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Traditional look for Honda's new Ridgeline

Photo credit: KGP PHOTOGRAPHY

Automotive News
June 15, 2015 - 12:01 am ET

Honda's second-generation Ridgeline pickup was spotted during testing last week.

The Ridgeline was wearing heavy camouflage towing a trailer. The overall shape of the midsize four-door truck, which will debut in 2016, is much more traditional than the first Ridgeline, which was sold from 2005-14.

The new generation is expected to ride on the same unibody platform as the Pilot crossover and Odyssey minivan and could share their 3.5-liter V-6 engine and nine-speed automatic transmission.
 

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"...same unibody platform as the Pilot crossover and Odyssey minivan..."

This is similar to a pick-up riding on the current Ford c-segment platform, shared with the Focus, Transit Connect, etc. But Honda has no truck platform to work with, and Ridgeline volume is so low, it could not justify creating an actual truck platform. So I think the current SUV/minivan platform is all Honda had to work with. Making this more of an SUV with a bed.

Coming from Honda, it will be a midsize truck that's easy to drive.
 

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"...same unibody platform as the Pilot crossover and Odyssey minivan..."

This is similar to a pick-up riding on the current Ford c-segment platform, shared with the Focus, Transit Connect, etc. But Honda has no truck platform to work with, and Ridgeline volume is so low, it could not justify creating an actual truck platform. So I think the current SUV/minivan platform is all Honda had to work with. Making this more of an SUV with a bed.

Coming from Honda, it will be a midsize truck that's easy to drive.
No it's not, how big do you think the platforms underpinning the Pilot and Odyssey are? It would be like a pickup based on the Explorer or Flex.

Essentially it's a midsize truck built on a C/D unibody platform, like the previous generation.
 

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I abhor this pile of nonsense. I had someone try to tell me that it had a higher towing capacity than an F-150 one time. I almost gave myself a lobotomy with that intense of a facepalm. The fact that this miserable piece of garbage is making its way back into the market makes me shed a tear for the poor, unknowing Americans who purchase this product based on an advertising platform of lies and misguidance. I'd take a Colorado or basically any SUV+trailer over this sad excuse for a utility. Bye.
 

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The current Ridgeline is an unrefined mess. I had a chance to ride in one and could not believe how cheaply made it was and how expensive the price tag.

Inquiring minds want to know if the next generation will retain the built in covered catbox in the pickup bed.

This is not a truck. It is merely a mediocre effort of taking a car and adding a bed and then covering precious money for the experience. You could easily overload this product by buying a case of Cap'n Crunch and putting it in the back.
 

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I don't know, I think Honda may have fixed really the biggest issue with the previous generation, which was the anti-truck design. The Ridgeline is certainly MUCH more spacious than any of the GM Midsize trucks, or any other midsize truck for that matter. And since many of these midsize trucks are sold on frames that are ultimately never used and powered by wimpy 4-cylinders, the Ridgeline makes a ton more sense than a midsize truck that really has no purpose sporting a heavy and space robbing frame to begin with. I'm pretty sure Ford likes Honda's idea better than GM's for this reason, it suits this customer better than an overbuilt mini F-150 that has to be built on a one-off platform at a separate factory for small volume. Even GM said it expects most Midsize truck buyers to be crossover shoppers rather than truck shoppers (although that could be a red-herring to assuage fears of full-size truck customer bleed). Ultimatley this customer is probably BETTER served by this approach, it just has to look the part.

Hey, I would not be at all surprised if Ford has it's eyes on CD6 for a US Ranger successor at the end of the decade. Just a thought ;)
 

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I don't know, I think Honda may have fixed really the biggest issue with the previous generation, which was the anti-truck design. The Ridgeline is certainly MUCH more spacious than any of the GM Midsize trucks, or any other midsize truck for that matter. And since many of these midsize trucks are sold on frames that are ultimately never used and powered by wimpy 4-cylinders, the Ridgeline makes a ton more sense than a midsize truck that really has no purpose sporting a heavy and space robbing frame to begin with. I'm pretty sure Ford likes Honda's idea better than GM's for this reason, it suits this customer better than an overbuilt mini F-150 that has to be built on a one-off platform at a separate factory for small volume. Even GM said it expects most Midsize truck buyers to be crossover shoppers rather than truck shoppers (although that could be a red-herring to assuage fears of full-size truck customer bleed). Ultimatley this customer is probably BETTER served by this approach, it just has to look the part.

Hey, I would not be at all surprised if Ford has it's eyes on CD6 for a US Ranger successor at the end of the decade. Just a thought ;)
This makes me cringe as an enthusiast, yet makes me approve as a businessman. You ARE right, I just hate it.
 

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No it's not, how big do you think the platforms underpinning the Pilot and Odyssey are? It would be like a pickup based on the Explorer or Flex.

Essentially it's a midsize truck built on a C/D unibody platform, like the previous generation.
I was not referring to the 'size' of the platform, but to the concept of Ford using the c-segment platform for cars and the Transit Connect, understanding the 'rumors' about Ford building a truck using the same platform as the Transit Connect. This rumor that seems to have started with the PickupTrucks.com:

"From our standpoint, and from the description Scott provided, it looks like Ford is considering a modified version based off the current Transit Connect or Transit, or possibly both. Either could provide a solid, capable unibody platform for a new-style Ranchero or F-100 pickup truck."
 

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I abhor this pile of nonsense. I had someone try to tell me that it had a higher towing capacity than an F-150 one time. I almost gave myself a lobotomy with that intense of a facepalm. The fact that this miserable piece of garbage is making its way back into the market makes me shed a tear for the poor, unknowing Americans who purchase this product based on an advertising platform of lies and misguidance. I'd take a Colorado or basically any SUV+trailer over this sad excuse for a utility. Bye.
A pick-up with the capability of a minivan or cuv. But then again, the Ford Explorer went down that road.
 

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I was not referring to the 'size' of the platform, but to the concept of Ford using the c-segment platform for cars and the Transit Connect, understanding the 'rumors' about Ford building a truck using the same platform as the Transit Connect. This rumor that seems to have started with the PickupTrucks.com:

"From our standpoint, and from the description Scott provided, it looks like Ford is considering a modified version based off the current Transit Connect or Transit, or possibly both. Either could provide a solid, capable unibody platform for a new-style Ranchero or F-100 pickup truck."
Ford has said they are interested in a truly compact Truck and a next-gen Explorer based pickup probably isn't that. But I think they'd have a hard time seeing a retail customer for an ultra lightweight small pickup that probably looks a little wacky and doesn't scale to higher trim levels and engines. And they need a place to build it here, right now Transit Connect is built overseas and any C2 plant here would need major upgrades just for this. It's possible they'll look at something with a next-gen C2 platform or next-gen Transit Connect. Ultimately I'm convinced Ford has no plans do anything in this market unless it's very scalable (based on something already built at a factory in the US and doesn't compete with F-150). In that scenario, a CD6 based truck sounds compelling because it could share much of it's engineering with next-gen Explorer. I know we've seen this before, but Sport_Trac was a different story and from a different era. My concern is that it's just not low-cost enough to sit far enough below F-150.
 

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It will be interesting to see how the new Ridgeline will do. The current model stayed below 20k for the past 5 years of annual sales. But to date, the midsize truck sales are over 150k in just 5 months, with most offering double digit increases over last year, and growing each month.

GMs new compact trucks are making the greatest gains. While at the same time their full size trucks are making double digit gains also. Which helps Ford understand that midsize trucks don't impact sales of full size trucks, especially since the Global Ranger is smaller than GMs two midsize trucks. Midsize trucks only allow a manufacturer to offer consumers what they want in a truck, whether it's a midsize or full-size. And the consumer will go to the manufacturer who offers what want. For example, when Ford ended production of the Ranger in the US, Toyota Tacoma annual sales jump over 45k units as a direct result of Ford customers going to Toyota to buy what they wanted, since Ford decided not to offer it.

But that's changing. Without a doubt, after the full launch of the even BIGGER 2015 F-150 is done by end of 2015, the Global Ranger will launch in the US in 2016 as a MY2017. This gives 1 year for global markets to ramp up to the refreshed model(more tailored to US tastes), and only compete with the launch of the F-150 Rapture.

However, Ford will have some catching up to do. Midsize and full size truck markets are separate markets, addressing two different customer bases. Toyota has the lead in midsize trucks with GM quickly moving to the #2 spot and challenging Toyota. While at the same time GMs full size trucks currently outselling Ford's full size trucks. Which means as of today, GM leads Ford in full-size trucks, midsize trucks and overall truck sales. Along with large SUV and luxury SUV sales. GM has a product lineup and plan that is working. Ford can't afford to miss a beat/segment.

I can't help but know that with the new refresh of the global Ranger, that Ford used that opportunity to offer upgrades that makes it even easier to bring it to the US market.
 

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There are more variables to consider with GM truck sales, chief among them is the slow launch of F-150 and the lack of any incentives on F-150.

GM corporate has historically outsold Ford in trucks, this is nothing new or surprising. GM lost the lead during their bust and the era afterwards, but they've regained it. Even during Ford's truck and SUV boom in the 90s, GM was collectively outselling Ford Trucks by a sizable margin...but they still went bankrupt. Volume isn't everything, hasn't been for a long time at Ford. What about GM vans? Ford is kicking the pants off GM in that business and those are trucks.

And dude, Ranger is NOT coming to the US next year. But I know you can't be unconvinced because we've had enough people talk to you about this and you're still convinced.
 

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I'd like to point out that I was very inebriated at the time I posted in this thread about my hatred for the Ridgeline. The beer definitely had me in a "GO TEAM AMERICA" mood when I really couldn't give two hoots about the Ridgeline!
 

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Ford had mentioned they wouldn't rule out the possibility of a uni-body truck smaller than the F150. Still if I was a betting man I would say they are watching the GM twins closely to see how they do, along with the new Tacoma and soon to be new Frontier. If the market looks good then there is a chance we get the next gen Ranger, honestly I wouldn't be at all surprised if they are already developing the next gen global Ranger to meet US standards just in case.
 
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