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Car and Driver: 2017 Honda Ridgeline Fuel Economy Tops Mid-Size Six-Cylinder Competitors

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2017 Honda Ridgeline

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A big part of the promise of a unibody pickup truck, as opposed the traditional body-on-frame designs favored by most every manufacturer, is a lighter curb weight—which should lead to better fuel economy. The first-generation Honda Ridgeline utilized a unibody design, but somehow missed the fuel-economy mark. That car’s successor, the 2017 Honda Ridgeline, on the other hand, lives up to its billing, if only just. The mid-size unibody truck’s EPA fuel economy estimates have been released, and they sit near the top of the mid-size class.
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With all-wheel drive, the new Ridgeline is EPA-rated at 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, numbers that sit above the 17/24 mpg salute given the six-cylinder Chevrolet Colorado 4×4 and the 18/23 mpg earned by the Toyota Tacoma V-6. For the first time, the Ridgeline will be offered with front-wheel drive, too. This is the most efficient Ridgeline configuration, as you’d expect, and is EPA-rated at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Again, this tops the six-cylinder mid-size competition, although the two-wheel-drive Colorado V-6 matches the Honda’s highway figure, but not its city or combined numbers.

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We’re comparing to the V-6 models because the V-6-only Ridgeline doesn’t offer a base four-cylinder engine. Chevrolet and Toyota do, but Chevy’s base four-cylinder is offered only with rear-wheel drive. The two-wheel-drive, four-cylinder Colorado with the more efficient automatic transmission beats the Ridgeline with EPA figures of 20/27 mpg; the Tacoma with the same configuration rates a dismal 19/23 mpg.

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Of course, the diesel four-cylinder in the Colorado is good for a stellar 22/31 mpg in two-wheel-drive form, with four-wheel drive dropping those figures to a still-great 20/29.

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Given that full-size trucks these days are posting fuel-economy figures nearly as good as those of mid-size trucks, it’s worth noting that the Honda has every gas-powered full-size truck beat in the efficiency game save for the twin-turbocharged, 2.7-liter V-6–equipped Ford F-150 with two-wheel drive, which carries the same 19/26 mpg rating as the front-drive Ridgeline. Similarly, the diesel-powered Ram 1500 is EPA-rated for up to 20/28 mpg.

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If the Ridgeline’s fuel economy doesn’t seem impressive at first blush, consider that it very nearly matches the efficiency of its sibling, the much-lighter-duty Pilot three-row crossover. It also handily beats the old Ridgeline’s ho-hum 15/20 mpg EPA estimates.

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