Compared to the previous generation model, the 2017 Ridgeline is not only a more modern car in all aspects, but also a more conventional-looking pickup.
What made the old Ridgeline stand out was definitely its boxy design and tall flat-bed. It looked interesting, though according to people who like to add up numbers, it didn't even come close to having good sales in 2015.
Thankfully, it doesn't need to go against the big boys, such as the F-150, Silverado, Ram, Sierra or the Tundra. What this new Ridgeline should concern itself with is the likes of the 2016 Nissan Frontier, 2016 Chevy Colorado and 2016 Toyota Tacoma, which are still strong competitors, yet it's hard to choose a clear front-runner.
If sales were our decisive factor, the Tacoma would be the truck to beat, otherwise, we'd say the Colorado is looking mighty good thanks to its tech and highly efficient turbo-diesel engine.
The 2017 Honda Ridgeline however does have one or two aces up its sleeves. For starters, it's more refined as it's based on an SUV. It also may end up having best-in-class acceleration and fuel economy (according to the manufacturer), thanks to its 3.5-liter V6 petrol unit. Second of all, its AWD system can manage the way you drive on different type of terrain by providing you with a couple of very helpful drive modes such as Normal, Sand, Snow and Mud.
Then there's the interior. Not only does it feature strong safety equipment like Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Forward Collision Warning, and Lane Keeping Assist, but it also looks like a genuinely nice place to be.
The materials look good, the dash layout is attractive and the entire cabin looks considerably more high tech then what you see inside, pretty much, all of its rivals.
Whether or not that will translate into a very strong sales year, remains to be seen. Some people simply want to get the Chevy, and there's really no way around that.