Preview: 2017 Honda Ridgeline

The Ridgeline is back after a three-year hiatus. Surfing their wind of change Honda decided to give the pickup truck a second chance, getting rid of the buttresses and integrating the manufacturer's new design language. Welcome to the all-new 2017 Ridgeline.

The new design is undeniably Honda. If the look is familiar, well, that's because the automaker is pretty excited about its new aesthetic language and of course, applied it to the Ridgeline. Hence the very Pilot-looking front portion with the angled headlamps merged into the grille. At the back enthusiasts will notice that the Ridgeline looks like an all-American pickup truck more than ever with a boxy silhouette and 90° angles - the era of the flying buttresses having ended with the disappearance of the model in 2014.

The cockpit will be the largest in the category and offer seating for five passengers as well as a 60/40 split and up folding row of seats the back from extra storage and capacity. It will also feature everything Honda in terms of entertainment and convenience technology such as an eight-inch touchscreen display with Apple Car Play/Android Auto compatibility (finally!) and tri-zone climate controls.

New to this generation is the four-foot wide flat bed, easily accessible through the dual action tailgate mounted on both bottom and side hinges. That tailgate also provides access to the new In-Bed Trunk.

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Turning the Ridgeline into what they would like to see become the ideal tailgating party set up, Honda has even added a set of speakers in the bed of the truck to take the music outside of the cockpit for everyone to hear. Or to keep your sheets of plywood entertained. All in all, Honda says that payload capacity should reach close to 725 kg which would position the Ridgeline ahead of its mid-size truck competitors. For convenience, eight 160 kg tie downs are available in the bed as well as a 400-watt power inverter – in case your tailgate party requires you to plug in a TV screen.

Another component the new Ridgeline will have in common with the Pilot is the powertrain, a 3.5L V6 engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The mid-size pickup truck will be available with your choice of a front-wheel or all-wheel drive layout. The torque vectoring i-VTM4 AWD system will also be available with the Intelligent Terrain Management, allowing for settings such as Sand or Snow.

Built on a new generation of the ACE structure, the 2017 Ridgeline will also integrate new safety and driver assist technologies, including an advanced airbag system and the Honda Sensing suite.

The American designed and manufactured 2017 Honda Ridgeline will roll out of Honda's Alabama plant and will hit the dealerships later this year. Take two on an American classic.

The Ridgeline is back after a three-year hiatus. 1/12/2016 6:08:00 PM