All-new 2017 Honda Ridgeline Revealed – It’s A Truck!

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Today at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (Detroit Auto Show), Honda revealed its all-new 2017 Ridgeline truck. We know it is a truck, because they told us so.

2017 Honda Ridgeline Debuts at 2016 North American International Auto Show

If current truck design is heading towards big, strong front ends, Honda is going in the completely opposite direction.

The all-new Ridgeline is going to be an interesting player in the segment, once we figure out which segment that is. It is a FWD (AWD is optional), uni-body truck that Honda says fits in the mid-size segment – although, it is a full-size body.

Since Honda sees it fitting in the mid-size segment, they say it will “set new benchmarks for versatility, capability and comfort in a midsize pickup.”

2017 Honda Ridgeline Debuts at 2016 North American International Auto Show 2017 Honda Ridgeline Debuts at 2016 North American

Apparently, Honda sees the entire truck world differently.

“We are bringing our unique technology and original thinking to the market in a new and challenging concept for a Honda pickup,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “We think we’ve got a better idea, a truck that uses its unibody construction and Honda packaging magic to deliver more of the things that many of today’s truck customers want and need with none of the things they don’t.”

2017 Honda Ridgeline Debuts at 2016 North American International Auto ShowMendel went on to say, “I want to be clear, this is a truck.” Got it.

Among these segment firsts are in-bed speakers (hidden and covered to prevent damage from using the truck, well, like a truck with say a load of dirt). The “only 4-foot-wide flat bed space in the midsize pickup segment,” you know to haul drywall and plywood like other full-size (whoops! we meant mid-size) trucks.

2017 Honda Ridgeline Debuts at 2016 North American International Auto ShowThis truck will also offer 1,600 lbs of payload and this should rival other midsize competitors (or so they tell us).

2017 Honda RidgelineHonda decided to go with a 3.5L V6 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission for its power plant in a clear play for good fuel economy.

2017 Honda RidgelineThe main focus here though was on the bed. Honda thinks a lot of it and its dual-action tailgate, 400-watt AC power inverter and the afore-mentioned in-bed audio system.

While the last 2 items are eh, the tailgate seems pretty cool actually. It is hinged both on the bottom and along the left side which allows it to open down or to the side. This helps when loading heavy items without having to lift over the tailgate.

2017 Honda Ridgeline Debuts at 2016 North American International Auto Show

2017 Honda Ridgeline Debuts at 2016 North American
International Auto Show

Also interesting is the storage space (trunk) under the bed which features a fully flat floor and a drain plug for easy cleaning.

Probably the most curious piece from today’s announcement was this – “The Ridgeline’s 60/40-split and folding second-row seat provides the ultimate versatility for people- and cargo-hauling utility. With the seats folded down, the Ridgeline will comfortably carry up to five people while still accommodating long items, like a set of golf clubs, under the rear seat.”

2017 Honda RidgelineNow, I like golf a lot. But, when we are talking about trucks, we usually talk about guns – rifles and shotguns. Seems like Honda really does think about the truck market quite differently.

 International Auto Show

International Auto Show

There was also a “Baja” version unveiled with no news on it.

All the important details – pricing, MPG, towing, etc… will be released at a later time.

What do you think? What stands out for you?

Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. mendonsy says:

    I like the tailgate ideas. The “trunk” would be kind of handy UNTIL you got a flat tire with 1600# loaded in the bed. It also doesn’t appear to be very waterproof.

    • stevj says:

      Yep. That storage space looks like it’ll hold a lot of water.
      Also, appears the engine compartment was configured to engineer out those of us who would prefer to do our own maintenance.
      Would an owner be able to check the transmission fluid level?


    • Bryan Baker says:

      The ridgeline has this tailgate and storage in its current models, i believe it is waterproof.,.

  2. ricqik says:

    So I noticed a gap between the bed and the cab but it isn’t evident when viewed from the top where the rear window meets the bed. Is the bed really separate or is it just for a truckish look? I know that the old ridgeline has a frame that the unibody integrates to, sounds like that is also carried over into this generation.

    • stevj says:

      Because this is a unibody vehicle, chassis and body panels share the load and work together to stiffen the vehicle against torsional stresses. Similar to monocoque, but not quite.
      It’s hard to tell from those stock photos, but it appears to me the gap between bed and cab is just that: a body panel gap.


  3. hemi lol says:

    Clearly Honda isn’t planning on selling very many of these……. lol it will remain a niche in the market, period. normal truck people wont look at this truck.

    I’m confused are they claiming this to be a full size body now? LMAO

  4. Bob Easterday says:

    The only way to access the trunk is if the bed is empty. Hope your toolbox isn’t in there when you break-down hauling a load.

    Hinged “leg” on the rear seat looks a bit hokey.

    v6 only? I’m guessing the tow capacity won’t measure up.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      A few of my journalist friends and I were chatting about towing today. The guess is it will be similar to the Pilot which can tow up to 5k with a tow package. Definitely not much.


  5. Anthony says:

    Only real difference I see between the Ridgeline and a UTE is that its AWD and taller than most. So I wouldn’t call this a truck, until the El Camino and Ranchero are considered trucks. I agree that this is just another niche market vehicle for Honda, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    P.S. Its still not a truck.

  6. GoBig says:

    I have talked with a couple guys who own Ridgelines. They are basically SUV guys who need to carry a small load once in a while. Of course it isn’t a serious towing rig. I would guess small trailers with snowmobiles or jet skis, but that’s about it.

    I personally wouldn’t be that concerned with the spare location. In thirty years of driving, I have had three flat tires. Only one was in my vehicle, the other two were at work. I don’t know if I’m lucky and some of the other posters get lots of flats?

    I just bought a 2016 Honda CRV and so far I am impressed with the fit, finish, and quality. If Honda brings this to the mid size truck market, they may sell a few.

    It looks perfect the city tailgater crowd. The built in trunk that can serve as a cooler, and bed speaker system make it a natural for football games.

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