It feels like the 2017 Honda Ridgeline has been a long time coming, but the hotly-anticipated truck aims to make a splash at the NAIAS 2016 this week. Set to go on sale in the first half of this year, the 2017 Ridgeline is larger, more powerful, but more efficient than the truck it replaces, offering features like rear-wheel drive and Apple CarPlay for the first time.
Under the hood will be a 3.5-liter, direct-injected i-VTEC V6 engine, paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The entry-level models will be rear-wheel drive, new to the 2017 Ridgeline.
Optional, meanwhile, will be an i-VTM4 torque-vectoring AWD system, with a choice of Normal, Sand, Snow, and Mud modes.
Honda isn’t talking specifics for power or economy at this stage, though it says it’s targeting segment-leading EPA numbers. The same goes for safety ratings, with the Japanese firm suggesting the new Ridgeline will get top crash results courtesy of things like Honda Sensing and a new ACE body structure.
In the cabin, Honda will offer an optional 8-inch Display Audio dashboard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Leather and tri-zone climate control will also be optional.
The second row supports 60/40 split, as well as folding, while the bed will offer “approaching 1,600 pounds” of capacity Honda says, as well as the only 4-foot width in the Ridgeline’s class.
Out of the gate, it’s composite lined, UV-stabilized, and scratch-resistant in the bed, while options include a locking In-Bed Trunk storage container, 400-watt power inverter, and – unusually – an in-bed audio system with 540 W of power split among six “exciters” mounted inside the bed walls.
The tailgate hinges both from the bottom and from the left side, for a choice in opening directions, and there are eight 350-pound tie down cleats.
Honda Sensing will include a multi-angle reversing camera as standard, while LaneWatch and Blind Spot Monitoring will be options. Lane-keep assist and lane-departure warning will also be on the options list.
No word on pricing at this stage, but Honda truck fans shouldn’t have long to wait to find out all the juicy details.