• Mar 20th 2009 at 10:18AM
  • 14
Click above for a gallery of the 2009 Honda Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline is unique in the world of pickup trucks, with the Japanese automaker attempting to straddle the line between efficiency and utility by relying on a unibody chassis, V6 engine and a front-biased all-wheel drive design to reduce weight and cut down drivetrain losses. Is it a success? That's debatable, with the final product weighing about 650 pounds less than a full-frame, V8-powered Chevy Silverado but actually managing slightly lower fuel economy than the XFE edition of GM's larger truck.

Dave Marek, chief designer and senior manager of the automotive styling group at Honda Research and Development, Americas, said, "The (current) Ridgeline was the right thing to do at the time. But now that the truck market is a moving target, our opportunity is to make it more fuel-efficient -- aerodynamic and lighter -- but still retain the core value it has, which is the inside space and usage in the back."

To meet the goal of reduced weight without sacrificing utility, Honda may cut down on standard equipment and use aluminum where possible instead of steel in the next-gen model. A more steeply raked windshield and a revised underbody could improve aerodynamics and, therefore, fuel economy.

[Source: PickupTrucks.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      If Honda can afford to Blow Money on Hydrogen, they can afford to convert this thing into a Diesel-Hybrid, with "just" 200 Horsepower. That would give this old horse some real efficiency numbers, not those 1970's numbers.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Funny stuff Autoblog. Go checkout the mileage on the Avalanche with AWD. 11mpg city.
      • 6 Years Ago
      And give us the stick! I don't buy no stinkin truck unless it has standard transmission. Greatly limits choices but auto-truck is girly-truck. At least 6 gears with the top gear optimized for actual highway speeds.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I really like the Ridgeline. I think the idea of improving the economy/reducing weight would be a significant step in gathering more acceptance. The Ridgeline is a perfect choice for suburban duties and still being able to carry a family. Comparisons between this and a full size trucks are always being made. However, if you really need to tow, than a full size body on frame truck is needed. If you want a vehicle to service your Home Depot runs, do medium duty towing, and still carry a family with decent fuel economy than the Ridgeline makes sense.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No diesel? I wouldn't give it a look. I'm patient. I'll boycott until they offer what I want.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They need to make a smaller truck! I know lots of REAL truckers (not posers) would like a small size truck. Two seater, regular height, decent size bed. And stick shift too : )
        • 6 Years Ago
        I know what you mean. Short bed pickups aren't very practical, except maybe for hauling some small heavy loads. This looks like it was designed for the "Macho Poseur" market who never really hauls anything in their truck other than their overblown ego.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Considering the size, it's AWD, the power figures, none of the competition gets better.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Want to increase mileage and power? Put the V-6 diesel in it. AND drop the I-4 diesel in the CR-V. Stop putting all ya got into electric. Diesels will have a great future with bio-diesels. Be really progressive. Bring on the diesels!!!!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well I know I love my 06 Ridgeline. On average im pulling 20mpg and thats a mix of city and highway and occasionally off-road. Honda did a good job with this truck. (previously owned an 03 S-10)
        • 6 Years Ago
        What happened to the V6 Diesel motor Honda was testing?
        Honda could sell a FWD only version, that should give a big boost to the MPG. AWD uses a lot more fuel.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I would have bought one of those in a heart-beat. a diesel ridgeline would be awesome.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Overpriced and horrible interior, but I still like it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have a 2007 Ridgeline and it has been a great vehicle - Nice ride, comfortable and the trunk in the PU bed has been great giving me almost everything an SUV has with the benefit of a PU bed for trips to the garden center or other dirty bulky stuff. The only fault I have with it is my combined mpg of 17.

      I leased this truck with the hope that Honda would have released a clean diesel increasing the mileage significantly by the time the lease was up November 2009. So as of this writing, no clean diesel increasing the efficiency of what has been a very good truck so the lease goes away in 2 months and I will not get another Ridgeline until I see a highly efficient clean diesel. If Honda reads this, a 30 mpg (city) ridgeline would set the standard. Go with clean diesel and ditch AWD if you have to get 30 mpg city.

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