By Asian Journal Auto press

2017-honda-ridgeline-pic-1The 2017 Honda Ridgeline is a second generation complete redesign of the original Ridgeline pickup and is a huge improvement on the previous model Based on the Honda’s excellent Pilot CUV with some substantial reengineering such as a new suspension and the extensive use of high-strength steel for a chassis 28% stiffer than the previous generation. All Ridgelines are powered by Honda’s reliable and fuel efficient 3.5-litre V6 SOHC direct injection  engine producing 280 hp and 262 lb/ft of torque with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The new Ridgeline pickup bed is now longer and wider than before. Honda says it offers best-in-class payload carrying capacity, too, at 718.5 kilograms. The tough composite covered bed is five-feet, four-inches long and comes with eight tie downs. The tailgate also features a two-way opening system that allows it to either flip down or swing out like a door. The Ridgeline also comes with Honda’s in-bed trunk. It’s a lockable, waterproof cubby with room for 77 litres of ice and is also drainable.

The Ridgeline arrives well-equipped in five trim levels to choose from including LX, Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Black Edition.  Standard equipment includes heated front seats and outside mirrors with wiper de-icer, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, HondaLink emergency response system, and the Well-designed D Honda Sensing suite of safety systems. Pricing varies from $36,590-$48,590. In Canada, all models come standard with Honda’s All-wheel Drive Intelligent Variable Torque Management system with Torque vectoring for superior traction in all corners and road conditions. One of the most interesting options is a 150/400-watt AC inverter at the right rear of the box that powers “exciters” a kind of weatherproof speaker – behind the plastic pickup bed lining. The Ridgeline has a 1,584 lb payload with an interior cargo capacity (Rear seat folded up) of 50.2 cu ft. The tow rating is via seven pin connector at 5,000 lb (2,267 kg).

The Ridgeline interior is also impressive with accommodation in the roomy cabin, for five people. Honda claims best-in-class passenger volume, most rear seat cargo and most rear seat versatility. Cleverly, the rear seat bottoms that can be flipped upright to create a huge cargo area large enough to hold a flat screen TV or even a mountain bike.  On board storage is also good with plenty of cubbyholes, USB ports and various nooks and crannies.

On the road the Ridgelines does shine, with its CUV style handling. The 3.5L V6 engine offers direct injection and VTEC valve timing technology and an uprated 280 horsepower.  It’s a willing, refined engine with good response in the acceleration department. The 6-speed automatic transmission is well sequenced and offers smooth, light shifts. As said before, handling and ride is exceptional.  2017 Ridgeline feels smooth, cohesive and comfortable in terms of it chassis dynamics. The 2017 Honda Ridgeline runs on regular fuel, with fuel consumption rated at 12.8/9.5/11.3L/100 km city/highway combined. To sum up there is not very much to complain about the Ridgeline. What it does offer is the most car- like driving dynamics in the pickup market with a sense of refinement, reliability and resale Honda always does so well. And that’s good enough reason to buy one. The Touring edition as tested is pricy with all its toys, but well worth money if you intend on keeping the truck for a while. Kudos for Honda for getting this edition of the Ridgeline absolutely right! Highly recommended.

 2017 Honda Ridgeline Priced from $36,590-$48,590.