It's hard to believe that a little Ridgeline started this rabbit trail of angry bickering over U.S. vs. Foreign.
First of all, people foolishly assume that the car/truck is going to be flawless just because of the hype driven name. Toyota could make a car out of bologna and toothpicks and there would be people running out to buy it because it's a Toyota. The bologna is built with quality - it will last forever because of it's magical name that gives it superpowers.
Might I remind all of you that as I am typing this, Toyota is having to recall 1.2 million of their products because of faulty engines? If Chevrolet and Ford stayed smaller like Toyota and Honda all of these years, they would have a much better reputation, too. That's because they wouldn't have as many vehicles on the road and the probability of a lemon emerging would be less likely.
Honda had this problem with the latest accords when they were first redesigned. They went to producing so many that lots of them were having alignment problems that couldn't be fixed. I drove an 03 accord that pulled to the right as well. Toyota is now having this problem with the new Camry. Their engines are having to be replaced like crazy and their interiors are kind of cheap - even though they look nicer. When these companies try to mass produce the products, the quality errors sky rocket. The companies don't have the time to look over each little screw and make sure it's perfect.
Chevy could have 2,000,000 Impalas on the road and 1,000,000 of them be lemons. At the same time, Toyota could have 1,000,000 Camry's on the road and 500,000 of them be lemons. Both of them are producing 50% lemons, but yet Toyota would still be declared a better company because they only had half the lemons of Chevy. Let the foreign companies pick up their production and see if they don't start having problems left and right. Let's see when they reach their 100th year in the country if they don't have junk vehicles coming out the wazoo. The Japanese are people too, and they will make mistakes and it will finally catch up with them. These cars are not built by God; they're not invincible - there will be bad vehicles sooner or later. Toyota has more recalls out right now than all of the other car companies combined!
As for the Ridgeline, let's all be honest. It's a yuppie truck. Honda intended for it to be a yuppie truck. You city slickers just don't understand how offensive it is for a strange vehicle like the Ridgeline to be praised and labeled as this brute monster that is going to over take the domestic trucks. It's almost unimaginable that these little foreign trucks would ever be praised and exalted over the domestic when the domestic have had it right for decades. When my father was farming, there was no other worthy choice, but the big three for a work truck.
If you've ever been raised on a farm, you would understand the requirements of a tough truck and the hell a real truck goes through everyday to serve its master. Sadly, the Japanese don't understand this either. You can blab all day long about what great "refined" tough truck your Tundra/Titan/Ridgeline is and how invincible it is. You can blab and "BS" until you're blue in the face, either ways, at the end of the day, I can still take my '78 C20 and wrap any of these poser machines around a tree. Just try me.
Why? Because they don't have enough metal!!! Their frames are thin and are not broad enough nor do they have the suspension or anything else to handle the abuse an old farm truck would. Farmer Bob couldn't care less about how smooth his Custom Deluxe, F150, or RAM rides. All he cares about is can it get the job done? Can it pull the trailer or fertilizer buggy? Can it haul the 4000lbs load of tobacco to the warehouse? You just have to understand the Patriotic pride a farm boy gets when he thinks back to the glory days of American trucks and what heavy duty and relentless work horses those old trucks were - and they still are today.
The problem is, the day of the farmer is over and the invasion of the yuppies is upon us! Heavy duty frames and leaf springs along with cast-iron engines no longer matter. Now what matters is the smoothness and fluffiness of the truck and its scrawny anorexic frame and its squatting suspension and the silkiness of its aluminum alloy engine.
You people are clueless. Can any of you haul 4000lbs of tobacco bails in the bed of your truck without it sitting on the axles or without the frame buckling in half? Well my C20 has done it not to mention anything else we could throw on it. In fact, we have never been able to make that thing sit on the axles - its got too many leaf springs.
As for reliability, the C20 is nearly 30 years old and it still fires up and runs good and still has work potential. I work for a Ford dealership delivering parts. My delivery vehicle is a 2002 F150 4.2L V6. The engine has over 254,000 miles on it and doesn't give me any problems. I and my predecessors have all abused this truck and driven it as hard as we possibly could. It's like an energizer bunny. Are any of you aware that the F150 is the number one sold vehicle on the earth? There are more of them than the Camry, Accord, or whatever else. If it wasn't for gas prices, they would still sell well.
Japan just doesn't know what farming is or any other real work. How many Tundras are out there with snow plows on the front of them? Have the skinny little front control arms broken yet? Of course not, you wouldn't dare put your Camry with a bed through that - it's too high quality for such work - instead, you just drive it on the road like a car.
Quality for a truck is a whole different ball game than for a car. Hey Motor Trend - interior styling, cup-holders, and smoothness doesn't mean crap for a truck - so don't even consider it when testing one. The Ridgeline is less of a truck than any truck out there (it's an SUT not a pickup) yet it gets Motor Trend's TRUCK of the year award! That's like a guy winning a womens' beauty contest. They overlook the diesel superduty's and the giant V8 heavy duty trucks even though they're the real deal and give accolades to a chopped off Pilot. Don't get me wrong - I like Honda. I have an accord and I'm crazy about it. I've posted a review on this site. I've had to defend other accords on this site. But they're still a car company - they do make cars that break! They are machines after all.
Until the Ridgeline gets panels instead of a unit-body on frame, leaf springs on the rear instead of independent control arms, a separate bed from the cab, an engine that's cast-iron instead of all aluminum, and a primary rear wheel-drive drive-train - it's not a very good truck. It's just an alright SUV. I do like the front end okay - but the rest is going to need some work.
You people are way too devoted to foreign companies and full of hatred toward the American companies. Have just a little pride for the products our guys make once and a while. It's kind of sad and a bit sickening.
' (it's an SUT not a pickup) yet it gets Motor Trend's TRUCK of the year award!'
I can't believe that a car magazine would do that, but they do! It's the same kind of crap I read in consumer reports when the Buick is better in reliability, power, etc. then the Toyota's and Honda's, then they go ahead and rate the Toyota and Honda at the top anyway! I no longer trust any of those so-called auto magazines.
But back to the Ridgeline, I liked it at first, it looked OK and seemed a step in the right direction for Honda, but then I found out it doesn't even have a V8 option! That is NOT a truck, that's simply a yuppie-mobile.