Some say it’s a truck in appearance only, used only by men who want a truck but who also have wives determined to keep that from happening.
The Honda Ridgeline has, for nearly a decade, stood bravely in the shadow of real trucks and pretended to be just as good. With looks resembling a cross between a Chevy Avalanche and a Subaru BRAT, the Ridgeline shook up the truck world when it went on sale in 2005.
In the years since, sales trailed off, and plenty of people relegated the truck to the “I’m sure it’ll be discontinued soon” list.
Like a real pickup in the depths of an unescapable mud pit, it pushed on, slowly, toward its ultimate demise. Two years ago news surfaced that the Ridgeline would finally, mercifully, be put out of its misery.
But then something crazy and unexpected happened.
Back in 2011 we knew the Ridgeline was dying. Autoweek said at the time,
The Honda Ridgeline is a good example of what happens when an automaker abandons a model.
After much fanfare with its introduction in 2005, little was done to upgrade the mid-sized pickup. Ridgeline’s plummeting sales are no surprise considering the lack of sheet metal changes and significant engineering improvements over the seven-year period.
Here’s the crazy part:
Sales of the mostly abandoned truck increased in the first 11 months of 2013 by 29 percent. A press release from Honda yesterday shared that news, along with the announcement that a new Ridgeline will debut within 2 years after production of the current model ends in 2014.
Honda’s press release said:
The next generation Ridgeline will build on Honda’s role in creating new value with a new take on advancing form and function in the truck segment,” said Michael Accavitti, senior vice president of automobile operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “With a clear path forward, Ridgeline will play an even more important role in our future product portfolio and strengthen an already class-leading lineup of light trucks.”
Used Ridgelines make for a pretty solid value, if all you need is a Honda Pilot with a cargo bed. Will the new one be anything more?
Time will tell.
Is the Honda Ridgeline on your list if you’re shopping for a used pickup?