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Honda: Ridgeline Here To Stay, Stop Writing Its Obituary


The 2012 Honda Ridgeline Sport. Image: American Honda Motor Co.

The 2012 Honda Ridgeline Sport. Image: American Honda Motor Co.

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It’s hard to say just where or when the rumor got started, but various media outlets have been speculating on the death of the Honda Ridgeline pickup for some time now, Honda’s been oddly silent on the matter, dismissing the off-hand comment with a terse “we don’t discuss future product plans” denial, at least until now.

In a brief note to the media, Honda’s manager of truck product planning, Sage Marie, states, “In no uncertain terms, the reports in the media that we have plans to discontinue the Ridgeline pickup are false. To the contrary, Ridgeline has a significant role in the Honda lineup and it is expected to continue in the foreseeable future.”

There isn’t much ambiguity in Marie’s statements, but there isn’t much life in current Ridgeline sales, either. In September, Honda moved just 700 units, and year to date has sold only 6,476 Rigeline pickups. That’s about half the number that Honda sold last year through September, and even the discontinued Element crossover is a better seller (and not by a small margin, either).

In his note, Marie points out that the 2012 Honda Ridgeline will get refreshed styling, improved fuel efficiency and a new Sport model, but we’re not sure those changes are enough to lure pickup truck buyers into Honda showrooms. That’s a shame, because we’re fans of the do-it-all compact truck, and we’d encourage anyone who doesn’t need a full-time, heavy duty pickup to give the Ridgeline a test drive.
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Comments (10)
  1. Put a diesel in it already and I will be the first in line.
     
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  2. Honda Ridgeline = Ford Ranger......both riding a dead horse.
     
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  3. @Matt, the difference is that Ford sold over 7,000 Rangers in the U.S. in September. Honda has yet to sell 7,000 Ridgelines in the U.S. this year.
     
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  4. The problem with the Ridgeline was and is the price, with the base model nearly $30k; for a 6-cylinder truck mind you. Not having an economical 4-cylinder model doesn't help with sales either when the V6 is behind the competition in nearly all specifications. Honda builds great quality vehicles, but the pickup truck base just isn't there.
     
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  5. @larry300, I don't disagree with you. It's best to look at the Ridgeline as a big, comfortable sedan that doubles as a part-time truck. If you need the capabilities of a truck on a regular basis, the Ridgeline is likely to disappoint. If you occasionally need a truck on weekends, the Ridgeline is a reasonable compromise.
     
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  6. "Honda builds great quality vehicles, but the pickup truck base just isn't there".

    Honda "use to build quality vehicles". And yes the pickup truck base just isn't there for Honda. Everybody knows that except Honda :-)
     
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  7. I replaced a 1991 Ford Ranger with a 2006 Honda Ridgeline. The Ridgeline is an SUV with a truck bed. It's a great family vehicle, well designed, and practical. It's not a work horse, but it is great for those weekend tasks.
     
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  8. Honda won't get rid of the Ridgeline because it won't admit to an error on their part.
     
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  9. @Matt, I think the arrogance the Honda used to have towards its products is fading. When the new Civic was universally panned by the automotive press and Honda's former customers, I think they got the message loud and clear.

    There's a market for the Ridgeline, in my opinion, but it has to be less expensive and more fuel efficient. As it is today, the truck is a tough sell against the competition.
     
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  10. "There's a market for the Ridgeline, in my opinion, but it has to be less expensive and more fuel efficient".

    I totally agree with you Kurt on this point. Honda just won't take it to that next level...improved economy and price wise.
     
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