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Rumors of Clean Turbo Diesel for 2016 Honda Ridgeline

With Honda’s expansion of its Ohio based engine facility to manufacture EarthDreams ™ turbo engines, speculation as to a possible turbo-diesel option for Ridgeline has surfaced. Just rumors?

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Honda’s release date for the next generation Ridgeline pickup is slated for sometime in 2016. As Ridgeline sits in development, the competition is making unprecedented headway in pickup truck design, fuel economy and safety technology; many turning to diesel engine propulsion. At the forefront of the pickup truck evolution, revolution is Dodge, Ford and Toyota, not necessarily in that order.

Honda Ridgeline, missing in action

As small Ford truck fans call for the return of Ranger, Ford responds with the creation of a full size, ½ ton F150 with highway fuel economy approaching 24 mpg; just to have Dodge Ram blow the doors off the competition with an Eco-diesel powered counterpart claiming the highway fuel economy of many mid size passenger sedans. Nissan and Toyota have also turned to a diesel fueled engine option. Are these manufacturer’s simply answering to market demand, or do they know something about future fuel supplies that we don’t know?

Diesel fuel factoids: North America exports more refined diesel fuel than any other nation in the world. The surplus of gasoline and oil distillates are at a decade high as consumers drive more fuel efficient vehicles. Every diesel fuel distillery(refinery)on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. has expanded refining capacity in the last year or so. On any given day these mega refineries can process 600,000 barrels of low sulfur diesel fuel, most for export to Europe and South America.

We believe that light truck manufacturers are shifting to clean diesel technology for the following reasons.

The pump price of diesel in much of the U.S. is nearing a 10 year low, and is expected to remain relatively inexpensive for years to come.

We like diesel engines because of their inherent across the rpm range high torque, exceptional fuel economy and longevity. Once non-compliant as to EPA and CARB air quality exhaust emissions standards. Today’s clean burning diesel engine technology often meets or surpasses comparably sized and equipped gasoline engine pickup trucks and SUVs in emissions testing; so, why not apply diesel technology to Honda Ridgeline?

Looking to the competition, Honda Ridgeline may or may not come off the production line in 2016.

Apples to Oranges, The Pilot, Odyssey based unit-body Ridgeline is a class unto itself. Think of the Chevy El Camino and Ford Ranchero of yester-year. Or the G.M. Escalade. Honda Ridgeline is a Car-Truck with Honda underpinnings. It does not compete with the small, midsize or full size truck segment. It’s a sports-car truck with off-road tendencies.

Assuming that the next generation Honda Ridgeline comes off the production line in the same weight and dimension/classification as Honda Pilot, Honda will not require diesel engine technology to increase power and fuel efficiency in Ridgeline. Unless Ohio is tooling up for domestic diesel engine production, 2016 Honda Ridgeline will be standard equipped with a turbocharged EarthDreams 4 cylinder engine. We believe that a V6 or a gasoline/electric, CVT, SH-AWD variant will be offered as an option.

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Marvin Lundin (not verified)    January 23, 2015 - 9:25AM

I'm looking for a flat floor in the back. I have 3 dogs. I had a 2006 Honda Ridgeline loved it with the seats folded up and he flat floor. I totalled the truck. Looking for a 2016 Ridgeline or 2016 tacoma. Has to have a flat floor in back.

Galen (not verified)    January 30, 2015 - 12:46PM

I'll buy one if they don't make it any bigger, dimension-wise. I don't understand why the automakers keep building bigger & bigger, when a lot of us want a small truck. Build it a foot shorter and half-foot narrower than the Taco and you will have a niche, under-served market. Reduce the frontal area to 90%, and smooth airflow underneath to pick up an extra 2 mpg on the highway.

Parks McCants    January 30, 2015 - 6:41PM

In reply to by Galen (not verified)

Manufacturers are compelled to up-size vehicles in the quest of superior crash test ratings and occupant safety. I agree with you in finding greater utility and every-day driving comfort and ease in a smaller pick up. Ford's hedging on the re issue of the Ranger due to increased demand for the F 150 car-truck. Dodge is out, Chevy has one or two smallish trucks with Nissan and Toyota holding up the segment. They don't have to build a small truck to corner the majority of the U.S. 1/2 ton market. I havn't heard or read anything from Honda indicating a larger Ridgeline. however, I can guarantee you that the new Ridgeline will not be smaller. For one thing Ridgeline is a crew-cab-car-truck. It will remain in that niche. Cheers!

Jessie Voght (not verified)    February 13, 2015 - 4:25PM

I am waiting for the new Honda Ridgeline. I have a 2010 Ridgeline and I would like Leather seats and better on fuel works for me as I travel a lot. I love the tailgate that opens both ways because im short. I just cant wait I keep looking on the updates.

Parks McCants    February 13, 2015 - 8:57PM

In reply to by Jessie Voght (not verified)

How ya doing Jessie. In speaking with Honda last week down in Cali, it's going to be a while! Ridgeline is undergoing a total re-engineering. what that means in auto development lingo in usual no less than 3 years. For Ridgeline the timeline may be a bit quicker. at any rate I don't anticipate a release in 2015. We'll keep you posted. Thanks for reading us.

Ed Collins (not verified)    February 13, 2015 - 8:27PM

I've got the 2006 ridgeline and it has 239000 miles on it and still get 21 mpg. No problems with it. Can't wait to see the 2016.

Jerry Iacovelli (not verified)    February 13, 2015 - 8:33PM

I bought the 2006 Ridgeline when it first came out. It was a hit for me. I love the trunk! I have a full tool box, battery operated screw gun, saws all impact wrench and a right angle drill. They are all safely kept in my trunk. With the right tires I travel the snow with no chains and I don't mean studded tires, just street tires. The all wheel drive and traction control are great. The suspension could be a bit stronger but it still can tow my 7500lb dump trailer, but steep hills could use another gear. With 178500 miles on it I am looking forward to a newer truck, but this is the truck I dreamed of after I bought my first BMW, full independent suspension and four wheel drive. I will not buy another Chevy, the Toyota and Nissan are too small for me(I am 6'4" tall and 350lbs) Maybe the Ford pick up if they add a trunk. Please build another Ridgeline that I fit into!!

Parks McCants    February 13, 2015 - 9:03PM

In reply to by Jerry Iacovelli (not verified)

Hello Jerry. We anticipate a bit more leg and shoulder room in the new design. Honda's been pretty good about this on all model upgrades. I like what I've seen of the design and in talking with Honda development, anticipate Ridgeline to be a good looking workhorse with serious power and comfort features. You may wish to hold off on the Yoda purchase for a few months. We'' keep you posted as to progress and marketing time-line developments here as they unfold. Thanks for reading us, take care.

Nic G (not verified)    February 18, 2015 - 6:14PM

I bought my 2006 RTL almost 2 years ago and I love it. I wanted something that would be a good blend of sedan qualities and light pickup use. It also needed to be able to haul my boat (about 5000lbs with trailer). It does all of that. All I'd like is a little bit more power to get it to move when passing. The mileage hasn't been an issue, but I don't like seeing all of these newer trucks with more power getting better MPG. I am looking forward to the next gen, probably just in time for me to be able to afford one. I just hope Honda keeps similar styling and doesn't go full-on traditional pick-up truck style.

neil f cannon (not verified)    February 22, 2015 - 10:13AM

I recently bought an 07 Ridgeline w/72000 on it. I wanted to wait for the next gen but totaled my 01 Safari AWD. I have an apt building and do my own maintenance, so I REALLY like the underbed storage, coupled with the swing away tailgate and the well thought out lighting it is REALLY convenient. I think think the key to better mileage on todays new trucks is not so much the power plant but the six speed trannys. Is the plan to add another gear to help said mileage? The five speed tranny has to be key to the present Ridgeline's 21mpg highway figure. I also like the limiter to third gear to get more towing torque without "hunting", similar to tow/haul mode. I have 2 6'3" sons who fit in the back seat a lot more comfortably than in other trucks.

Chad (not verified)    February 24, 2015 - 7:47PM

I owned a 2008 RTL and loved it. Sold it 3yrs ago because i needed something that got better than 18 miles a gallon i was getting. I am thinking about buying a new vehicle soon and would love to see the specs and features of this to see if I should wait another year so I can get one.

Parks McCants    February 25, 2015 - 12:30PM

Welcome Chad. You're going to be waiting for a while. Honda Ridgeline is in the product developement and testing stage. We've caught a few spy-shots. Although we don't know the specifc specifications, in talking with Honda developement and management, we do know that Ridgeline will come out with much improved fuel economy, comfort, connectability and exterior design.

Thanks for reading.

RichieK (not verified)    March 7, 2015 - 9:53PM

Best all around family truck I've ever owned( 2009). I can't wait until the 2017 comes out. I'd like to see a Diesel version as well. I have gotten 24.8 mpg on the highway with cruise control and 19 in the city. Yes, I would like to see an improvement in mileage as well. Comfort has been exemplary. My next purchase will have a leather interior as the cloth gets dirty fast and is tough to keep clean. We have pulled the boat at 4800 lbs and have adequate power, but the book says that 5000 lbs is max. No complaints here. Good family truck. I'd buy another.

Paul G. (not verified)    April 5, 2015 - 11:47PM

I bought my first Toyota Hi-Lux in 1972. Lasted 10 years. I have a 1997 Toyota T100 with 220K miles. Great size. I need a 4 wheel drive, would like a diesel (Toyota had a small diesel pick-up in the past) and hopefully the Ridgeline will meet my needs, especially for GREAT gas milage.

Parks McCants    May 5, 2015 - 6:54PM

Welcome Robert C. Yeah, me too! But Honda's not saying. And according to my contacts at A.H.M., we're not going to see a roll out of Ridgeline before early 2016. We'll keep you posted. Thanks for your comment.