The Honda Ridgeline is due for a mid-cycle refresh and these rumor mongers think that a hybrid and three extra speeds are in the works for 2020.
Since the second-generation Honda Ridgeline went on sale halfway through 2016, the unibody chassis truck, despite its detractors, has delivered a steady stream of sales to Honda to the tune of around 2,600 Ridgelines a month with no signs of slowing. While it’s a winning formula for Ridgeline customers, it’s not like improvements can’t be made.
As per several seasoned rumor mongers with real-deal sources on VTEC.net earlier this week, the 2020 Honda Ridgeline is getting a slew of updates that should benefit new Ridgeline buyers without taking away from a combo of looks and features that are working.
First, the big news is a hybrid for 2020. According to Honda of Covington, the source of this first bombshell of an upgrade,
Also expected to join the lineup is a Honda Ridgeline hybrid, powered by a dual electric motor system with a 2.0-liter gas engine. This pairing offers you the power and range you need from a gas engine along with all the benefits of an electric vehicle. The hybrid Honda Ridgeline would be one of the first production hybrid pickup trucks released in the U.S.
Several reply comments indicate that Honda probably won’t swap in a 2.0L engine plus hybrid despite what Honda of Covington says. More likely, like the MDX Hybrid, Honda will add a sizable enough battery pack, perhaps like the MDX with its 1.3kWH size, and assist in torque vectoring as well as added punch and fuel efficiency.
It’s up in the air if Honda will add a Hybrid system to the 3.5L V6 already doing duty in the Ridgeline and end up with power numbers like in their RLX Sport Hybrid or, like the MDX Hybrid, utilize the slightly smaller 3.0L V6 also found in the RDX in China.
What’s inevitable will be a boost in combined power of 321-377 HP and 289-341 lb-ft.
Regardless, the added HP and lb-ft will be a welcome addition to a midsize truck that isn’t quite competitive, at least down low, with the likes of the Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma.
What we’ll probably see slotted in for 2020 is the ZF 9-speed automatic already in the Pilot, Passport, Odyssey, TLX, and MDX.
The addition of more gears and hybrid option should boost MPG with that highway figure perhaps touching 30 MPG.
This would also make the Honda Ridgeline the first true hybrid truck beating out the rumored Hybrid F-150.
Refreshed front end
When I say refreshed, I mean that in the lightest sense possible. The Ridgeline is already a sleek and attractive looking truck partly shaped by aerodynamics but partly thanks to a new design language veering away from the truck-like front end of the first generation.
Where exactly they’ll touch up the front end, your guess is as good as mine as there haven’t been any spy shots of this refreshed Ridgeline running around.
Other notable improvements for 2020
-LED lighting, at least on upper trims, if not all
-Pacific Pewter replaces Forest Mist color
-Honda Sensing on more/all trim levels
-Revised instrument cluster similar to Pilot/Passport with updated infotainment units
The 2020 Honda Ridgeline should be, as mentioned, an incremental improvement over what is already a groundbreaking vehicle in its own right.
More power, more efficiency, perhaps more capability, what’s not to like?
Would you mob around in a Hybrid Honda Ridgeline? Let me know in the comments below?