2017 Honda Ridgeline: There’s a new kid in town
Lou Ann Hammond , Tue, 14 Jun 2016 10:25:41 PDT
It's a two block walk from the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, Texas to the Briscoe Western Art Museum. It's a museum that features the history of Texas and America through statutes and paintings; American Native Indians, buffalos, cowboys, and the animals of the Lone Star State. The city of San Antonio did a great job converting the San Antonio library into the Briscoe Western Art Museum. The museum sets the stage for the next couple of days of western wear, off-roading, and country living cowboy style.
Honda is happy to bring the Ridgeline back; it will be a great compliment to the competitive compact pickups Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Nissan Frontier. From the driving we did, I am predicting the Ridgeline to be a heavy contender in a very mild segment that is growing, partly because of the re-emergence of the Ridgeline.
Texas is a proud, independent state with a storied history that comes alive when you visit the Alamo. Our docent Wade Dillon talked about the 1st Spanish Calvary and the war of 1836. The fight to succeed from Mexico and become the Republic of Texas was short-lived, only twelve years. Dillon recounted the fate of Bowie and Crockett, and General Santa Anna of Vera Cruz. The history of Texas pride comes alive while you're standing inside the Alamo; you feel like cinching your belt a little tighter, standing a little taller.
We headed out of San Antonio, to Rio Cibolo Ranch in Marion, Texas, former home to Apaches, Comanches, buffalos, and Longhorns. Rio means river in Spanish; Cibolo is the Spanish word for Buffalo. River Buffalo Ranch is a 130-acre event ranch and today the event is all Ridgeline. We hauled a 400 pound ATV in the back of the Ridgeline and towed 4,000 pounds of equipment in another Honda pickup.
The EPA estimated combined fuel economy is 21-22 miles per gallon, depending on the pickup you're driving. I drove the same route for both towing and hauling. Hauling 400 pounds over 2.2 miles gave me a decent 20.1 mpg, towing 4,000 pounds over the same 2.2 miles took a toll on the poor girl; getting only 16.5 mpg. I was sure I would do better off-roading, but I was wrong.
My sherpa for off-roading took me through hills and dales and waterways, through hayfields, up the mountain and from there we climbed out of a sandhill. The guys told me that they had to move the trail they had created. On the last day of setting up the path, they noticed a turtle on the trail. One of the guys got out to move it and quickly put it back down; it was a female turtle, and she had dug a hole and was laying her turtle eggs.
I took the trip three times; once in a Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, and finally the Honda Ridgeline. The Ridgeline actively knew when to engage 4WD; I had access to four modes; normal, mud, snow, and sand. Stopping to engage for mud, snow, and sand was easy for me, I could see that ahead. Knowing whether I would need 4WD on a course I had never driven was more difficult, so I was happy to know that the Ridgeline took care of that for me.
The biggest cost was to miles per gallon; I barely got eight miles per gallon off-roading. That was in line with the other vehicles, just a surprise to me on how much of a toll off-roading takes on fuel economy versus towing or hauling.
The last stop was to Cavenders, a well-known Texas cowboy clothing shop. I'm not sure why Stretch, my husband, has the desire to wear cowboy gear. We live in Auburn, CA, home of the Tevis Cup, so I had to get him a belt buckle with a rodeo insignia. Stretch went to NYU on a music scholarship, so he also got a Scully Western Legends Melody Ranch Black cowboy shirt with pearl snaps. Why thank you, ma'am!
175,000 original buyers still own their Ridgeline. Trucks have gone from being just "you're in a truck" functional farm equipment to luxury appointed rides that incorporate personal comfort, usability, and functionality. The mid-size pickup truck is a great bridge between an SUV and a large pickup.
Honda's body on frame, including a class-leading maximum payload capacity of up to 1,584 pounds and up to 5,000 pounds towing on the RT AWD model, puts it in a different class than a pickup, a class that will raise the bar in this segment.
If you think of the Ridgeline as an SUV with a bed to carry your toys or pitch a tent in the bed, you could be right. If you think of the Ridgeline as the ultimate tailgating party machine, with the largest built-in boombox that you've ever seen you might be right. It's that versatility that makes this vehicle so appealing. And, they saved the turtles.
2017 Honda Ridgeline Pricing and EPA Data 2WD, 4 Door, 6-Speed Automatic
2017 Honda Ridgeline RT $29,475 19 city / 26 highway / 22 combined
2017 Honda Ridgeline RTS $31,515 19 city / 26 highway / 22 combined
2017 Honda Ridgeline Sport $33,015 19 city / 26 highway / 22 combined
2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL $33,780 19 city / 26 highway / 22 combined
2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-T $35,930 19 city / 26 highway / 22 combined
2017 Honda Ridgeline Pricing and EPA Data AWD, 4 Door, 6-Speed Automatic
2017 Honda Ridgeline RT $31,275 18 city / 25 highway / 21 combined
2017 Honda Ridgeline RTS $33,315 18 city / 25 highway / 21 combined
2017 Honda Ridgeline Sport $34,815 18 city / 25 highway / 21 combined
2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL $35,580 18 city / 25 highway / 21 combined
2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-T $37,730 18 city / 25 highway / 21 combined
2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E $41,370 18 city / 25 highway / 21 combined
2017 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition $42,870 18 city / 25 highway / 21 combined
Add $900 for destination and handling
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC, in Lincoln, Ala., is the exclusive manufacturing home for the 2017 Honda Ridgeline.