All the truck most folks will need
ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: It is truly simple to poke exciting at the Honda Ridgeline. Just search at it. I indicate, geez — the Chevy Avalanche at least experimented with to seem rugged and nonetheless couldn’;t hack it in the extremely competitive truck market.
I’;m not certain what statement the oddly angular however nevertheless snooze-inducing Honda truck-thing is even attempting to make I honestly considered they stopped creating it a 12 months or 2 in the past. And at a time the place truck builders are desperately trying to hold on to their rugged, boxy, entire body-on-frame heritage, the Honda sits on a FWD-biased unibody platform.
So it truly is an unusual machine that can’;t really go head-to-head with other trucks. But when evaluated on its personal merits, it really is not negative.
I know, I know — I am as stunned as you are. Current check trucks have included the GMC Sierra Denali and the Nissan Titan, 2 cars that more or much less hew to the outdated-school truck excellent. Lots of electrical power, 4-wheel-drive, huge beds, as boxy as feasible even though nonetheless offering a nod to the constraints imposed by rising fuel economy specifications. The Ridgeline, by contrast, makes far more sense when viewed as a crossover with a bed. And think it or not, it does have a historical precedent: Witness the weird VW T2 Crew Cab.
Fittingly, trip is a lot more carlike than trucklike. You might like that if you commit a lot more time soft-roading than off-roading. In maintaining with Honda’;s cred as a solid motor-builder, the V6 is great. In fact, the V6 appeared greater matched to its meant objective than the beastly V8s in the other pickups I have driven lately. I did not tow anything, but even with the bed laden with things, it did not miss a beat. A mixed 17 mpg would be extraordinary, if we actually attained it — as it stands, the observed 13 mpg matches up with our current Nissan Titan. Winter driving circumstances most likely did not assist a lot.
I definitely used the heck out of the Ridgeline during my stint, packing its bed with furnishings, lumber, auto elements, and so forth. It worked a lot more or significantly less as advertised. Regardless of whether that’;s an indication of the vehicle’;s really worth or a proof that it is really, really difficult to screw up the pickup truck formula, I am not certain.
But as practical as the Ridgeline is, it doesn’;t very satisfy like a real truck. Granted, it truly is almost certainly much more truck than the vast majority of customers will ever need to have — it just lacks the presence and really feel as a more standard pickup. I’;m nearly ashamed to admit it, but many years of gravely voiceovers and slow-mo action shots set to Bob Seger seemed to have worked: I would select a domestic full-size in excess of the Ridgeline, specially at this price tag, each and every time.
Of course, you may well not have fallen into the identical marketing and advertising trap that I (and apparently, given Ridgeline income, the rest of the country) have succumbed to. It is truly not poor, and it might well meet your requirements greater than ever-far more-gargantuan V8-powered Detroit offerings. Verify it out for your self and see how it fits you.
Do it quickly, however. I’;m not sure how much longer they will be stamping them out.
SENIOR Street Test EDITOR NATLIE NEFF: I’;m a domestic-truck homegirl, no doubt, but I have to disagree with nearly every little thing Graham says in his setup. I never believe it truly is easy to poke entertaining at the Honda Ridgeline. The Chevrolet Avalanche, on the other hand, was laughable exactly because it attempted to seem rugged. Graham gets it right after 176 words: “The Ridgeline, by contrast, helps make much more sense when viewed as a crossover with a bed.” Yes, it does, due to the fact the Ridgeline is exactly that, a crossover with a bed. I will not think Honda ever meant — nor did consumers blunder — it for a Ford F-150 competitor.
And for that purpose, the Ridgeline is a vehicle that would suit the needs of 90 percent of “real” truck customers, these of us (Graham and myself included) who have a somewhat typical want to schlep furniture or lumber or car components, perhaps even do some light towing, but rarely discover it necessary to re-enact the script of a “Like a Rock,” “Built Ford Tough” or “Professional Grade” business.
Personally, I’;d hate to have to drive a truck or SUV every single day, preferring alternatively a car’;s inherently superior managing character (e.g., lower center of gravity) and usually smoother trip (excepting the most brutal of sports activities cars). Even a crappy car normally rides far better than most trucky-trucks. Which is another purpose the Ridgeline would make for a great selection for most, it has a significantly much more carlike demeanor than your standard-concern “real” pickup truck. Combine that with smooth, sound Honda V6 electrical power, a cozy, if somewhat spartan, interior and effortless-to-navigate climate and infotainment controls, and the Ridgeline makes a fairly robust argument for people who need occasional utility.
That said, the cost tag for the Ridgeline takes it out of contention to my mind, particularly thinking about it truly is a quite outdated motor vehicle. I was briefly tempted to consider and beg, borrow or steal my way into acquiring a single when my husband stated he’;d gladly swap it for his Mercury Grand Marquis (bane of my existence), but for that sort of cash, I can feel of a few dozen autos I would opt for more than this.
2014 Honda Ridgeline RTL Navi
Base Price: $ 38,210
As-Tested Price tag: $ 38,210
Drivetrain: 3.5-liter V6 4WD, 5-speed automated
Output: 250 hp @ 5,700 rpm, 247 lb-ft @ 4,300 rpm
Curb Weight: 4,564 lb
Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway/Mixed): 15/21/17 mpg
AW Observed Fuel Economic system: 13.2 mpg
Get a lot more auto information, critiques and opinion every single day: Indicator up to have the Autoweek Every day Drive delivered proper to your inbox.