The Texas countryside scrolled along as we made our way to the airport, and my companion in the back of the SUV, a fellow automotive journalist, lamented the first-generation Honda Ridgeline he had owned for many years. But his issues weren’t what you might expect from a truck owner. In fact, the versatility, towing ability and ground clearance were highlights of owning the truck, he said. Instead, he noted one area that Honda is banking on to attract buyers to their new version of the Ridgeline.
“It was pretty embarrassing driving a Honda that only got 12 miles a gallon,” he said. “Luckily, they addressed that with this new one.” His concern underscores a certain portion of the auto-buying population that thinks driving a truck doesn’t necessarily mean you have to swallow terrible fuel consumption. And furthermore, why can’t they have a quiet, smooth, composed ride? Why can’t they have responsive handling and comfortable seating for five? The new generation 2017 Honda Ridgeline, capable of 26 MPG, meets those high expectations while keeping the truck capability. All the more impressive because, of course, the Ridgeline isn’t a truck. Not really, anyway.