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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
HONDA RIDGELINE PICKUP RETURNS IN 2017

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
After a two-year hiatus, the Honda Ridgeline is back. And it is a more powerful and bigger midsize pickup in all respects. Wheelbase has been boosted by 3.2 inches, bed length by 4, and width by 5.5. However, weight is down by 78 pounds, which is a plus.
The single crew cab pickup shares its powertrain with the Pilot SUV: 3.5-liter V-6 engine packs 280 horsepower (up by 30 from its predecessor) @ 6000 rpm and 262 pounds-feet (increase of 15) of torque @ 4700 rpm. A 6-speed auto transmission replaces the former 5 speed, and when combined with the Variable Cylinder Management, operates in three or four cylinder modes for substantial fuel savings. Drive modes on the all-wheel-drive version included normal, snow, mud and sand.
Our Black Edition was true to its name with a black chrome bar in the front grille surround and black skid garnish while flanked by LED headlights. The 8-inch Intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID)  displays data for audio, navigation, Bluetooth, rearview camera, fuel economy, texting, compass, clock, etc. Storage space is abundant with bins and cubicles throughout the cabin. There also is a massive in-bed trunk, which touts a 5-foot-long bed that can haul 4-by-8 plywood sheets. The dual-action tailgate is easy to lower and raise. Lest we forget, the 60/40 rear seat folds so you can load up a flat-screen TV or luggage for a weeklong trip. Red perforated stitching on black leather seats conveys a stunning visual. Other niceties include tri-zone auto a/c, tilt/telescopic leather steering wheel, push-button start, power moon roof, and 10-way power driver and four-way front-passenger seats.
Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake distribution, vehicle stability assist with traction control, active front-head restraints, side-impact door beams, rearview camera, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are standard.
So, why should you buy the Ridgeline? Well, it is not a full-size pickup but serves the purpose of one with impressive cargo and towing capability, while delivering a civilized and decent ride.

RIDGELINE AWD (BLACK EDITION)
Tires: P245/60 R18
Wheelbase: 125.2 inches
Length: 210 inches
Suspension: MacPherson front; multilink rear
Steering: power rack-assist pinion
Tow capacity: 5,000 pounds
Fuel capacity: 19.5 gallons
City: 18 mpg
Highway: 25 mpg
Base price: $42,870
Web site: www.honda.com

CALLING ALL HONDA DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com