A big part of the promise of a unibody pickup truck, as opposed to the traditional body-on-frame designs favored by most every manufacturer, is a lighter curb weightâwhich should lead to better fuel economy. The first-generation Honda Ridgeline utilized a unibody design, but somehow missed the fuel-economy mark. That truck’s successor, theÂ 2017 Honda Ridgeline, on the other hand, lives up to its billing, if only just. The mid-size unibody truck’s EPA fuel economy estimates have been released, and they sit near the top of the class.
With all-wheel drive, the new Ridgeline is EPA-rated at 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, numbers that sit above the 17/24 mpg salute given the six-cylinder Chevrolet Colorado 4×4 and the 18/23 mpg earned by the Toyota Tacoma V-6. For the first time, the Ridgeline will be offered with front-wheel drive, too. This is the most efficient Ridgeline configuration, as you’d expect, and is EPA-rated at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Again, this tops the six-cylinder mid-size competition, although the two-wheel-drive Colorado V-6 matches the Honda’s highway figure, but not its city or combined numbers.
We’re comparing to the V-6 models because the Ridgeline doesn’t offer a four-cylinder engine. Chevrolet and ToyotaÂ do, but Chevy’s base four-cylinder is offered only with rear-wheel drive. The two-wheel-drive, four-cylinder Colorado with the more efficient automatic transmission beats the Ridgeline with EPA figures of 20/27 mpg; the Tacoma with the same configuration rates a dismal 19/23 mpg.
Of course, the diesel four-cylinder in the Colorado is good for a stellar 22/31 mpg in two-wheel-drive form, with four-wheel drive dropping those figures to a still-great 20/29.
Given that full-size trucks these days are posting fuel-economy figures nearly as good as those of mid-size trucks, it’s worth noting that the Honda has every gas-powered full-size truck beat in the efficiency game, save for the 2.7-liter twin turbocharged V-6âequipped Ford F-150 with two-wheel drive, which carries the same 19/26 mpg rating as the front-drive Ridgeline. Similarly, the diesel-powered Ram 1500 is EPA rated for up to 20/28 mpg.
If the Ridgeline’s fuel economy doesn’t seem impressive at first blush, consider that it very nearly matches the efficiency of its sibling, the much-lighter-duty Pilot three-row crossover. It also handily beats the old Ridgeline’s ho-hum 15/20 mpg EPA estimates.