Honda Ridgeline must return to market ‘Best in Class’ for several reasons
More power, a roomy much improved 4-door cab, with hopefully a measurable increase in combined fuel economy, the retention of the "magic" tail gate and hidden bed-trunk. This is what our Ridgeline fans tell us that they want from Honda’s next generation Ridgeline pickup truck.
Other than that, as a group, Ridgeline owners are not only loyal to the Honda brand, but share tales of exceptional car-like highway ride comfort, exceptional traction in ice, mud and snow, with the occasional "I towed my buddy’s F-150 out of the mud without any problems." They love their Ridgeline Pickups.
looking to the 2016 Honda Pilot Elite for a clue or two
We don’t anticipate Honda moving too far away from the unitbody construction platform of the current Ridgeline. We did speculate a bit about this in an earlier article, as to the possibility of a hybrid or diesel powered Ridgeline in the quest for segment fuel economy superiority.
However, with unleaded gasoline currently priced at near historic low numbers, not only are hybrid sales down, but with Volkswagen under scrutiny for tweaking emission numbers, and 55% of U.S. refined diesel fuel exported to Europe and beyond, Ridgeline fans will most likely not see Honda venture too far away from its state of the art VTEC V6 engine and conventional automatic transmission for 2017 Ridgeline. Don't miss: The reinvention of Honda Motors.
Pilot power and refinement
Honda currently has in place a viable platform for the next generation Ridgeline demonstrated through 2016 Pilot. looking to the proliferation of Ridgeline spy-shots populating the world-wide-web, we have little reason to believe that 2017 Ridgeline styling will venture too far away from what has turned out to be a sales renaissance for Honda crossovers, Honda’s not saying.
Price point to dictate the sales success of 2017 Ridgeline
Arguably, on our estimated mid-summer 2016 release of Honda’s only North America truck offering, 2017 Honda Ridgeline will retain its crown as the most unique midsize truck in North America.
However, we believe that to make an appreciable dent in domestic sales, Ridgeline must come to market with not only exceptional standard and optional comfort, personal connectivity and safety features, but a favorable price point, something that’s killed Ridgeline sales in the past.
Looking to 2016 Honda Pilot, we discover a base-trim All-wheel-drive LX starting at MSRP $31,945. Can a similarly equipped 2017 Ridgeline compete with “Truck of the Year” Chevrolet Colorado, and other midsize trucks competing in North America?
look for more Ridgeline news here Monday afternoon, as Torque News reports from the Honda stage at the North American International Auto Show, Detroit.