Force The Diesel Upon Us – Onehots2k opinion
Most people remember their first reaction when they heard Honda was introducing a pick-up truck. The company seemed to be doing just fine for 40 years without one. After a closer look, you’ll realize that it’s not a truck in the conventional sense.
The lineage of its underpinnings point all the way back to the Honda Odyssey minivan. Yes, a minivan. Real truck guys aren’t too interested in hearing about the architecture of its ladder frame/unibody chassis. It’s only available in single 4 door spec with one bed size. They don’t even offer a V8 engine. This truck is almost 100% silent at idle. It can tow a mediocre 5,000lbs. These reasons alone are strong evidence that they weren’t marketing the car to the typical truck type.
Don’t get me wrong here; I’m sure they would still gladly take their money. Fast forward five years later and the Honda Ridgeline sales have rapidly declined. Much of that can be attributed to it being at the end of its model life. In my opinion, it could be that the novelty has worn off. There is talk that Honda will not be releasing an all-new truck. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised.
Let’s say they saddle up for a second round: Give it a diesel. If they are forcing one engine again, it should be a diesel. The advantage Honda has usually held over its competitors was efficiency and reliability. This shouldn’t change. The current Ridgeline is a Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle but it still guzzled gas. My brother/roommate had an 06 for two years which almost meant I had one. We continuously averaged 16-17miles per gallon. The difference between that and a more powerful/capable F-150 are negligible. That shouldn’t be the case.
Honda has experience with diesels. They have publicly stated that they are having trouble getting the costs down in regards to the TSX engine available elsewhere. It would take a different approach of engineering to get most of their current diesels which are mated to a manual to automatic transmissions and meet emissions goals. This company currently is the world’s largest manufacturer of engines. They can definitely pull it off. If they decide to give the Ridgeline one engine, make it spectacular. See VW’s Toureg powerplant for reference. 225hp and 407lb of torque. Mid 20’s mpg and can tow almost 8,000lbs. Let’s see its Japanese counterpart.
Images courtesy of Onehots2k.
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