Honda goes truckin' with new Ridgeline at NAIAS
Honda has unveiled a new-generation Ridgeline pickup truck at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. After a short hiatus from the market, the new Ridgeline returns with many of the features owners loved from the previous generation and a surprise: it's now a midsized pickup truck and is more traditionally styled than before.
Gone are the signature "side wings" between the cab and the bed. Yet the slightly-rising bed edge to the cab and the less robust, most crossover-like front fascia remains, both hallmarks of Ridgelines of the past. The 2017 Honda Ridgeline is somewhat smaller and lighter than it was before, aiming at midsize competitors like the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma.
Fans of the Ridgeline of years past, though, will be glad to note that the sophisticated two-way tailgate and In-Bed Trunk are still present in the 2017 Ridgeline (as we'd hoped). Also remaining is the unibody design for the truck's construction. Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive will be available – a first for the Ridgeline.
Also new for the 2017 model year is an updated 3.5-liter direct-injected i-VTEC V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Honda is aiming for segment-leading acceleration and fuel economy.
Inside the new Ridgeline, Honda is aiming for best-in-class spaciousness and will include high-end features such as tri-zone climate control and an 8-inch Honda Display Audio touchscreen interface with Apple Car Play and Android Auto capability. The rear seats are a 60/40 split, folding down to allow cargo be stored inside the Ridgeline when more space is needed.
The 2017 Honda Ridgeline features a 5-foot (1.5 meter) by 5-foot 4-inch (1.6 meter) bed, wider and longer than the previous generation. This makes the new Ridgeline the only midsize truck with a full four feet (1.2 m) between each wheel well, allowing plywood, drywall, or pallets to be loaded flat on the bed floor. Payload capacity is nearly 1,600 lb (726 kg); full specs will be revealed upon launch.
The In-Bed Trunk can be drained through an integrated drain plug for easier cleaning. The tailgate on the Ridgeline continues to open both down, in traditional style, and swings open towards the left (driver's) side. Also built into the bed are 350-pound tie-down cleats and an available integrated 400-watt power inverter. An in-bed audio system can be optioned, adding six speakers into the bed walls, outputting 540 watts of sound.
Honda is also targeting top-shelf safety ratings for the new Ridgeline, aiming for the highest possible crash test results from both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Advanced safety options will include Forward Collision Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, and more. A multi-angle rearview camera is standard equipment on the 2017 Ridgeline.
The 2017 Honda Ridgeline will be manufactured at the Honda facility in Alabama and will enter showrooms later this year. More information is available in the video below.