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Hit the road in the 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E (pictures)

Honda's Ridgeline returns to the tailgate party with a more truckish silhouette, better off-road capability and a host of clever features.

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Antuan Goodwin

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Honda's Ridgeline pickup truck returns after a short absence from the market with a more traditional silhouette.

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Based on the same platform and underpinnings as Honda's Pilot SUV, the Ridgeline's specs are familiar.

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Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that makes 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque.

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Despite a more conventional look, the Ridgeline retains its quirky and very useful dual-action tailgate.

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In addition to swinging horizontally like a door, it also swings vertically like a standard pickup truck's.

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Top trim models feature an in-bed 400-watt AC inverter, which hides behind a panel near the rear.

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The RTL-E and Black trim levels also feature the industry's first truck bed audio system. I don't mean in-bed speakers -- I mean the sound is created by vibrating the bed's panels directly.

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Combined fuel economy for the Ridgeline AWD is rated at 21 mpg. A new FWD model boosts that estimate by 1.

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Don't be unibody averse. The Ridgeline is rated with a 5,000-pound towing capacity and over 1,500 pounds of payload.

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The Ridgeline's bed also hides a locking sub-floor trunk that can double as a cooler thanks to its waterproof construction and removable drain plug.

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Alternatively, it can be used to store up to one Roadshow Reviews Editor.

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