Ever since Honda stopped production of the Ridgeline in 2014, fans have been clamoring for a taste of what’s to come. Earlier this year, Honda satiated its fans’ hunger by announcing that the once-beloved truck would make a comeback in the form of its 2017 Honda Ridgeline model.
The newly redesigned 2017 Honda Ridgeline has officially made its debut, and you can find it now at Germain Honda of Naples. Check back in for more details about its release date, and schedule a test drive at our Honda dealership near Fort Myers by calling us at 877-813-2502.
What’s New with the 2017 Honda Ridgeline?
Postponing production in 2014, Honda engineers went back to the drawing board with the Ridgeline, keeping in mind both Ridgeline fans’ pros and its detractors’ cons.
The 2017 model now boasts a slimmer silhouette, more versatile truck bed and seating arrangements, and a modernized unibody frame. By refining the vehicle from scratch, the company’s engineers crafted a Honda pickup with all the modern flourishes one could ask for. In doing so, the Ridgeline is primed to stand toe-to-toe with its light-duty and mid-size competitors.
Improving on the Ridgeline Truck Bed
What stands out most in the new Ridgeline is its truck bed. Upon first glance, the bed is much more streamlined in appearance than its predecessor. Rated for over 1500 pounds of cargo, the bed is quite long—over 5 feet to the tailgate, and 7 feet with the tailgate down—and surprisingly wide—4 feet between wheels. In fact, the bed is perhaps the widest of any mid-size truck.
A common complaint from truck owners is the necessity to add protective lining on a classic metal bed. Honda upped the ante and developed a bed surface with a built-in polymer liner. The bed on the 2017 Ridgeline is exclusive to its model, and is therefore of superior toughness, offering peace of mind to owners who may play rough with their trucks. The in-bed audio system is also exclusive to the Ridgeline and provides owners with separate Bluetooth-enabled music streaming capabilities.
Another intriguing feature on the new Honda pickup is the dual-action tailgate. In addition to the traditional fold-down hinge, the Ridgeline’s tailgate also swings outward from the side, offering easier access to the bed directly from the bumper. This feature is particularly handy when moving heavy and bulky items you don’t want resting on the tailgate door.
Even more, Honda developed a lockable sub-floor “trunk” within the bed. Because the unibody frame allowed engineers more room to offer convenience features, this in-bed trunk has an incredible capacity to store both a spare tire and an 82-quart cooler or bag of golf clubs. Made of durable plastic, the trunk is fitted with a drain plug and is waterproof, making it perfect for tailgating or camping.
Honda envisioned the Ridgeline from the perspective of its vocal fans, and it shows most in the truck’s bed.
The Perfect Balance of SUV and Truck
Stylistically, the 2017 Ridgeline exterior is much more akin to a truck than its 2014 cousin. Where once the Ridgeline’s appearance was uninspired—remember the wonky bed buttresses?—the newest truck now looks more conventional, with its straight-edged bed and distinct fender-to-bumper style. Removing the sloped-in bed sides was a wise move, as the new Honda Ridgeline now allows for more easy access from the side.
From its large sunroof to its infotainment center, the inside of the Ridgeline’s cabin feels more like an SUV than a truck—and that’s surely a step in the right direction. Honda is producing a pickup suited for the everyday-user, and data shows that everyday-users are moving toward SUVs.
With over 109 cubic feet of room, the 2017 Honda Ridgeline is more spacious than its competition and is comparable to that of some compact SUVs. Most notably, the 2017 Honda Ridgeline features a fold-up split-rear seat that SUV owners may find comforting. Typical truck owners should even come to love the added versatility inherent in such foldable seats. Also noteworthy is the Honda Sensing driver-assistance system integrated within the Ridgeline. It is a breath of fresh air, considering many trucks lag behind when it comes to the contemporary safety features found in vehicles of this day and age.
Getting to Know Honda’s Unibody Frame & Engine
Honda has always been an outside-the-box thinker, a company built on innovation and ingenuity, a manufacturer that listens to its audience. The Ridgeline’s unibody frame has been a reflection of Honda’s commitment to being unique. The frame has been one-of-a-kind to the Ridgeline moniker for years, much to the chagrin of “classic truck” enthusiasts. But that thinking should be in the past. If history teaches us anything, it’s that innovation brings upon breakthroughs—and there’s no better example of this than the 2017 Ridgeline.
Unlike the body-on-frame chassis of classic pickups, the Ridgeline is built on a steel platform that is welded and bolted together flawlessly, much like the chassis of the Honda Pilot. With this unibody frame, the truck is significantly stronger than its ladder-framed counterparts, and that’s apparent in the Ridgeline’s bed shake, or lack thereof. Engineers even added a multilink rear suspension to improve handling significantly without sacrificing towing capacity.
With over 280 horsepower available from its 3.5L V-6 engine, the 2017 Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 pounds—enough towing power for most normal activities, like lugging your boat to the dock off Cape Coral. Although less than the towing capacity of larger pickups, the new Ridgeline sacrifices torque for much-improved fuel economy, pitching over 25 mpg highway and 18 mpg city in ECO mode. Those are some impressive numbers for a pickup truck, especially considering over 90% of truck owners won’t need to tow over 5,000 pounds.
New to the 2017 model is a standard front-drive transmission, though buyers can opt for AWD on any Ridgeline trim. The FWD should be manageable for most uses, but truck owners may find the AWD option to be their best bet. Using Honda’s advanced torque-vectoring to route power to certain wheels, Ridgeline’s AWD transmission offers excellent traction control and climbing ability in sand, mud, snow, and ice.
Ready to Buy a 2017 Honda Ridgeline in Florida?
Yes, the Ridgeline is more than the Honda pickup it was in the past. It’s stronger, faster, and more efficient. It’s more refined, both inside and out. It speaks to SUV and truck owners alike and offers more space than ever before. And what’s most important is that the Honda Ridgeline is practical enough for daily use yet robust enough for the occasional tow. It simply stands apart from the competition, and we’re proud to welcome it into our inventory at Germain Honda of Naples.
When you’re ready to test out the new Honda truck after it’s released, call us at 877-813-2502 or stop by our Honda dealership near Fort Myers today. We’re conveniently located in Naples, FL, at 3707 Davis Blvd. Our sales team is ready to assist you in buying a new Honda or pre-owned vehicle, applying for financing, and more.