The 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD RTL-E  3

A perfect vehicle for spring break!

With spring break on the horizon, we made it a priority to find an automobile that would be the best to suit the travel needs of multiple people. The 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD RTL-E

was one of the standouts that covered a lot of demands, whether it’s hitting the beach, heading for the mountains, or being the life of an outdoor party.

Admittedly, it was difficult to objectively tune out the numerous awards the new Ridgeline has received so far by auto industry authorities including the prestigious 2017 North American Truck of the Year, but we are now confident in saying the accolades are justified. Although classified as a mid-size pickup, the head-turning Ridgeline handled like a well-tuned sedan with all-wheel drive, yet powered by a 280-horsepower, V-8, 3.5-Liter engine complete with Honda’s acclaimed iV-TECH technology, and 5,000-pound towing capacity.

The spacious cabin comfortably fits five adults and pampers passengers with leather upholstery throughout. There is also tri-zone climate control; a power-sliding rear cabin window; HondaLink for various applications; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; acoustic glass for significant noise reduction; and adjustable back seats for extra storage space totaling 109 cubic feet. 
The only drawback—but nowhere close to a deal breaker—was the 8-inch audio display with touchscreen. Although the goal is to mimic the hands-on approach of a smartphone, it was often a task to scroll the volume (whereas knobs are ageless), but even that was remedied by using the steering wheel controls.

And now the tailgate; it serves as proof Honda knows how to throw a party. The door ingeniously opens two ways—fold down and swing—with the latter providing more practicality when loading. Honda wisely kept the Ridgeline’s additional storage space nestled under the dent-resistant bed, which serves as both a 7-cubic-foot trunk or a high-capacity ice chest with a drain at the bottom. Using the AC outlet on the inside wall of the bed, plug in a large TV, blast music using the extended truck bed sound system, and all necessities for an epic party outdoors are met.

Throw in a plethora of safety features from collision mitigation braking to lane departure warning thanks to the state-of-the-art Honda Sensing suite that generously comes standard in the RTL-E, and the Ridgeline maintains the luster of an award-winning pickup that consistently raises the bar for the rest of the industry.

Base price:
 $41,370

Gas mileage:
 18 city/25 highway/21 combined

For more information, visit Honda.com