No, it would not even be considered an SUV - as an SUV actually has a FRAME! And I'm talking about real SUVs, that is. Hell, my Crown Vic is more of a truck with a V8, RWD, solid axle and a frame.
Well, I guess you better start changing your tune on what a "real" SUV is. The Explorer that started the SUV craze will soon be a unibody. The Jeep Grand Cherokee already is a unibody. They are discontinuing the Crown Vic in favor of superior designs on newer unibody cars. There are very few full frame vehicles out there anymore.
I think I will rely more on the auto industry to classify their cars. If they say the unibody Explorer is still an SUV, then guess what... it is! Time to let the old dinosaurs die off and get into the 21st century here. Haven't we relied heavily on foreign oil tycoons, that would rather see us dead than help us out, for long enough?? That is exactly what your coveted SUV's have done for us over the past 25 years... made us more dependent on oil!
Why are people so upset about this truck? If you don't like it, then don't drive one. Do you think you are changing people's opinions of this vehicle by claiming it isn't a truck? Obviously you've had no real experience with this truck, as you hate it so much, so what are you telling anyone that is helpful to their decision to buy one of these trucks?
Who cares what you call it? A truck, an open bed SUV, an oversized car without a trunk lid... seriously, who cares? These are great vehicles that offer up a more efficient alternative to a lumbering full size pickup, and one that does at least 80% of the tasks the average full size pickup can do. Most people overbuy when they purchase full size pickups, and don't need that much out of their vehicles anyway.
"How about a minivan with it's roof cut off?"
Hey, whatever makes you feel better about your truck...
"Why do people continue to confuse the Ridgeline with a TRUCK??"
Why can't people just get over it and move on?
How about a full frame and a V8? As far as vans, I owned a GM Conversion van with a 3/4 ton truck frame that could easily tow effortlessly. Also 250 to 300k mileage with reliability.
If you really need a heavy full framed V8 vehicle then more power to ya! The Ridgeline is not pretending to be anything other than what it is... a light duty truck that can tow 5,000 pounds and carry 1,500 pounds of payload. 90% of people that think they need big huge trucks could probably get by with one of these, and save 25% of the gas they are burning in the process.
My point earlier was if you own a SUV, why buy this and pay insurance? A regular SUV carries the same, if not more. If you do buy a mini truck, buy a long fully usable bed. But I had a domestic, and found it so limited it was parked almost all the time. My SUV picked up the same, and to me the mini truck was a waste to pay insurance on. I like SUV 4 wheel drives. Unless you have manure or something smelly, why buy the little Ridgeline. I would recommend to wait and buy a 6 or 8 framed long bed full size. My truck gets good mileage.
As the previous comment points out, the tiny bed on the Ridgeline and the very high sides make it very ineffective for loading or hauling much of anything, even though it is capable of hauling a pretty good amount of weight. I'd opt for an SUV as well, because of the greater carrying capacity in the back. With the rear seats out, our GM SUV can handle twice the volume of a Ridgeline, and if we need to haul stuff that can't be hauled inside it, we can always rent a small (or large) trailer. I'm also a little wary of Honda's short transmission life, as they are extremely expensive.
The Ridgeline is sized right between the Ranger and F-150, and hardly "little". Plus, try loading up 1,500 pounds in the average SUV. They aren't made for that, as most of them are glorified station wagons that are made for people hauling. Our SUV sags pretty low with just the 300 pound tongue weight of the boat trailer on it. The Ridgeline is kind of the best of both worlds. You have an SUV interior with 4 doors and a 5 foot bed for hauling. You can extend it to 6.5 feet if you drop the gate. Not a bad size for most people. It is more than capable for trailer towing as well, and is large enough to handle a good size boat of around 21 feet or so. All in all, not a bad vehicle, which is why I continually see tons of them driving around.
My son just took delivery of a 2011 Honda Ridgeline RTS. Yes, he would like to have a longer bed, but other than that, it fits his needs. He likes the car like ride as compared to a traditional "truck". He had owned a Ford Explorer that had front axle drive issues.
Plus, it is made right here in Ohio, by our neighbors and family members.
Looks like Honda really think outside the box for this truck. Geez, got everyone debating about which category it should really fit in. Got some "pick up" guys all offended because Honda should just stick with a 1970 pickup design. I say it's the 21st century and it's time for innovation. Good Job Honda. The deal breaker for me is the looks. If I can get beyond the looks, I'll go for it. Right now I'm considering Tacoma Double cab long bed or Frontier crew cab.
I use to hate the image of crew cab with the little short box, but I can see why those are getting really popular with regards to turning radius. And I use to think a pickup should be standard cab with 8'box, but now that I'm grown up and married, I find myself hauling people, groceries, leaves, fishing pole, camping equipment, more often then 4'X8' drywall. My ideal childhood pickup are more practical for contractors and singles.
Pros: Hauls people, features and starts good discussion. Has comparable specs to Tacoma and Frontier, even if it's just a sport utility truck.
Cons: Appearance is a 3/10. If Honda can come up with a better design/look, I'll go for it. For now it looks like a Dork trying to look tough.
Makes sense to me to own a regular SUV and buy a 8 ft low landscape trailer first. The trailer needs cheap tags and no insurance. The puny high side Ridgeline is too small, and add a load and how will the trans hold up? I have a nice full size domestic with 8 ft bed. Gas mileage is good, and it does 100 percent with people carrying bed load and towing. My SUV can only do 90 percent unless I pull a trailer.