2017 Honda Ridgeline Goes Through Torture in Death Valley

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Can the 2017 Honda Ridgeline Survive Off-roading in Death Valley?

Edmunds once took a 1st generation Honda Ridgeline to Death Valley for some off-road testing. Long story short, the Ridgeline blew its shock absorbers after taking a heavy beating on the rough, broken pavement. Fast forward ten years and Edmunds has once again taken delivery of another Ridgeline, this time the 2017 2nd generation model. First things first: Take the new Ridgeline to Death Valley and see if it can redeem what the 1st gen failed to accomplish.

Dan Edmunds (Director of Vehicle Testing) was at the helm of the 2017 Ridgeline RTL-E on the way to Racetrack Playa, a dry lake bed deep in the heart of Death Valley. However, in order to get there, Dan along with his support team Travis and Kurt, who were following in a 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4×4 and 2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X, had to travel a 27-mile stretch of washboard-like dirt road. Should be a walk in the park for the two trucks with off-road packages right? Wrong.

“Something’s not right…”

After trekking along for a few miles, Dan in the lead Ridgeline pulled over because the trailing Titan XD was no longer in sight. While waiting for Kurt, Dan inspected the Tacoma and discovered that both rear shocks were blown. They both drove back and found that the XD lost a piece a tailgate trim, and Kurt was smelling something burning. What do you know? The rear shock absorbers also were blown to smithereens.

The team camped out near The Racetrack and headed back the way they came before and all three trucks made it out, blown shocks and all. What was supposed to be a one-truck shock test review turned into a 3-way comparison. Who would’ve known that the truck that didn’t have an off-road package was the one to conquer Death Valley? Hats off to Honda!

Be sure to check out Part 2 down below for the debrief. What do you guys think of the 2017 Ridgeline? Pretty impressive if we say so ourselves. Let us know on the forum!

Full Story: Death Valley Torture Test: 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E vs. 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road

Longtime auto journalist, editor and photographer Matt Eugenio has contributed news stories, features, reviews, photography and more for over five years to the popular automotive websites Both Hand Drive, Drive Tribe, Motor1, and other popular media.

Matt is currently a featured writer for Internet Brands Auto Group's Corvette Forum, Honda-Tech, 6SpeedOnline, and Rennlist, among other auto sites.

Eugenio can be reached at [email protected].

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