2017 Honda Ridgeline: Monthly Update for August 2017
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
In the last month of summer, symbolic or otherwise, we made real use of our 2017 Honda Ridgeline, adding 3,445 miles to the odometer. Most of those came at the hands of Travis, who took it on a Los Angeles-Salt Lake City loop, with Grand Canyon camping and Vegas-avoidance backroads along the way. His trip accounted for 1,900-plus miles of the August odometer, and you can read his excellent account of that trip here.
I, too, took the Ridgeline for some camping, although nowhere as remote as Travis' destinations (although with another dad and three girls ranging from 8 to 12 years old, I'd argue just as wild. ...). And my run up to Kings Canyon National Park did not originally include the Ridgeline. It was a last-minute replacement — and lifesaver — for a trip that started with a Mazda CX-9 that proved just too small for a camp party of five.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
This month we averaged 21.2 miles per gallon over 3,445 miles. It was an unusually heavy month, and while our average mpg was about the same as last month, all those miles and long ranges helped bump up the Ridgeline's lifetime average from 19.8 in July to 20.1 mpg now.
Our best range for the month was 397.3, just 6 miles shy of the best range we've had in the test so far. Meanwhile, the onboard mpg meter thought we averaged 22.9 mpg in August. Wishful thinking.
Average lifetime mpg: 20.1
EPA mpg rating: 21 combined (18 city/25 highway)
Best fill mpg: 25.8
Best range: 406.6 miles
Current odometer: 15,541 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"Other than the Ridgeline's competency, the main thing I've heard about it around the office is how carlike it is. I finally drove it for myself, and after months of hearing this stuff, I was surprised at how trucklike the Ridgeline is.
"The seating position, the angle of the steering wheel and gauge cluster (I really dislike the gauge cluster, but that's a different post), the height and visibility, the size of the thing (which its somewhat unfortunate design hides), the jiggle of an unloaded bed (although it's very muted in the Ridgeline) — it's a truck. It's easy to drive and comfortable, but its truckishness still comes through, at least for me. Somehow, this is what we've come to: The biggest surprise a pickup truck has to offer is that it's a truck." — Will Kaufman, associate automotive editor
"I'm with both Travis and Brent on the Ridgeline. It's also my favorite midsize truck, yet not a truck I lust after. I could very well see owning the Ridgeline and using it for a lot of outdoor activity: surf, camp, ski, light-duty home improvement. It's just so easy to drive everyday, so easy to hop in and out of, so easy to use in the real world.
"But I'd also need a 'real' truck parked next to it, something simple: a Ram 1500 Work Truck, single cab, front bench seat. Something that can tow, something that can haul, something that can do dirty work. Not a realistic situation for most people, of course. I'd advise anyone to get the Ridgeline first, see if it fits their needs, and if not, trade it in on a full-sizer or one of the midsize go-tos: Tacoma, Colorado, Canyon." — Dan Frio, automotive editor
"The Ridgeline's small-item storage areas are very useful. The big center console bin is great. You can put all sorts of stuff inside, as expected, but you can also use the sliding top in its closed position as a convenient tray. The Ridgeline also has a small cubby ahead of the gear shifter and big storage pockets in the front doors. It's a Container Store on wheels." — Brent Romans, senior automotive editor
"After drafting the Ridgeline in to save a potentially disastrous camping trip in a cramped CX-9 (we made most of the arrival leg in the CX-9, only to meet up with Editor Brent in Fresno to switch into the Ridgeline before heading into the mountains; that's us frantically unpacking and repacking in the photo below), I was surprised to hear the three young girls — the three most affected by the cargo cramp of the CX-9 — say that they felt the CX-9 actually felt a little wider and roomier than the Ridgeline. They were still plenty happy not to have to spend the rest of the ride with sleeping bags and camping tools placed around their feet like in the CX-9." — Dan Frio
"There's a rattle coming from our Ridgeline's dashboard. You wouldn't expect that coming from a new Honda. My guess is that it developed after our admittedly extreme Death Valley suspension torture test, so I don't think it's indicative of sloppy build quality. For what it's worth, though, I also drove our long-term Tacoma recently, which was also in the test. No interior rattles." — Brent Romans
"The bed trunk/bed well, whatever you want to call it, is money. Like Travis writes, it's a feature that, once you have it, you can't imagine not having it, especially when you're doing outdoors stuff. Here, a tent, a pop-up shelter, two sleeping pads, a folding chair, a yoga mat, and a backpacker's rod — no problem. That you can lock it is icing." — Dan Frio
"I'm struggling with resolving my logical appreciation of everything Ridgeline versus my emotional reaction. The Ridgeline's comfortable ride, enhanced utility and overall Honda-ness make it the smart choice for a midsize pickup. Edmunds' overall rating for the Ridgeline, which is best-in-class, reflects this. But is it the truck I most desire? Eh, no.
"The Ridgeline's anodyne styling could be a deal-breaker for me, as would the inability to do any significant truck-focused aftermarket mods. I suspect logic would eventually win out, but it wouldn't be an easy choice." — Brent Romans
"Here's one thing I didn't expect: My wife doesn't mind driving our long-term Ridgeline. All of Edmunds' previous long-term trucks, whether they be midsizers or full-size trucks, were met with aversion. They were all some combination of too big, too hard to park, too uncomfortable and generally too truck-y for her. But the Ridgeline? It's actually comfortable, relatively easy to park and not particularly truck-y. It's a Honda Pilot with a pickup bed, and for that she's appreciative." — Brent Romans