NAIAS 2016: 2017 Honda Ridgeline is Your Party Truck Right Cha

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
naias 2016 2017 honda ridgeline is your party truck right cha

Few segments are as hot as mid-sized trucks right now, and the 2017 Honda Ridgeline couldn’t come at a better time for Honda. After a two-year hiatus, Honda is propping up its new truck on a massive stage to sway mid-size buyers unfazed by the new General Motors twin midsized pickups, or Toyota’s new Tacoma, or Ford’s coming Ranger, or … you get the idea.

The truck, which is likely powered by a 3.5-liter VTEC V-6 mill borrowed from the Pilot, capitalizes on the same truck-like looks plunked on a unibody chassis that the made the last generation profitable — albeit a bit of a slow seller compared to others in the segment. For the first time, the Ridgeline will be available with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive models will get Honda’s i-VTM4 torque vectoring tech — contrary to what we heard last year.

Like the Pilot, the Ridgeline will have six forward cogs — the last generation only had a five-speed automatic transmission — likely in a bid to improve upon the last truck’s 16/21 mpg rating. (The Pilot manages 18/26 mpg, if you’re wondering.)

The Ridgeline’s distinctive body lines are gone this time around, eschewing cladding between the cab and bed of the prior truck for a boxier look. The 2017 Ridgeline’s bed is more than 5 inches wider and 4 inches longer than the outgoing truck, big enough to lay flat 4-foot wide plywood or drywall, according to Honda.

Honda didn’t divulge many details about the new Ridgeline including horsepower and payload capacity, other than to say the latter would be close to 1,600 pounds — similar to others within the class, including the Tacoma. The Pilot’s V-6 makes 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, so it’s reasonable to expect something similar in the Ridgeline. It would be reasonable to assume that the 3,500 pound tow rating will carry over to the Ridgeline as well.

Apparently, Honda anticipates that many Ridgeline buyers will party in parking lots with their trucks. The Ridgeline sports a 400-watt power inverter in the bed, an in-bed lockable trunk and in-bed audio pumped through six speaker-like “exciters.” Honda said the Ridgeline’s tailgate opens from the bottom or its left hinge for easier loading.

The Ridgeline will go on sale later this year.

Join the conversation
2 of 191 comments
  • Igve2shtz Igve2shtz on Jan 14, 2016

    The Honda Ridgeline has been, and will forever be a cult-following type truck. You will either love it, or hate it. It's the Mazda5 of the truck world. For me, on paper, it is damn near perfect. Honda clearly did their homework researching how 75% of light-duty truck owners use their vehicles. In execution, it has always looked a bit geeky. But, I am the design target. Suburban home owner with a 40 minute commute. I need utility without 12 MPG. A SUV/CUV doesn't cut it for me. Need to haul bulky items that don't fit in a cargo compartment (drywall, plywood, pavers, scoops of dirt etc). The Ridgeline is built exactly for those things on the weekend, and a capable commuter on weekdays. A CUV with a trailer hitch would probably work, but isn't the setup for me. Everyone loves to hate what isn't considered the social norms. I don't need 10K pounds of towing. I don't want to spend $40K on a truck that will do everyday tasks poorly. I will use 90% of the capabilities of the Ridgeline. Why spend more to only use 50% of the capabilities of a full-size?

  • Jcisne Jcisne on Jan 15, 2016

    "It would be reasonable to assume that the 3,500 pound tow rating will carry over to the Ridgeline as well." This is incorrect, the old Ridgeline had a 5,000 pound tow rating, not 3,500.

  • VX1NG I think it should but I am open and curious to hear the arguments from those who oppose income based fines.
  • EBFlex No
  • VX1NG My understanding is that by removing analog AM capabilities it will force the AM industry to transition to either analog FM or digital radio broadcasts. Both of which use radio bandwidth much more efficiently than analog AM. The downside with switching to digital radio broadcasts is, just like we saw with the analog to digital OTA TV transition; you either receive the signal or you don’t. Whereas analog FM does not have that same downside. The downside with switching to analog FM or digital FM is the coverage area is significantly smaller than AM.Phasing out analog AM would free up a large chunk of radio bandwidth and could allow for newer technologies to utilize the bandwidth.
  • Bill 80% of people do not know how to or check the condition/ status of air pressure in thier tires let alone the condition of thier tires. Periodic safety inspections ensures vehicle are safe to be on the roads. I sure would like to be confident the vehicles around me are safe because they passed a objective inspection. The cause for suspicion in the US is most safety inspection programs are subjective and do not use technology to make the determination if the vehicle is safe or not. Countries that that use technology for annual vehicle inspections have a fairly high failure rate. I live in California a state without safety inspections and the freeways are litter ed with tire fragments and parts of cars. Every time it rains the roads are congested from accidents. Instagram is full of videos of vehicles with the wheels coming of while driving on the freeway. Just hope you won't be on of the casualties that could have been prevented if the vehicle owner had spend $7-$20 for a periodic safety inspection.
  • Kcflyer The Prado is the GX. So they already did, a long time ago