What Is It?
The Ridgeline was a 4-door pickup sold by Honda from 2006 to 2014. Unlike most pickups, the original Honda Ridgeline was car-based, meaning that it used the same unibody chassis as the midsize Honda Pilot crossover, rather than the stronger body-on-frame construction that’s more common to pickup trucks. Its carlike ride and sizing made the Ridgeline popular among city-dwelling truck shoppers, but it wasn’t as common in traditional truck settings like job sites and off-road trails.
At this year’s Chicago Auto Show, Honda has rolled out a drawing that previews the upcoming next-generation Ridgeline, and it seems to show the pickup with a more traditional trucklike design. While we knew Honda was likely planning on rolling out a new Ridgeline for the 2016 model year, we’re surprised to see the more muscular look, and we’re wondering if it means that Honda plans to take on tougher midsize trucks such as the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado.
Will They Ever Sell It?
Absolutely, although we’re not quite sure how the sketch shown in Chicago will translate into reality. Expect to see the next-generation Ridgeline reach dealers sometime next year.
Why It’s Important
Since the departure of the first-generation Honda Ridgeline last year, the midsize pickup segment has heated up dramatically. First, there was the debut of the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon after a 3-year absence. Then, at last month’s Detroit Auto Show, Toyota rolled out an all-new, fully redesigned version of its popular Tacoma.
As a result, this sketch is important because it proves that Honda still has its sights set on becoming a player in this segment, and it wants to remind buyers that the Ridgeline isn’t dead. That’s good news for shoppers who liked the old Ridgeline or for anyone else interested in buying a new midsize pickup sometime soon.