Admittance is the first step to…? Ok so maybe using that line had no point, but guess who’s back?
When Honda first gave us their unibody truck, it was met with mixed reviews. While it had the style and versatility of a truck, it’s unibody construction, which is very much similar to the Chevy Avalanche, combine with its overall size; really didn’t catch fire like it was meant to. Don’t get me wrong, the Ridgeline was always a guilty pleasure ride that I wanted to own, not to mention it was still very capable. It was dubbed, the “Swiss Army Knife” of trucks due to its versatility and despite lowered sales by the end of its production run, it still was profitable. Now after a two year hiatus, Honda wants another crack at the truck market that Detroiy virtually owns, and the Ridgeline is its weapon.
At first glance, I thought the 2017 Ridgeline had dropped the unibody chassis and went to the traditions body-on-frame as other midsize trucks in it’s category. Upon further investigation, Honda has essentially done a major re-styling on the Ridgeline and retained the unibody form. This has been a positive for Honda, so the expectation is that the Ridgeline will be competitive in the midsize truck segment.
Here’s my biggest gripe…the design. The Ridgeline doesn’t look like it did before, with its truck tough look. To me, it looks like the Ridgeline looks kind of whimpy. Maybe because it’s a little odd, due to the new front end and the drastic move away from, the previous generation. Of course, this is solely my opinion, after all this is my blog. Let’s also add that Honda can always make good looking appearance packages, but this truck is based on versatility, not beauty.
Drivetrain-wise, we get a 3.5L iVtec V6, a six speed automatic transmission and a choice of front or all wheel drive, which the latter would probably be the drivetrain of choice. I would give y’all towing and payload specs but they haven’t been released. We do know that, this engine/transmission combination is an attempt to gain class leading acceleration and fuel economy, which is a specialty for Honda, as well as an aim for class leading safety.
The new Ridgeline offers much promise and Honda intends to deliver. The Ridgline also has the potential to open the door for an Acura variant, which would also be a class leader. It will be interesting to see what Honda can do performance-wise even though, Honda doesn’t do a lot of performance stuff to vehicles that aren’t intended for it. The Ridgeline will be released this year as a 2017 model and like I said before, the Ridgeline should be a very interesting competitor. So to answer my first question…admittance is the first step to…ummm…I still don’t have an answer.