2017 Honda Ridgeline review with video

 

2017 Honda RidgelineThe basics:

Base price: $36,590+ taxes (LX trim)
As tested: $47,090 + taxes (Touring trim)
Average fuel economy over our week of testing: 11.6 L/100 kms (20 MPG)
Competition: Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma

The Ridgeline was released with much fanfare in 2006 and while it had a quiet, loyal following, it really needed an update. Well for 2017, we have a whole new truck on our hands. But Honda is the first to admit, the Ridgeline was never intended to compete with the heavy duty work trucks that have become so popular in North America. It offers a more refined, smooth ride with a short 5’4 bed for trips to the garden centre and shares much of the same DNA as the new Honda Pilot. It also has some very clever little nooks and crannies for storing stuff. But even in its new form, the Ridgeline isn’t without its shortcomings. Check-out our full video review above then scroll through the Family Wheels report card below.

2017 Honda RidgelinePros:

– The Ridgeline delivers smooth, even acceleration and power through its one and only powerplant – a 3.5-litre V6 coupled to a six speed automatic transmission
– If you put a blindfold on me (although that’s a terrible idea for driving), I’d swear I was driving a Honda Accord. The ride is comfortable and it also has a very quiet cabin with active noise cancellation keeping road noise at bay
– Even the base level trim of the Ridgeline in Canada comes exceptionally well equipped – far better equipped than the base trim available in the US. Standard equipment includes: all wheel drive, a 7″ infotainment system, a back-up camera, remote starter, push button start, heated front seats, Apple Carplay and Android Auto, collision mitigation braking, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control. Options include: Navigation, blind spot monitoring, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, leather, trizone climate control, parking sensors, exterior temperature gauge and a bed-mounted power outlet
– Our fuel economy over a week of mostly city driving was respectable for a truck. We averaged 11.6 L/100 km or 20 MPG
– The bed has gotten a little wider and longer and features a dual access tailgate which will open like a regular tailgate or over to the side
– And being carried over from the previous generation is an in-bed trunk that holds a deceptive amount of stuff and locks at the same time as all the other doors with your key fob
2017 Honda Ridgeline– While the Ridgeline isn’t sold as a truck-driver’s truck, it still has a totally respectable 1600 lb payload capacity and 5000 lbs of towing capacity. Which is more than enough for most urban pick-up owners
– The folding second row reminds us of the magic seats that come in the Honda Fit and are fantastic. You couple that with a flat second row load floor (with the exception of an unfortunate plastic bar right down the length of the floor) and there are lots of configurations for hauling people, pets and stuff
– The Ridgeline also has a Top safety Pick Plus rating from the IIHS

2017 Honda RidgelineCons:

– Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but, in our opinion, the Ridgeline looks very odd with some strange angles that just don’t flow. But its unusual lines kind of grew on us over the week because they are quite unique and stand out from the rest of the pack
– The interior is bland with small buttons that are hard to control with gloves during cold winter days. Many other trucks employ chunkier switchwear for this reason
– Legroom is jammed in the second row and it doesn’t accommodate rear facing car seats as well as many other crew cab trucks out there
– And while we’re speaking of the crew cab, the Ridgeline’s rear doors don’t swing open very wide which can make it awkward for putting bulkier items or children into the back seat
– There2017 Honda Ridgeline‘s a honking blind spot behind the right rear passenger and blind spot monitoring is only on the Touring trim
– Unlike pretty much every truck out there these days, the tailgate is not soft open and comes down with a clunk whenever you open it
– There is no tiptronic gear selector, just a single “L mode” for engine braking, which is pretty harsh. You can’t select the gear you want to hold the truck back while going down steeper grade. Something that is particularly handy when towing on mountain highways
– There’s also no low range function like we see on many other trucks which gives you more grunt under challenging towing or offroading

Family Wheels report card:

Family Wheels driver comfort score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 4/5 (62 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 4/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 2.5/5
Family Wheels trunk test score: 5/5 (it’s a truck)
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 4/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 4/5

Family Wheels overall score: 38.5/50= 77%

5 comments

  • Colin

    Good review Paul. I’ve now seen a few more 2017 Ridgelines on the road and the looks of it has grown on me. Put a topper on it and you’ve got yourself a good looking, fuel efficient truck that would realistically cover most truck owners needs. If a person is not interested in buying new the used market for the RidgeLine is a good bet right now.

  • James

    Thinking of getting a used Ridgeline 2009 or 2010. Will use for 20k one way commute as well as xc skiing and other trips to mountains and a bit of back country. May use for wee baby but our other vehicle is perfect for car seat .Thoughts on this as a good buy? Thanks all.

    • pkarchut

      Hi James. I’ve never reviewed the previous generation of the Ridgeline so I’m afraid I don’t have much insight for you.

  • Hugh

    Anecdotal comment from a Touring model owner who happens to be a farmer. Loves the Ridgeline as a town truck but when he goes into the field or down a bush road all the warning lights go off and are a pita. Assuming too much feedback for all the blind spot systems etc.. I ran into him at Moraine Lake Road skiing this week, and asked his opinion.

    • pkarchut

      Yes, I could see how that would be a pain, Hugh. But there are also ways to quickly turn these systems off for times like these!

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