The Wall Street Journal‘s latest “Eyes on the Road” column, Honda Looks to Break Truck Rules, look at the new Honda truck, the Ridgeline:
Rejecting the norms of conventional pickup construction also allowed Honda to create the Ridgeline’s “Wow!” feature: the sizeable trunk space under the floor of the five-foot long pickup bed. Mr. Flint says that when Honda engineers and marketers came up with this idea and showed it to focus groups of consumers “the expression on people’s faces was one of shock and awe. The usual comment was, ‘Why hadn’t somebody done that before?’”
He’s right. Show someone the Ridgeline’s locking, under-the-bed trunk — big enough for a large cooler, a bunch of groceries, or a couple of golf bags — and eyebrows fly up. I used to own a pickup truck and was constantly frustrated that there was no place to put the kind of stuff I carried around 98% of the time except in the cramped space behind the front seat or under a canvas cover that I bought to cover the unlockable cargo bed.
The Ridgeline won’t appeal to a lot of pickup owners. It doesn’t offer a V-8 engine. The bed is only five feet long with the tailgate up. Anyone who has a serious load to tow probably won’t be satisfied with the Ridgeline’s torque, or pulling power, which not surprisingly lags the Ford F-150 5.4 liter V-8, but also falls short of the recently redesigned Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier pickups.