Chicago Auto Show Blog

A Day at the Park, Ridgeline Style

Posted by: Jennifer Morand

Honda introduced Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) members to the new 2017 Ridgeline truck this week with an outdoor picnic. The timing could not have been better as the truck went on sale that same day. James Jenkins, Honda PR manager, led the presentation from a TV screen that was powered by an in-bed AC outlet, and utilizing the segment-exclusive in-bed audio system. 
The first generation Ridgeline debuted in 2006, but it’s completely redesigned for 2017. Honda boasts the latest model offers enhanced ride comfort, better traction and stability (on and off the road), independent suspension, best active AWD in the market and a stronger, lighter body. 
Towing capacity is a huge story here: for its size, the Ridgeline can pull an impressive 5,000 lbs. and offers a payload rating of 1,499. Additionally, Honda says the Ridgeline’s best-in-class rear seat cargo space can fit an adult bike – without removing a wheel (noteworthy, as it’s reportedly the only in its segment). 
A first for pickup trucks, Honda says the new in-bed audio system, the in-bed trunk and available 400-watt power inverter makes the Ridgeline the ultimate tailgating vehicle. The lockable in-bed trunk can fit an 82-inch cooler, or store ice for keeping beverages cold. The speakers pump out sound from the truck’s audio head unit – up to 540 watts of power. The system utilizes six exciters located inside the bed walls. 
Not only is the bed functional, it’s also extremely sturdy. Just ask Jenkins, who dropped a 26-lb. steel toolbox onto the bed to show that the Ridgeline’s standard (unprotected) composite bed and withstand the weight with very minor damage. Check out this video.
On the inside, the Ridgeline features an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen interface, ambient lighting, smart start and a heated steering wheel. In regards to safety, Honda Sensing offers adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, CMBS (vehicles and pedestrians), forward collision warning and lane departure warning. Additional assist features include blind spot information, rear cross traffic monitor and LaneWatch.
In terms of fuel economy, Honda claims the Ridgeline is top-of-class at 22 mpg for city and highway combined. The truck has an upgraded 3.5-liter V6 engine delivering 262 lb.-ft. of torque.
The Ridgeline starts at an MSRP of $29,475 for 2WD and tops out at $42,870. Search now to find the new Ridgeline at a dealer near you.
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