Reviews

2017 Honda Ridgeline Walk Around


As noted, this is a bigger Ridgeline. Overall length (210 inches) and wheelbase (125.3 inches) have both stretched 3 inches, and the cargo bed has gained 4 inches in length, to 64.

But the element that’s really striking is the styling. The original Ridgeline was unique and looked unique, unlike any of its compact competitors, or for that matter any pickup truck, great or small. This resonated well with some buyers, but not nearly enough of them.

Consequently, the new Ridgeline, though unique in terms of architecture, looks much more like a conventional pickup. The front end has a more traditional pickup look, and includes the option of LED lighting, but the biggest change is amidships. The flying buttresses descending from the roof of the cabin partway down the cargo bed rails are gone, and the new cab looks pretty much like any other pickup.

As before, the Ridgeline is offered in a four-door crew cab body style. And as before, it includes the two-way tailgate, side-hinged and bottom hinged, very handy, and the voluminous, lockable in-bed trunk, even handier. A set of 18-inch wheels joins the inventory, a 400-watt power inverter allows owners the option of setting up a big screen TV in the bed of the truck, and as noted earlier there’s the option of a sextet of speakers integrated in the cargo bed walls.

Properly equipped, the Ridgeline is the ultimate tailgate party special.

Interior

Roominess is the trump card of a vehicle’s comfort quotient, and the Ridgeline has it double in spades. The Ridgeline is crew cab only, no regular or extended cab versions, and the rear seats provide abundant space (knee, head, hip) for three passengers. And with the seats folded, rear cargo space is best in class, according to Honda.

The Ridgeline’s controls are straightforward, attractive, and generally easy to employ without resorting to the owner’s manual. An exception might be the touch controls on the big center dash screen; Honda appears to have developed a phobia against even the simplest of switches and/or knobs, even for audio adjustment. On the other hand, the new nav system is much easier to operate, the display screen is large, as are the various icons, and the infotainment and connectivity options, which now include the choice of Apple Car Play or Android Auto, are contemporary.

Contemporary also applies to safety features, with available adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, and lane departure warning and lane assist, among others. However, the lane departure feature is a little too eager to assert itself, jiggling the steering wheel when the truck even gets close to a lane edge line.

Back on the positive side of the score sheet, interior materials are high quality, the relaxed fit front bucket seats are all day comfortable, and audio systems range from good to excellent.

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