Honda Won’t Let it Go: New Ridgeline Coming Next Year

2017 Honda Ridgeline

Remember the movie “Rudy,” about the young man who desperately wanted to play football for Notre Dame but lacked the resources to make it happen?

The Honda Ridgeline is the Rudy of trucks.

Honda has wanted to play in the midsize truck market since the Ridgeline was introduced in 2005. The truck, however, never sold enough to be labeled a success. Still, the little Ridgeline hung on, clinging to hope and barely selling enough to keep going.

It probably should’ve been discontinued years ago. Instead, after a brief hiatus, the Ridgeline is poised for a 2016 revival.

With 2016 models from other automakers making a splash and revitalizing the midsize market, maybe things are primed for the next Ridgeline to finally grow up and compete.

The newly released Toyota Tacoma is making a big splash and impressing reviewers everywhere. The changes are formidable for competing trucks such as the Colorado and Canyon, considering the 2015 Tacoma went mostly unchanged for the previous decade and still remained the best-selling midsize truck in America.

For Honda to have any hope of making an impression in the market, the Ridgeline needs to get some things right:

  • It needs to look like a truck.
  • It needs to have the capability of a truck.
  • It needs much-improved fuel economy.
  • It needs to be priced competitively, but not reach into the realm of full-size trucks.

Even getting all of this right, I don’t foresee the Ridgeline displacing the Tacoma, or even the Colorado, anytime soon.

The Motely Fool said,

The second-generation Ridgeline will look like a traditional pickup truck to attract conventional truck-loving Americans. It will borrow Pilot‘s platform and engine strength, and share some features of the Acura MDX.

That’s a good start, but here’s another wrinkle in Honda’s plan: A new Nissan Frontier is also due for release in 2016. Neither will unseat the Tacoma or Colorado, but with both new models hitting dealers at about the same time, perhaps we can look forward to a Honda vs. Nissan battle for the third-most-popular midsize truck in America.

Would you buy a Ridgeline instead of a Tacoma?

-tgriffith

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