Honda debuts the second generation Ridgeline pickup at the North American International Auto Show this week.
It’s a pickup truck, and despite the appearance of a bed separate from the cab, it’s still a unibody, which Honda has a tough job convincing truck buyers is suitable for truck duty.
Nevertheless, for the people who liked Ridgelines for their light hauling capability, combined with much better road manners than any small truck in the market, the Ridgeline might give them a reason to turn in their old truck.
The Ridgeline will be powered by a 3.5-liter, direct-injected i-VTEC™ V-6 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, making it mechanically similar to the Honda Pilot, but the real news is that for the first time for the Ridgeline — and the first time for any truck since the Dodge Rampage — you can buy it in front-wheel drive configuration.
Inside, the Ridgeline will have the largest cabin in a midsize 4-door pickup, tri-zone climate control, push button start, a full-color TFT center meter and available 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility.
The things people dug about the old Ridgeline, like the in-bed trunk and the dual action tailgate (think old station wagon) are still there, but the bed size increases dramatically. There’s more than four feet between the wheelwells, and interesting is an optional bed speaker system that allows for tailgating without dragging speakers and wires into the bed. Payload isn’t definite, but it’s “approaching” 1600 pounds.
What is Honda Saying?
“We are bringing our unique technology and original thinking to the market in a new and challenging concept for a Honda pickup,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “We think we’ve got a better idea, a truck that uses its unibody construction and Honda packaging magic to deliver more of the things that many of today’s truck customers want and need with none of the things they don’t.”
When Does It Go On Sale?