Honda Gives Us More Hints about the 2016 Ridgeline

February 19th, 2015 by

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Honda Previews the 2016 Ridgeline, A Little

First Honda gave us an incomplete silhouette of the 2016 Ridgeline, really just a profile line of the top to show more a traditional truck design. Now they’ve given us another preview of the 2016 Honda Ridgeline, but it’s not a photo preview, it’s a drawn sketch. It’s not just a quick penciling of the truck, it’s a highly detailed and stylized rendering of what the final product will look like, and it looks great, but it’s still not quite a picture.

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Spy Shots and a Honda Artist Rendering of the 2016 Ridgeline

We’ve seen spy shots of Honda testing the new Ridgeline in camouflage, but with both pieces of information, we can get some idea of what the exterior design of the new Ridgeline will be. Honda seems to understand what some of the issues that turned people off to the original Ridgeline were, but the Ridgeline was never aimed at the traditional truck buyer.

Honda’s sketch doesn’t show what the front of the new model will look like, but it does show what may be the more important aspect to some buyers. The sketch fleshes out the traditional truck look of the new model, as well as shows what looks to be a longer bed than the original Ridgeline. Since the limited bed size turned off many potential owners, this is sure to increase the appeal. The truck maintains four doors as the only configuration with no 2 door cab options. This may just be the differentiation factor that Honda is sticking with to show that this isn’t designed for a contractor. This is a vehicle that looks like a truck, but is built like an SUV, not to be confused with an SUV built like a truck. Four door, short bed trucks are gaining popularity as shown by the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier, especially in the Boulder area. These trucks appeal to customers that are looking for a small truck, but also to people shopping for a small SUV and see a truck bed as an appealing feature.

The Honda Ridgeline’s Appeal

Rather than changing a truck slightly in order to appeal to people shopping for an SUV, Honda decided with the first Ridgeline that it would be better to change an SUV slightly in order to appealing to customers that might also be interested in a truck. This way, the vehicle has all the handling and comfort benefits of a SUV with a bed added on, where a truck based platform is known to handle more poorly and have a less comfortable ride than a SUV or car. The first Ridgeline had very impressive fuel economy due to the unibody design as well, which contributed to it initial awards. Since its release, the rest of the truck market has caught up, but it took awhile. Hopefully, Honda’s innovation will continue as in the last Ridgeline and the fuel economy number will best the competition as fuel economy is only getting more and more important to today’s motorist.

A front wheel drive variant is a possibility as Honda referenced more possible configurations in this generation that the original and that an obvious bet with a FWD Pilot on the market. There are rumors like this everywhere, including a turbo four cylinder engine option and a 9-speed transmission being the only offered transmission for increased fuel economy. Until we know more, it’s all speculation, but hopefully Honda doesn’t keep us waiting too long for some more information about the new Ridgeline, some info confirming the S3000 would also be appreciated!

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