Shots Fired! The 2017 Ridgeline’s composite bed proves plastic isn’t weak

In the most humble way possible, Honda showed how the new 2017 Ridgeline’s composite cargo bed can withstand Chevys’ now-infamous landscaping stone drop test. There was no studio lighting, no professional camera work, or even “real people, not actors” crew to add dramatic commentary. Rather, Honda seems to have used a couple GoPro cameras in a parking lot with a well-used skid-steer loader.

You’ll recall Chevrolet’s advertisement video series that debuted last week showing how the Silverado’s rolled-steel cargo bed could better withstand impacts from garden stones than the aluminum cargo bed of the Ford F-150. While neither bed escaped undamaged, the Chevy’s bed seemed to resist punctures better than the F-150’s bed.

Chevy’s video series seemed rather showy, especially with the gaggle of supposed truck customers there to comment on the damage. Showiness aside, the videos did show the Silverado outperforming the F-150.

But here comes Honda, performing the same drop test like its no big deal. Slow claps… Sure, Honda didn’t perform the toolbox drop test, nor did it show any sort of laboratory testing, but the impromptu nature of the demonstration shows Honda’s confidence in the Ridgeline’s ability to “truck.”

Honda did show, however, that the dual-action tailgate and in-bed trunk lid worked perfectly fine after the drop test. Honda claims each of the 60 stones weigh between 14 to 16 pounds. That means between 840 to 960 pounds was slammed into the bed – still well short of the Ridgeline’s 1,584-pound payload capacity. What’s more, because the bed is comprised of thick plastic, scratches don’t show up as well because the plastic is the same color throughout its thickness. The same can’t be said of painted metal – no matter if its steel or aluminum.

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Why It Matters

The Honda Ridgeline has long been seen as a “fake” truck. It’s unibody design, plastic, bed, and FWD/AWD powertrain aren’t usually respected crowds consisting of traditional pickups. Honda is obviously tying to dispel that thinking about its all-new 2017 Ridgeline. Demonstrations like this go a long way in that fight.

Also adding arrows in the Ridgeline’s quiver is its ability to tow 5,000 pounds when equipped with AWD. Payload, as mentioned before, is an impressive 1,584 pounds. It’s 3.5-liter V-6 makes 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, closely aligning with the Toyota Tacoma’s V-6.

Despite Honda’s fight to enter the Ridgeline into the more mainstream mid-size pickup category, the Ridgeline has been and continues to be a pickup for non-truck people. The Ridgeline is for those who want a crossover but need to carry dirty or bulky items on occasion. These are regular folks who aren’t pretending to be cowboys. The Ridgeline deserves credit for that. It offers something different – something other mid-size trucks don’t. Still, it’s great to know Honda’s pickup can do pickup truck things.

2017 Honda Ridgeline

2017 Honda Ridgeline - image 661614

Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Ridgeline here.

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