November 04, 2004

Honda Ridgeline

Honda has officially christened their new sport utility truck: Ridgeline. No new pictures or anything at the web site, just the new Ridgeline logo and same SUT concept photos that have been around since the truck was introduced at the North American Auto Show. I’m not sure if I like the name or not, but it seems to be somewhat unique, and “Honda Ridgeline” does roll off the tongue.

posted by retrophisch at 04:52 PM in auto
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June 25, 2004

SUT shaping up

I’m sure Honda aficionados at once hoped that the Honda SUT’s super-cool headlamps would make it from the auto show floor to the production line, yet realized that the realities of truck production would not allow that to happen. It appears that reality wins in this case.

posted by retrophisch at 11:12 PM in auto
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February 09, 2004

I’ve been converted

Okay, so I’m really starting to like the Odyssey. It drives and rides really well, it’s roomy and comfortable, and you can pack a heck of a lot of stuff in it while running those weekend errands.

That said, I’ve been jonesing for a pickup truck of late. I grew up riding in and later driving a truck; my dad had one, and more often than not, it was the vehicle I drove during my teenage years, even when I got my own car. My dad had a company van that he used during the work week, so I got his truck to use. That’s probably one reason why I’ve almost always driven SUVs since I’ve been married. I’m used to sitting up higher than in a car, I’m comfortable being able to see more of what’s going on ahead of me, etc. And on more than one occasion this past year, we’ve been in a situation where “it would have been nice to have a truck.”

Now, I don’t need a full-size truck like a F-150 or Avalanche. For one, I don’t need the higher gas bills. The Grand Cherokee is already sucking the juice in its 4.7-liter V8, with which I have towed a trailer a total of one time in the nearly four years of ownership, and any “off-roading” use of the 4x4 has come in the form of getting around an accident in the rain by driving off the shoulder in the wet grass and mud. It also has to fit in the garage. So if I go the truck route, I’m looking at one of the mid-size, light-duty trucks. I’m leaning toward the Dodge Dakota Quad Cab or the Ford Explorer Sport Trac, but both are due for a redesign, and I’d prefer to see what happens there, in light of the Dodge Ram and Explorer’s new looks.

Over the weekend, while tooling around town in the Odyssey, I remarked to my wife that I wondered why Honda hadn’t entered the truck game, seeing as how the other two Japanese automakers were firmly entrenched in the category. Well, as it turns out, Honda is entering the game, in that uniquely Honda way.

Honda SUT concept

Based upon the information I’ve gleaned thus far, this is the truck I want. The only caveat is that it won’t be available until 2005, probably as a 2006 model.

Why is the latter a problem? Because the “Smart Buy” (not!) on the Jeep is up in September of this year, which means we either come up with the balloon payment (not happening), refinance the Jeep, or walk away. At this stage, with the yet-to-be-named SUT waiting in the wings (the Honda Pilot SUT? or another name entirely?), I’m leaning toward the refinancing, and watching out for those end-of-the-year clearances dealerships invariably have, at the end of 2005.

I will definitely be going to the Dallas Auto Show next month. Want to join me again, Michael?

Running Rings Around the Conventional Pickup Truck
Honda SUT Concept photo gallery
Maximum Cars’ SUT photo gallery (higher-res photos)
Honda Targets “Cool Dads” with New SUT Concept
Honda Digital News Room any automotive journalists out there willing to share the hi-res photos contained herein?

posted by retrophisch at 01:32 PM in auto
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January 03, 2004


Aren’t principles wonderful to have? They make you feel so warm and fuzzy when you decide to break them.

I spent a goodly part of the day today at the local Honda dealership. That was breaking principle #1 right there: setting foot on the lot of a Japanese car-maker. I’ve always been a buy-American sort of fellow, or at the very least, a buy-from-anyone-except-the-Japanese. I have a lot of problems with the way Japan reciprocates—or fails to reciprocate, as it were—when it comes to trading with the U.S. Our products certainly don’t get the same fair shake over there that their products enjoy here.

Principle #2 was broken when we looked at the vehicle in question: the Honda Odyssey. A minivan. Did I fail to mention that my wife and I have a no-minivan clause in our marriage contract? I think it was right in there somewhere with “to have and to hold, from this day forward, in sickness and in health, in a car or a truck, but never a minivan, for richer, for poorer…”

I take heart in that I am holding to a higher principle: buy the best you can afford in any given situation. I have a Swiss timepiece on my wrist. No, it’s not a Rolex, but Swiss watches are the best. I’ve had it for years, I wear it 99.5% of the time that I wear a watch, and I’ll likely have it for years to come. I own SIG handguns. Sure, they’re a little more expensive than a Glock, Smith & Wesson, or Colt, but I’d put them up against anyone else out of the box as the best combat pistols available. And I own a Macintosh, the best personal computer available. Buy the best of what you can afford in any given category.

So the wife decided that it was time to stop sinking our money into repairs on her current automobile, and move on. The subject of a minivan was broached. Once the subject was taken seriously, our investigation revealed that the Odyssey was our choice if we were to go that route. And so we went. We’ll take delivery of our Sage Brush Pearl minivan in a couple of days.

Honda Odyssey in Sage Brush Pearl

I, of course, will chalk this all up to my defenses being down due to my current illness brought on by the season’s weather. At least I can say it’s a Dallas Stars green, eh, SuperToad?

posted by retrophisch at 06:32 PM in auto
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