 W audio system with 8 in (20.3 cm) infotainment touchscreen, eight Panasonic speakers (with Pioneer subwoofer), and truck bed audio system with Panasonic exciters[51]
  • Chrome door handles
  • Bed-mounted 115 V/150–400 W AC inverter
  • Honda Sensing with:
  • LED projector headlights with auto high-beams
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Front-passenger seat multi-position armrests
  • Conversation mirror
  • Power moonroof
  • Power sliding rear window
  • Thicker carpet with additional noise insulation
  • LED interior lights
  • LED bed lights
  • Two key fobs with independent user profiles
  • Standard AWD and seven-pin trailer wiring harness
Gen2 Ridgeline's Black Edition trim highlights
In addition to the Sport's monochromatic appearance and gloss-black RTL series rims, the Black Edition has unique black-chrome trim pieces on top of the grille and on the rear-bumper as well as a chrome BLACK EDITION grille badge
The Black Edition has black leather upholstery with unique red accents found throughout the cabin

The Black Edition trim adds a unique blackout treatment to the RTL-E with:

  • Unique black leather interior with red highlights
  • 18 in (45.7 cm) black aluminum alloy rims, similar in design to the RTL series' rims
  • Black-chrome grille bar and "BLACK EDITION" grille badge
  • Black exterior with black-chrome rear-bumper trim
The rear-seat climate control unit is only available on select Canadian models; it provides rear-passenger control of the rear-climate zone and the rear outboard seat heaters.

For the Canadian market, the Gen2 Ridgeline was initially offered in five trim levels: LX, Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Black Edition.[52][53] Unlike the Gen1 Ridgelines sold in Canada, the Gen2's trim packages are different from those sold in the US. For example, all Gen2 Canadian Ridgeline come standard with AWD, Honda Sensing, and the Clarion audio system with 8 in (20.3 cm) infotainment touchscreen. Additionally, there are unique amenities in the Gen2 Ridgeline that can only be found in Canadian models, such as:[7][52]

  • CD player (all trims)
  • Ventilated front seats (Touring trim and up)
  • Three-mode seat heaters (Sport trim and up)
  • Heated rear-seats (EX-L trim and up)
  • Rear-passenger climate control interface (EX-L trim and up)
  • Heated windshield wiper area (all trims)
  • Rain-sensing wipers (Touring trim and up)
  • Side-view mirrors with integrated turning signal indicators (Sport trim and up)
  • Power folding side-view mirrors (Touring trim and up)
  • Splash guards (all trims)
  • Skid plate (Sport trim and up)

For the Caribbean and Latin American markets, the 2017 Ridgeline is being offered in RTL and RTL-T trims, but are equipped differently than the US versions of the same name. In short, the Caribbean and Latin American RTL adds a number of features to what you would normally find in a US RTL, such as:[54]

  • Standard AWD
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Clarion 540 W audio system with 8 in (20.3 cm) infotainment touchscreen and eight Panasonic speakers (with Pioneer subwoofer)
  • LaneWatch
  • Side-view mirrors with integrated turning signal indicators
  • Conversation mirror
  • Power moonroof
  • Power sliding rear window

However, the Caribbean and Latin American RTL lacks the heated front seats of the US RTL trim. The Caribbean and Latin American RTL-T trim takes their RTL and adds navigation and voice recognition.[7][54] Within each Latin American country, the Gen2 Ridgeline is sold a little differently, some will offer the RTL and RTL-T while others may only offer one.[2][55][56]

Depending on trim level and country, the Gen2 Ridgeline is offered in four to seven different exterior colors (black, blue, red, green, two shades of gray, and white) to three interior colors (black, gray, and beige) in fabric (US and CA) or leather (all countries) upholstery.[2][42][54][55][56][57][58] Also, US and Canadian buyers can get a special black leather interior with red highlights that is exclusive to their Black Edition trim.[42][58][59] As with the Gen1 Ridgeline, interior colors were mated to specific exterior colors and trims packages.[7]

Example OEM accessories
2017 Ridgeline with OEM accessory roof rails[60] and crossbars[61] (a.k.a. roof rack), skid plate,[62] fender flares,[63] 18 in (45.7 cm) diamond cut alloy rims,[64] and running boards[65]
The Honda Bed Tent comes with awning, rain cover, skylights/windows, gear loft, special key fob storage,[66] trunk/side-compartment access,[13] and fits a full-size mattress.[67] (2017 RTL-T FWD with aftermarket AVS Ventvisors[68])

In addition to the different features and accessories one could obtain by purchasing certain trim levels, Honda also produced original equipment manufacturer (OEM) accessories that could be ordered and installed at the dealership, such as:[7]

  • Various guards, protectors, and deflectors
  • A roof rack with various accessory mounts
  • Side-steps and running boards
  • Bed extenders and tonneau cover
  • Various organizers
  • Grille
  • Rims and more…

Although much the same as what is offered for the Gen1 Ridgeline, Honda does offer some unique OEM accessories that are only available for the Gen2 Ridgeline, including:[7][69]

  • Rear seat covers
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Illuminated door sill trim
  • Skid plate
  • Extended view door mirror
  • Door mirror covers
  • Tailgate lock
  • Honda Bed Tent

Updates[edit]

For the 2018 model year, the Gen2 Ridgeline had some minor repackaging of its trim levels. For the US market, Honda removed the AWD option from the base RT trim, removed the RTS trim from the lineup, and expanded the Sport trim by adding two additional exterior colors (Lunar Silver Metallic and White Diamond Pearl) to what was an all-black Ridgeline. This left the RT trim with the Modern Steel Metallic exterior color as the only option remaining in the lineup with two-tone (black and gray) upholstery.[7][44] The Canadian market saw the removal of their green exterior color (Forest Mist Metallic) and beige interior color from its 2018 lineup.[59]

For the 2019 model year, the US version of the Ridgeline received a 2.5 A USB charging port to the bottom three trim levels—increasing the total number to two—and the two middle trims (RTL and RTL-T) received the power moonroof and power sliding rear window that used to be exclusive to the top two trims.[46] The Canadian market saw the removal of the Ridgeline's base LX trim from their 2019 lineup, giving them four trim levels to choose from.[53]

Changes to the Gen2 Ridgeline's trim levels
Model year United States Canada Caribbean and Latin America
2017 RT (FWD or AWD), RTS (FWD or AWD), Sport (FWD or AWD), RTL (FWD or AWD), RTL-T (FWD or AWD), RTL-E, Black Edition[42] LX, Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Black Edition[52][59]
RTL and RTL-T[54]
2018 RT, Sport (FWD or AWD), RTL (FWD or AWD), RTL-T (FWD or AWD), RTL-E, Black Edition[57][43]
2019
Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Black Edition[53]
Changes in exterior colors to United States' and Canada's Gen2 Ridgeline
Names and paint codes[7][70][71] Crystal Black Pearl
(NH-731P)
White Diamond Pearl
(NH-603P)
Obsidian Blue Pearl
(B-588P)
Deep Scarlet Pearl (R-561P)—originally known as Copperhead Red Pearl (R-531P) Forest Mist Metallic
(G-537M)
Modern Steel Metallic
(NH-797M)
Lunar Silver Metallic
(NH-830M)
2017
[42][58]
LX, RTS, Sport, RTL, RTL-T, EX-L, RTL-E, Touring, and Black Edition LX, RTS, Sport (CA), RTL, RTL-T, EX-L, RTL-E, and Touring RTS, RTL, RTL-T, EX-L, RTL-E, and Touring RTS, RTL, RTL-T, RTL-E, and Touring RTL, RTL-T, RTL-E, and Touring RT, RTS, RTL, RTL-T, EX-L, RTL-E, and Touring RT, RTS, Sport (CA), RTL, RTL-T, EX-L, RTL-E, and Touring
2018
[57][59]
LX, Sport, RTL, RTL-T, EX-L, RTL-E, Touring, and Black Edition LX, Sport, RTL, RTL-T, EX-L, RTL-E, and Touring RTL, RTL-T, EX-L, RTL-E, and Touring RTL, RTL-T, RTL-E, and Touring RTL, RTL-T, and RTL-E RT, RTL, RTL-T, EX-L, RTL-E, and Touring RT, Sport, RTL, RTL-T, EX-L, RTL-E, and Touring
2019
[43][53]
Sport, RTL, RTL-T, EX-L, RTL-E, Touring, and Black Edition Sport, RTL, RTL-T, EX-L, RTL-E, and Touring

Comparisons[edit]

In late 2017, Car and Driver magazine conducted an in-depth review of the 2018 Ridgeline comparing it to the same model year Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and GM's Colorado/Canyon. The numerical comparison revealed the Ridgeline had the best gasoline fuel economy, best cornering performance, best rear-seat passenger space and volume, lowest sound levels, best seat height, better visibility, and best in class safety features. For the "cons," the 2018 Ridgeline has the lowest tow rating, worst in class braking, lowest ground clearance, and the poorest rated infotainment system. The other criteria used by Car and Driver showed the truck falling in the middle of its competition giving the Gen2 Ridgeline Car and Driver's best mid-size pickup ranking for 2017.[72]

IIHS safety ratings for the Gen2 Ridgeline[73]
Categories Ratings by trim level
RT, RTS, Sport,
RTL, and RTL-T
RTL-E and
Black Edition
Headlights Poor Good
Front crash prevention
(automated avoidance)
Not Available Superior
Small overlap–driver Good
Small overlap–passenger Acceptable
Moderate overlap Good
Side Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints and seats Good
LATCH (ease of use) Acceptable
NHTSA's frontal oblique overlap crash test—new for 2019[74]—of a 2017 Ridgeline RTL (FWD) [75]

After running through IIHS's new test procedures, the 2017 Ridgeline was given their new top honor, the Top Safety Pick-Plus.[16] —As of September 2019, the 2017 Ridgeline remains the first and only Top Safety Pick-Plus mid-size pickup truck in IIHS's history.[76][77]— Additionally, IIHS reported that the 2017 Ridgeline was the only pickup that received top marks at their new headlight performance test; however, these high marks only applied to the top trim levels of the Ridgeline that were equipped with LED projector headlights.[78] Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the 2017–2019 Ridgelines its top mark, a five-star safety rating. NHTSA testing showed that the 2017–2019 Ridgelines have the best rollover resistance of any truck (full-size or mid-size) currently produced for the US market at 16.4% for FWD and 16.9% for AWD.[79][80][81]

As in 2012, PickupTrucks.com performed another mid-size truck challenge but with 2016 and 2017 model year vehicles sold in the US. Through a battery of objective and subjective test—many similar and some different from the 2012 challenge—the 2017 Ridgeline came in second overall "by one of the slimmest margins in any test" PickupTrucks.com has conducted, winning half of the objective tests. PickupTrucks.com said, "There's no question the Ridgeline was the surprise of this challenge... Our biggest surprise came at our daylong romp at the Bundy Hill Offroad Park where we found the Honda Intelligent Traction Management system to be shrewd and smooth during our sand drags and steep hill climbs. However, as well as it performed, it still had a few problems;" such as how "much sag occurs while carrying payload," mushy and unpredictable brakes, and a hard to use with bad Sun glare infotainment touchscreen. "Still, if you need your pickup to be a Swiss Army knife and you don't need to carry a lot of gear, there isn't anything else in the Ridgeline's league."[82]

Marketing and sales[edit]

2017 Ridgeline RTL—with OEM accessory roof rack[60][61] with kayak attachments[83]—hauling two kayaks and towing a Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S travel trailer[84]
2017 Ridgeline RTL hauling a load from the feed store, leveraging the rear-seat's flat load floor and the tailgate's 300 lb (136 kg) weight rating[30]—note the size of the rear-door opening
2018 Ridgeline RTL-E offroading on the Croom Loop Trails near Ridge Manor, Florida—with OEM accessory roof rack[60][61] and running boards[65]

Compared to the Gen1 Ridgeline, Honda's second attempt at a mid-size truck for the North American market has the automotive press changing its tune, yet it still has an image problem. Gearheads.org wrote the "2017 Honda Ridgeline still won’t get respect but should" stating, its "downside is going to be looks" with its "soft rounded pudgy panda look rather than a sharp chiseled warhorse."[85] A New York Daily News reporter wrote, "You’d think that the most utilitarian of passenger vehicle styles—the pickup truck—would be a completely logical purchase. If that were the case, the Ridgeline would outsell all of the other midsize trucks by a landslide, boasting the best combination of safety, utility and drivability in the class. But the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado both have something that the Ridgeline almost completely lacks: ...bravado."[86] Car and Driver wrote, "The company [Honda] readily admits that the problem with the first-generation pickup was that the styling was off-putting, but then it went ahead and made the next iteration of the truck just as unconventional as before. It's a shame, because for all its minivan-with-a-bed looks, the Ridgeline is a comfortable, capable thing for people who don't regularly tow 10,000 pounds."[87] "The Ridgeline’s roomy cabin, ample storage, smooth ride, and innovative touches make its rivals seem outdated. ...it not only has cargo space, but also the makings of a great tailgate party..."[88] with one of their editor's proclaiming, "What a great truck (and, yes, it's a truck, to all the haters out there). It's seriously practical without being unparkably huge."[89] Autoblog published a short list of pros and cons after wrapping up their long-term road test of the Gen2 Ridgeline writing its size, the in–bed trunk, and its comfort were pros while the "OK" fuel economy, lack of paddle shifters, and a rear-door opening that was too small for comfortable ingress/egress were cons.[90] Motor Trend magazine summed up their view by says they liked "its smooth ride and sharp handling," disliked "the high price, clumsy infotainment system, and plain design," and nominated the new Ridgeline as one of its finalist for their 2017 Truck of the Year competition.[91]

With the introduction of the 2018 model year, media criticism of Honda's pricing for its Ridgeline expand.[91][92][93] With the removal of the AWD option from the Ridgeline's base RT trim and the removal of the RTS trim, would-be US owners have to step up to the Sport trim to get an AWD equipped mid-size truck. According to Bloomberg Business and The Truth About Cars (TTAC), pricing was considered a problem with the Gen1 Ridgeline[92][94] with TTAC writing, "It’s not difficult to see that Honda is once again positioning the Ridgeline in what many conventional pickup truck buyers will consider an uncomfortable price bracket."[92]

Examining the sales figures for the Gen2 Ridgeline, TorqueNews wrote, "...it looks as if American Honda Motors has yet another sales success in its ever expanding lineup."[95] With Honda targeting sales of up to 40,000 Ridgelines per year,[96] initial sales demand for the new Ridgeline outpaced production.[97] To help address demand for its larger vehicles, Honda moved production of its Acura MDX to its East Liberty Auto Plant in order to increase production of the Odyssey, Pilot, and Ridgeline.[97][98] However, comparing Ridgeline sales in the US between 2017 and 2018 shows a 12% decline overall[99]

Mid-size truck sales in the US and CA 2005-2018.png
Gen2 Ridgeline sales and production[16]
Calendar year US sales CA sales Production
2016 23,665 2,614 34,599
2017 34,749 4,632 39,282
2018 30,592 4,094 46,123

Although Honda claims not to be in competition with other mid-size truck manufacturers,[17] in 2017 the Toyota Tacoma outsold the Honda Ridgeline 5 : 1 despite the Ridgeline's slight edge in sales over the GMC Canyon that year.[100] Yet, Kelley Blue Book has consistently ranked the Gen2 Ridgeline in its top ten best resale value vehicles in the US[101][102][103] with the 2019 model year having an estimated resale value of 63.2% at 36 months and 51.3% at 60 months, just under their top ranked mid-size truck, the Toyota Tacoma.[103] However, a 2018 Autoline Daily report stated the Ridgeline is the only mid-size truck in North America whose sales are down in a market that "suggests there’s room for more players."[104]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]