2017 Honda Ridgeline: Performance Tested
by Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant
A lot has changed between our first-generation, long-term 2012 Honda Ridgeline and the fully redesigned 2017 Honda Ridgeline. One of the biggest changes is under the hood. The old 3.5-liter V6 and its 250 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque were replaced by a more modern V6 with more power and torque, 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque to be exact.
We spent a morning at our test track to see just how the added power has changed the Ridgeline's performance numbers. Read on for the details.
Vehicle: 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E
Odometer: 2,168 miles
Date: January 17, 2017
Driver: Kurt Niebuhr
Drive type: all-wheel drive (AWD)
Transmission type: 6-speed automatic
Engine type: non-turbocharged V6
Displacement: 3,471 cc/211.8 cu-in
Redline: 7,000 rpm in L
Horsepower: 280 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 262 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm
Brake type (front): one-piece ventilated rotors with two-piston sliding calipers
Brake type (rear): one-piece solid rotors with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension type (front): MacPherson struts with 25 mm solid stabilizer bar
Suspension type (rear): multilink with 26.5 mm tubular stabilizer bar
Tire size (front): 245/60 R18 105H
Tire size (rear): 245/60 R18 105H
Tire brand: Bridgestone
Tire model: Destination
Tire type: regular
0-30 mph: 2.7 seconds (with TC on: 3.1 seconds )
0-45 mph: 4.6 seconds (with TC on: 5.0 seconds )
0-60 mph: 6.9 seconds (with TC on: 7.5 seconds )
0-60 mph with 1-ft rollout: 6.7 seconds (with TC on: 7.0 seconds )
0-75 mph: 10.3 seconds (with TC on: 11.0 seconds)
1/4-mile: 15.17 seconds @ 90.82 mph (with TC on: 15.46 seconds @ 89.80 mph)
30-0 mph: 31 feet
60-0 mph: 118 feet
Skidpad lateral acceleration: 0.78g (0.74g with ESC on)
RPM @ 70 mph: 2,000
Getting straight in and mashing the pedal reveals a delay of about a second before the Ridgeline gets going. But once under way, the motor pulls very well to 6,500 rpm. VTEC does kick in (y0!) around 5.5K, but it's more noticeable to your ears than anything else. Smooth and sonorous, this has to be one of the best all-around V6 engines on sale today. Brake torqueing it up to around 3K helps the launch tremendously. Shifts are as smooth as you'd like, and traction is never an issue.
Honda has done a pretty good job taking the panic out of panic braking with the Ridgeline. Every stop was straight, true and confident. While the tires were talking quite a bit, they were never distracting, much like the ABS, which was fairly quiet. The pedal firms up nicely under full pressure, and while there is some dive under hard braking, it's never excessive.
Thanks must be given to the thin front roof pillars and the short hood because the Ridgeline has great visibility, especially for the class. It's clear there's been a lot of chassis development and suspension tuning going on because the Ridgeline shrugs off the lack of a back half without compromise. Compared to a Pilot, the absence of all that metal and glass is noticeable, but safe and predictable understeer remain the norm. ESC is never truly off, although selecting Sand mode loosens the reins a bit and lets you have a little more steering angle. The front tires fold early, but ESC is ever vigilant if you try to upset the chassis with a deliberate and aggressive lane swerve. Like the brakes, there's plenty of confidence to be had.
Michael Massey, vehicle testing assistant @ 2,168 miles