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article details
Author Jeff Palmer
Categories TOV Road Test, Ridgeline
Create Date February 03, 2005 02:40
Last Update February 03, 2005 10:57
Introduction
Somewhere there must be a script that defines Honda's strategy for entering a market segment. I'm pretty certain about two things: haste is absent from this strategy; innovation is not. Honda has shown time and again that they have no interest in entering a new (to them) market segment until they are good and ready with a product that they feel has a 110% chance of success. In the past decade, we've seen this strategy being played out in the minivan and SUV segments, and now it is unfolding before our eyes in the ginormous (thanks, Buddy) pickup truck segment.

And yes, as I type this, I'm sitting here scratching my head in a bit of amazement that I'm writing my first impressions of a Honda pickup truck. Note the emphasis. I'm amazed that Honda has finally entered a segment that they resisted for so long; a segment that was once thought to be utterly impervious to foreign penetration. Toyota and Nissan have been building trucks (and some quite good ones) and pounding the rock for many, many years. They still have yet to make a real dent on the stranglehold that is held by Ford and Chevy (and to a lesser extent, even Dodge). Perhaps the one thing the Japanese trucks have been missing all these years has been innovation.

This is where Honda typically likes to step in. I'm sure it's actually covered in their playbook: sit around and wait for everybody else to play their hands, watch, and learn. (This part can last a few years or a few decades.) Then once they see what flies and what doesn't, they swoop in with their own interpretation.

So what exactly is the formula for success that was concocted in the American Honda R&D labs? Basically it's a half-ton pickup truck with the exterior dimensions of a compact pickup truck and interior dimensions that rival full-sized pickup trucks. Oh, and with a fully boxed ladder frame unibody construction and four wheel double wishbone suspension, it's designed to drive like no pickup truck ever has before it.

After several years of speculation, handwringing, and soul searching, the Ridgeline is finally finished, and we were able to spend a day and a half of quality time with it. Has Honda done it again?

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Date Thread Starter Thread
02-04-2005 13:56 The painted rear bumper bugs me...   (Score: 1, Normal) hondaracer
02-04-2005 14:13 hondaracer
02-05-2005 19:01 Waatdahell
02-07-2005 12:44 hondaracer
02-07-2005 15:26 cyjack
02-07-2005 19:58 Waatdaehell
02-08-2005 09:00 80honda
02-09-2005 03:24 Waatdahell
03-25-2005 16:53 wombat2
02-03-2005 10:09 Note on Audio Aux Input   (Score: 1, Normal) RyanDL
02-03-2005 13:52 jpm
02-03-2005 15:45 RyanDL
02-03-2005 16:35 KenB
02-04-2005 11:58 HondaSalesGuy
02-04-2005 13:51 hondaracer
02-04-2005 18:54 tman
02-04-2005 19:17 HondaSalesGuy
02-04-2005 21:55 TonyEX
02-08-2005 21:54 webwalker
03-25-2005 14:45 wombat2
02-03-2005 06:21 Jeff buddy, thoughs on styling?   (Score: 1, Normal) carridog
02-03-2005 07:56 kirk
03-25-2005 14:35 wombat2
03-25-2005 12:51 Seat material   (Score: 1, Normal) wombat2
03-13-2005 18:14 Outstanding Ridgeline Review   (Score: 1, Normal) CGLombard
03-18-2005 15:58
  • Thanks   (Score: 1, Normal)
JeffX
02-10-2005 13:14 Honda does it   (Score: 1, Normal) crazyucihapa
02-11-2005 11:35
  • Message below viewing threshold View   (Score: 0, Flamebait)
Mugenkoo
02-27-2005 17:20
    • Message below viewing threshold View   (Score: 0, Normal)
michael_koz77
02-17-2005 12:36 Canadian pricing   (Score: 1, Normal) carquaker
02-09-2005 00:26 Snow Plow Capable?   (Score: 1, Normal) switty
02-12-2005 08:17 Buck
02-05-2005 10:14 Hey Jeff, how about a cover ...   (Score: 1, Normal) LeoPardo
02-05-2005 14:21 JeffX
02-08-2005 21:39 webwalker
02-03-2005 17:14 Ridgeline vs. Odyssey   (Score: 1, Normal) cyjack
02-03-2005 17:49 JeffX
02-05-2005 10:29 moonkat
02-04-2005 22:00 TonyEX
02-07-2005 15:57 cyjack
02-06-2005 03:18 DanielAcosta
02-03-2005 09:31 Relocation of wiper controls   (Score: 1, Normal) HondaSalesGuy
02-03-2005 22:21 Bollocks
02-06-2005 03:25 DanielAcosta
02-03-2005 17:56 How did it sound?   (Score: 1, Normal) HondaSalesGuy
02-03-2005 22:19 Bollocks
02-04-2005 16:28 IXLR8
02-05-2005 02:11 HondaSalesGuy
02-03-2005 11:12 Tailgate   (Score: 1, Normal) sallen07
02-03-2005 11:19 JeffX
02-03-2005 15:33 shingles
02-03-2005 22:23 Bollocks
02-03-2005 18:12 Jeff - Interior question   (Score: 1, Normal) Ravishol
02-03-2005 16:29 Congratulations, Jeff !!!   (Score: 1, Normal) LeoPardo
02-03-2005 07:59 Impressive   (Score: 1, Normal) hmpower
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