When the Honda Ridgeline first came into the road show stable as a long term tester last year, I was the first one to scoff.
That is not a truck, that is a pilot with a bed.
Well after plenty of road trips, a little bit of light off-roading and a ton of video gear hauling, I may have changed my hateful tune.
The Ridgeline is the truck that most of America needs and it even has a few advantages over a real truck.
By and large, the Ridgeline functions like a truck, and the Road Show video crew loved the access to the large flatbed for hauling video gear.
We used the lockable storage cubby to hide things out of sight while filming in sketchy neighborhoods, and we even used the in-bed audio system for some righteous tunes during lunch breaks.
Having the Ridgeline meant that we could get some killer car-to-car shots.
Don't worry mom, my producer was safely secured to the bed.
The production team was not so please with entry into the rear seat.
The small opening angle meant it was harder to load some of the bigger [UNKNOWN].
And while the tail gate can open two ways, the crew mostly used it traditionally, even when using the vertical function will allow easy access to the extra storage.
Some habits just die hard I guess.
The Ridgeline is powered by 3.5 liter V6 engine, which is good for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque.
And that is made into a six speed automatic transmission.
Now we took this guy out on a lot of road trips and it never wavered, whether we were on long open stretches of highway or up in the twisties of the mountains, the acceleration was always good and the handling is excellent.
And that really is where the Ridgeline has it over other trucks It's got independent suspension on all four corners, so it's a much more comfortable ride, plus it's unified in construction just means it drives more like me after mention the Honda Pilot than it does let's say a Toyota Tacoma, there's a solid rear axle in the ridge line and there is really no four by four system to speak of I mean there's no two speed transfer case so there's no poor low.
All you've got is all wheel drive and a traction management system that allows for normal, snow, mud and sand.
Now let's go into address your throttle transmission and [UNKNOWN] parameters.
And that's really where we had a problem.
After taking originally down the death valley and driving along 52 miles of pretty bad washboard roads we move [UNKNOWN] shocks.
Oops sorry, but they were under warranty and the dealer fixed them up just good as new.
Now that doesn't mean that the [INAUDIBLE] doesn't have any kind of offered capability, in 2016 it took the win in the crossover class in the Rubel Rally after having driven 1200 miles all offroad, through sand, silt, rocks and dunes, so there is something there
Over the year we drove about 12,200 miles in the Ridgeline and we got a combined fuel rating of 21.9.
That's better than the EPA combined rating of just 21.
I've got a payload of 1,500 pounds and towing of 5,000 pounds.
It might not sound like a lot but it's enough to throw some gas and tires into the bed and tow my racecar to the racetrack Its' track.
So over the year I've grown to appreciate the little Ridgeline.
But it doesn't seem like its' popularity is up to snuff.
It's not selling as well as a Toyota Tacoma, or even the Chevy Colorado, and that's really a pity.
I mean, most people don't come anywhere near maximizing the potential of their four by four so.
Why not just get something that's a little bit more comfortable?
Well, 2017 has come and gone.
I don't anticipate many changes to the 2018 Honda Ridgeline.
Prices start at about $30,000 for a base two-wheel drive but for all-wheel drive that jumps up to $35,000.
And our Tesla which is almost top of the line $41470.
Now, that's a lot for a truck that doesn't have a real four by four system, still it's about the same price as the Honda Pilot and after all, it's pretty much what the rich line is.