I previously owned the 2007 version of this truck. When I purchased that truck in 2012 I paid 19K and I sold it for 10K (4 years later) after putting 65K miles on it. That is an amazingly low annual cost. I had absolutely no issues with the previous version. Needless to say, I put a lot of miles on my car and I wanted better gas mileage and something I knew would last me a long time so I looked at the new version. I also loved the versatility of the Ridgeline and the very good road manners. The improvements are perfect. I absolutely love the option to turn off a few cylinders and go into "eco" mode. I even got 30 MPG wile taking a road trip! My average over the first 2200 miles has been a very respectable 23 MPG. I love the technology and all the bells and whistles, which is why I opted for the Black Edition. So far, I have appreciated the lane departure and front collision warning, but I am still getting used to the beeping when I get close to things. One benefit of the beeping is that when someone walks in front of your car while you are stopped but looking the other way, you hear it! My kids have loved the Apple Carplay and completely taken over the music which sounds incredible in this truck. They also love the truck-bed audio system and controlling it from their phone through bluetooth. I thought I would miss the CD player, but I discovered that I can put a bunch of mp3 files on a memory stick and it will play it. My biggest compliment to this new version is the ride comfort and quality. Clearly Honda made very significant improvements to the sound dampening because it is very quiet in the cabin even at freeway speeds. Everything feels quicker and more nimble. The engine has lots of power especially when eco mode is off. I have not towed anything yet with this new one, but I did completely fill the bed and the interior and while the suspension felt a little softer, it was still very secure. The previous version was very solid towing (it felt like a full sized SUV towing) The headlights are amazing, I can see things clearly at night. I was also so amazed when the brights turned off automatically when I was driving on a country road at night and there was an oncoming car. Yes, the controls for the touchscreen take a little while to get used to, but I actually appreciated that some of the features and settings were limited to when I was not driving so as to not distract the driver. Now that I am used to them I appreciate them, but I do think a physical lever or button for sound would be nice beyond the steering wheel controls. I really like the red accents and lighting but in all honesty, I was disappointed that in this top of the line black edition the red lighting was only in the front seat-wells and door handles and there were none for the back seats. The interior has good quality and soft materials. I did notice that the access to the back seats through the doors is a little less on this new model. Not a big deal but getting bigger things into the back seat is a little more challenging. I really like the new exterior styling, very sleek. While not an overly rugged looking truck, it appeals to me because it looks sophisticated and at home in the city which is where I do the majority of my driving. I do not consider myself an off-roader but I did take this new truck out on the beach and tested out the "sand mode" and it performed with flying colors. My previous version was simply stunning in the snow so I expect the same with this generation. No deals to be had at the dealership, at least not yet while demand is high and inventory is low. I had to drive an hour and a half away to find a dealership with this one in stock. Overall, I believe that Honda took the best parts of the Ridgeline (ride quality, performance, versatility, features) and improved each one significantly. They also fixed my biggest complaint with the previous version (16 mpg average in mixed driving). I also fit the demographic Honda was targeting very well: mostly city driver, rarely tows/hauls/offroads but wants the versatility only a truck can provide while also wanting the comfort of an SUV. Bingo!
I traded an 09 Nissan Frontier 4x4 for my new Honda Ridgeline Black Edition. I couldn't be happier with the upgrade. Some question the Honda's "truckiness", but those criticisms are strangely self serving in some weird way. Those who are compelled to point out that the Tacoma, Canyons or Frontier in their most able iterations can out-haul or traverse a more dire off road terrain than the Ridgeline appear to believe that most people buy trucks for such purposes. Research has shown that 94% of truck buyers rarely undertake those endeavors. Just as we often see large 7 passenger SUVs occupied by the driver only. The truth is the Ridgeline rides, drives and handles better than the competition. It's better on fuel economy, has more technology and user friendly options than the competition. And, for doing the work that 95% of truck buyers do, it does it just as well as the others. New champ in town. Long live the Champ!
UPDATED 3/20/17: Still like the vehicle, with a few disappointments. Acceleration is good when mashing the peddle, but low end responsiveness in day to day driving is weak. Transmission never seems to be in the gear I want making precise control of speed difficult. A manual mode or a performance mode to flip the computer to a more aggressive dynamic would alleviate, but alas the only option is a lone button to downshift to D4. Steering/handling remains a Honda strength and is exceptional, as the vehicle steers like a car. It also rides like a Honda, which is to say a bit on the stiff side, but tuning makes it handle great on uneven terrain and a worthwhile tradeoff. Storage is great, you really can fit a golf bag under the rear seat, and the rear trunk and bed are both wide and useful. I hate the touch screen interface, after 6 months I still get lost at times as it is not intuitive. The E trim also states "premium" sound, but the frequency dynamics leave something to be desired, as off the shelf components I installed on my old truck beats this new premium stereo (not by a lot, but by enough to note). MPG is underwhelming and exactly as stated on sticker, no more. Others have noted higher than advertised MPG (even up to 30), but that is a myth, as the average MPG calculator on this vehicle (as well as the 2016 Pilot's) overstate by ~2 MPG. I have to wonder if Honda did that on purpose? Suggestion, verify your MPG using a calculator at the gas pump, as the info center gets it wrong on this vehicle. Lighting: I keep getting flashed by opposing drivers with dim headlights on. Not sure if they are aimed to too high or what, but never had that problem on any other vehicle. Instrument cluster is average and has the stuff you'd expect on a modern vehicle. The real time MPG in info center is completely worthless though, not granular enough, and difficult to read. If anything should have been digital vs analog, it's that. Interior lights are weak and narrow (like a spotlight). Cannot see a large portion of the storage areas of the car at night. Chimes from the cluster are tinny. Power rear sliding window and sunroof work great. Mirror defroster works great (less than a minute). Front seat headrests are poorly positioned (they lean too far forward). I actually had to remove my drivers head rest and swap it with a rear head rest (those are not tilted). Felt like my head was tilted forward 24/7. HVAC is strong, heats and cools quickly, and controls are easy to use. Front ground clearance is more light SUV than "truck", however, the front air dam is a flexible rubber instead of hard plastic, meaning you can scrape the ground and it bends instead of breaks. I tested this out through a creek bed and scraped the air dam (not on purpose, haha) and it came out with some grass on it, but no damage. The USB ports only work with car in ACC or ON. Come on Honda, I can't leave my phone in the car to charge without turning on all accessories? The spare tire (while not "full size") is in the trunk and away from the elements. This may not seem like a big deal until years down the road and you have a flat. Trust me when I tell you not being able to remove the spare tire on your rusted out undercarriage of a truck will have you saying a few choice words, been there, done that. Nice design Honda! Rear camera works and has 3 top down viewing angles to choose from which makes hitching up a trailer very easy, however, the resolution on the camera is poor, and, if it's raining it gets wet and blurry. The vehicle tows Ok and pulls my 2500 lb boat easily. The driver assist technology is semi-useful, but a bit gimmicky at the same time. Lane keeper will drive the car for you on "level" pavement, even around moderate curves, however it doesn't work well on sloped pavement as it drifts all the way to the line before correcting. On level pavement, it's dead true. It also only stays on for 15 seconds before it makes you touch/grab the wheel for a second (then the 15 seconds restarts). Blind spot detection works but not very useful, however, the backup warning of side traffic works great and has great range. This helps when backing out of spots where it's hard to see, or if you're not paying attention. It actually helped me avoid a jogger wearing black at dusk when backing out of driveway one night! The single most useful feature is probably the adaptive cruise, which actually works, but I would like to see more configuration options on distance from preceding vehicle. Road departure not very helpful, comes on after you're already heading into the ditch (i.e. too late). Overall, after 6 months, I've lowered my opinion of the vehicle slightly due it being advertised as a "truck", but missing key "truck" like features like enough ground clearance to hit a curb without damage, not enough low end torque, no "always on" power port, poor interior lighting, and no positive surprises in regards to MPG.
I liked the looks of the Tacoma and Colorado quite a bit more than the Ridgeline but after test driving all three, there was no doubt in my mind which one I would buy. If not the comfort, then the tech, if not the tech, then the active safety equipment. I absolutely love the fold up rear seats and the trunk bed, well worth the slightly higher bed height
Last year, my wife and I decided to replace our FJ Cruiser with a truck, and bought a new '16 Tacoma Ltd 4x4. What a mistake that was. When speaking with Toyota Corporate or the Dealership about the issues we had (poor shifting, buzziness in steering wheel at speed, poor mileage, others too numerous to mention) all we got was : "Functions as designed." I was sick to my stomach about how much we were going to lose trading in; however, started looking elsewhere because I just couldn't drive the Tacoma, anymore. Drove the GM twins and was OK with them; however, we were worried about the dreaded Consumer Reports black dot on reliability. A friend suggested we look at the new Ridgeline (and I was pleased when I researched and saw that it didn't look like the previous gen, with that wing-back design) and our local dealer emailed and said they had 5 coming in on 6/22 and they'd be ready to see and drive on 6/23. We went by first thing on 6/23, test drove a Pearl White RTL-E with black interior, made the deal and bought it on the spot. Comfortable, smooth, quiet, much more rear seat room than the Tacoma; and, handled amazingly well. Everything you could or would want in a mid-size pickup, all with a number of unique features, like the in-bed trunk, fold up rear seats, unique dual release tailgate and a suite of safety features. After owning it now for 3 weeks, I can unequivocally say that dumping the Tacoma and buying the Ridgeline was one of the best decisions I've ever made, in spite of losing almost $5k in the transaction. I didn't know how stressful it was to own/drive the Tacoma, until we got rid of it and purchased the Ridgeline. Wife loves it, too, and she did not really like the Tacoma at all. What did the Tacoma do better? Well, it looked more 'macho-trucky' (subjective...The RL looks soft; however, it took no time to get used to it and it's amazing the compliments I get), the Tacoma tows more (if you really need to tow, a mid-size shouldn't be where it's at, though, and the RL's 5k rating is more than enough for what I occasionally tow, or buy a GM twin diesel), and it would do better off-road in extreme conditions, like rock crawling. Otherwise, there is absolutely, in my mind, nothing else that the Toyota comes close to doing that the RL doesn't do much better. Unless you are an extreme off-roader or are put off by the looks (or the fact that it's a Honda truck), why would anyone even consider buying any other mid-size truck? All this and Honda reliability, too, as it's not like a totally new design, the engine and trans come from the Pilot and they started with a Pilot 'frame' and beefed it up to handle truck duties, so it's been proven to work well and reliably. Check it out, I'm very glad I did and took the plunge.