Under the hood is the familiar 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 out of the Pilot. The engine’s displacement is familiar to Honda fans, but the engine got a welcomed refresh before powering the 2018 Pilot, so it now features direct fuel injection, and a 30-horsepower bump in power and a 15-pound-feet increase in torque. The increase means the 2017 Ridgeline now has 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque.
The engine features a 60-degree V-angle and is die-cast from an aluminum alloy with iron cylinder liners. The deep-skirt block features four-bolt main caps and a high-strength steel crankshaft. The forged steel connecting rods are “crack separated” to create a unique remounting surface when bolted onto the crank. All this is done for added strength and a long engine life.
The engine’s headline features include the i-VTEC system with the two-stage Variable Cylinder Management system. Like with other Honda engines, the VTEC system controls the overhead camshaft, manipulating valve timing, the lift profile, and lift duration of the intake valves. Below 5,350 rpm, the engine uses a low lift, short duration timing map for increased torque and good fuel efficiency. Above that engine speed, the timing changes to a high-lift, long-duration profile, allowing more air to enter the cylinder.
The Variable Cylinder Management system gives the V-6 the ability to run on three cylinders in low-stress situations, furthering its fuel efficiency. The remaining three cylinders instantaneously come online when more power is needed.
Power is routed to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission that offers a 20 percent wider gear ratio spread over the previous-generation Ridgeline’s five-speed automatic. Customers who need AWD capacities can opt for the all-new AWD system that utilizes Honda’s i-VTM4 torque vectoring transfer case with Intelligent Terrain Management. The terrain management software comes with four modes for various traction situations, including normal, sand, snow, and mud. The torque vectoring system works both front-to-rear and left-to-right, giving the Ridgeline an impressive traction advantage.
Fuel economy is also improved over the previous Ridgeline. In FWD form, the Ridgeline is EPA-rated at 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined. The AWD model sees a one-mpg drop in numbers across the board, resulting in a rating of 18/25/21 mpg.
Honda says the Ridgeline is capable of “medium-duty” off-roading and towing capacities while maintaining a pleasant on-road driving feel. It’s no secret the Ridgeline is designed to spend a majority of life riding empty on paved roads. The crossover-like unibody chassis, transversely mounted engine, and four-corner independent suspension will all aid in comfort while limiting its truck-like abilities. Regardless, Honda won’t have an issue selling the Ridgeline. It all the truck most folks will ever need.
“The Ridgeline now has 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque.”
The 2017 Ridgeline is offered in seven trim levels – two more than the previous generation. Pricing has stayed relatively stable, though its max price has increased thanks to the new upper-crust trims. The trim lines are the RT, RTS, Sort, RTL, RTL-T, RTL-E, and the Black Edition.
Prices for the base RT trim begin at $29475 before destination and other fees. A mid-grade RTL with AWD runs in the mid $35,000 area, while the range-topping Black Edition, which comes standard with AWD, starts at $42,870. The Ridgeline will be available at Honda dealers in June of 2018.
New 2018 Test Drive
Post time: 05-14-2017