Honda’s first-generation Ridgeline pickup was introduced in 2005 and challenged conventional truck design thinking with its boxed frame uni-body that ramped up driving dynamics, fuel efficiency and interior space. And, of course, there was that lockable in-bed trunk. The original Ridgeline won the 2006 North American Truck of the Year and Motor Trend 2008 Truck of the Year; then it was dropped in late 2013. Sales had been slow and word went out that a redesign was under way for a more “normal-looking” truck.
That redesign is now finished and the new Ridgeline will be rolling off the line in the first half of 2016 at Honda’s plant in Lincoln. The new Ridgeline will join an expanded lineup of Honda light trucks that includes the subcompact all-new 2016 HR-V crossover, the Honda CR-V, and the redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot. A completely redesigned Odyssey minivan will follow in the second half of next year.
Curious fans of the original Ridgeline got a glimpse of what the 2017 version might look like, based on a vehicle raced at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, which marked the company’s return to off-road truck racing. The Ridgeline Baja Race Truck does indeed look more truck-like than its predecessor.
Text by Dave Helms