New Honda Ridgeline Sports Commendable Fuel Economy

2017 Honda Ridgeline
2017 Honda Ridgeline | Source: Honda

From the launch of turbocharged Civics last year, and the development of the NSX supercar, there is so much to love about what Honda is doing right now.

Though it’s not as exciting, the 2017 Ridgeline pickup belongs on that list as well. Especially since it reportedly sports significant gains in fuel economy over its predecessor, further planting it in the pantheon of worthy midsize trucks. Thus far Honda has kept quiet about the specs, but thanks to the Federal government (an organization that just so happens to be obligated to release data figures), we were able to spill the beans ahead of schedule.

The version of the truck that was made prior only came with all-wheel drive and sported a mediocre 15/21 miles per gallon during the 2014 model year. So with Honda’s latest round of Earth Dreams V6 engines doing a bang-up job of hitting gas mileage gains, the powerplant out of the new Pilot (which is spectacular, by the way) is quickly proving to be a real winner in every aspect.

But the Ridgeline is a bit of a different animal than the posh, kid-toting SUV, and we were curious to see how this midsize pickup measured up when compared to the competition. This leads us to a few statistics that made this oddball SUV/truck all the more appealing.

Honda pickup
Honda pickup | Source: Honda

Autoblog reports that the government’s figures for the front-drive versions of the new Ridgeline indicate that it will manage 19 miles per gallon in the city and around 26 on the highway. All-wheel drive variants aren’t much worse, at 18/25.

Interestingly enough, the Honda Pilot crossover, which you think would fare worse due to its added weight, gets slightly better mileage at 20/27 on a front-drive model, due partially to its smoother aerodynamics and an optional nine-speed automatic.

But when putting the Ridgeline toe-to-toe with the latest round of equally sized pickups, the Honda does admirably. Other trucks with similarly sized V6 engines, automatic transmissions, and four-wheel drive did not do as well; the Toyota Tacoma gets 18/23. GM’s offerings, the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, weighed in at 17/24.

Interestingly, when comparing this truck to its smaller displacement competition, the Ridgeline is close to getting about the same ratings as a few four-banger, rear-wheel drive options out there — and in certain circumstances, saw even better highway mileage.

As for getting the Ridgeline with something like a turbocharged four-cylinder, we are just going to have to wait on that one. For now, Honda says it will offer the 2017 Ridgeline with a 3.5-liter V6 and a six-speed automatic alone, and while the automaker still has yet to release powertrain statistics, it’s safe to assume that it will make the same 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque as the Pilot.