Long-Term

Trials and Tribulations for Our Four Seasons 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E

More miles, more service – and a small mishap

Long-Term 2017 Honda Ridgeline Update: Summer 2017 ( 4 of 4 ) Miles to date: 19,800

While none of Automobile’s Four Seasons vehicles have leisurely lives, our 2017 Honda Ridgeline sees even more miles than most. Its Goldilocks combination of creature comforts, car-like road manners, and truck-ish practicality has made it a staff go-to for just about every job a vehicle can be asked to do.

If there’s a beach party, camping trip, Home Depot run, or any type of heavy lifting activity, it’s the Ridgeline that automatically gets pressed into service. And frankly, the truck’s superior ride quality and spacious interior make it an excellent choice for the daily commute as well – we’ve logged hours upon hours in Los Angeles-grade rush hour traffic behind the Honda’s wheel without feeling like we were giving up much to the rest of our Four Seasons vehicles. Social media guru Chris Baccarella even used the Ridgeline for a cross-country trek with his dog and two motorcycles, sleeping on the rear bench seat several nights and not emerging any worse for the wear. A truck you can live both with and in? That’s the Ridgeline.

Of course, that kind of popularity means that that the miles are racking up on our Modern Steel gray Honda. Not all those miles have been perfectly smooth, either. At around 11,000 miles, our truck was rear-ended at a stoplight by the absent-minded driver of a Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Fortunately, there was far less damage to the Ridgeline’s rear end than the front of the C-Class – visual damage we incurred included two broken reflectors, a dislocated license plate light and some seemingly superficial bumper cover damage.

Unfortunately, a closer inspection by the body shop deemed both rear parking sensors broken. Replacement parts for those, the bumper cover, and the reflectors totaled a pretty hefty $1,612.69. Labor added another $1,139.00. After tax, the total was an eye-watering $2,882.80 – all covered by insurance, of course. Let that be a reminder that a moment of distracted driving can result in big pain later. Fortunately, no actual pain was experienced by copy chief Kara Snow, who was driving the Ridgeline at the time of its accident and is thankful for its five-star NHTSA crash rating.

Around the same time, at 11,566 miles, our Ridgeline went into the dealer for its scheduled A1 service. The engine oil and filter change, differential fluid change, and inspection rendered a bill of $182.88.

A few thousand miles later, we started getting some vibration in the Ridgeline’s brake pedal during moderate stops. An inspection by the dealership revealed slightly warped front rotors and no issues with the rear brakes. The front rotors were resurfaced and front pads installed at no cost by our local Honda dealer, a nice gesture.

At around 19,000 miles the information display on our truck’s instrument panel notified us that it was time to perform a B1 service. The book states an engine oil change, tire rotation and inspection – no big deal. At the dealer, we were told the inspection was actually a very comprehensive, multi-hour procedure that includes ensuring several critical suspension and brake fasteners are maintaining proper torque. The time quoted for the entire service was over three hours, so we accepted the dealership’s offer for a free shuttle service home. Three hours later, we got a call saying the Ridgeline was ready for pickup (we’re here all week, folks) and a soon the credit card got another swipe for $137.39. Not too bad.

Since then, the Ridgeline continues to log miles without complaint. Now that the truck is nicely broken in, we’ll be heading to the test track next to see how the Ridgeline stacks up against its manufacturer-claimed performance stats. Stay tuned…

Our 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E

MILES TO DATE 19,800
PRICE $42,270
ENGINE 3.5-liter SOHC 24-valve V-6/280 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 262 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD truck
EPA MILEAGE 18/25 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 210.0 x 78.6 x 70.8 in
WHEELBASE 125.2 in
WEIGHT 4,515 lb
0-60 MPH 7.4 sec
TOP SPEED N/A

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