2017 Honda Ridgeline Shows More Traditional Styling
Next-Generation Unibody Pickup to Look More Like a Truck
When the Ridgeline was first introduced in 2005, its angular, chunky styling made it stand out from the crowd. The unibody trucklet did not exactly take the midsize pickup market by storm, with sales peaking in 2005 with 50,193 units. Last year, Honda moved only 13,389 units. Despite withering sales over the last few years, Honda remains committed to the concept and is coming out with an all-new Ridgeline in 2016 as a 2017 model. As is plainly clear from these spyshots, the new model has a much more traditional pickup profile, with a vertical rear C-pillar, and straight, horizontal bedsides.
The grille and front of the new Ridgeline, based on what we can see through the camouflage and cladding, bears a strong resemblance to the new Pilot SUV. The new Ridgeline is expected to borrow more than just its styling inspiration from the Pilot and will likely have the same 280hp 3.5L direct-injection V-6 from the 2016 Pilot and possibly the Pilot’s optional 9-speed automatic transmission on higher-trim models. Honda engineers have confirmed that a turbodiesel V-6 was under consideration for the outgoing Pilot but was ultimately scrapped for cost and emissions-compliance reasons. With ever-tightening diesel emissions standards, a diesel for the new Pilot is unlikely.
A few features we expect to make an encore appearance in the new Ridgeline are its low, flat floor, making for an exceptionally roomy rear seat, and its popular in-bed trunk. Expect fuel economy to improve significantly from the current model’s 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.