2006 Honda Ridgeline
There are 34 user reviews for the RTL w/ Moonroof/ XM Radio/ Nav trim shown below
- Solid construction. Sedan-like handling. Innovative features. Perfect for my purposes. Safe!
- City mileage is disappointing. Dealer-installed options are expensive.
I'm 2 months and 4,700 miles into my '06 Ridgline RTL with Navi. I'm not a previous truck owner and could care less how this truck is viewed by owners of Ford, GM, Dodge or any other brand of truck.
For almost 6 years I've flirted with buying a cross-over "truck" in the Avalanche and Explorer Sport-Trac category. A new job where I'm hauling equipment forced the issue. My previous vehicle was an AWD 8 cylinder German sedan, which was in no way suitable for my new hauling needs. Reluctantly I did my research, test drove Ford and GM offerings, and bought the Ridgeline. Fact is, after some decent use, I couldn't be happier.
What I needed was reliability, reasonable fuel economy, space, comfort, and the ability to haul both people and cargo safely. The Ridgeline does all of these things EXTREMELY well and more.
Honda stuck its neck out there with the Ridgeline by daring to be different. Sure they could have followed Toyota and Nissan in improving upon what Ford, GM and Dodge offer without actually looking at how most people use trucks. Body on frame construction is used by each of these manufacturers, including the Avalanche, which many say the Ridgeline copies. On the surface, the Ridgline looks as though it could be a sibling of the Avalanche. Underneath, where it counts, it surely has different parents.
Many criticize the Ridgeline. Many of us also know that trucks are the most profitable segment for US auto manufacturers. Ford, GM and Dodge see up to, and sometimes in excess of $12,000 in profit for each full-size truck they sell. Try that with a midsize sedan. Won't happen. They're lucky to make $1,000 per vehicle in the family sedan market. Why? Because foreign competition has beaten them at the game.
If I'm an auto worker for the Big 3, or one of their executives, I'm scared to death of the Ridgeline. It may not be perfect, but according to Consumer Reports, it is as close to perfect as any truck they've tested to date. Honda has committed to the truck category, and that should make the US manufacturers nervous. I'm betting that many of the negative reviews here are inspired by that fear. What the Ridgeline WILL do (with certainty) is make all manufacturers build more thoughtful and better trucks. It will force them to change. Change is expensive, but also necessary for their survival.
In the end, the truck buyer will benefit.
Ridgeline, with its in-bed trunk, cargo door that opens two ways, large and comfortable passenger compartment, and excellent navigation system, is proving to be terrific at hauling equipment and passengers in comfort, and even managing through unpaved muddy pothole-ridden construction sites without getting stuck. Its exactly what I need, without the compromises of a traditional truck.
Oh, and I need safety as I haul my family from time-to-time. I won't lose sleep wondering about the result of a collision with a truck. I know how that will likely turn out (check the crash test ratings of all domestic pickups and SUVs before you buy).
In case you're wondering about mileage, city driving yields 14 MPG and highway driving within a stone's throw of the speed limit truly delivers 20.5 MPG. I do that a lot.
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