The Ridgeline came in like gangbusters in a market that was saturated with full size and midsized trucks that offers excellent power but not as much of an attractive appearance as the Ridgeline. This truck which appeared on the scenes ten years ago to give us a truck that was a bit different than the rest. The Ridgeline made its way as the original unibody truck while the rest all had bed behind cab setups that nearly appeared to be completely separate and only attached by the frame underneath.
This unique look gave us a truck that offered a two-way tailgate and a lockable cooler recessed in the bed as well as being a completely engaged body. This look and set of features was attractive to a wide range of fans and was a fantastic choice for families to drive as a truck that gave enough capability for the weekend warrior as much as it gave a smooth and satisfying ride for those who did not want the feeling of truck driving. At the time of its original launch, trucks were still the harshest ride you could find as suspension refinements hadn’t really started taking place.
At the time the Ridgeline came to the market, the midsize trucks from Ford and GM were making their exit and the segment seemed to be suffering a serious lack of popularity. This didn’t change a lot with the Ridgeline coming in, but now that GM has come back to the market with the Colorado and Canyon, Honda has announced the new Ridgeline will be offered for the 2017 model year. This will give us a brand new unibody truck to look forward to, especially for those who have one of the original Ridgelines and have fully enjoyed driving this truck.
The new Ridgeline is expected to share a platform with the Acura MDX and the Honda Pilot. To go along with this, the new truck will share a powertrain with the Pilot as well. The expected power for the new Ridgeline will come from a direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 engine that is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and offer a four-wheel drive system for those who want it. This setup will give you a 300 horsepower output and with added cylinder deactivation you can expect the new Ridgeline to be more fuel efficient than ever before.
While the Ridgeline will be placed in the midsized truck segment once again, it usually does not have a direct competitor as the competition is more traditionally designed trucks. Even though it’s the only unibody truck in the segment, the advances in suspensions have given much of the truck world more dynamic rides that are comfortable and not as harsh as before. The Ridgeline will be a key player in a segment that is seeing a rebirth of its popularity across the board, especially since the two new models from GM were introduced. With Toyota improving the Tacoma for 2016 and Honda revamping the Ridgeline for 2017, this pretty much only leaves Nissan as the outlier unless we see a new Frontier in the next couple years as well.