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Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
7/19/17 9:51 a.m.
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Recently our Honda Ridgeline acted as a support vehicle for the Smoky Mountain Tour, a one-week mountain road tour in North Carolina hosted by our sister magazine, Classic Motorsports. Meanwhile, we spotted a 1991 318is at a repair shop in Highlands, North Carolina. We find E30-chassis BMWs hard to resist, and this one year only 318is with a rust-free body and some engine damage was a must-buy for only $450.

Thankfully, since were already armed with our Ridgeline, all we needed was a trailer and we could get this beauty home. We procured a U-Haul one-way rental trailer in nearby Franklin, North Carolina, and loaded the E30 on the trailer for the eight hour trip home.

While we had towed with our Ridgeline before, this would be our longest trip yet. Quite frankly we were blown away with how well our Ridgeline towed this 2700-pound car. While U-Haul recommends that you not exceed 55 mph, we can tell you that at times we were running nearer to (and even above) 80 mph with absolutely no drama. The active cruise control and lane departure guidance system make the new Ridgeline our favorite tow vehicle for loads weighing less than 5000 pounds. We got over 13 mpg towing at an average of nearly 80 mph, and barely noticed the load behind us.

On this trip, the odometer on our Honda Ridgeline crept up on the 20,000-mile mark. before the trip, we put new wiper blades on the truck and changed the oil for the second time, and installed a new oil filter.

The oil filter housing is on the right front of the engine and you can change the oil and reset the computer in less than half an hour, without jacking the truck up. This is an easy one to perform home oil changes on.

Yup, still in love with our perfectly reliable, long-term Honda Ridgeline, and are presently making plans to buy the truck and keep it perhaps forever at the end of our long-term loan.

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Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
7/19/17 3:18 p.m.

I'm kind of surprised Uhaul rented you anything useful with all their asinine restrictions. Not surprised at ALL that the Ridgeline performed excellently!

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
7/19/17 3:47 p.m.

"While U-Haul recommends that you not exceed 55 mph, we can tell you that at times we were running nearer to (and even above) 80 mph with absolutely no drama."

I don't think this is precaution has anything to do with the tow vehicle, I think they are worried about the last yahoo that rented the trailer and loaded up a 10,000# truck and blew out the bearings and brakes.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
7/19/17 3:57 p.m.
pinchvalve wrote: "While U-Haul recommends that you not exceed 55 mph, we can tell you that at times we were running nearer to (and even above) 80 mph with absolutely no drama." I don't think this is precaution has anything to do with the tow vehicle, I think they are worried about the last yahoo that rented the trailer and loaded up a 10,000# truck and blew out the bearings and brakes.

Try renting a U hall trailer with an Explorer. It is the tow vehicle that they are looking at when renting.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla MegaDork
7/19/17 4:22 p.m.

13MPG towing? I would have expected a lot better with that light of a load. I get 14 with an old fashioned V8 and heavy steel and wood trailer.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
7/19/17 4:25 p.m.

Uhaul trailers are exceptionally heavy for their size. I'll agree that the towing MPG isn't stellar, but I also think there are basically no Ridgeline buyers who buy the Ridgeline primarily for towing. The empty mpg also probably whoops the ass all up and down of most trucks that might get slightly better towing mpg.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
7/19/17 4:27 p.m.

The empty trailer weighed 2200 pounds according to the sticker on the tongue, so I wouldn't call it light. I'd call it 100 pounds shy of the truck's maximum capacity.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla MegaDork
7/19/17 5:12 p.m.

In reply to Vigo:

Do we really want to go down that path again? There are plenty of light trucks that whoop the ridgeline in towing and empty mpg. We just finished 22mpg round trip with 4 days of small island driving last month in an 11-yo example with an archaic 4spd auto. If real gas still existed that would have been 24.

I was merely making hte point I expected it to do better than that. With direct injection, 154 gears (yes, I'm exaggerating for comedic effect) and modern trickery I thought it would be better. Then again, the new GM's/Fords/Dodges aren't either. MPG still doesn't seem to be the goal like it was at one point. Probably why we'll keep this one for many more years to come.

TOM: My trailer tips in at 1800 empty with no ramps (almost 100lbs for the pair, steel and 2x12's 8' long). Forte was 2800, plus a week's worth of tools, supplies and stuff. I imagine loaded weight would have been very similar. I am jealous of the 6spds though.

einy
einy HalfDork
7/19/17 6:25 p.m.

Darn it, guys ... you're continued showing of pics of the Ridgeline is making is REAL hard for me to continue resisting dumping the GTI and S10, and getting one of those as a two for one vehicle replacement! Keep up the good work, please ...

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
7/19/17 6:26 p.m.

But, but,..... it isn't a real truck! (holds breath, stomps feet and dreams of rolling coal).

Note: this isn't aimed at any one person.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
7/19/17 6:44 p.m.
Do we really want to go down that path again? There are plenty of light trucks that whoop the ridgeline in towing and empty mpg. We just finished 22mpg round trip with 4 days of small island driving last month in an 11-yo example with an archaic 4spd auto. If real gas still existed that would have been 24.

Was I here for the last one? I don't remember there even being an argument considering that on Fuelly even filtering down to 4.8L only there's a 5-6mpg difference in the Ridgeline's favor in average reported MPG. I personally am sure that there are some people who get 22mpg average in a Sierra vs the more common 17. The thing is, those are the same people who would also be getting 27mpg avg in a Ridgeline instead of the more common 22. I don't indulge in apples to oranges comparisons where people say 'epa ratings for my vehicle are crap because i vastly exceed them but i'm going to compare my #s to other vehicles epa ratings anyway'. It's a non-starter. Add 2mpg to my stated Ridgeline numbers if we're talking 'real gas', btw.

But since we're on tangents that the Ridgeline owners in the thread give zero E36 M3s about, how about we compare the Ridgeline's mpg to whichever 11y/o GM pickup could also do 0-60 in 6.4 seconds? Were there any, besides the Silverado SS that the epa rated as THIRTEEN mpg average? I mean, add that Bobzilla factor and 'real gas' and we're up to like 18, but that's still a loss.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
7/19/17 7:45 p.m.
Bobzilla wrote: 13MPG towing? I would have expected a lot better with that light of a load. I get 14 with an old fashioned V8 and heavy steel and wood trailer.

at 80mph, towing a 2500 pound car plus a heavy uhaul trailer? I would say that is pretty damn good.

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
7/19/17 9:40 p.m.

I can't effen believe that someone who is a regular on this board is using measurables as a basis for attacking the Ridgeline. If all we are is about statistics, Miatas suck and 600 HP musclecars rule.

Robbie
Robbie UberDork
7/19/17 9:50 p.m.

It's a Honda, so by definition bobzilla is not a fan.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy PowerDork
7/19/17 10:17 p.m.

My first Honda was a 2011 Accord LX 5-speed sedan. Great car! Loved it! 152,000 miles of fun and crazy reliability.

I looked at the Ridgeline but the Chevrolet works better. If I didn't need a truck I would have a new 6-speed Accord Sport or maybe even a WRX. But those Hondas go forever and ever.

Cotton
Cotton UberDork
7/19/17 10:44 p.m.
Kreb wrote: I can't effen believe that someone who is a regular on this board is using measurables as a basis for attacking the Ridgeline. If all we are is about statistics, Miatas suck and 600 HP musclecars rule.

Hey now, 600hp muscle cars do rule.

NGTD
NGTD UberDork
7/19/17 10:50 p.m.
dean1484 wrote:
pinchvalve wrote: "While U-Haul recommends that you not exceed 55 mph, we can tell you that at times we were running nearer to (and even above) 80 mph with absolutely no drama." I don't think this is precaution has anything to do with the tow vehicle, I think they are worried about the last yahoo that rented the trailer and loaded up a 10,000# truck and blew out the bearings and brakes.

Try renting a U hall trailer with an Explorer. It is the tow vehicle that they are looking at when renting.

The new 2011-up Explorer is permitted to tow U-Hauls equipment. The 97-2010's remain on the banned list.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
7/19/17 10:57 p.m.
NGTD wrote:
dean1484 wrote:
pinchvalve wrote: "While U-Haul recommends that you not exceed 55 mph, we can tell you that at times we were running nearer to (and even above) 80 mph with absolutely no drama." I don't think this is precaution has anything to do with the tow vehicle, I think they are worried about the last yahoo that rented the trailer and loaded up a 10,000# truck and blew out the bearings and brakes.

Try renting a U hall trailer with an Explorer. It is the tow vehicle that they are looking at when renting.

The new 2011-up Explorer is permitted to tow U-Hauls equipment. The 97-2010's remain on the banned list.

Older ones they will not rent to to you. I think this all comes out of the Firestone tire issue.

NGTD
NGTD UberDork
7/19/17 10:58 p.m.

500 mile roundtrip pulling close to it's max weight permitted - 15.3 mpg (coverted to USG). But I didn't drive 80 mph!!!

Bobzilla
Bobzilla MegaDork
7/20/17 10:16 a.m.

In reply to Robbie:

Incorrect. I really liked the Vigor and 2.5TL, the Legend coupe and early civics. The original NSX was great(in 1990), but like normal Honda they sat on it and did nothing while watching the sales numbers drop.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla MegaDork
7/20/17 10:25 a.m.

In reply to Vigo:

There's the difference between import trucks and domestic trucks that always annoyed me. Import trucks are usually one engine, one transmission and MAYBE 2 rear end ratios. Domestic trucks usually have 2 or 3 engine choices, 2 or 3 transmission choices, 8-10 different rear end ratios along with an absolute overload of cab and body options. That means you can build the truck that fits your needs to a "T" and not have stuff that doesn't help, or that you don't want.

That's what I'm trying to point out. The Ridgeline is a perfectly fine automobile that does most of what it's owners want it to do perfectly fine. It's the crescent wrench of the automotive world. Not necessarily the best tool in the box, but it gets the job done.

The point I was trying to make (before the 'you're just a hater' crap started), I was just surprised that with all the new technology these have in both engines and drivetrains, along with engine management etc that it wasn't better fuel economy. I get why the big 3 don't (they're massive, have tons of power and are shaped like a brick house), but thought Honda would have found more.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UberDork
7/20/17 11:07 a.m.

In reply to Bobzilla:

That certainly sounds reasonable to me. Asking why it only got 13mpg sure didn't sound hateful when I read it.

gearheadmb
gearheadmb Dork
7/20/17 11:26 a.m.

Yeah yeah yeah, truck pulls car, whatever. The real issue is whatchagonnado with the E30?

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
7/20/17 11:44 a.m.
Bobzilla wrote: I was just surprised that with all the new technology these have in both engines and drivetrains, along with engine management etc that it wasn't better fuel economy. I get why the big 3 don't (they're massive, have tons of power and are shaped like a brick house), but thought Honda would have found more.

pulling that much weight, (car and trailer combined), "dirty" (an E30 is a brick aerodynamically and the trailer is just creating turbulence), with the trailer and car that far behind the truck, plus the truck not being a diesel, all add up to some pretty dismal empeegees. Add the leadfoot of the driver and I think they did pretty good.

An American full size truck would do better for a number of reasons, As you stated, you can tailor it to your needs with an almost stupid amount of features and options, and it punches a bigger hole in the air, lessoning the turbulence around the pulled car and trailer

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
7/20/17 2:32 p.m.

Here is how I read that article......Blah blah blah. I stole a nice 318is shell for pennies......Blah Blah Blah

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