After a two-year hiatus, the Honda Ridgeline is back with a new look, more technology and a better midsize pickup truck package. Mark Williams checks out the off-roading capabilities.
(ladder sliding) (truck door closing) (key turning) (rock music) Most Honda Ridgeline buyers are probably not going to do any hardcore off-roading, but here at the 2017 Honda Ridgeline event, <v Narrator>the engineers wanted us to know that this is a...
very smart all wheel drive system. In fact, they built an entire off-road course for us to play in. The Ridgeline has what Honda calls, intelligent traction management. And it allows the driver to select between four distinct settings: normal, snow, mud and sand. On our light off-road course, outside San Antonio, we got to use three of those settings. We'll have to wait a few months for the snow. Through water and in mud, the Ridgeline was poised and confident, with enough ground clearance and traction to take us through algae covered water crossings, and even got us out of goopy, muddy trails. We also got a chance to test the hill hold feature. Climbing up and then crawling down a steep hill. We're told the system is even smart enough to sense the inclines automatically and adjust more power to the rear wheels for better, overall grip. We also blast it through deep sand, where the ITM system allowed for more wheel spin and a faster throttle response. In fact, the traction computers are so smart, it always knows which of the four wheels is losing traction or hanging out in the air. Then in milliseconds, it can send the remaining engine power to the other three, two or even one wheel still on the ground. Is the average Ridgeline buyer likely to get themselves stuck on a remote, back country, four-by-four trail? Probably not. But we liked that the Honda engineers think they could. Even though this truck doesn't have a dedicated low range, the intelligent terrain management system impressed us to no end. <v Narrator>If you want to know more about the 2017 Honda Ridgeline, go to pickuptrucks.com. (engine revving)