In Part 1 of this series, we discussed my rationale for deciding why I should sell my Acura sedan, and then determine what kind of vehicle we needed. Part 2 will discuss my reason to claim that the Honda Ridgeline may be the best truck ever made. Now, that is quite a claim, and this is just my point of view, but let’s take some time to analyze this, shall we?
To review from earlier, we wanted a vehicle that combined the best qualities of a wagon, mid-size SUV, “crossover” and a truck. Well, I just threw that truck thing in at the end, since at first I wasn’t thinking about a truck. I wanted the space, I wanted safety, and I wanted reliability.
So, how would a Honda Ridgeline qualify as the best truck ever made, when there are trucks with more interior space, a bigger bed, more towing capacity, more power, better off-road capabilities, or better fuel mileage (well, not by much)? Simple, because I didn’t need a bigger bed or more towing capacity. I don’t go off-roading. Ok, so I wouldn’t mind getting more interior space, but when I mean other trucks get more, I mean trucks like the Dodge Ram MegaCab. Now THAT’s alot of interior space! But then I get hit with gas mileage and higher purchase price. Oh, and lower brand reliability than Honda. Take note that I said “brand reliability” as the Ridgeline is a new model. You usually want to wait until the second or third model year for the engineers to get all the bugs out.
So we’re back to the Ridgeline. Here are the pros as I see it:
- Comfortably seats 5 adults, and doesn’t have that annoying hump in the back floor. That means no one has to fight against taking the middle seat (there’s a term for that, but it’s not appropriate for a professional setting)
- It has a TRUNK! That’s right, a truck with a trunk. Now, the Chevy Avalanche included storage in the side of the bed, but really only for beer cans during a tailgate. This is a full size trunk. Heck, we fit luggage for 4 adults (well, shared luggage) into the trunk this past weekend without having to play “trunk-tetris”. Oh yeah, the trunk locks 🙂
- The Ridgeline received 5-Star front and side crash test ratings, as well as the lowest rollover risk of any pickup truck.
- The Ridgeline is All-Wheel Drive (AWD) when you launch and when you get in trouble. Otherwise, it reverts to Front-Wheel Drive (FWD).
- There is storage space galore in the cab. Oh, and the back seats flip up and lock in place so you can use the entire floor-to-roof and door-to-door space in the rear seating area. The truck swallowed a wooden hutch with room to spare when I picked up some unfinished furniture. The store owners were in awe that I fit the hutch in the rear seat area so easily.
- The bed is pre-lined with a composite material, so you don’t have to go out and get Rhinoliner or anything. Also, the bed has 4 built-in lights (very bright at night) and 6 built-in tie-down anchor points.
- The tailgate swings down or out so my petite wife can easily get into the trunk to unload groceries (not that I make her do the unloading).
- When compared to other medium duty trucks, the Honda easily beats the pricing battle when you compare standard options lists. Actually, you can’t even add options to a Ridgeline, except navigation and/or moonroof on the RTL. It’s all built in to the package (I chose RTS, the middle one).
- The truck easily handles riding over those pesky curbs to allow for easy exit of a parking lot when you don’t feel like turning around (sorry Ocean City curb management people. I’ll send some grass seed in the mail). The ride height is just right for easy entry for even my 4’9″ Grandma without needing any sidebars.
- Well, I didn’t intend for this to be a Top Ten reasons, but it did work out nicely. The #10 reason why the Honda Ridgeline is the best truck ever made: It’s a Honda. Ok, so my Acura had some recalls like the transmission, but Honda is well known for taking care of its customers and for having one of the best reliability records around. Ok, I don’t know the exact spot, but I’m quite positive any Honda would be ranked well above our 2005 Chevy Malibu base sedan or 1997 Pontiac Grand Am.
In Part 3 of this series, I’ll admit to some areas of improvement I would like to see with the Ridgeline, but counter with why I still think it should be crowned the Best Truck Ever Made.
Ok, in Part 3, I’m going to confess to some areas for improvement in the Ridgeline, and then summarize why it still should be named the Best Truck Ever Made!