2017 Honda Ridgeline

absolutely! AUTO REVIEW | –

The 2017 Honda Ridgeline is a mid-size pickup truck that’s perfect for people who want to own a truck but don’t really need a truck. Confused? Let me explain. The Ridgeline is really a crossover cleverly disguised as a truck. It’s actually a Honda Pilot crossover that has been very cleverly transformed into a pickup truck. It handles great, gets better gas mileage than most trucks in the segment and will definitely handle those trips to Home Depot. But most importantly, it works great when your friends are moving and need a truck.

This latest Ridgeline is the second attempt by Honda engineers to create a truck using a unibody platform. True trucks are notable for their sturdy, body-on-frame design, since this type of platform gives trucks the capability to haul heavy loads, tow large trailers and withstand the rigors of off-roading. Although most SUVs now utilize unibody frames, no true pickup truck has yet been designed with one. And even though the new Ridgeline doesn’t pretend to be a true pickup, it still can do most chores that pickups do without a harsh ride and lousy fuel economy.

The Ridgeline is only available in a crew cab configuration and with one engine choice.  With a base MSRP of $29,475, the only powertrain is a 280 hp, 3.5 liter V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The front-wheel model delivers fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. An all-wheel drive model is available, but four-wheel drive for true off-roading is not. Towing is rated at 5,000 pounds.

The Ridgeline shines in terms of comfort and technology. It’s the only pickup truck with four-wheel independent suspension, so it handles road conditions like a car. The interior is roomy and virtually identical to its cousin, the Honda Pilot, with optional safety features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with lane keeping assistance, cross-traffic alert and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.

The optional in-bed audio system is unique to the Ridgeline and a must-have feature for tailgaters and drive-in moviegoers. Honda engineers have installed “exciters” into the pickup truck’s bed allowing the entire bed to act as a giant speaker. It turns the Ridgeline into a party on wheels.

This new Ridgeline is a wonderful addition to a family who just likes having the utility that a pickup truck brings. It’s a truck that’s built for fun, so enjoy!

Follow Steve Kursar at KursarOnCars.blogspot.com.