Introduced in 2005, the Honda Ridgeline was one of the most unusual pickups ever-made. Unlike its domestic and Japanese counterparts, the Ridgeline did not have a rugged body-on-frame design. Instead, it featured a unibody construction and shared its chassis with the Acura MDX.
Despite its unconventional design and odd styling, the Honda Ridgeline offered many attractive features for full-size truck buyers, including a comfortable ride and class-leading fuel economy. According to Honda Dealers Denver, its quirkiness prevented sales from ever reaching the same levels of the competition.
“It’s a very nice concept, a very nice car. But the sales aren’t so successful,” executive vice president Koichi Kondo said of the Ridgeline in 2008.
With sales being a constant hurdle for the Ridgeline, Honda so far has no plans to extend the life of this truck past the 2011 model year. Dealers of Nissan Frontier Seattle WA trucks note that the Ridgeline was an innovative addition to the large pickup truck segment, but lacked the heavy-duty capabilities and ruggedness that many U.S. truck buyers demand.
Although the fate of the Ridgeline has been called into question, Honda Richmond has seen a very specific type of consumer gravitate towards the models; one that wanted more utility than a crossover, but a more compliant ride than other full-size pickups. For many, the Ridgeline remains the perfect balance. Comparatively, more pickups are following the Ridgeline’s lead in fuel-efficiency. Look for the next generation of Ford’s EcoBost engines to deliver better mileage for those truck buyers who don’t necessarily need to haul and tow.
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