What Would Make You Buy The Next Honda Ridgeline?

Illustration for article titled What Would Make You Buy The Next Honda Ridgeline?
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

The Honda Ridgeline will be discontinued this summer, but its return has already been promised with a big redesign and a more "traditional" truck shape. That might indicate a step-up in capability; could Honda be sharpening swords to battle the Chevy Colorado?

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Rumor has it a second-gen Ridgeline was initially slated for 2012, but tough times and slow truck sales stuck a pin in that one and pushed it back until "at least early 2016" (another rumor).

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The Ridgeline gets a lot of grief for sharing underpinnings with a minivan; but with a 5,000 pound towing capacity, enough room in the bed for an ATV or motorcycles, and an interior comfort level that makes the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma feel like cave dwellings... the Honda Subaru Baja has a lot going for it.

Honda's main value-add with the Ridgeline has always been "car-like comfort" with the enough capability for plenty of customers. It was a tight niche, but one Honda has basically been able to hold down since the first Ridgelines were sold in '06.

But now that GM's just delivered small(ish)-wheelbase convenience, pleasant road manners, and a modern interior with substantial cargo capability with their new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, Honda's going to have to up their game hard.

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You'd think the "reliability and practicality" shtick they trade on to sell Accords and Odysseys would play well in the truck scene, but I have a feeling their biggest marketing challenge will actually be separating the Ridgeline from their nice beigemobiles if they want to break down pickup buyers.

What's the next Honda Ridgeline going to need to stand out and be successful?

Image: Honda

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DISCUSSION

shanemorris
Shane Morris

What I Want: A truck with a small diesel engine, capable of towing 6,500 pounds, starting at $22,000. I want to to get 34MPG highway.

Specs: Make it a small truck. A/C, manual, CD/auxiliary and not much else. I just want to listen to my Wilco records and grab a couple pieces of furniture I saw on Craigslist, okay? I might go grab some plywood at Lowe's from time to time, so know the space between the wheel wells DOES matter.

An auto option for those who want it. An interior I can easily clean with a wet rag. (Leather alternative for the seats?)

Think "80s toyota pickup with a 22R" simplicity. Easy to change my own oil. Glow plugs I can reach. A block heater option from the factory that's affordable.

Something I can easily lift a couple inches and put bigger tires on if I need to. Conversely, if I want to lower it an inch or two so I can easily access the bed, that should be easy too. (We all don't go off road.)

$22,000 USD starting price. Top of the line? $27,000 with a bunch of options.

The Civic... of trucks.