- - Monday, November 6, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There are some vehicles that feel good, some that are made to get the job done and then there are the precious few that cover both. One such vehicle is the 2017 Honda Ridgeline.  In its second generation for 2017 the Ridgeline is new and improved, but it did stray too far from the original look and feel either. 

A significant shout out goes to the locking in-bed trunk and two-way tailgate, but for the new model you will find the bed is longer and larger than in years past.

Competition for the 2017 Honda Ridgeline includes the Toyota Tacoma Crew Cab, GMC Canyon Crew Cab, Nissan Frontier and the Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab. 

Trim Level Options

There are seven trim levels to choose from on this five-passenger, four door mid-size pickup.  The 2017 Honda Ridgeline features RT, RTS, Sport, RTL, RTL-T, RTL-E and the Black Edition trims.  The RT, RTS, Sport, RTL, RTL-T come with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive and the RTL-E and the Black Edition are offered in all-wheel drive only.

On the RT expect 18-inch alloy wheels, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, push-button start and power lock system, tow hitch, cruise control and for technology inclusions there is a 4.2-inch screen with all the needed information at your fingertips. There is also Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, seven speakers and a five-inch screen that includes the rearview camera feature.

For the RTS add fog lights, keyless entry, remote engine start, a HomeLink remote system and a few aesthetic additions.

The Sport mirrors the RTS with the exception of gray alloy wheels and a black exterior trim with red interior lighting.

For the RTL the addition is leather seats and the front seats are heated with the inclusion of an armrest and a variety of power adjustments for the driver and passenger. If you opt for the all-wheel-drive you also get heated outside mirrors.

For the RTL-T trim the only difference is LED daytime running lights and Honda’s LaneWatch blind-spot camera as well as a better equipped touchscreen with navigation, more USB ports and an Apple CarPlay and Android Audio smartphone.

The RTL-E adds many safety components including forward collision warning with automated emergency braking, lane departure warning and both blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. You also get a sunroof, heated steering wheel, power-sliding rear windows, parking sensors, a two-prong power outlet and LED cargo lights in the bed.

The Black Edition is a step up from the RTL-E only in the black paint, wheels, trim, headliner and black leather seats with red accents.

Under the Hood

The engine on the 2017 Honda Ridgeline is a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Safety First

The Honda folks are proud of the safety performance the Ridgeline offers including Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control, Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS), Brake Assist and 4-Channel ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution. The Ridgeline’s new i-VTM4 all-wheel-drive system with dynamic torque vectoring adds an additional degree of handling prowess and all-weather traction.

There is also the option to add the Honda Sensing™, a suite of technologies designed to expand the driver’s situational awareness while also sensing and responding to potential road hazards including other vehicles, road obstacles and even pedestrians.  These features are as diverse as not only a collision mitigating braking system™, but also forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.

Additional safety features are a pedestrian injury mitigation design, dual-Stage, multiple-threshold front airbags (SRS) as well as driver and front passenger side and side curtain airbags, adjustable head restraints, tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), a multi-angle rearview camera, parking sensors, Honda LaneWatch™, blind spot information (BSI) and the rear cross traffic monitor.

Interior and Exterior Highlight

One of many impressive facts about the 2017 Honda Ridgeline is the new and improved length and width beating out the competition in this mid-size class. This, of course translates into a roomier cab for the front and back passengers and both head and leg room won’t disappoint.

Inside you will find the seats are comfortable, especially for a pick-up.  And highway noise is non-existent thanks to the triple-sealed doors.

For storage inside the cab there are a variety of cubby holes in front door sides and the center console is deep accommodating almost all your interior storage needs. There is the glove compartment, also a good size and there is no shortage of cupholders either.

The rear seats flip if needed to become a floor, but even with the rear seats in use there is still plenty of room in the back seat.  Even better, if you can’t fit everything in the cab, the in-bed trunk is lockable and easily fits items like multiple suitcases or even a large cooler.

There is a fairly advanced degree of technology features offered on the 2017 Honda Ridgeline from the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto available depending on the trim to the touchscreen that works in conjunction with the audio too.

Along for the Ride

For driving you won’t get a much smoother ride in a mid-size pickup than in the Ridgeline.  You will also enjoy the excellent handling and steering.

The Ridgeline uses a unibody chassis that keeps the ride constantly stable and you never have to worry if you have enough acceleration because you do.  It’s easy for both highway and street driving for passing and accelerating.

Even off road the ride and drive is easy in the 2017 Honda Ridgeline.  Whether it’s a bumpy off-road terrain, snow or sand, the Ridgeline has you covered - unless you are really looking for hardcore underbody clearance.

On the highway, on the city streets or getting the Ridgeline dirty off road, this Honda mid-size pickup has a temperament that is family friendly, but hard core when needed.

Should You Need to Know:  The towing capacity on the 2017 Honda Ridgeline is 5,000 pounds on the all-wheel-drive or, the front-wheel-drive cuts it down to a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

Miles:  The 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD RTL-E I drove got 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon the highway.

Cost: The 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD RTL-E I drove had a price tag of $42,270.

For more auto tips and information follow Rita@RitaCook13.

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