When it was developing its 226 project, Fiat has studied the Honda Ridgeline very carefully. It has taken a unit of the Japanese unibody truck to Brazil and submitted it to a great number of tests. While Fiat is still waiting to present the result of such studies, the Toro pick-up, probably in February, Honda has presented the new generation of the Ridgeline at the 2016 NAIAS. While technical details are still scarce, Ridgeline will not be alone as a unibody truck for long. Many competitors are preparing similarly sized products, such as RAM, which will sell its own version of the Fiat Toro in the USA. It will be called RAM Rampage and Car and Driver has already made a rendering of it. Check it on the link and tell us: doesn’t it look like its Fiat cousin?
As for the Ridgeline, it will be built over the Global Light Truck platform and powered by a 3.5 V6 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. For the first time it will offer a front-wheel drive version along the traditional four-wheel drive model, the only one offered by the first generation. In other words, the new Ridgeline is aiming for a lower price. The first generation was known for being too expensive, a capital sin when you are expected to have more competition coming.
The pick-up’s bed is 1.52 m wide and 1.65 m long and will be able to carry up to 725 kg of load. At least in this item it already starts losing from its competition. The RAM Rampage and the Fiat Toro will be able to carry more than 1 ton of load. But there is no word from FCA about a truck bed that is able to play music as the Ridgeline’s, according to Honda. Besides playing music, the truck bed cover is UV and scratch resistant, features an in-bed trunk, for storing small objects. If you prefer to carry stuff inside the cabin, the second row of seats can be folded to make room. The new Ridgeline also offers a dual-action tailgate. We are not sure about the Rampage, but the Toro will feature a split tailgate.
Considered as one of the best handling pick-ups in the market, the new Ridgeline will see competition coming also from Ford and GM. Both are said to be preparing mid-size unibody pick-ups for Brazil. Ford’s model would be based on the EcoSport, but it would be too small for the American market. Whatever comes out of these plans, one thing is for sure: the Honda truck will not be alone when it is put for sale, in the second quarter of 2016.