It's impossible to ignore the fact full-size trucks hugely dominate the truck sales charts here in America, but it's also true a lot of buyers don't use them to anywhere near their full capability and potential. It stands to reason then that smaller, midsize trucks must be a suitable option for some light-duty and retail buyers, which is probably why midsize truck sales are now starting to grow. Anyone in the Slidell area who spots a 2017 Honda Ridgeline will quickly realize just how good and practical a midsize truck can be, so let's take a look at what it has to offer in a little more detail.
How new is all-new?
The 2017 Honda Ridgeline is a completely new second-generation of the midsize truck, which follows on from the original first-generation model that was available from the 2006 until the 2014 model year. It then went on something of a hiatus for a couple of years while this all-new unibody version was undergoing development.
Small but stylish
The previous Ridgeline had pretty unique exterior styling, but Honda appears to have decided to go down a considerably more conventional route with the all-new second-generation. Don’t imagine this is some sort of retro, homage affair though, because this new Ridgeline is actually modern and entirely contemporary. It's just the 2017 model now looks more like we'd expect a truck to look; just a little smaller, that's all. It's still instantly recognizable as a non-domestic model though, as it definitely shies away from the slab-fronted look so beloved by American truck designers.
The 2017 Honda Ridgeline is undeniably based on the Pilot SUV; you only have to look at the front fascia to see that. However, when you check out the interior you'll find it about as similar to the Pilot as it's possible to get. A wide shield of controls is dominated by a an impressive touchscreen in the center of the dash, the materials, fit and finish are considerably more upscale that any other mid-size rival you care to mention, while the driving position is relatively low and a lot more car-like than a traditional pickup truck. The only thing that gives it away that you’re not sat in the cabin of the Pilot is the shift leaver, which in the Ridgeline is more conventional than the Pilot's push-button gearbox.
Still a truck at heart
Most of the time, a midsize truck like the 2017 Honda Ridgeline will probably find itself a home with a retail buyer wanting something of a lifestyle vehicle. Even so, it's still going to be used for towing something such as a sizable boat or for hauling home-improvement materials and other heavy objects from time to time. Because of that, something pretty serious needs to be under the hood, and the Ridgeline has definitely got that base covered. The engine here is an all-new second-generation 3.5-liter V-6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque, which is then sent to the front or all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
Seven different trims make up the 2017 Ridgeline family, which start with the RT and then go to RTS, Sport, RTL, RTL-T, RTL-E models, and finally the top-of-the-line Black Edition. Front-wheel drive is standard with all-wheel drive an available upgrade for everything up to the RTL-T, while the RTL-E and Black Edition get all-wheel drive standard.
If you like what you see, and it's hard to see why anyone wouldn’t, don’t hesitate to give the folks at Vardaman Honda a call for more details and to schedule a test drive in the sensational 2017 Honda Ridgeline.