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    2017 Chevrolet Colorado Looks To Give Toyota's Tacoma TRD Pro A Run For the Money


    • A New Challenger Appears!


    It was three years ago that Chevrolet showed off the Colorado ZR2 concept at the LA Auto Show. It was a mean looker with an aggressive look, raised suspension, and meaty off-road tires. Imagine our surprise when Chevrolet revealed the production version tonight in Los Angeles.

    The 2017 Colorado ZR2 keeps the mean look of the concept with a new front end treatment, raised hood, skid plates, 31-inch Goodyear Duratrac tires mounted on 17-inch wheels, and an optional spare tire carrier in the bed.

    But under the skin is where the juicy changes are. Chevrolet has widened the track by 3.5-inches, raised the suspension by 2-inches and equipped it with unique spool-valve dampers from Multimatic - yes the same folks who are being tasked with building the upcoming Ford GT. The dampers first used on the Camaro Z/28, come with six different tuning curves up front, and four in the rear to provide better ride and handling characteristics over different terrains. 

    Engine choices include the 3.6L V6 (308 horsepower, 275 pound-feet) and 2.8L Duramax Turbodiesel (181 horsepower, 369 pound-feet). The four-wheel drive system features a set of electronic-locking differentials for the front and rear axles.

    No word on pricing on when the Colorado ZR2 will arrive at dealers.

    Source: Chevrolet
    Press Release is on Page 2


    New Colorado ZR2 A "Segment of One" Among Off-Road Pickups

    • New performance variant of the Chevrolet Colorado excels in tight two-tracks, technical rock-crawling, fast desert running and on pavement

    LOS ANGELES — Just as introduction of the Chevrolet Colorado reset the bar for mid-size trucks, the new Colorado ZR2 is poised to reset expectations for off-road trucks. Chevy’s new performance halo for the Colorado lineup will feature more off-road technology than any other mid-size pickup when it goes on sale.

    The ZR2 is effectively a segment of one, combining the nimbleness and maneuverability of a mid-size pickup with a host of new off-road features and the most off-road technology of any vehicle in its segment.

    Compared to a standard Colorado, the ZR2 features a much wider track and a lifted suspension. Functional rockers have been added for better performance over rocks and obstacles, and the front and rear bumpers have been modified for better off-road clearance.

    Class-exclusive features include front and rear electronic locking differentials, available diesel engine, and the first off-road application of Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSVTM) damper technology.

    As a result, the Colorado ZR2 delivers exceptional performance in a variety of scenarios – from technical rock crawling to tight two-track trails to high-speed desert running to daily driving.

    “Our engineers have been incredibly successful developing Corvette and Camaro performance variants with broad performance envelopes,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The ZR2 applies that same philosophy to off-road performance. You can go rock crawling on Saturday, desert running on Sunday, and comfortably drive to work on Monday. This truck can do it all, and do it all well.”

    First off-road application of Multimatic DSSV dampers
    To achieve this unprecedented balance of on- and off-road performance, the Chevy engineering team turned to a surprising partner in creating the ZR2’s dampers, which are the heart of any off-road truck.

    Multimatic Inc., based in Markham, Ontario, is a renowned maker of high-performance Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers as used in championship-winning motorsport vehicles, including recent Formula One winners.

    The first volume production vehicle to use DSSV dampers was the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 will be the first application of Multimatic DSSV damper technology to an off-road vehicle.

    “From our experience on Z/28, we knew the performance advantages offered by DSSV dampers, “ said Mark Dickens, executive director, Performance Variants, Performance Parts and Motorsports Engineering, Chevrolet. “We also know that Multimatic’s motorsport development mentality would allow us to bring a uniquely precise and repeatable custom damper to market even more quickly than a traditional damper system.”

    Compared to deflected-disk valving common on most dampers, the ZR2 employs spool valves that offer increased precision and manufacturing repeatability along with enhanced ride and handling performance both on- and off-road.

    The Colorado ZR2’s DSSV dampers are position-sensitive. Their aluminum bodies each house two spool valves providing both compression and rebound damping optimized for everyday driving. During extreme off-road use, a third, piston-mounted spool valve delivers additional, uniquely tuned, compression damping. The front dampers also employ a separate rebound valve, which comes into play when the suspension approaches full extension.

    “A traditional, deflected-disc damper only offers two force-velocity curves for tuning,” Dickens said. “The ZR2 dampers offer six tuning curves for the front, four at the rear. For the driver, this translates to greater confidence and control in a wider range of driving experiences.”

    Design meets mud, sand and rock
    Visually, the production version of the Colorado ZR2 closely resembles the concept shown at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Consumer response to that concept was so overwhelming, the team knew they needed to carry as much of the original design into production as possible.

    “For both the concept and the production versions of ZR2, the exterior design was shaped by the desire to improve capability driving over mud, sand and rock,” said Rich Scheer, director of design for Chevrolet Truck. “The wider, more aggressive stance, modified front and rear bumpers, and even the bed-mounted, spare-tire carrier all improve performance driving over rough terrain.”

    Compared to a Colorado Z71, the ZR2 has a more aggressive side profile, with the suspension lifted two inches for greater ground clearance. The steel-tube, functional rocker protectors will be standard equipment on the ZR2, and are strong enough to protect the body side while dragging the truck against a rock face.

    The ZR2 also features 17 x 8 inch aluminum wheels, in a pattern exclusive to the ZR2, wrapped in 31-inch Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires for exceptional traction. 

    The front and rear track has been widened by three-and-a-half inches, with new cast-iron control arms for greater durability in off-road situations. As a result, the ZR2 offers greater wheel travel and stability while traversing steep grades.

    The front bumper of the ZR2 has tapered ends, to increase the tire clearance when approaching obstacles. The bumper also integrates a thick, aluminum skid plate protecting the radiator and engine oil pan, while the transfer case is protected by an additional shield. Above the bumper, the ZR2 features a more aggressive grille and hood – with black insert – to complement the other exterior changes.

    A bed-mounted spare tire carrier, seen on reveal vehicles at the Los Angeles Auto Show, will be available as an accessory. “The bed-mounted spare tire adds a rugged look to ZR2, and serves a functional purpose. By relocating the spare to the bed, ZR2’s departure is improved and prevents any damage to the spare when you’re crawling over obstacles,” said Scheer.

    Class-exclusive electronic lockers, available diesel engine
    The ZR2 also features the most sophisticated four-wheel drive system in the segment. With class-exclusive, electronic-locking differentials front and rear and Chevrolet’s AutoTrac transfer case, the ZR2 offers nine drive configurations:

    • 2WD
    • 2WD, locked rear differential
    • Auto 4WD
    • Auto 4WD, locked rear differential
    • 4WD Hi, locked transfer case
    • 4WD Hi, locked transfer case and locked rear differential
    • 4WD Lo, locked transfer case
    • 4WD Lo, locked transfer case and locked rear differential
    • 4WD Lo, locked transfer case, locked front and rear differentials

    Extensive work was done to integrate the electronic lockers and allow them to seamlessly interact with the traction control, stability control, and hill-descent control. In addition, a new “Off-Road Mode” button, in combination with the traction control switch, allows the anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control calibrations to be tailored to different driving conditions. Off-road Mode also alters the throttle progression and shifts calibrations to give the driver better control and responsiveness.

    The ZR2 shares its powertrains with the 2017 Colorado, and it will be the only extreme production off-road truck to offer the choice of gas or diesel engines.

    The all-new 3.6L V-6, mated to a class-exclusive Hydra-Matic 8L45 8-speed automatic transmission, yields 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, while the class-exclusive Duramax diesel engine produces 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque and will provide excellent range to overland drivers.

    Even with all of the off-roading upgrades over the base truck, the ZR2 can still tow up to 5,000 lbs. – enough to pull a camper, trailer dirt bikes, jet skis, snow mobiles and other toys – or carry 1,100 lbs. of payload.

    As such, the Colorado ZR2 offers a distinct position in the market: Compared to other midsize trucks, the Colorado offers an unrivaled suite of powertrain technologies; compared to full-size off-road trucks, the ZR2 is about a foot narrower and 500 pounds lighter, enabling greater agility over obstacles and better trail access.

    “It’s amazing what a difference a foot of width makes off road,” said Dickens. “The smaller size of the Colorado is a huge enabler for taking the ZR2 more places, and getting it through tighter spots than you could access with a full-size truck.”

    New, off-road development track at GM’s Yuma Proving Ground
    For the development of the Colorado ZR2, Chevrolet developed new off-road test areas at General Motors’ Yuma, Arizona Proving Ground.

    The Yuma Proving Ground is located on 2,400 acres of land in southeastern Arizona. Opened in 2009, Yuma features a range of tracks, laboratories and courses. 

    The new off-road facility features a multitude of off-road simulations, including high-speed desert sand trails; low-speed, loose river rock crossings; and steep, technical hill climbs and descents.

    Yuma Proving Ground’s new off-road course allowed the team to test multiple iterations of components on the ZR2 is a single day. These components were then tested a real-world facilities like Moab, Johnson Valley, and Rubicon to ensure the ZR2 is trail-ready right from the factory.

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    This is such easy profit margin it is an I brainer.  Truck buyers will pay $45-50k for what is basically a $30k truck with a lift kit and big tires.  A Tacoma TRD is over $45k and it has a Camry power train and Camry level or below interior, but costs $20k more, easy money.

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    This is like everyone else said, a no brainer but with the Diesel. That would rock. Then add a performance kit to the diesel and you could probably boost the output of the engine by 25% or more.

    This rocks! :metal: 

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    11 minutes ago, Stew said:

    YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The truck wars are starting to be more interesting than the Muscle car wars of the late 1960's. Quite frankly, I am stunned with what I see.  And if the new Super Duty is any guide, Ford will drop a thermonuclear bomb on the specialty truck segment when they introduce the Bronco.

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    4 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    The truck wars are starting to be more interesting than the Muscle car wars of the late 1960's. Quite frankly, I am stunned with what I see.  And if the new Super Duty is any guide, Ford will drop a thermonuclear bomb on the specialty truck segment when they introduce the Bronco.

    This is exactly what i want.  Awesome approach angles, locking front and rear diffs, lots of ground clearance and in a smaller more maneuverable package.  It may take me a few years, but i will have one!

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    3 minutes ago, Stew said:

    This is exactly what i want.  Awesome approach angles, locking front and rear diffs, lots of ground clearance and in a smaller more maneuverable package.  It may take me a few years, but i will have one!

    Methinks you will love it!

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    2 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Methinks you will love it!

    I love it and hug it, and drive the wheels off of it, and call it George....

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    So I'm having a difficult time understanding where this will price and why anybody who isn't a fanboy would buy it over a Raptor... Here's why..(I do understand if you genuinely want a smaller vehicle because not everybody wants a half ton size truck.

    I built a crew cab, Z71, with the Trailboss package and the Duramax and it ran up a tad over 46k. Won't this be at the very least a 2-3k package on top of that?? That brings it to just under 50k and a Raptor is something like 52-55k.

    Unless I'm screwing up and can be built in lesser trims like LT or LS. I guess I'm just assuming it is added price on top of the top trim.

    Edited by ccap41
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    1 minute ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Just don't forget to wash George when he gets muddy....

    Hehe, sorry, my bad attempt at some Looney Toons humor.  Seriously though, a Raptor would never work for me on size alone.  This just has me overjoyed haha. 

    1 minute ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    This looks considerably better than and appears to be packing notably more hardcore components than the TRD Pro. 

    Silver with the 3.6 V6, please.

    Extended cab 3.6 in grey here :)  I am nicely impressed especially with dual locking diffs.  This seems like what would happen if the Power wagon and raptor had a baby with slightly stunted growth. 

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    4 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    So I'm having a difficult time understanding where this will price and why anybody who isn't a fanboy would buy it over a Raptor... Here's why..(I do understand if you genuinely want a smaller vehicle because not everybody wants a half ton size truck.

    I built a crew cab, Z71, with the Trailboss package and the Duramax and it ran up a tad over 46k. Won't this be at the very least a 2-3k package on top of that?? That brings it to just under 50k and a Raptor is something like 52-55k.

    Unless I'm screwing up and can be built in lesser trims like LT or LS. I guess I'm just assuming it is added price on top of the top trim.

    Estimated base prices I am seeing are around 40k, but with no official announcement.  Also, 50k is the base for the Raptor and 46k is all out maxed out on the Trail boss.  I priced out a decently loaded SuperCrew Raptor  9though no accessories like a bed liner, ramps, or tailgate step, etc), and it came to nearly 70 grand.  that is where our difference comes in. 

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    Base mdl ZR2 with no option has a payload off 1100lbs ( my old 2001 Ranger SC had a payload of just over 1500lbs and 5600lbs tow rating ) and tow rating of 5000lbs....Add crew Cab and options and both those plummet.

    Yikes.

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    35 minutes ago, Stew said:

    Estimated base prices I am seeing are around 40k, but with no official announcement.  Also, 50k is the base for the Raptor and 46k is all out maxed out on the Trail boss.  I priced out a decently loaded SuperCrew Raptor  9though no accessories like a bed liner, ramps, or tailgate step, etc), and it came to nearly 70 grand.  that is where our difference comes in. 

    Yeah but those base prices are extended cab, 3.6 not the Duramax which is only offered in the crew cab. So I guess the 3.6 will be offered at a much more reasonable price but the Duramax will be insane for the money, imo.

    Raptor starts at 49,500(with destination added in). Add in the 801A package to get leather and 10 way adjustable seats brings it to 52,600 in crew cab form, not Super Crew. Super Crew was 55,600. I'm not sure what you added to get another 15k but it had to have been absolutely loaded to the brim with extra petty stuff. Jumping to the 802A($9300) package the Super Crew was still "only" 61,800. But if it's 10-12k more than a ZR2 at THAT package level you're getting features that the Silverado doesn't even offer. The 801A is realistic price comparison.

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    If this is a successful truck, which I'm sure it will be, could it lead to a new ZR2 series for the Silverado? GM did show a Silverado ZR2 concept back at the 2009 SEMA show.  Would be a nice way to use the R&D spent on the Hummer vehicle program on GM's current pickups.

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    Like i said i didn't include things like the tailgate step, etc, though some crazy interior packages?  yes.  the price  came to 67200, but is possible to get over 70k by adding options like the tailgate step, etc.  My guess is that you are looking at at least a 10k difference equally optioned.  I doubt you see any incentives on either of these trucks meaning MSRP should give you an idea of what they will be bought for, at least after the initial period of ridiculous dealer markups. 

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    1 minute ago, FordCosworth said:

    Base mdl ZR2 with no option has a payload off 1100lbs ( my old 2001 Ranger SC had a payload of just over 1500lbs and 5600lbs tow rating ) and tow rating of 5000lbs....Add crew Cab and options and both those plummet.

    Yikes.

    Yeah it's not made for that though.. Comparing it to the Raptor again the payload and towing capability are dog$h! as well.

    Looking on Ford's website it doesn't seem right because it still states the 12,200lb towing capacity and 3270lb payload.

    I'm pretty confident that those numbers drop a decent amount for the Raptor.

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    4 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Yeah it's not made for that though.. Comparing it to the Raptor again the payload and towing capability are dog$h! as well.

    Looking on Ford's website it doesn't seem right because it still states the 12,200lb towing capacity and 3270lb payload.

    I'm pretty confident that those numbers drop a decent amount for the Raptor.

    Raptor suck too at being a pick up

    Just not as bad as this thing. 

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    4 minutes ago, Stew said:

    Like i said i didn't include things like the tailgate step, etc, though some crazy interior packages?  yes.  the price  came to 67200, but is possible to get over 70k by adding options like the tailgate step, etc.  My guess is that you are looking at at least a 10k difference equally optioned.  I doubt you see any incentives on either of these trucks meaning MSRP should give you an idea of what they will be bought for, at least after the initial period of ridiculous dealer markups. 

    But if you equip them similarly you won't be touching 60k in the Raptor as it just offers things the Colorado doesn't.

    10k seems right if you aren't getting the optional Duramax.

    1 minute ago, Stew said:

    I am finding 1200 pound payload and 8000 pound tow rating for the Raptor. 

    That seems more accurate than what I found. Definitely. Is that extended cab or super crew?

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    1 minute ago, ccap41 said:

    But if you equip them similarly you won't be touching 60k in the Raptor as it just offers things the Colorado doesn't.

    10k seems right if you aren't getting the optional Duramax.

    That seems more accurate than what I found. Definitely. Is that extended cab or super crew?

    See the links.  looks like these are Supercrew and the Supercab actually drops to 1000, but towing stays at 8000.

    5 minutes ago, FordCosworth said:

    Raptor suck too at being a pick up

    Just not as bad as this thing. 

    See above.  Depending on cab it is only 100 pounds more or even less in the payload and 2500 more towing, but I don't see many purchasing either of these for towing.

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    19 minutes ago, Stew said:

    I am finding 1200 pound payload and 8000 pound tow rating for the Raptor. 

    http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/specifications/towing/

    http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/specifications/payload/

    That's where I tried to go but for whatever reason the page was "simplified" and didn't break it down like that at all. I do like that they break it down to the T for us to see the payload and towing capacity.

    13 minutes ago, Stew said:

    Depending on cab it is only 100 pounds more or even less in the payload and 2500 more towing, but I don't see many purchasing either of these for towing.

    I've seen them tow but you're spot on. Nobody buys these to tow.. The occasional trailer for things is great but they aren't designed with that in mind.

    Am I seeing something wrong but that link showed the shorter extended cab(134.2in wheelbase) Raptor towing only 6000lbs? Same with payload, 1200 SCrew and 1000 extended cab.

    Edited by ccap41
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    38 minutes ago, FordCosworth said:

    Base mdl ZR2 with no option has a payload off 1100lbs ( my old 2001 Ranger SC had a payload of just over 1500lbs and 5600lbs tow rating ) and tow rating of 5000lbs....Add crew Cab and options and both those plummet.

    Yikes.

     

    Still more than enough to put camping gear in the bed and haul pull some dirtbikes/quads/jet-skis. Be realistic.

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    1 minute ago, Frisky Dingo said:

     

    Still more than enough to put camping gear in the bed and haul pull some dirtbikes/quads/jet-skis. Be realistic.

    I am being realistic. 

    Like the Raptor, this truck is for posers and Urban Cowboys

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      The recent crop of trucks have been stepping up their game when it comes to interiors and the Ridgeline is no different. The interior is borrowed from the Pilot crossover and brings forth an easy-to-understand control layout and high-quality materials. One item that wasn’t carried over from the Pilot was the push-button transmission selector. Instead, the Ridgeline sticks with a good-ole lever. Thank you, Honda.
      The Ridgeline proved to be a very comfortable pickup truck thanks to supportive leather seats, and power-adjustments for the driver. I took this truck to Northern Michigan and back during the holidays, and I never felt tired or had any soreness afterward. The back seat provides more than enough head and legroom for passengers. The bottom cushion of the back seat can also be folded up to provide a decent amount space for carrying larger items.
      Honda’s infotainment system in the Ridgeline has to be one of the most frustrating systems we have ever come across. The eight-inch system gets off on the wrong foot by using touch-sensitive controls for the volume and other functions that don’t always respond whenever pressed. At least you can use the steering wheel controls for a number of these functions. HondaLink needs a serious revamp in terms of its interface as trying to do simple things is very convoluted. For example, if I want to pick a podcast episode from my iPod, I have to jump through a number of menus to just to get to the listing of the specific show I want to listen to. You can avoid using HondaLink by plugging in your iPhone or Android phone and using CarPlay or Android Auto. 
      All Honda Ridgeline’s come with a 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with a six-speed automatic. The base RT to the RTL-T has the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The RTL-E and Black Edition only come with all-wheel drive. No other V6 truck in the class can match the performance of the Ridgeline’s V6. Acceleration is strong whether you’re leaving a stoplight or making a pass. The run to 60 mph is said to take around 7 seconds, making this one quick midsize truck. The six-speed automatic delivers fast and smooth shifts.
      All-wheel drive Ridgelines like our tester come with Honda’s Intelligent Variable Torque Management system. This system quickly redistributes the amount of torque going to each wheel to improve handling and traction. AWD models also get the Intelligent Traction Management system which adjusts the settings of the powertrain to help you get through whatever terrain you find yourself in. We put these systems to the test by driving through an unplowed road with deep snow. The Ridgeline was able to make it through without breaking a sweat. That doesn’t make the Ridgeline a truck you want to take on an off-road trail as it only offers 7.9-inches of ground clearance and no low-range.
      The Ridgeline’s payload is towards the top the of class when compared with other midsize crew cab trucks. Front-wheel drive models can haul between 1,447 to 1,565 pounds in the bed. All-wheel drive models have a payload capacity of 1,499 to 1,584 pounds. For towing, the Ridgeline falls a bit short. Front-wheel drive models have a max tow rating of 3,500 lbs, while AWD models are slightly higher at 5,000 lbs. For most people, the Ridgeline will be enough to handle various towing needs. If you need a bit more, then the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are ready to help.
      The EPA rates the Ridgeline AWD at 18 City/25 Highway/21 Combined. My average for the week landed at 23.6 mpg in a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving.
      Previously, we’ve considered GM’s midsize trucks as having the best ride in the class. The Honda Ridgeline now holds that honor. The unibody platform and four-wheel independent suspension setup give the Ridgeline a ride that is almost equal to a passenger sedan. Bumps and other imperfections are smoothed out. The Ridgeline is a decent handling truck as well. There isn’t much body roll and it feels stable when going into a corner. We do wish Honda would make the steering slightly heavier for the Ridgeline.
      The Honda Ridgeline may not meet the true definition of a pickup truck, but it is one in spirit. Yes, the unibody architecture does limit the capabilities of the Ridgeline as it cannot haul or tow heavy items. Nor can it go deep into the wilderness due to decisions made by Honda on the Ridgeline’s off-road capability. But it is in other areas that the Ridgeline begins to stand out such as the clever ideas in the bed, comfortable interior, and a ride that is more in tune with a regular car. They might not be the advantages you would expect in a truck, but they are something that Honda believes will bring in those interested in a pickup minus a lot of the issues that other models have. 
      To put it another way, the Honda Ridgeline is like Festivus from Seinfeld; they’re both for the rest of us.
      Disclaimer: Honda Provided the Ridgeline, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Honda
      Model: Ridgeline
      Trim: RTL-E
      Engine: 3.5L SOHC 24-valve i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,515 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, Alabama
      Base Price: $41,370
      As Tested Price: $42,270 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Is the Honda Ridgeline a truck or not? Depends on to whom you ask this question. A truck person would say no since the Ridgeline isn’t a body-on-frame vehicle. Instead, it uses a unibody platform from the Honda Pilot. A consumer would say yes because it looks like a truck and has all the attributes you would find on one such as a bed. I spent some time in a Ridgeline over the holidays to see if I could figure out the answer.
      The previous Ridgeline looked like an auto show concept squared-off shape and missing the design cues you would expect on a truck such as a gap between the cab and bed. This put a lot of people off from looking at the Ridgeline. The new model looks more in line with the current crop of midsize trucks as Honda adopted the standard cab and bed design. This includes the gap between the bed and cab, although this is more of a design touch. Stick your hand in the gap and you’ll realize that both parts are connected (thanks unibody construction).
      The front end is where you’ll make your decision as to whether you like the Ridgeline or not. There is an imposing grille with a long chrome bar on top. A set of large headlights sits on either side of the grille. Other design items to take note of are the sculpted hood and front bumper. Personally, I found the front end to a bit over the top. Honda was trying to make the Ridgeline look tough and imposing, but the end result is a look that is trying too hard. 
      At least Honda got the Ridgeline’s bed right. Compared to the last model, Honda added four inches to the overall length of the bed (64 vs. 60 inches). This gives the Ridgeline the longest standard bed in the class. Unlike competitors, you cannot option a longer bed for the Ridgeline. Honda has also fitted some clever ideas for the Ridgeline’s bed. First is the in-bed trunk that offers 7.3 cubic feet of space where you can stow tools or luggage, giving the Ridgeline a significant edge in practicality than its competitors. Second is the dual-action tailgate which allows the tailgate to be opened downward or to the side.
      The recent crop of trucks have been stepping up their game when it comes to interiors and the Ridgeline is no different. The interior is borrowed from the Pilot crossover and brings forth an easy-to-understand control layout and high-quality materials. One item that wasn’t carried over from the Pilot was the push-button transmission selector. Instead, the Ridgeline sticks with a good-ole lever. Thank you, Honda.
      The Ridgeline proved to be a very comfortable pickup truck thanks to supportive leather seats, and power-adjustments for the driver. I took this truck to Northern Michigan and back during the holidays, and I never felt tired or had any soreness afterward. The back seat provides more than enough head and legroom for passengers. The bottom cushion of the back seat can also be folded up to provide a decent amount space for carrying larger items.
      Honda’s infotainment system in the Ridgeline has to be one of the most frustrating systems we have ever come across. The eight-inch system gets off on the wrong foot by using touch-sensitive controls for the volume and other functions that don’t always respond whenever pressed. At least you can use the steering wheel controls for a number of these functions. HondaLink needs a serious revamp in terms of its interface as trying to do simple things is very convoluted. For example, if I want to pick a podcast episode from my iPod, I have to jump through a number of menus to just to get to the listing of the specific show I want to listen to. You can avoid using HondaLink by plugging in your iPhone or Android phone and using CarPlay or Android Auto. 
      All Honda Ridgeline’s come with a 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with a six-speed automatic. The base RT to the RTL-T has the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The RTL-E and Black Edition only come with all-wheel drive. No other V6 truck in the class can match the performance of the Ridgeline’s V6. Acceleration is strong whether you’re leaving a stoplight or making a pass. The run to 60 mph is said to take around 7 seconds, making this one quick midsize truck. The six-speed automatic delivers fast and smooth shifts.
      All-wheel drive Ridgelines like our tester come with Honda’s Intelligent Variable Torque Management system. This system quickly redistributes the amount of torque going to each wheel to improve handling and traction. AWD models also get the Intelligent Traction Management system which adjusts the settings of the powertrain to help you get through whatever terrain you find yourself in. We put these systems to the test by driving through an unplowed road with deep snow. The Ridgeline was able to make it through without breaking a sweat. That doesn’t make the Ridgeline a truck you want to take on an off-road trail as it only offers 7.9-inches of ground clearance and no low-range.
      The Ridgeline’s payload is towards the top the of class when compared with other midsize crew cab trucks. Front-wheel drive models can haul between 1,447 to 1,565 pounds in the bed. All-wheel drive models have a payload capacity of 1,499 to 1,584 pounds. For towing, the Ridgeline falls a bit short. Front-wheel drive models have a max tow rating of 3,500 lbs, while AWD models are slightly higher at 5,000 lbs. For most people, the Ridgeline will be enough to handle various towing needs. If you need a bit more, then the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are ready to help.
      The EPA rates the Ridgeline AWD at 18 City/25 Highway/21 Combined. My average for the week landed at 23.6 mpg in a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving.
      Previously, we’ve considered GM’s midsize trucks as having the best ride in the class. The Honda Ridgeline now holds that honor. The unibody platform and four-wheel independent suspension setup give the Ridgeline a ride that is almost equal to a passenger sedan. Bumps and other imperfections are smoothed out. The Ridgeline is a decent handling truck as well. There isn’t much body roll and it feels stable when going into a corner. We do wish Honda would make the steering slightly heavier for the Ridgeline.
      The Honda Ridgeline may not meet the true definition of a pickup truck, but it is one in spirit. Yes, the unibody architecture does limit the capabilities of the Ridgeline as it cannot haul or tow heavy items. Nor can it go deep into the wilderness due to decisions made by Honda on the Ridgeline’s off-road capability. But it is in other areas that the Ridgeline begins to stand out such as the clever ideas in the bed, comfortable interior, and a ride that is more in tune with a regular car. They might not be the advantages you would expect in a truck, but they are something that Honda believes will bring in those interested in a pickup minus a lot of the issues that other models have. 
      To put it another way, the Honda Ridgeline is like Festivus from Seinfeld; they’re both for the rest of us.
      Disclaimer: Honda Provided the Ridgeline, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Honda
      Model: Ridgeline
      Trim: RTL-E
      Engine: 3.5L SOHC 24-valve i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,515 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, Alabama
      Base Price: $41,370
      As Tested Price: $42,270 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
    • By William Maley
      Later this month, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 will begin arriving at dealers in the U.S. Before this happens, Mazda has revealed the pricing for the upcoming crossover. The base CX-5 Sport will carry a price tag of $24,985 (includes a $940 destination charge).
      All CX-5s will come equipped with a 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder and six-speed automatic (sorry, no manual transmission is on offer for this generation). The 2.5 produces 187 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive comes standard, while Mazda's i-ACTIV all-wheel drive system adds $1,300 to the base price.
      The CX-5 Sport comes decently equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, Smart City Brake Support, 7-inch color touchscreen with Mazda Connect, push-button start, and power accessories. 
      The CX-5 Touring ($26,855) adds blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, dual-zone climate control, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, six-way power driver's seat, keyless entry, and auto-leveling LED headlights.
      Wrapping up the CX-5 lineup is the Grand Touring ($30,335). This model features full LED lighting outside, 19-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar, rain-sensing wipers, and heated exterior mirrors.
      Options for the CX-5 include navigation, Bose audio system, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, radar cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams.
      Source: Mazda 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      2017 MAZDA CX-5 PRICED FROM MSRP OF $24,045
      Mazda’s Best-Selling Compact Crossover SUV a Remarkable Value with Segment-Exclusive Standard and Available Technologies IRVINE, Calif. (March 8, 2017) – The previous Mazda CX-5 ended its tenure as a compact crossover SUV segment favorite, winning the praise of automotive critics and the hearts of consumers. CX-5 became Mazda’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. Its successor, the all-new 2017 CX-5, will arrive in late March at dealerships nationwide with a starting MSRP of $24,045, building on the momentum that has made the model an unequivocal hit.
      The 2017 CX-5 hits a sweet spot in the compact crossover SUV segment for its refinement, quality, craftsmanship, design, efficiency, safety and dynamics among a long list of other reasons. No matter which trim level is selected, CX-5 also represents a remarkable value.
      The entry CX-5 Sport trim features 17-inch alloy wheels, black cloth-upholstered seats, cruise control, air conditioning, power windows, power mirrors, pushbutton starter, LED headlights, variable intermittent windshield wipers, carpeted floor mats, a 40:20:40 split-folding rear seat, Smart City Brake Support and power door locks. Additionally, CX-5 comes standard with MAZDA CONNECTTM, which pairs a 7-inch color touchscreen- and Commander-control-knob-operated infotainment display that incorporates AM/FM/HD radio, vehicle diagnostics, a backup camera, Bluetooth phone and audio integration and two USB ports for phone connectivity and charging.
      CX-5 Touring adds a six-way power driver’s seat, leatherette seating surfaces with Lux Suede inserts, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, heated front seats, rear privacy glass, auto-leveling LED headlights, a six-speaker audio system, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter handle, illuminated vanity mirrors, a rear center armrest, rear HVAC vents, dual-zone climate control, rear USB ports and a reclining rear bench seat.
      Further building on CX-5 Touring is the Preferred Equipment Package, which includes a BOSE® 10-speaker audio system with CenterPoint 2 and AudioPilot 2, a power glass moonroof, power liftgate, navigation, auto-dimming mirrors with Homelink and auto on/off headlights. Customers can also opt for the Touring i-ACTIVSENSE Package on top of the Preferred Equipment Package, adding High Beam Control, Lane-Departure Warning, Lane-Keep Assist, Mazda Radar Cruise Control and Smart Brake Support.
      Adding greater levels of equipment yet is CX-5 Grand Touring, adopting black or parchment leather seating surfaces, 19-inch alloy wheels, eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, SiriusXM satellite radio, rain-sensing wipers and heated exterior mirrors. Other additions include Adaptive Front-lighting system, LED fog lights and LED tail lights. Finally, CX-5 Grand Touring’s Premium Package comes with a windshield-projected Active Driving Display with Traffic Sign Recognition, a power front passenger seat, heated rear outboard seats, heated steering wheel and windshield wiper de-icer.
      All models come standard with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5 engine and six-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with Mazda’s predictive i-ACTIV all-wheel drive available on all trim levels.
      MSRP FOR ALL MODELS IS AS FOLLOWS:
      Model/Trim Package Front-Wheel Drive i-ACTIV AWD CX-5 Sport $24,045 $25,345 CX-5 Touring $25,915 $27,215 •Touring Preferred Equipment Package $780 $780 •Touring  
      i-ACTIVSENSE Package
      $625 $625 CX-5 Grand Touring $29,395 $30,695 •Grand Touring Premium Package $1,830 $1,830  
      AVAILABLE PREMIUM PAINT COLORS:
      Soul Red Crystal $595 Machine Gray Metallic (CX-5 Touring and Grand Touring models only) $300 Snowflake White Pearl Mica $200  

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Later this month, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 will begin arriving at dealers in the U.S. Before this happens, Mazda has revealed the pricing for the upcoming crossover. The base CX-5 Sport will carry a price tag of $24,985 (includes a $940 destination charge).
      All CX-5s will come equipped with a 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder and six-speed automatic (sorry, no manual transmission is on offer for this generation). The 2.5 produces 187 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive comes standard, while Mazda's i-ACTIV all-wheel drive system adds $1,300 to the base price.
      The CX-5 Sport comes decently equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, Smart City Brake Support, 7-inch color touchscreen with Mazda Connect, push-button start, and power accessories. 
      The CX-5 Touring ($26,855) adds blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, dual-zone climate control, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, six-way power driver's seat, keyless entry, and auto-leveling LED headlights.
      Wrapping up the CX-5 lineup is the Grand Touring ($30,335). This model features full LED lighting outside, 19-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar, rain-sensing wipers, and heated exterior mirrors.
      Options for the CX-5 include navigation, Bose audio system, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, radar cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams.
      Source: Mazda 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      2017 MAZDA CX-5 PRICED FROM MSRP OF $24,045
      Mazda’s Best-Selling Compact Crossover SUV a Remarkable Value with Segment-Exclusive Standard and Available Technologies IRVINE, Calif. (March 8, 2017) – The previous Mazda CX-5 ended its tenure as a compact crossover SUV segment favorite, winning the praise of automotive critics and the hearts of consumers. CX-5 became Mazda’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. Its successor, the all-new 2017 CX-5, will arrive in late March at dealerships nationwide with a starting MSRP of $24,045, building on the momentum that has made the model an unequivocal hit.
      The 2017 CX-5 hits a sweet spot in the compact crossover SUV segment for its refinement, quality, craftsmanship, design, efficiency, safety and dynamics among a long list of other reasons. No matter which trim level is selected, CX-5 also represents a remarkable value.
      The entry CX-5 Sport trim features 17-inch alloy wheels, black cloth-upholstered seats, cruise control, air conditioning, power windows, power mirrors, pushbutton starter, LED headlights, variable intermittent windshield wipers, carpeted floor mats, a 40:20:40 split-folding rear seat, Smart City Brake Support and power door locks. Additionally, CX-5 comes standard with MAZDA CONNECTTM, which pairs a 7-inch color touchscreen- and Commander-control-knob-operated infotainment display that incorporates AM/FM/HD radio, vehicle diagnostics, a backup camera, Bluetooth phone and audio integration and two USB ports for phone connectivity and charging.
      CX-5 Touring adds a six-way power driver’s seat, leatherette seating surfaces with Lux Suede inserts, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, heated front seats, rear privacy glass, auto-leveling LED headlights, a six-speaker audio system, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter handle, illuminated vanity mirrors, a rear center armrest, rear HVAC vents, dual-zone climate control, rear USB ports and a reclining rear bench seat.
      Further building on CX-5 Touring is the Preferred Equipment Package, which includes a BOSE® 10-speaker audio system with CenterPoint 2 and AudioPilot 2, a power glass moonroof, power liftgate, navigation, auto-dimming mirrors with Homelink and auto on/off headlights. Customers can also opt for the Touring i-ACTIVSENSE Package on top of the Preferred Equipment Package, adding High Beam Control, Lane-Departure Warning, Lane-Keep Assist, Mazda Radar Cruise Control and Smart Brake Support.
      Adding greater levels of equipment yet is CX-5 Grand Touring, adopting black or parchment leather seating surfaces, 19-inch alloy wheels, eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, SiriusXM satellite radio, rain-sensing wipers and heated exterior mirrors. Other additions include Adaptive Front-lighting system, LED fog lights and LED tail lights. Finally, CX-5 Grand Touring’s Premium Package comes with a windshield-projected Active Driving Display with Traffic Sign Recognition, a power front passenger seat, heated rear outboard seats, heated steering wheel and windshield wiper de-icer.
      All models come standard with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5 engine and six-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with Mazda’s predictive i-ACTIV all-wheel drive available on all trim levels.
      MSRP FOR ALL MODELS IS AS FOLLOWS:
      Model/Trim Package Front-Wheel Drive i-ACTIV AWD CX-5 Sport $24,045 $25,345 CX-5 Touring $25,915 $27,215 •Touring Preferred Equipment Package $780 $780 •Touring  
      i-ACTIVSENSE Package
      $625 $625 CX-5 Grand Touring $29,395 $30,695 •Grand Touring Premium Package $1,830 $1,830  
      AVAILABLE PREMIUM PAINT COLORS:
      Soul Red Crystal $595 Machine Gray Metallic (CX-5 Touring and Grand Touring models only) $300 Snowflake White Pearl Mica $200  
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