2017 Preview: Honda Ridgeline Longer, wider, innovative

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The 2017 Honda Ridgeline was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with the pickup’s versatility, capability and comfort emphasized.

Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the Ridgeline will be available to he public on a yet-to-be announced date in the first half of 2016.

Honda is promoting the midsize pickup as having the “largest, most versatile cabin.” It’s touted as the “only 4-foot-wide flat bed space in the midsize pickup segment, along with payload capacity rivaling top competitors.”

Powered by a 3.5-liter, direct-injected i-VTEC™ V-6 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the Honda Ridgeline will also feature the industry’s first in-bed audio system. For the first time, front-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations will be available. Front-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive models will utilize Honda’s i-VTM4 torque vectoring AWD technology, featuring Intelligent Terrain Management with Normal, Sand, Snow and Mud.

The 2017 Honda Ridgeline has a longer and wider bed and other new features.
The 2017 Honda Ridgeline has a longer and wider bed and other new features.

According to Honda, the 2017 Ridgeline will have the largest, most versatile and sophisticated cabin in a midsize 4-door pickup, available leather trim as well as tri-zone climate control, push button start, a full-color TFT center meter and an 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility.

The interior of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline is modern and functional.
The interior of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline is modern and functional.

The Ridgeline will have 60/40-split and folding second-row seats. With the seats folded down, Honda says the Ridgeline with have seating for five while still accommodating long items, like a set of golf clubs, under the rear seat. Folding up one or both sides of the 60/40-split seat bottom opens up the back to carry tall and bulky items.

The Ridgeline will offer a uniquely sized bed — 5-feet with and 5-feet, 4-inches long. It will be 5.4 inches wider and 4 inches longer than the previous generation Ridgeline). The 2017 Honda Ridgeline will have the only 4-foot wide flat bed space (with 48 inches between the rear wheel arches) in the midsize pickup class. The new Rideline’s payload capacity hasn’t been announced, but it’s expected to be about 1,600 pounds.

The Ridgeline’s standard, lockable In-Bed Trunk provides secure storage space with no compromise to bed utility and now features a fully flat floor while still including a drain plug for easier cleaning and evacuation of water from the trunk.

The dual action tailgate is hinged at the bottom and along its left side, opening down or to the side. The bed also features eight 350-pound tie down cleats and an available 400-watt power inverter, located behind an access panel in the right bed wall. It will have the capacity to recharge power tools or energize a tailgate blender or flat screen TV.

The new in-bed audio system utilizes six exciters located inside the bed walls, in place of conventional speakers, pumping out sound from the Ridgeline’s audio head unit, with up to 540 watts of power.

All Ridgeline models will feature a multi-angle rearview camera as standard equipment and upper trims will be available with either Honda LaneWatch or Blind Spot Information system. The 2017 Ridgeline include Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS).

The MSRP for the 2017 Honda Ridgeline has not been announced.

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