Regardless of your opinions of the styling
of the Honda Ridgeline
(it's not exactly pretty), the automaker doesn't think that's the problem with the vehicle. Apparently, its sales are down over 17-percent -- not up to Honda's
lofty expectations. The pickup was slightly restyled for the 2009 model year, but the changes are pretty small and were made primarily to the front and rear of the truck. That probably won't help a great deal. The real problem, according to Executive Vice President Koichi Kondo, is that it's not fuel efficient
enough. When the Ridgeline
was first introduced, gas was still pretty cheap and the Honda's V6 engine got better efficiency numbers than its competition, standing at 15 miles per gallon in the city and 20 on the highway. Better than its rivals isn't quite good enough. So, when the Ridgeline gets its first major makeover, expect Honda to keep it about the same size and unibody construction but reduce its fuel consumption somewhat. Oh, and maybe get a prettier face. If it's successful, the automaker could offer more truck models carrying the Ridgeline badge.
[Source: Automotive News
- sub. req'd]