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2018 Honda Ridgeline

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2018 Honda Ridgeline

BIRMINGHAM, MICH. — The 2018 Honda Ridgeline is up for something. It is properly-rounded and provides simply sufficient functionality for many pickup consumers. That is stating the apparent, however after a couple of weeks behind the wheel of the Ridgeline, I am impressed with Honda’s balanced strategy to the extremely-aggressive midsize truck phase. I name it the pocketknife pickup. It is smaller than full-sized monsters just like the Ford F-one hundred fifty and its rivals, however the Honda punches above its weight. Listed here are three observations after ruminating on the Ridgeline, which joined the Autoblog lengthy-time period fleet, this winter.

It has loads of functionality:

For everybody who merely needs however does not completely want a pickup, it will get the job carried out. It is a sentiment we have expressed since our First Drive review again in 2016. I tossed an outsized recliner from the late ’90s into the again of the Ridgeline, no drawback. Image a type of overstuffed issues on which you in all probability watched Residence Enchancment or zoned out to Pearl Jam again within the day. I tied it down snugly and there was loads of room left over, ought to I’ve wanted to haul one thing else.

For this reason many shoppers purchase a pickup – to sometimes haul or tow one thing. The 280-horsepower V6 is strong. And with a towing capability of 5,000 kilos and a payload score of 1,499 kilos, the Ridgeline provides all of the grunt you want, more often than not. Positive, there is a phase of consumers who often want extra functionality – for the parents that really want a piece truck, the full-size phase has loads of choices. However for errands, the Ridgeline is ace: I additionally took it to Costco, trekked throughout city in a blizzard and put the canine in again to run errands. The pickup fulfilled its utilitarian duties to the fullest.

It is a strategic consumer selection:

In a phase with a whole lot of robust personalities, the Ridgeline makes its case by being a bit vanilla. The within seems like virtually any Honda, and the surface is nebulous sufficient that this might cross as a Volkswagen or Hyundai.

To place it one other approach, the Ridgeline is straightforward and smart wanting, which is all it must be (however not all it could possibly be – extra on that in a second). This strategy might lure in a large range of potential consumers, since different midsizers just like the tough-and-prepared Toyota Tacoma may flip off some. It is a savvy play for Honda, as this is likely one of the best occasions in current reminiscence to purchase a midsize pickup. The Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma are all comparatively new, and the Ford Ranger is on the best way for 2019. The Jeep Wrangler pickup can also be anticipated to launch subsequent yr. The rumored identify is “Scrambler,” and based mostly on my love of the previous Comanche trucks, this may be my selection if I have been truly in market, however I digress.

Examine midsize pickups utilizing with Autoblog’s car analysis device

To briefly handicap the sector: I really feel that the Taco is gutsy and appears the half, which I really like. The GM midsizers are literally fairly giant – it feels such as you’re getting virtually as a lot truck because the Silverado and Sierra. The Ranger and Jeep stay query marks so far as driving character, although not completely for us. The place does Honda slot in? It is the approachable and balanced choice. In case you’re undecided between a pickup and crossover, you’ll nonetheless really feel snug within the Ridgeline.

The design is little boring:

OK, the elephant within the room is the Ridgeline is not probably the most thrilling pickup. It isn’t an off-street beast. There isn’t any lengthy fanatic backstory. The design is engaging, however forgettable. The Accord and Civic are arguably the best-wanting automobiles of their segments – they definitely flip heads with their creased styling and snazzy headlights. I might wish to see Honda transfer the Ridgeline in that path. Make it extra of a design assertion, like its car brethren. Perhaps place it because the premium participant on this phase, type of just like the Mercedes X-Class can be (if Benz determined to deliver it right here).

Nonetheless, vanilla might be good, and the Ridgeline wins by being very strong in lots of areas. Although I used to be hogging this truck for a superb chunk of the winter, Autoblog editors have been liking our Honda pickup throughout its preliminary weeks in our storage. It is a lengthy-termer that is all the time in demand, and this spring it’ll undoubtedly be used for tenting, kayaking, baseball tailgates and extra. Like I stated: The Ridgeline is up for something.

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